Shannon Sexton

Rose Hulman Institute of Technology, HUF, Indiana, United States

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Publications (11)2.53 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: This paper presents the benefits and costs of providing students with unlimited access to programmable boards in digital design education, allowing hands-on experiences outside traditional laboratory settings. Studies were conducted at three universities in two different countries-Rose Hulman Institute of Technology, Terre Haute, IN; Washington State University, Pullman; and Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, Romania-to measure the effect on student learning and student performance of students having their own programmable hardware systems and unrestricted access to the most commonly used design tools. The results of the studies, supported by assessment data from various sources, suggest that the overall learning process is improved, and students gain a better knowledge of modern technologies and design methods if they are given full time access to programmable logic boards.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2011 · IEEE Transactions on Education
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    ABSTRACT: The use of digital ink devices in the engineering, mathematics, and science classrooms offers a promise of improved student learning and faculty teaching. To this point, however, assessment of the impact of digital ink technologies (both hardware and software) has only begun. Our project focused on student note-taking strategies during course lectures. The use of tablet PCs and DyKnow Vision software provided faculty the opportunity to share prepared notes while students could annotate those notes during class. Our results regarding the impact on student note-taking strategies indicate that students must re-imagine their traditional classroom role, from scribe to reflective learner.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2010
  • Mihaela Radu · Clint Cole · Mircea Dabacan · Joe Harris · Shannon Sexton
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    ABSTRACT: The technology and CAD tools employed by industry to design digital hardware evolve quickly and continuously. Well prepared engineers, who are able to produce actual designs and adapt themselves to the global world, are in demand. Educational programs must keep pace with technologies in common use in order to produce graduates who are competitive in the marketplace. Studies conducted at two different universities, Rose Hulman Institute of Technology and Washington State University measure changes in student performance when all students have unlimited access to state of the art design tools and hardware systems. Data are collected from surveys, exams, and course assignments. Quantitative data are analyzed by comparison to historical data gathered from student groups that did not have unlimited access to hardware systems, and qualitative data are used to determine the subjective quality of each student's experience. Outcomes include: assessing whether the overall learning process is improved; whether students have a better knowledge of modern technologies and design methods; whether their comprehension of founding concepts has improved or faltered.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2009
  • P. Cunningham · S. Sexton · J. Williams
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    ABSTRACT: When I first used a tablet PC in teaching I had colleagues who posted their notes for their students. My first reaction was, "Why would I do that? The students will not see any point in coming to my class." Furthermore, I was concerned that my students would not learn to be good note takers, instead relying on the posted notes. In this work, we are focusing on how students used posted notes and the impact this had on student attendance, learning, and perceptions.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2009
  • Tina A. Hudson · Matthew Goldman · Shannon M. Sexton
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    ABSTRACT: This paper investigates the impact of teaching the behavior of analog circuits before proceeding to the formal, mathematical analysis, with the goal of improving student confidence with analog circuits. The behavioral analysis of two circuits is presented to show the level of detail provided to the students. Additionally, reinforcement techniques that encourage a deep approach to learning are presented. The effect on student confidence levels of introducing the circuit behavioral analysis is measured using three assessment methods. The results of the assessment suggests that being exposed to behavioral analysis improves student confidence with analog circuits and comfort levels with new circuits.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2008 · IEEE Transactions on Education
  • Mihaela E. Radu · Shannon M. Sexton
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    ABSTRACT: A different approach to teaching digital systems design using hardware description languages (HDLs) within a limited time budget is presented. The proposed approach modifies the content of the lectures, placing more emphasis on the functional verification of hardware designs as opposed to the established method of teaching HDL semantics and syntax. The educational research study conducted by the author and the Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Terre Haute, IN, suggests that the extensive coverage of functional verification: 1) improves the learning process and the achievement of concepts and skills in digital design; and 2) encourages a deeper approach to learning, producing highly qualified graduates for today industry's needs.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2008 · IEEE Transactions on Education
  • Archana Chidanandan · Shannon M. Sexton
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    ABSTRACT: In this work, we identify factors that should be examined when considering the adoption of collaboration-facilitating software and hardware and also determine what needs to be done to facilitate the use of this technology in the classroom.
    No preview · Conference Paper · Aug 2008
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    ABSTRACT: Our project focuses on evaluating the impact of pen-based computing devices and collaboration-facilitating software in the engineering, science, and technical communication classrooms. The faculty members engaged in the project are implementing pen-based devices (both HP tablet PCs and Wacom pen slates) in their courses. In order to take full advantage of the technology, these instructors are also using DyKnow Vision software to encourage students to work together, to reduce students' time spent copying notes and problems on the whiteboard, and to encourage more efficient methods of studying for exams. The assessment component of the project includes both formative and summative methods deployed throughout the 2006-07 academic year.
    Full-text · Conference Paper · Nov 2007
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    ABSTRACT: Our project focuses on evaluating the impact of pen-based computing devices and collaboration-facilitating software in the engineering, science, and technical communication classrooms. The faculty members engaged in the project are implementing pen-based devices (both HP tablet PCs and Wacom pen slates) in their courses. In order to take full advantage of the technology, these instructors are also using DyKnow Vision software to encourage students to work together, to reduce students' time spent copying notes and problems on the whiteboard, and to encourage more efficient methods of studying for exams. The assessment component of the project includes both formative and summative methods deployed throughout the 2006-07 academic year.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2007
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    ABSTRACT: For over ten years Rose-Hulman has required all incoming students to purchase an institute-selected laptop computer and an associated suite of software. Students use their laptops in classrooms on a daily basis. More recently, we have begun to ask: What is beyond the laptop initiative? One possible answer is a combination of pen-based Tablet PCs and interaction-enhancing software like DyKnow Vision. This paper reports: our innovative use of DyKnow Vision software and Tablet PCs (hereafter, DyKnow/Tablets") to promote active learning in the classroom; similarities/differences in our approach across 7 courses covering engineering, humanities and science and involving more than 20% of Rose-Hulman's students; and studies that assess how DyKnow/Tablets affect student learning. Thus, the paper presents an innovative direction that engineering education may take as well as an assessment of some aspects of that direction
    Full-text · Conference Paper · Dec 2006
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    John Aidoo · Shannon Sexton · Jim Hanson · Robert Houghtalen · Matt Lovell
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    ABSTRACT: In 2005, the Department of Civil Engineering at Rose Hulman Institute of Technology (RHIT) decided to incorporate an international component into its 18 year old capstone senior design projects. Since then, the department has ensured that at least one international design project is offered every year. During the 2006-07 academic year, five civil engineering students had the invaluable experience of visiting Ghana as part of their capstone design experience. Prior to their visit, the Civil Engineering Department and the Office of Institutional Research, Planning and Assessment (IRPA) of RHIT developed and administered three assessment instruments in order to collect data on the short term impact of international design projects on student experiences. The results indicated that, despite the associated challenges, the benefits to the students are seen as immediate and profound. To date, there is little or no information on assessing the long-term benefits of such projects. Consequently, the Civil Engineering Department and IRPA have implemented an on-going assessment plan that involved sending out questionnaires to past students (alumni) who have been involved in international design projects. The goal is to assess the impact of such projects on their professional career and growth. This paper discusses the results of the data collected during the assessment process. Additionally, the paper compares two main student groups: student who undertook international projects and those who took part in domestic projects. Finally, the paper concludes with suggestions for future improvement.
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