Reinforcing and Enhancing Understanding of students in Learning Computer Architecture

Cecile Yehezkel, Leibovich R, Ilya Levin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The main goal of the research presented in the paper is to study the Electrical Engineering (EE)
and Computer Engineering (CE) curriculum in order to improve its coverage, with the goal of
better preparing graduates to pursue a wider range of professional careers. The research deals
with the differences in studying subjects related to computer architecture by two groups of students having different prior knowledge: EE students and CE students. This research establishes
the implications of hands-on studies and considers the gap in knowledge, and whether these
studies reduce the gaps. This research was conducted for the same “Microprocessors practicum”
course. The first group (CE students) acquired a large body of knowledge in computer
architecture, while the second group (EE students) acquired knowledge mainly in “Introduction to
programming” prior to the practicum course, and this fact was reflected in a pretest conducted for
the two groups. The official test that was taken at the end of the semester, which examined the
knowledge that was acquired during the course’s lectures, revealed no difference between the two
groups. However, a posttest, specifically arranged for the purpose of this study, strongly indicated
that the Computer Engineering students have an advantage over the Electrical Engineering students. Regarding the objective that the lab should provide students with an understanding of
computing processes, it seems that lack of prior knowledge hinders it. The lab is meaningful
provided that the students are exposed to prior studies, in which case, the lab serves to reinforce
the subject matter. At the university in which the research took place, suitable changes in the curriculum have already been made.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)157-174
JournalIssues in Informing Science and Information Technology
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2011


  • Computer and Electrical engineering education
  • Computer Architecture
  • Microprocessor
  • Research and Developmen


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