Teaching Digital Signal Processing With a Challenge on Image Forensics

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Teaching Digital Signal Processing With a Challenge on Image Forensics

By: 
Cecilia Pasquini, Giulia Boato, Rainer Bohme
With the advent of ubiquitous sensing and real-time data processing, the demand for engineers with solid signal processing skills has exceeded the supply by a large margin. However, even students in technical subjects often perceive signal processing as demanding and somewhat dry [4]. In many curricula, signal processing must compete with more attractive classes, such as hands-on courses on programming, robotics, or computer graphics. Hence, new directions in signal processing education are needed [1], [9], [10].
 
Turning the classroom into a virtual crime scene 
 
In the context of a collaboration bet - ween the University of Trento, Italy, and the University of Innsbruck, Austria, we had the opportunity to explore a new teaching modality for a signal processing course with a cohort of undergraduate students from both universities. Observing recent developments in innovative teaching, we targeted an educational approach that included the following:
  • Experience with real problems: This allows students to have hands-on learning outcomes that would consolidate theoretical concepts while leaving them freedom to creatively develop their own approach [11].
  • Teamwork: This aspect let students strengthen their communication and cooperation skills, embrace different viewpoints on problems, and improve both their technical and soft skills while working toward a common goal [11].
  • Elements of gamification: These offer students the chance to engage with the problem in an entertaining way while competing against other teams under fair rules and defined scoring criteria [6].

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