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Topic: Arduino Learning Remotely (Read 8376 times) previous topic - next topic

ArduinoEdu

Apr 23, 2020, 12:45 pm Last Edit: May 15, 2020, 02:52 pm by ballscrewbob
Hello! Have you seen the new landing page that can support you for remote learning using Arduino?

Click on this link to learn more! : arduino.cc/remotelearning

Hoping this is helpful for you!

You can use this forum for any questions or discussions about it!






TheMemberFormerlyKnownAsAWOL

Please don't PM technical questions - post them on the forum, then everyone benefits/suffers equally

generaleccentric

I teach physical computing at a visual arts university, and when the administration asked me if I could teach my course remotely in the Fall semester, I immediately said 'yes, no problem!". I have a series of video tutorials that the students watch before class that introduces a set of topics and in class they complete a series of exercises to get the hands-on experience. During class I'm moving from desk to desk, helping students to troubleshoot their circuits.

It's this "troubleshooting" aspect that has started to concern me. In Arduino, there's two different aspects of identifying problems. There's software troubleshooting and then there's hardware troubleshooting. If we move from face-to-face to remote teaching, the software troubleshooting can be done in a video conference with the student sharing their screen with me. This isn't a problem at all.

However, once I thought about it, I realized that troubleshooting hardware issues remotely will be much more difficult, if not impossible. I can stare at a breadboarded circuit for ten minutes and not see that a jumper is plugged into the wrong hole. If it's difficult in a F2F situation, how is it even possible to troubleshoot when looking at a student's photograph, or even a video?

I'm at the point now that I'm looking for Arduino simulators. I need a simulator that can run on OS X, that can be managed easily by a art or design student who does not have access to in-person hardware support.

I've looked at Xevro's Arduino Simulator, but it adds a level of complication--you have to edit the software code to make it work--that quite frankly I don't need when trying to introduce programming and electronics to artists and designers.

Does anyone have any suggestions?


Power_Broker

If it's difficult in a F2F situation, how is it even possible to troubleshoot when looking at a student's photograph, or even a video?
Many people on this forum are able to help with hardware troubleshooting projects every day. It's definitely a challenge for the reasons you mention, but it is possible. I think a lot of it comes down to asking the student correct and detailed questions (i.e. "Do you have the GPS TX wire connected to the Arduino Mega's Serial1 RX pin?").

Making sure students take "good" pictures of their project also helps. You might require several pictures of the same breadboard wiring at different angles if needed.

Another thing to consider is asking for students to create hand schematics of their wiring.

Also, do your students have multimeters and/or O-scopes? If so, you can ask them to measure the voltage/signal at certain points of their circuits to give you an idea what's going wrong.


I'm at the point now that I'm looking for Arduino simulators. I need a simulator that can run on OS X, that can be managed easily by a art or design student who does not have access to in-person hardware support.

I've looked at Xevro's Arduino Simulator, but it adds a level of complication--you have to edit the software code to make it work--that quite frankly I don't need when trying to introduce programming and electronics to artists and designers.

Does anyone have any suggestions?
I'll be honest, I'm a millennial electrical engineer with a fair amount of experience with computers and I can't figure out how to properly install and launch that program to where it gives me the project editor UI. I'm wondering if it's difficult for me - how are art/design students going to use it?

Personally, I think developing hardware troubleshooting skills is 100% necessary for anyone who is learning embedded design and using a simulator is more of a crutch than an aid. If the students never touch and debug Arduino hardware, I think they'll have a rude awakening when they start their first major robotic art project.




"The desire that guides me in all I do is the desire to harness the forces of nature to the service of mankind."
   - Nikola Tesla

generaleccentric

Thanks for your reply. Your suggestion about being clear about where wires are attached is a good one.

Taking photos of their work is a last resort (in my view), as it is cumbersome to take and send photos during a synchronous video chat. The students will not be at school--they'll be at home at their kitchen table. I could add a cheap $15 multimeter to their Arduino learning kits, but o-scopes are not an option.

My thinking about the simulator is that I would get them to first build a working circuit in the simulator for validation, and then get them to build it on the breadboard. I do require them to draw a schematic, but as you might guess, for a lot of artists the idea of a "circuit" flow is difficult one to grasp, at least until mid-term.

BreddGar

Hello! Have you seen the new landing page that can support you for remote learning using Arduino?

Click on this link to learn more! : arduino.cc/remotelearning

Hoping this is helpful for you!

You can use this forum for any questions or discussions about it!






Ok.

generaleccentric

My thinking about the simulator is that I would get them to first build a working circuit in the simulator for validation, and then get them to build it on the breadboard. I do require them to draw a schematic, but as you might guess, for a lot of artists the idea of a "circuit" flow is difficult one to grasp, at least until mid-term.
I'm considering the Javascript circuit simulator at lushprojects.com as a simple way for students to try out simple circuits. It's not ideal because it does not like a simple OR circuit made with switches. However, it seems universally available.

Tinkercad has a pretty good GUI simulation that should permit students to build their Arduino device on a virtual breadboard. If they run into problems they can share it, and once it's working as expected, they can then build the actual device.

That's where I'm at, anyway...

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