This paper will summarize the development and teaching of a multidisciplinary, project-based, pilot course on the Internet of Things using strategies inspired by the Lean Startup movement. The course was taught at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, a small teaching institution in the Midwest with an emphasis on engineering education. Eight students from four different majors: electrical engineering, computer science, computer engineering and mathematics, were selected to enroll in the course. Our basic approach was to first inspire student learning and then manage the learning. We used a just-in-time strategy to introduce core IoT concepts and principles. The course revolved around a project consisting of deploying sensors on treadmills in our university’s sports and recreation center. The lean startup strategy we used was largely successful, dramatically reduced the lead time needed to develop and offer the course to only a few weeks. The multidisciplinary team of instructors greatly expanded the range of expertise available to the students and reduced the teaching burden on any individual faculty member. Students, however, significantly underestimated the amount of time and effort the faculty expected them to spend on the technical work and the final technical report that documented their achievements. This paper will present details and lessons learned from this pilot IoT course.
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