Wepsim: an online interactive educational simulator integrating microdesign, microprogramming, and assembly language programming Articles uri icon

publication date

  • June 2019

start page

  • 211

end page

  • 218

issue

  • 1

volume

  • 13

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1939-1382

abstract

  • Our educational project has three primary goals. First, we want to provide a robust vision of how hardware and software interplay, by integrating the design of an instruction set (through microprogramming) and using that instruction set for assembly programming. Second, we wish to offer a versatile and interactive tool where the previous integrated vision could be tested. The tool we have developed to achieve this is called WepSIM and it provides the view of an elemental processor together with a microprogrammed subset of the MIPS instruction set. In addition, WepSIM is flexible enough to be adapted to other instruction sets or hardware components (e.g., ARM or x86). Third, we want to extend the activities of our university courses, labs, and lectures (fixed hours in a fixed place), so that students may learn by using their mobile device at any location, and at any time during the day. This article presents how WepSIM has improved the teaching of Computer Structure courses by empowering students with a more dynamic and guided learning process. In this paper, we show the results obtained during the experience of using the simulator in the Computer Structure course of the Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science and Engineering at University Carlos III of Madrid.

keywords

  • microprogramming; computer architecture; mobile learning; open educational resources; computer science education