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 up to 120 students per semester.
Download the activities.
If you are using these materials in a course or are considering using them, we appreciate if you let us know.
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.
- To date, these have not been endorsed by the POGIL Project. However, they are the product of the author’s participation in a POGIL Writer’s Retreat and are listed on CS-POGIL
- 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).
- 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.