An Arduino Simulator in Classroom - a Case Study

Authors Paulo F. Gonçalves , João Sá, Anabela Coelho, João Durães

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Author Details

Paulo F. Gonçalves
  • Coimbra Polytechnic - ISEC, Portugal
João Sá
  • Escola Secundária de Avelar Brotero, Coimbra, Portugal
Anabela Coelho
  • Agrupamento de Escolas de Pombal, Portugal
João Durães
  • Coimbra Polytechnic - ISEC, Portugal

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Paulo F. Gonçalves, João Sá, Anabela Coelho, and João Durães. An Arduino Simulator in Classroom - a Case Study. In First International Computer Programming Education Conference (ICPEC 2020). Open Access Series in Informatics (OASIcs), Volume 81, pp. 12:1-12:12, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2020)


The Arduino Platform is increasingly being used as a central component in introductory programming courses of the curricula in middle, high school and even higher education. Given this scenario it is pertinent to understand how the cost-effectiveness, reliability and accessibility of this central component can be improved. We propose the use of an Arduino simulator to improve usability, cost, and class efficiency, allowing for improved and even new forms of use and course benefits. This paper presents and describes an Arduino simulator that we developed for education purposes, and a case study of its use in embedded programming courses from two high-schools. We compared its use against the usual use of real hardware platform analyzing usability, student workload and time efficiency. Our results, that we present and discuss, suggest that there are no apparent drawbacks in using the simulator, and some metrics such as basic exercise-solving efficiency and global effort showed an improvement.

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Applied computing → Computer-assisted instruction
  • Arduino
  • Education
  • Simulator


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