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electrical circuits and mathematics courses

By Susan Bull, Tim J. Jackson and Michael J. Lancaster

Abstract

Abstract Based on deployment throughout a term, this paper suggests the potential of a computer-based approach to promote learner awareness of their knowledge states. We consider in particular the extent to which students are interested in finding out about their misconceptions in the context of independent study. It was found that many first year students held misconceptions in introductory electrical circuits and mathematics courses at some stage of their learning, and most viewed information about their misconceptions to assist them in identifying their problems. We suggest, therefore, that an approach of highlighting an individual's misconceptions can be found useful by students to help them recognise their knowledge, difficulties and misconceptions to support self-assessment and facilitate their identification of an appropriate focus of their efforts, to meet their learning needs. Keywords misconceptions; electrical circuits; mathematics; engineering undergraduates; open learner model The existence of learner problems and misconceptions is well-recognised at both pre-university and university level in electrical circuits 1,2,3,4,5 and mathematics 6,7,8,9. As an example of difficulties students may have, consider the misconception that potential difference is caused by current flow (whereas in fact, the converse is true 3). This refers to the relationship between potential difference and potential energy, and can be illustrated by making an analogy to gravitational potential energy: when water flows downhill it is because it is flowing from a region of higher gravitational potential energy to on

Year: 2011
OAI identifier: oai:CiteSeerX.psu:10.1.1.190.6841
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