Development of Hardware-Interfacing Learning Kit

free essayEmergence and continued usage of computer expertise in the great era of technological advancement and globalization have raised the need for more proficiency in this field. Furthermore, the demand for such skills, particularly in the areas of engineering, science and mathematics, has contributed to the urgency of having programmers. However, the field of programming has undoubtedly proven to be a challenge for many, especially students. Some of the main arising challenges include the difficulty in comprehending intellectual concepts and developing a suitable working environment. In addition, many students lack the knowledge of applying these ideas to definite problems. To find solutions to the problem, researchers introduced efficient instructional techniques that provide the students with suitable tools for knowledge acquisition. These tools are referred to as programming visualization (PV) tools, which include fundamental elements for program code implementation.

Background

Programming is constantly evolving and transforming to suit the everyday needs of programmers and creators of visualization tools. To create high-level software and hardware programmers require top class visualization tools beforehand. A research on some of the tools that assist in easing the novice programmers’ tasks concluded that such programmers require programming visualization (PV) tools to enhance hand-on learning kits. Therefore, this essay will review the research conducted by Siti Rosminah Derus and Ahmad Zamzuri Mohamad Ali (2016) and evaluate some of the prevalent issues associated with the programming visualization tools.

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Case Issues

Derus and Ali identify that some of the case issues that require immediate attention include the creation of learning concepts to reduce the mental frustration of students while learning. They realized that teaching methods such as textbooks, verbal explanation, projected presentation and whiteboard explanation were among the most tedious methods of learning. Teachers face numerous cases of students dropping the course or failing to perform exemplary due to the methods of information presentation. In some instances, they realized that majority of their students understood only some of the concepts taught in class and rarely managed to put these ideas into practice. With the use of PV, on the other hand, teachers gained the advantage of helping students comprehend dynamic behaviors of the courses. They achieved it by displaying various aspects including values of variables, evaluation of statements and any other form of change that may occur in the program. Besides, in case students have difficulties with software-hardware interfacing programming, PV offers a link to reduce the deficiency. This deficiency reduction is achieved by the PV communicating with a given hardware interface through a port, which enables the external device to perform the tasks. Hardware visualization, which comprises of eternal circuits connected to the computer’s USB port, enables users to observe the input and output manipulation of data. They are further used for the configuration, connection and control of external devices that enable users experience the visual effect of a program code. On the other hand, software visualization comprises of graphical interfaces allowing the users of its interface to interact via or on the monitor visually. These software visualization tools including Visual software facilitate fundamental learning activities.

Strategic Risks

Though a good system helps learners grasp some of the difficult concepts of programming, PV poses some unique strategic risks to both its users and the system as well. One of the major risks posed by the PV is its ability to corrupt other software and/or hardware. PV may be incompatible with the system within which it is integrated and therefore, cause malfunction. Incompatible hardware further poses the risks of slowing the computer and the system hence affecting the overall performance and efficiency. In addition, some of the integrated hardware may be power consuming or emit a lot of heat and therefore, contribute to the system heating up and wearing it out (Behdad, Berg, Thurston, & Vance, 2014).

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Visual software, on the other hand, may be susceptible to malicious software that enters the system through emails or corrupted devices affecting its overall performance. The integrated software further poses the risk of corrupting the program code if not properly installed. Proper installation of the software to run the PV requires an expert. In addition, an expert is necessary to set the requirements adhering to strict security protocols to avoid an overload of the system. The installation, modification and maintenance of the software, therefore, ought to be done by the computer administrator limiting access to verified personnel. Finally, the PV software should be set up in a manner that will resrtict phishing, spying and theft of confidential data from the system database.

The PV system itself, consequently, has the risk to discourage work rather than encourage. The system, which is designed as a “practical hands-on learning kit to assist students to explore and master the hardware-software interfacing fundamental concept in visual environment” may render students lazy and unable to think on their own. Students risk over-relying on the software to perform some of the basic tasks that they may accomplish by thinking and researching. Due to this fact, the same software designed to make their learning process easier while enabling a better view of the program code may end up rendering them inefficient, lazy and unable to think outside the box.

Recommendations

Therefore, I would like to offer some suitable recommendations for further research and consideration. While the PV system is worth recognition for the resourceful means of assisting novice programmers in understanding programming, it should be used cautiously. System hardware and software should be set up to integrate well with the computer without creating loopholes susceptible to malicious intrusion, heating or contributing to any form of inefficiency. In addition, this system must be accessible to authorized personnel only restricting manipulation of main data and settings by students (Si, Li, Huang, & Chen, 2010).


I would further wish to recommend that the continued use of PV by teachers should not eliminate traditional means of teaching, which include, but are not limited to, the use of textbooks, verbal explanation, projected presentation and whiteboard explanation. Teachers should realize that programmers need to find the ways to grasp some of the difficult concepts of programming themselves. However difficult programming may seem, I would like to recommend the students not to think that the only way to succeeding in this field is using PV. Therefore, students should search for the means that will assist them comprehend the course on their own with minimal reliance on instructors or the PV software and hardware. By doing so they might find out that programming is easier than they presume.