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27th ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education, ITiCSE 2022 ; 1:386-392, 2022.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-1962410


Due to the pandemic of COVID-19, many university courses had to abruptly transform to enable remote teaching. Adjusting courses on embedded systems and micro-controllers was extra challenging since interaction with real hardware is their integral part. We start by comparing our experience with four basic alternatives of teaching embedded systems: 1) interacting with hardware at school, 2) having remote access to hardware, 3) lending hardware to students for at-home work and 4) virtualizing hardware. Afterward, we evaluate in detail our experience of the fast transition from traditional, offline at-school hardware programming course to using remote access to real hardware present in the lab. The somewhat unusual remote hardware access approach turned out to be a fully viable alternative for teaching embedded systems, enabling a relatively low-effort transition. Our setup is based on existing solutions and stable open technologies without the need for custom-developed applications that require high maintenance. We evaluate the experience of both the students and teachers and condense takeaways for future courses. The specific environment setup is available online as an inspiration for others. © 2022 ACM.