EE138 Course Report

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					                            EE120 Digital Design II Course Report

                                     Updated by Avtar Singh
                                          Spring 2005

Recent Course Improvements

(1) Spring 2002: The course format was changed from a 2-hour lecture and 3-hour lab mode to a
    3-hour lecture and 3-hour lab mode. This changed the course from a 3 unit class to a 4 unit
    class.

(2) Fall 2003: The new 4th edition of the text book by Walter A. Triebel and Avtar Singh, “The
    8088 and 8086 Microprocessors”, was adopted.

(3) Fall 2003: The new 4th edition of the lab manual by Walter A. Triebel and Avtar Singh, “Lab
    Manual for the 8088 and 8086 Microprocessors”, was adopted.

(4) Spring 2004: Most of the short term recommendations of the Fall 2003 Task Force (see the
    end of this report) were implemented. The PCs in the lab were upgraded. Additionally two
    lab stations were installed in the IEEE room (E376) so that students could use these, when
    lab was not available, for experiments and the final project. Logic analyzers remain to be
    upgraded. Long term recommendations f the task force have been discussed but remain
    unimplemented due to the emergence of alternative approach as stated in the section on
    suggestions.

Course Evaluation Results (Surveys)

Spring 2002 course survey results show that the majority of the students strongly or moderately
agree that this course supports the achievement of program criteria 1 – 5, 9, and 11 - 14. Majority
of them also agree that the course does not or only somewhat supports the criteria 6 – 8, 10, and
15.3. Overall the course supports significantly criteria 3 and 12, but does not contribute much to
the criteria 8 and 15.

These surveys have not lead to any significant course improvements. However, improvements
have been made based on the Task Force Recommendations.

Suggestions for Future Improvements

1. Restructure the course so that the lecture does not lag behind the lab. Possible solution is to
divide the course into two parts, a 3-unit lecture class followed by a 1-unit lab class as opposed
to the current 4-unit class with lecture and lab happening at the same time.

2. Lab Equipment: Logic analyzers need to be maintained or upgraded.
Instructor’s Evaluation of the Learning Objectives

1.     The ability to explore architecture of a microprocessor      (B)

2.     The ability to understand microprocessor instructions and addressing modes          (B)

3.     The ability to analyze a microprocessor program       (B)

4.     The ability to develop an assembly language programs for applications        (C)

5.     The ability to understand microprocessor signals, bus cycles and timing      (B)

6.     The ability to design a memory system and to interface it to a microprocessor       (B)

7.     The ability to design circuits to interface input/ output ports and peripherals to a
       microprocessor       (C)

8.     The ability to use programmable interface controllers and programmable timers       (C)

9.     The ability to design a system using an interrupt interface for a microprocessor    (C)

10.    The ability to use a debug tool (DEBUG) for exploring microprocessor architecture,
       software and hardware development    (B)

11.    The ability to use logic analyzer for understanding timing, hardware development, and
       for exploring the relationship between the hardware and the software of a microprocessor
       system         (B)

12.    The ability to work in a group. Students are divided into groups of two or more for labs.
       The final lab project is designed and implemented in a group       (B)

13.    The ability to prepare technical documents. There are several labs in this course.
       Students are required to submit comprehensive lab reports including lab objective, data
       analysis, and a detailed conclusion for each report (B)

Level of students’ Achievement:
       A= exceeds expectations
       B= adequately meets expectations
       C= barely meets expectations
       D= does not meet expectations

Prerequisite Course Assessment

EE118 is the official prerequisite for this course. EE120 students generally have difficulty in
using digital devices and instrumentation for their final project and hardware labs involving
timing. It is recommended that the lab experiments in EE118 use oscilloscope and there are more
hands-on rather than the simulation labs.
Fall 2003: Task Force Report

A task force consisting of Dr. Caohuu, Dr. Le, Dr. Singh, Dr. Hsu, and Dr. Choo was formed to
evaluate the EE120 course and to propose long- and short-term solutions to resolve the student
complaint that the course tries to accomplish too much with inadequately supported laboratory.

The task force met on December 12, 2003. Following recommendations emerged from the
meeting:

Short-Term Recommendations from the Task Force

1. Determine the status of lab equipment consisting of all computers, logic analyzers, scopes,
signal generators, and PCuLAB units. Fix all those pieces of equipment that can be fixed and
made usable. Replace the bad ones with new ones and ensure enough spares so that all lab
stations are operational most of the time.

2. A clip-board with a report form should be made available in the lab. Instructors should report
any nonfunctional piece of equipment on the report form. The report form should be inspected by
the technician, at least once a week, and attended to immediately.

