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written by Paula V. Engelhardt
Research has shown that high school and university students have misconceptions about direct current resistive electric circuits. At present, there are no standard diagnostic examinations in electric circuits. Such an instrument would be useful in determining what conceptual problems students have before or after instruction. The information provided by the exam can be used by classroom instructors to evaluate their instructional methods and the conceptual problems of their students

Two versions of a diagnostic instrument known as Determining and Interpreting Resistive Electric circuits Concepts Tests (DIRECT) were developed, each consisting of 29 questions. DIRECT was administered to groups of students in the United States, Canada and Germany that had completed their study of electrostatics and direct current electric circuits.

Individual interviews were conducted after the administration of version 1.0 to determine how students interpreted the questions and to uncover the reasoning behind their selections. The analyses indicate that students, especially females, tend to hold multiple misconceptions, even after instruction. The idea that the battery is a constant source of current was used most often in answering the questions. Although students tend to use different misconceptions for each question presented, they do use misconceptions associated with the global objective of the question. Students' definitions of terms used on the exam and their misconceptions were examined. Students tended to confuse terms, especially current. They assigned the properties of current to voltage and/or resistance.

One of the major findings was that students were able to translate easily from a "realistic" representation of a circuit to the corresponding schematic diagram. Results indicated that students do not have a clear understanding of the underlying mechanisms of electric circuit phenomena. Students had difficulty handling simultaneous changes of variable.
University: North Carolina State University
Academic Department:  Physics
Pages 258
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Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education Foundations
- Alternative Conceptions
- Assessment
= Conceptual Assessment
= Instruments
Electricity & Magnetism
- DC Circuits
= Currents
= Ohm's Law
= Power and Energy
- Resistance
General Physics
- Physics Education Research
- Lower Undergraduate
- High School
- Assessment Material
= Test
- Reference Material
= Thesis/Dissertation
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© 1997 Paula V. Engelhardt
Type:
PhD. Dissertation
ISBN Number:
9780591476569
Keywords:
DIRECT, Electrical Circuits, Interviews
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created December 5, 2011 by Lyle Barbato
Record Updated:
June 12, 2014 by Bruce Mason
Last Update
when Cataloged:
December 1, 1997
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AIP Format
P. Engelhardt, PhD. Dissertation, North Carolina State University, 1997, WWW Document, (http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=11585&DocID=2500).
AJP/PRST-PER
P. Engelhardt, Examining students' understanding of electrical circuits through multiple-choice testing and interviews, PhD. Dissertation, North Carolina State University, 1997, <http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=11585&DocID=2500>.
APA Format
Engelhardt, P. (1997, December 1). Examining students' understanding of electrical circuits through multiple-choice testing and interviews (PhD. Dissertation, North Carolina State University, 1997). Retrieved December 19, 2014, from http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=11585&DocID=2500
Chicago Format
Engelhardt, Paula. "Examining students' understanding of electrical circuits through multiple-choice testing and interviews." PhD. Dissertation, North Carolina State University, 1997. http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=11585&DocID=2500 (accessed 19 December 2014).
MLA Format
Engelhardt, Paula. "Examining students' understanding of electrical circuits through multiple-choice testing and interviews." PhD. Dissertation. 1 Dec. 1997. North Carolina State University, 1997. 19 Dec. 2014 <http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=11585&DocID=2500>.
BibTeX Export Format
@phdthesis{ Author = "Paula Engelhardt", Title = {Examining students' understanding of electrical circuits through multiple-choice testing and interviews}, School = {North Carolina State University}, Type = {PhD. Dissertation}, Month = {December}, Year = {1997} }
Refer Export Format

%A Paula Engelhardt
%T Examining students' understanding of electrical circuits through multiple-choice testing and interviews
%R PhD. Dissertation
%D December 1, 1997
%P 258
%I North Carolina State University
%U http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=11585&DocID=2500
%O Physics
%O application/pdf
%O PhD. Dissertation

EndNote Export Format

%0 Thesis
%A Engelhardt, Paula
%D December 1, 1997
%T Examining students' understanding of electrical circuits through multiple-choice testing and interviews
%B Physics
%I North Carolina State University
%P 258
%8 December 1, 1997
%9 PhD. Dissertation
%@ 9780591476569
%U http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=11585&DocID=2500


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Examining students' understanding of electrical circuits through multiple-choice testing and interviews:

References Key Document Determining and Interpreting Resistive Electric Circuit Concepts Test (DIRECT)

Appendix D: Version 1.0 and Appendix E: Version 1.1 are available as previous versions of the DIRECT record.

relation by Lyle Barbato

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