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Martin Malchow

Hasso-Plattner-Institut (HPI) für
Softwaresystemtechnik GmbH
Universität Potsdam
Prof.-Dr.-Helmert-Str. 2-3
D-14482 Potsdam




+49 (0)331-5509-461


+49 (0)331-5509-325



Teaching - IT Systems Engineering


Embedded Smart Home - Remote Lab Grading in a MOOC with over 6000 Participants

Malchow, Martin; Renz, Jan; Bauer, Matthias; Meinel, Christoph in 2017 Annual IEEE Systems Conference (SysCon) IEEE , 2017 .

The popularity of MOOCs has increased considerably in the last years. A typical MOOC course consists of video content, self tests after a video and homework, which is normally in multiple choice format. After solving this homeworks for every week of a MOOC, the final exam certificate can be issued when the student has reached a sufficient score. There are also some attempts to include practical tasks, such as programming, in MOOCs for grading. Nevertheless, until now there is no known possibility to teach embedded system programming in a MOOC course where the programming can be done in a remote lab and where grading of the tasks is additionally possible. This embedded programming includes communication over GPIO pins to control LEDs and measure sensor values. We started a MOOC course called ``Embedded Smart Home'' as a pilot to prove the concept to teach real hardware programming in a MOOC environment under real life MOOC conditions with over 6000 students. Furthermore, also students with real hardware have the possibility to program on their own real hardware and grade their results in the MOOC course. Finally, we evaluate our approach and analyze the student acceptance of this approach to offer a course on embedded programming. We also analyze the hardware usage and working time of students solving tasks to find out if real hardware programming is an advantage and motivating achievement to support students learning success.
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