Audio/Video Support for Micro-Electronics Design Labs

Grant program: Teaching and Learning Development Grant (TLDG)

Grant recipient: Fabio Campi, School of Engineering Science

Project team: Yi Nan Liu and Ranjita Ravi, research assistants

Timeframe: June 2014 to May 2015

Funding: $5,000

Course addressed: ENSC 450 – VLSI Systems

Final report: View Fabio Campi's final project report (PDF)

From the final report: "Results show that students utilize the videos slightly differently from what initially planned at the beginning of the project. Rather than running videos as an introduction to the assignment, and then go back to critical points during the assignment solution, students prefer to play the video continuously as they move along the required tasks, stopping to match their advancement with that of the video. It remains to be seen whether this is the best educational strategy: in my humble opinion this teaches to 'live the assignment one step at a time' preventing a global vision of the task. Read more >>

Description: Computer-Aided design (CAD) tools are complex, and feature specific rules and syntaxes to be followed, so that any professional may spend months or even years to become proficient in their usage. The standardized way that instructors across the globe use to build this competence is to provide students Design Tutorials. The instructional portion of these design tutorial sometimes involves reading a PDF document of 20 to 40 pages. A possible alternative to PDF documents could be to create YouTube-like Audio/Video (A/V) Tutorials, describing all steps in the Computer-Aided design process in the same fashion as the written document would do. Students will still need to use the PDF document as reference through their work, as the full content is too complex to be fully captured on video, but hopefully the video will lower their resistance to the initial impact, making the transition from the “passive” learning phase to the “active” circuit development phase easier and quicker.

Questions addressed:

  • How can an A/V Tutorial be designed to supplement the PDF tutorial?
  • How can an A/V Tutorial be an effective educational tool towards proficiency in specific, very complex professional software tools?
  • Would a video tutorial be more engaging and less difficult than a written PDF document for students?

Knowledge sharing:

Campi, F. (2015, March). Internationalizing teaching practices in the engineering curriculum. Presentation at the Learning at Cultural Interactions conference, Thompson Rivers University, Kamloops, BC.

Campi, F., & Hajshirmohammadi, A. (2015, May). Support technical learning using short audio/video tutorials. Presentation at the Canadian Engineering Education Association (CEEA) conference, Hamilton, ON.

Campi, F., Ravi, R., & Liu, Y. N. (2015, February). Audio/video support for laboratory activities. Presentation at the Lily Conferences on Evidenced-Based Teaching and Learning, Newport Beach, CA.

Campi, F., Ravi, R., & Liu, Y. N. (2014, November). Audio/video support for micro-electronics design labs. Presentation at the BC Campus Open Education Symposium on Scholarly Inquiry into Teaching and Learning Practice, Vancouver, BC.