3. Avtar should be the course coordinator as he has offered to teach the lab sections.


Long-Term Recommendations from the Task Force

1. Some lab sections must be taught by regular faculty to keep the operation under control. TAs
must be used rarely and must be carefully selected in advance to expect them to prepare to teach
the lab.

2. The course should be split into two courses as follows:

EE120A (1 Hour Lecture, 1 Unit): to cover microprocessor architecture, instructions set,
programming and debugging.

EE120B (2 Hour Lecture, 3 Hour Lab, 3 Units) to cover microprocessor signals, timing, system
bus, memory system design and interfacing, input/ output system design and interfacing,
interrupt system design and interfacing, interfacing controllers consisting of a timer, and a
parallel programmable interface. The lab will have experiments to support the hardware
concepts. The final lab will be an interfacing project.
                           EE120 Digital Design II Course Report

                            Prepared by Tri Caohuu, April 23, 2003

Recent Course Improvements

(1) The course format was changed in Spring 2002 from a 2-hour lecture mode and 1-hour Lab
    mode back to a 3-hour lecture and 1-hour lab mode. This change is a reversal of an earlier
    change which renders a 3-unit course instead of a 4-unit course

(2) New version of text book, Walter A. Tribel and Avtar Singh, “The 8088 and 8086
    Microprocessors”, Four Edition

Comments on survey results and questions

The Spring 2002 course survey results show that the majority of the students strongly agreed that
this course supports the achievement of program criteria (3) and (12) and to a lesser extend (11)
and (14).

Suggestions

1. Change the survey questions from current format to course learning
   objectives based and program objective based

2. Adding a survey form for Faculty with identical format as in 1.

3. Restructure the course so that the Lecture is not lagging behind the
   Laboratory. Possible restructuring is to divide the course into two parts: a
   assembler programming course which precedes a hardware/project laboratory.

4. A more design example, problem solving oriented text

5. Better laboratory equipments: The computer are outdated, logic analyzers and
   scopes need to be maintained and/or upgraded.

Instructor Evaluation

   1. The ability to develop an assembly language program for control and
      computational application.     C

   2. The ability to analyze a microprocessor program and understand its
      purpose. B

   3. The ability to design circuits to interface memory, input/ouput, and other
      peripherals to a microprocessor                B
   4. The ability to use programmable IO interfaces and timer chips        C

   5. The ability to analyze and understand digital designs using microprocessor          C

   6. The ability to use program development software tools (debug), and
      instruments to fabricate, debug, test a microprocessor related prototype for
     the final project        B

   7. The ability to work in a group. Students are divided into project groups.
      The final lab project and report is graded as a team effort. A

   8. The ability to prepare technical documents. There are several labs in this
      course. Students are required to submit a comprehensive lab report for
      each laboratory which includes Lab description, Data Sheets, and
      Engineering Notes.              B

Level of students’ Achievement:
       A= Excellent,
       B= meet expectation
       C= below expectation
       D= minimum

Prerequisite Course(s) Assessment

EE118 is the only official prerequisite for this course. Students generally lack of knowledge in
number system and in some case lack of fundamental concept in logic design.

Future Improvements

Restructuring the course
New Lab equipments.
                                    EE120 Task Force Report


A task force consisting of Dr. Caohuu, Dr. Le, Dr. Singh, Dr. Hsu, and Dr. Choo was formed to
evaluate the EE120 course and to propose long- and short-term solutions to resolve the student
complaint that the course tries to accomplish too much with inadequately supported laboratory.

The task force met on December 12, 2003. Following recommendations emerged from the
meeting:


Short-Term Recommendations

1. Determine the status of lab equipment consisting of all computers, logic analyzers, scopes,
signal generators, and PCuLAB units. Fix all those pieces of equipment that can be fixed and
made usable. Replace the bad ones with new ones and ensure enough spares so that all lab
stations are operational most of the time.

2. A clip-board with a report form should be made available in the lab. Instructors should report
any nonfunctional piece of equipment on the report form. The report form should be inspected by
the technician, at least once a week, and attended to immediately.

3. Avtar should be the course coordinator as he has offered to teach the lab sections.


Long-Term Recommendations

1. Some lab sections must be taught by regular faculty to keep the operation under control. TAs
must be used rarely and must be carefully selected in advance to expect them to prepare to teach
the lab.

2. The course should be split into two courses as follows:

EE120A (1 Hour Lecture, 1 Unit): to cover microprocessor architecture, instructions set,
programming and debugging.

EE120B (2 Hour Lecture, 3 Hour Lab, 3 Units) to cover microprocessor signals, timing, system
bus, memory system design and interfacing, input/ output system design and interfacing,
interrupt system design and interfacing, interfacing controllers consisting of a timer, and a
parallel programmable interface. The lab will have experiments to support the hardware
concepts. The final lab will be an interfacing project.

				
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