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Abstract Title: Examining Student Understanding of Transistor Circuits
Abstract: Upper-division laboratory courses on electronics, particularly analog electronics, are typically required for all physics majors and often serve as a gateway to advanced laboratory courses and undergraduate research experiences in experimental physics.  Given the integral role such electronics courses play in undergraduate physics programs, very little research has been conducted on the extent to which specific learning goals are met in these courses.  An ongoing, multi-institutional research effort in such upper-division electronics courses has recently revealed persistent student difficulties with foundational circuits concepts (e.g., Kirchhoff's junction rule) as well as canonical topics in analog electronics (e.g., op-amp circuits).  In the past year, we have extended this investigation to examine student understanding of basic bipolar-junction transistor circuits.  Several specific difficulties have been identified, and examples from interviews and student responses to written questions will be used to provide insight into such difficulties.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Kevin Van De Bogart
University of Maine
and Co-Presenter(s)
MacKenzie Stetzer