Introduction to Arduino: Top Six Arduino Course Tips

Incorporating Arduino into Your Class

Arduino is an open-source electronics platform that has been the brain of thousands of projects. Arduino boards are based on easy-to-use hardware and software that can read inputs and turn it into an output. Are you interested in incorporating Arduinos into your class, but you don’t know where to start? Review these six helpful tips!

1. Make the Arduino projects applicable to the students’ interests

Depending on the course, make the projects relevant to the students’ interests. There are a variety of ways to introduce the use of Arduinos to graphic design, music, fashion, photography, art displays, etc. If it is a general course, Arduinos can be utilized in a variety of final projects, so the students will have the ability to pick a project that best suits their interests.

2. Visuals are incredibly useful when explaining how to use an Arduino

Here are two visuals you can use in the class. (These visuals do not represent all the Arduino boards.)

Arduino Uno Pinout
Arduino Uno Pinout Diagram

Arduino Diagram
Arduino Diagram

3. Use hands-on learning, in addition to lecturing

A recommendation on how to structure the course would be to have each week separated into two parts. The first part of the week being a lecture explaining technical aspects, then the second part of the week involving a hands-on project. For example, the first week could include a lecture of the basics of an Arduino, resistors, and LEDs, followed by an assignment to use an Arduino to make an LED blink at a specific rate. As the students begin working on their final project, it could be helpful to make the entire week working on their projects and asking questions as they arise, especially if each student has a different final project. Alternating between lecturing and hands-on projects will allow the students to learn the information, then be able to apply and practice the material they just learned.

4. Create an environment where students feel comfortable using peers and the internet to troubleshoot

Students should not feel they have to complete their project without assistance from the teacher, their peers, or even the internet. Code does not always work on the first try, so having a new set of eyes to review code and troubleshoot will help.

5. Avoid cramming the schedule into a short amount of time

Again, code tends to not work on the first try. Set aside plenty of time for students to debug their projects. If students rush to finish, it could result in them becoming stressed. Furthermore, even with plenty of time and help, projects may still not be successful, so keep that in mind.

6. Let creativity inspire the students

If students want to tweak the projects to experiment more with Arduino, let them! The students will possibly be more excited about the class (and learn more) if they are allowed to freely explore their creativity rather than be limited to a strict final project.

Arduino Starter Projects:

The Arduino Starter Kit
Experimentation Kit for Arduino
Beginner Kit for Arduino
Build Your Own Arduino Pulse Sensor
Arduino MKR Internet of Things Starter Bundle

You may also be interested in the following:

MATlab to Arduino Program Conversion
Arduino Getting Started Resource Guide

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