A digital electronics course based on a hybrid delivery method using Digilent BASYS FPGA boards

Andrzej J. Gapinski


The article discusses the teaching methodology for a digital electronics course utilizing BASYS Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) boards (Digilent, Inc.), with a hybrid or blended classroom delivery method. The article outlines a methodology that combines the teaching of current digital circuit design technology with the use of a pedagogical approach to online delivery for a proportion of the course lectures. The FPGA boards by Digilent offer a modern PLD technology platform where beginners and more advanced practitioners alike may design and implement digital circuits with various operational capabilities. This means that the boards offer state-of-the art technology for computer engineering instructors to effectively introduce modern programmable memory technologies in the classroom. However, in light of the increased necessity for flexibility in college course delivery methods, the article also shows a successful method of material delivery that incorporates an online component. This aspect addresses the current expectations for greater course delivery flexibility and convenience due to the increasing number of adult students who need to work to support themselves and/or their families. Thus, the article offers an effective pedagogical approach to teaching current digital circuit analysis and design using a modern material delivery method.

Keywords: digital circuit design, hybrid or blended delivery method, programmable memory devices, computer engineering course, VHDL



Andrzej J. Gapinski

The author is a Professor of Engineering at the Pennsylvania State University, Pennsylvania, USA. Dr. A. Gapinski received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering with a Minor in Industrial Engineering from Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, USA in 1988. He obtained his master's degree in Electronics, Institute of Engineering Cybernetics, Wroclaw University of Science and Technology, Wroclaw, Poland in 1978. He also holds an International Business Certificate (Podyplomowe Studium Handlu Zagranicznego) from Warsaw School of Economics. His research interests are in systems and control theory and applications, information science and technology, automation in manufacturing processes, project management, and pedagogy. He has over 60 refereed publications in various journals and conference proceedings. He recently published a book on digital design with FPGA technology. He consults for industrial and manufacturing companies in the area of industrial control and manufacturing processes.

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The article is in the printed version on pages 22-31.

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How to cite

Gapinski, A. J. (2020). A digital electronics course based on a hybrid delivery method using Digilent BASYS FPGA boards. e-mentor, 2(84), 22-31.