Pre-, post- and delayed post-test evaluation of the conceptual understanding of direct current resistive electric circuits of cohorts of first year electrical engineering students

O'Dwyer, A. (2013) Pre-, post- and delayed post-test evaluation of the conceptual understanding of direct current resistive electric circuits of cohorts of first year electrical engineering students. [Conference Proceedings]

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There is an increasing diversity of educational background of students entering ordinary degree (Level 7) and honours degree (Level 8) programmes in engineering at Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT). Partly as a result, student reasoning about basic electricity concepts often differs from accepted explanations. The paper reports, analyses and reflects on the results of a multiple-choice diagnostic test to assess student understanding of such concepts (developed for U.S. high school and college students [1]) taken, as a pre-test, by four cohorts of first year students, on the same DIT Level 7 engineering programme, from 2008-12 (n=106) and two cohorts of first year students, on the same DIT Level 8 engineering programme, from 2010-12 (n=64). The performance of the student cohorts is similar, and is little influenced by previous exposure to relevant subjects in second level (high school) education. In the 2012-13 academic year, an updated version of the diagnostic test was taken, in a pilot study, by one cohort of first year students on the DIT Level 8 engineering programme; this test was administered as a pre-test before instruction, as a post-test immediately after instruction and as a delayed post-test approximately fifteen weeks after instruction. Results show that there is little improvement in conceptual understanding of d.c. resistive electric circuits, as measured by the test, when pre-test, post-test and delayed post-test scores are compared. © 2013 IEEE.

Item Type: Conference Proceedings
Additional Information: Conference code: 102697; Export Date: 23 February 2015; Correspondence Address: O'Dwyer, A.; School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Dublin Institute of Technology, Kevin St., Dublin 8, Ireland; email:; References: Engelhardt, P.V., Beichner, R.J., Students' understanding of direct current resistive electrical circuits (2004) American Journal of Physics, 72 (1), pp. 98-115. , DOI 10.1119/1.1614813; (2003) Junior Certificate Science Syllabus, ,, NCCA, (Ordinary Level and Higher Level), [accessed 25 May 2013]; Henly, R., Quirke, M., (2003) Science Today, , 1st Edition, C.J. Fallon, Dublin; Henly, R., Quirke, M., (2003) Science Today Workbook, , 1st Edition, C.J. Fallon, Dublin; Engelhardt, P.V., (2007) Examining Students' Understanding of Electrical Circuits Through Multiple-choice Testing and Interviews, , PhD thesis, North Carolina State University; McCarty, A., (2006) Differentiating by Interest: A Study of Its Efficacy in the High School Physics Classroom, , MA thesis, Sweet Briar College, Virginia; Kapartzianis, A., (2012) Designing Conceptual Change Activities for the Physics Curriculum: The Cyprus Paradigm, , MSc thesis, University of South Africa; Ates, S., The effects of learning cycle on college students' understanding of different aspects in resistive DC circuits (2005) Electronic Journal of Science Education, 9 (4). , June; Tarekegn, G., Can computer simulations substitute real laboratory apparatus? (2009) Latin American Journal of Physics Education, 3 (3), pp. 506-517; Ates, S., The effectiveness of the learning-cycle method on teaching DC circuits to prospective male and female science teachers (2005) Research in Science and Technological Education, 23 (2), pp. 213-227. , November; Getty, J., Assessing enquiry learning in a circuits/electronics course (2009) Proceedings of the 39th ASEE/IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, pp. T2-J1. , to T2-J6; Mhlongo, M., (2010) The Contribution of Simulations to the Practical Work of Foundation Physics Students at the University of Limpopo, , MSc. dissertation, University of South Africa; Mhlongo, M., Kriek, J., Basson, I., The contribution of simulations to the practical work of foundation physics students at the University of Limpopo (2011) Multicultural Education and Technology Journal, 5 (4), pp. 288-302; Rosenthal, A.S., Henderson, C., Teaching about circuits at the introductory level: An emphasis on potential difference (2006) American Journal of Physics, 74 (4), pp. 324-328. , DOI 10.1119/1.2173271; Ross, R., Venugopal, P., Inquiry-based activities in a second semester physics laboratory: Results of a two-year assessment (2007) Proceedings of the American Society for Engineering Education; Sangam, D., Jesiek, B., Conceptual understanding of DC electric circuits among first year engineering students (2012) Proceedings of the American Society of Engineering Education; Baser, M., Effects of conceptual change and traditional confirmatory simulations on pre-service teachers' understanding of direct current circuits (2006) Journal of Science Education and Technology, 15 (5-6), pp. 367-381. , DOI 10.1007/s10956-006-9025-3; Baser, M., Durmus, S., The effectiveness of computer supported versus real laboratory enquiry learning environments on the understanding of direct current electricity among pre-service elementary school teachers (2010) Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science & Technology Education, 6 (1), pp. 47-61
Uncontrolled Keywords: Concept tests; Electrical circuits; First year
Depositing User: National Forum
Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2015 08:47
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2015 08:52

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