JDSP Assessment Results
This HTML page summarizes a series of assessment
results provided by the EEE407 students and various anonymous users.
First, an overview of the methods and the assessment tools developed for
the evaluation is presented. General and conceptspecific
forms have been developed. The general forms are used to obtain an
overall subjective opinion on the JDSP software. The conceptspecific
forms provide the laboratory evaluation and its impact on learning
specific DSP concepts. Our newest assessment instrument, the
pre/postlab assessment, focuses on evaluating whether learning of
certain topics is attributed specifically to using JDSP.
The general assessment questionnaire consists
of a specific set of items that assess the ergonomics and the usefulness
of the JDSP software. In this assessment, students provide information on
logistics, software capabilities, academic standing, browser
compatibilities, expediency of the usermanual, etc. Student responses
revealed that the GUI and the free access to JDSP were received
positively. Most students found JDSP simulations highly intuitive. In
fact, 95% of the students liked the concept of Internetbased simulations,
and 70% of the students responded that it took them less than 30 minutes
to learn how to use JDSP. Moreover, 85.5% of the students agreed that
they would consider using JDSP to construct their own educational
simulations.
Figure 1
User feedback regarding JDSP editor used in DSP Lab
The conceptspecific assessment questions are
directly related to the technical aspects of the JDSP online
laboratories. The conceptspecific forms focus on each exercise by
posing questions that determine whether the student has learned a specific
DSP concept. For instance, 87% of the students agreed that the filter
design exercise helped them understand which window is suitable for sharp
transitions, 88% of the students understood better the signal symmetries
in the FFT spectra because of JDSP visualization, and 91% of the students
reported that the Ztransform exercise helped them understand the relation
between the polezero locations and the frequency response plots. More
results are given in Table 1.
Table 1: Statistics based on the
conceptspecific assessment
Evaluation Questions 
Strongly
Agree (%) 
Agree (%) 
Neutral (%) 
Disagree (%) 
Strongly Disagree (%) 
1.
JDSP online labs help you better understand the concepts of the Z
transform 
50 
46 
3 
1 
0 
2.
Your understanding of the concepts of FIR and IIR filter design is
enhanced by the JDSP labs 
42 
47 
8 
3 
0 
3.
The general concepts of using FFT in signal analysis is clear by
performing a JDSP simulation 
24 
61 
13 
2 
0 
4.
You have learned how to generate a sinusoid with a digital filter 
29 
55 
11 
3 
2 
5.
The relationship between the impulse response and the transfer
function is clear 
95 
N/A 
5 
6.
After performing the JDSP lab it is clear that the FFT spectral
resolution is limited by the FFT size, the window type, and the
window size 
99 
N/A 
1 
7.
Enough information is available on the help screens and the dialog
windows. 
49 
33.5 
13.5 
8.
JDSP labs accelerate the learning curve attributed to the basic DSP
concepts (Labs 14 average statistics) 
92 
N/A 
8 
In the evaluation Question8 shown in Table 1, we
directly asked the students if the JDSP and the online laboratories
accelerated the learning process. 92% of the students responded
positively. However, in order to obtain even more reliable statistical
results for this scenario, we developed the pre/postlab assessment
questionnaire during the spring’03 semester. In the pre/postlab
evaluation, the questions are technical and are set to evaluate the
student’s understanding of the key DSP concepts before and after
performing a particular JDSP lab assignment. The pre/post quiz and
the lab are assigned after the relevant theory has been introduced in
class. This ensures that all the students have had some, or ideally the
same exposure to the topics covered in the lab, so that we can isolate
specifically the effect of the JDSP labs in their learning. The students
are asked to complete the prelab assessment before working on a JDSP
lab. After performing the JDSP lab assignments, they submit the postlab
assessment. The questions on the postlab assessments are the same as the
prelab assessments but given in a different order.
Figure 2 shows the
pre/postlab assessment results. Lab 1 is related to the Ztransform
and the frequency response and consists of six questions. A 20% average
improvement can be noted after performing the JDSP lab1. The percentage
improvement corresponding to lab2 was significant, i.e., 45%. This can be
related to the fact that the lab2 simulations involve seamless animations
of polezero locations and frequency response computations. This
assessment result was influential in redesigning most of the JDSP blocks
to incorporate animations. Labs 3, 4, and 5 involve the FIR/IIR filter
design methods, the FFT computation, and the QMF filter bank analysis,
respectively. Improvements of 22%, 10%, and 15% can be noted in the labs
3, 4, and 5, respectively. A detailed analysis of the pre/postlab
assessment results is given in [1].
Figure 2. Pre/postlab assessment of
JDSP labs [1]
