Campus Units

Electrical and Computer Engineering, Industrial Design

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


IEEE Frontiers in Education (FIE) Conference

Publication Version

Accepted Manuscript

Link to Published Version

Publication Date


Journal or Book Title

2020 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE)



Conference Title

IEEE Frontiers in Education (FIE) Conference

Conference Date

October 21-24, 2020


This Research-to-Practice Full Paper presents the redesign of a course project to promote student professional formation in engineering in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Iowa State University. This is part of a larger effort to redesign core courses in the sophomore and junior years through a collaborative instructional model and pedagogical approaches that promote professional formation. A required sophomore course on embedded computer systems has been assessed and revised over multiple semesters. The redesign of the project was initiated with the purpose of promoting student professional formation, interest, autonomy and innovation, and it was undertaken using a collaborative process. This paper describes the course, final project, redesign process, assessment, results and future work. Several conclusions from the research may be useful to other educators. A small change to the course project yielded positive effects in interest and autonomy and may influence longer term effects of the project. There was evidence of difference in engagement with the project. The difference observed was not only due to option selected by students but why students selected the option.


This is a manuscript of a proceeding published as Rover, Diane T., Nicholas D. Fila, Phillip H. Jones, and Mani Mina. "Introducing Autonomy in an Embedded Systems Course Project." In 2020 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE) (2020). DOI: 10.1109/FIE44824.2020.9274097. Posted with permission.


© 2020 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. Permission from IEEE must be obtained for all other uses, in any current or future media, including reprinting/republishing this material for advertising or promotional purposes, creating new collective works, for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or reuse of any copyrighted component of this work in other works.

Copyright Owner




File Format


Published Version