Reconfigurable Electronic Platforms: A Top-Down Approach to Learn about Design and Integration of Electronic Systems
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AuthorRivadeneyra Torres, Almudena; Romero Maldonado, Francisco Javier; Rodríguez Santiago, Noel; Morales Santos, Diego Pedro
EducationElectronics engineeringProgrammable platformsRapid prototypingReconfigurable electronicsSensors
Rivadeneyra, A... [et al.]. Reconfigurable Electronic Platforms: A Top-Down Approach to Learn about Design and Integration of Electronic Systems. Micromachines 2022, 13, 442. [https://doi.org/10.3390/mi13030442]
SponsorshipEuropean Commission European Commission Joint Research Centre H2020-MSCA-IF-2017-794885-SELFSENS; Spanish Government European Commission FPU16/01451
This case report presents a real example of a study which introduces the use of reconfigurable platforms in the teaching of electronics engineering to establish a bridge between theory and practice. This gap is one of the major concerns of the electronics engineering students. Different strategies, such as simulation tools or breadboard implementations, have been followed so far to make it easier for students to practice what they study in lectures. However, many students still claim to have problems when they face real practical implementations. The use of reconfigurable platforms as a teaching tool is proposed to provide the students the possibility of fast experimentation, reducing both development time and the learning curve. In addition, reconfigurable platforms available on the market make this methodology suitable to be applied throughout the different courses of their curricula. The feasibility of this approach is demonstrated in a course at the M.Eng. level, where the objective is the study, design and development of electronic sensor nodes. We firmly consider, based on the students’ results and reflections collected during the course, that this methodology helps students to address the theoretical framework from a practical viewpoint, as well as to acquire some of the fundamental skills for their professional careers, such as the usage of communication protocols and embedded systems programming, in a more intuitive way when compared to traditional teaching methodologies.