Fearghal Morgan et al, “RISC-V Online Tutor”, 18th International Conference on Remote Engineering and Virtual Instrumentation, REV2021 (accepted),
Feb 24th-26th 2021

Abstract: This paper presents the RISC-V Online Tutor course which provides structured, self-paced RISC-V architecture and applications training. The course browser transparently interacts with remote RISC-V hardware, implemented on an FPGA array. The course is implemented and supported by the reported vicilogic platform which provides online learning, remote FPGA prototyping and course builder. Lessons control remote hardware input signals, probe all RISC-V processor signals and overlay signal widgets on interactive course diagrams. The strategy provides a visually-rich, interactive learn-by-doing experience. The paper presents the course structure, and examples of the interactive lesson pedagogy. User experience, opinion and analytics are presented for a group of 45 users. Results indicate a high level of user satisfaction, and effective independent learning and achievement. Course availability is timely, with the growing interest in the RISC-V open-source Instruction Set Architecture, the call for training materials by the RISC-V Foundation, and the increasing demand for practical online learning systems, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic.