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Investigating student learning in upper-division laboratory courses on analog electronics

Mackenzie Stetzer, University of Maine
Monday, April 27, 2015 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm
PAA A-102

There are many important learning goals associated
with upper-division laboratory instruction; however, until recently, relatively
little work has focused on assessing the impact of these laboratory-based courses
on students.
As part of an ongoing
investigation of student learning in upper-division electronics courses, we
have been examining the extent to which students enrolled in these courses develop
a robust and functional understanding of both canonical electronics topics (
e.g., diode circuits) and foundational
circuits concepts (
e.g., Kirchhoff’s
laws).
This focus on conceptual
understanding is motivated in part by a large body of research revealing
significant student difficulties with dc circuits at the introductory level and
by expectations that students develop the ability to build practical circuits for
real-world applications.
Recently, we
have extended the scope of our investigation to include more laboratory-focused
learning goals such as the development of troubleshooting proficiency.
Specific examples will be used to illustrate the
ways in which this research may inform instruction in electronics.​

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