Students' Achievements and Misunderstandings When Solving Problems Using Electronics Models—A Case Study


This paper examines students' achievements in solving issues and their misunderstandings when using models. A mixed research methodology was applied. Quantitative research investigated how the performance of students with numerous levels of high college GPAs correlated with their rating of their lecturers' teaching proficiency. Four lecturers and 336 mechanical and electronics engineering students participated within the study. Achievement tests, consisting of problems to be solved by using models of a diode and an ideal operational amplifier, were implemented in introductory courses in electronics. Students taught by lecturers whom they rated as having high levels of teaching expertise achieved significantly higher grades on these tests than did students taught by lecturers receiving lower ratings for his or her teaching expertise. The tests investigated performance on three taxonomy levels, and therefore the results were consistent on all three levels. The grades on the knowledge taxonomy level were above the grades on the routine level, and each were on top of the grades on the interpretation level, evidently. Qualitative analysis, primarily based on analysis of students' written explanations and on face-to-face interviews, exposed three types of confusion: one) that the purpose of engineering models is just to simplify calculations, not to yield usable, reliable results; a pair of) that a nonlinear drawback will be solved using linear ideas; and 3) that the accuracy of a solution is indicated by the amount of decimal places in the result, instead of by its closeness to the particular value.

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