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The Use of ARM-Assembly Language and a Raspberry Pi 1 B+ as a Server to Improve Computer Architecture Skills

Authors Vitor Manuel Ferreira , Pedro Pinto , Sara Paiva , Maria José Azevedo Brito



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Author Details

Vitor Manuel Ferreira
  • Instituto Politécnico de Viana do Castelo, Portugal
Pedro Pinto
  • Instituto Politécnico de Viana do Castelo, Portugal
  • INESC TEC, Porto, Portugal
Sara Paiva
  • Instituto Politécnico de Viana do Castelo, Portugal
Maria José Azevedo Brito
  • Instituto Politécnico de Viana do Castelo, Portugal
  • Centro de Linguística da Universidade Nova de Lisboa (CLUNL), Portugal

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Vitor Manuel Ferreira, Pedro Pinto, Sara Paiva, and Maria José Azevedo Brito. The Use of ARM-Assembly Language and a Raspberry Pi 1 B+ as a Server to Improve Computer Architecture Skills. In First International Computer Programming Education Conference (ICPEC 2020). Open Access Series in Informatics (OASIcs), Volume 81, pp. 8:1-8:11, Schloss Dagstuhl - Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2020)
https://doi.org/10.4230/OASIcs.ICPEC.2020.8

Abstract

Prompting students' interest and engagement in learning environments is crucial to achieve the best results. Academia and educators in general are constantly adapting materials and methodologies in order to maximise the acquisition of contents by their students. In this case-study, a new teaching/learning methodology is presented and evaluated through a final questionnaire survey. This case-study aims to understand students' efficiency and motivation levels regarding a new teaching/learning methodology adopted in the second module of a Computer Systems and Architectures course attended by first-year Computer Sciences undergraduates. The new teaching/learning methodology relies on a specific programming language - ARMv6 assembly - to improve students' efficiency levels, and an innovative always-visible in-class mobile test scenario, implemented through a low-cost computing platform - Raspberry Pi 1 B+ - as a server, mimicking as much as possible a real-life environment, so that students believe they are working on real hardware, thus enhancing their motivation levels. The results of the questionnaire survey allowed to infer that the use of a specific programming language, such as ARMv6 assembly, coupled with a new always-visible in-class mobile test scenario were in fact efficient in raising the levels of motivation among Computer Sciences students and, consequently, improved their skills in Computer Architecture.

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Computer systems organization
Keywords
  • ARM-assembly language
  • Raspberry Pi
  • always-visible in-class mobile test scenario
  • Computer Architecture skills
  • students' efficiency and motivation levels evaluation

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References

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