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An inquiry-based simulation-supported approach to assist students' learning of basic electric circuits

Hussain, Noor Hamizah (2012) An inquiry-based simulation-supported approach to assist students' learning of basic electric circuits. PhD thesis, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, School of Graduate Studies.



Important aspects of teaching and learning are to understand what difficulties students have, why they face these difficulties, and how to help them overcome these difficulties. This research investigated the alternative conceptions that students hold pertaining to the concepts of open circuits and short circuits in a Basic Electric Circuits course. Data gathered from different sources including interviews, tests and documents were analyzed to characterized students’ conceptual learning difficulties. The researcher adapted a diagnostic instrument that consists of 12 multiple choice items for the pretest and posttest. The participants were 80 first-year students enrolled in a Diploma in Electrical Engineering programme at one local public university; where 47 students constituted the treatment group and 33 students constituted the control group. The pretest was administered to both groups during the first week of the semester. An inquiry-based simulation-supported approach session was conducted with the treatment group after the pretest. The inquiry-based simulation-supported approach incorporated predict-observe-explain (POE) tasks. The extent to which this approach can assist students’ in developing conceptual understanding was investigated. Students’ verbal responses during the circuit simulation using Multisim software were recorded and analyzed. The posttest was administered during the final week of the semester to both groups. Research findings are presented in two parts. The first part is a quantitative analysis of students’ performance on the pretest and posttest. The second part is a qualitative analysis of students’ documents and interviews to identify their alternative conceptions. Findings reveal that the inquiry-based simulation-supported approach positively impacted students’ conceptual understanding. The advantages and disadvantages of applying the inquiry-based simulation-supported approach in Basic Electric Circuits are discussed.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information:Thesis (Ph.D (Pendidikan Kejuruteraan)) - Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 2012; Supervisors : Assoc. Prof. Dr. Liza Abdul Latiff, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nazli Yahaya
Uncontrolled Keywords:teaching--methodology, electric circuits--study and teaching, learning
Subjects:L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
ID Code:31864
Deposited By: Kamariah Mohamed Jong
Deposited On:28 Apr 2014 04:26
Last Modified:25 Sep 2017 05:58

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