Integrating a learning constructionist environment and the instructional design approach into the definition of a basic course for embedded systems design



The benefits of the constructionist theory as a learning paradigm are widely recognized, among other reasons, because it offers to instructional designers an alternative set of values that may significantly influence and provide consistency to any Instructional System Design (ISD) model. Relevant characteristics of the two approaches are described to identify the real necessities of undergraduate students to avoid deficiencies in static classrooms; these characteristics support significant learning environments where students of IT-related curricula are actively related to implementing their own public artifacts, passing through passive to active learning states. Thus, from our perspective the constructionist theory in combination with an ISD model can be useful in developing an embedded systems course for undergraduate education. This approach is supported by a software/hardware tool that was created to enhance the teaching–learning process through hands-on experimentation. Finally, the results of a comprehensive assessment of the course effectiveness are presented. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Comput Appl Eng Educ 23:36–53, 2015; View this article online at; DOI 10.1002/cae.21574