Surveys of computer science and engineering instructors have indicated that two of the common reasons they do not adopt research-based instruction strategies are preparation time and lack of materials. This lack of materials to support research-based instruction was evident in Computer Architecture & Organization (AR). We are creating, piloting, revising, and sharing activities inspired by Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL). POGIL is a research-based instruction strategy that comprises self-managed teams, development of process skills, and activities designed based on a theory of instruction called learning cycles.
These activities are under active development and in use with 120 students per semester.
Download the activities.
Activities on architecture
- Bits and numbers
- Bytes and memory
Activities on architecture that are specific to MIPS
- Memory organization of programs
- Stored programs
- Procedure calls
Activities on digital design and microarchitecture
- Combinational logic
- Adders and delay
- Adders, shifters, multipliers
- Sequential logic
- Addressable memory
- The Add Instruction
- Engineering digital systems
- These activities are listed at cspogil.org.
- To quickly determine whether an activity might fit into your course, take a look at the learning objectives for each activity.
- These activities are under active development and in use with 120 students per semester.
- Harris & Harris, Digital Design and Computer Architecture, 2nd Ed, 2012
- Patterson & Hennessey, Computer Organization and Design MIPS Edition, 5th Ed, 2014
The activities are licensed with the following:
Active Learning Activities for Computer Architecture and Organization by Brandon Myers is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available by contacting the author.
- Ham, Yeajin and Myers, Brandon. Supporting Guided Inquiry with Cooperative Learning in Computer Organization, SIGCSE 2019 (paper to appear).
- Myers, Brandon. Active Learning Materials for Computer Architecture and Organization, SIGCSE 2018 (Abstract, Poster)
- Funding for this project was generously provided by an ACM SIGCSE Special Projects Award. Read the project final report.
- These activities are based on an instruction strategy called Process-oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL). The activities are not endorsed by the POGIL Project.