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  • 1.
    Bernhard, Jonte
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Science and Technology, Physics and Electronics. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Carstensen, Anna-Karin
    School of Engineering, Jönköping University Jönköping, Sweden.
    “Real” experiments or computers in labs – opposites or synergies?: Experiences from a course in electric circuit theory2017In: Proceedingsof the 45th SEFI Annual Conference 2017 Education Excellence for Sustainability: Education Excellence for Sustainability / [ed] José Carlos Quadrado, Jorge Bernardino, João Rocha, Bryssels: SEFI – Société Européenne pour la Formation des Ingénieurs , 2017, p. 1300-1307Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this study we report from our experiences designing and re-designing a lab where engineering students studied transient response in electric circuits. In the first version of the lab students had difficulties doing the mathematical modeling of the experimentally measured graphs as it required students’ to link the time- and frequency domains as well as the object/event and theory/model worlds simultaneously. In the re-designed lab some computer simulations were included together with the original experiments on real circuits. The simulations opened up for learning and enabled students to establish links that are hard access directly with real experiments.Still doing real experiments is important to secure students ability to make links between models and theories and the physical reality. This study demonstrates that synergetic learning effects can be achieved by a careful design using an insightful combination of real experiments and computer simulations.  Hence, we propose that the question of “real” experiments or “virtual” labs using computer simulations are best for students’ learning is not an either or question. Rather, it is a question of finding the right blend to achieve synergetic effects.

  • 2.
    Bernhard, Jonte
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Science and Technology, Physics and Electronics. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Carstensen, Anna-Karin
    Ingenjörshögskolan, Jönköping, Sweden.
    Holmberg (née Gonzalez-Sampayo), Margarita
    ESIME, Instituto Politechnico Nacional, Mexico City, Mexico.
    Analytical tools in engineering education research: The “learning a complex concept” model, threshold concepts and key concepts in understanding and designing for student learning2011In: Research in Engineering Education Symposium, 2011, Madrid: Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) , 2011, p. 51-60Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    For a long time, most research relating to science and engineering education has examined “misconceptions” about “single concepts”, despite the fact that one common objective in many subjects is “to learn relationships”. In this paper we introduce the notion of “a complex concept”, i.e. the idea of describing knowledge as a complex, a holistic unit, consisting of interdependent and interrelated “single concepts”. We describe how this conception could be used to identify both problems associated with learning as well potentials for learning. We will also relate the notion of a complex concept to the notion of threshold and key concepts.

  • 3.
    Bernhard, Jonte
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Science and Technology, Physics and Electronics. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Carstensen, Anna-Karin
    Ingenjörshögskolan, Jönköping, Sweden.
    Holmberg (née Gonzalez-Sampayo), Margarita
    ESIME, Instituto Politechnico Nacional, Mexico City, Mexico.
    Beyond simplistic conceptual change: Learning electric circuit theory as the ”learning of a complex concept”2012Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 4.
    Bernhard, Jonte
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Science and Technology, Physics and Electronics. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Carstensen, Anna-Karin
    Ingenjörshögskolan, Jönköping, Sweden.
    Holmberg (née Gonzalez-Sampayo), Margarita
    ESIME, Instituto Politechnico Nacional, Mexico City, Mexico.
    Understanding phase as an entrance to the portal of understanding in physics and electrical engineering2012Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 5.
    Carstensen, Anna-Karin
    Linköping University, Department of Science and Technology, Physics and Electronics. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Connect: Modelling Learning to Facilitate Linking Models and the Real World trough Lab-Work in Electric Circuit Courses for Engineering Students2013Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    A recurring question in science and engineering education is why the students do not link knowledge from theoretical classes to the real world met in laboratory courses.

    Mathematical models and visualisations are widely used in engineering and engineering education. Very often it is assumed that the students are familiar with the mathematical concepts used. These may be concepts taught in high school or at university level. One problem, though, is that many students have never or seldom applied their mathematical skills in other subjects, and it may be difficult for them to use their skills in a new context. Some concepts also seem to be "too difficult" to understand.

    One of these mathematical tools is to use Laplace Transforms to solve differential equations, and to use the derived functions to visualise transient responses in electric circuits, or control engineering. In many engineering programs at college level the application of the Laplace Transform is considered too difficult for the students to understand, but is it really, or does it depend on the teaching methods used?

    When applying mathematical concepts during lab work, and not teaching the mathematics and practical work in different sessions, and also using examples varied in a very systematic way, our research shows that the students approach the problem in a very different way. It shows that by developing tasks consequently according to the Theory of Variation, it is not impossible to apply the Laplace Transform already in the first year of an engineering program.

    The original aim of this thesis was to show:

    • how students work with lab-tasks, especially concerning the goal to link theory to the real world
    • how it is possible to change the ways students approach the task and thus their learning, by systematic changes in the lab-instructions

    During the spring 2002 students were video-recorded while working with labs in Electric Circuits. Their activity was analysed. Special focus was on what questions the students raised, and in what ways these questions were answered, and in what ways the answers were used in the further activities.

    This work informed the model ”learning of a complex concept”, which was used as well to analyse what students do during lab-work, and what teachers intend their students to learn. The model made it possible to see what changes in the lab-instructions that would facilitate students learning of the whole, to link theoretical models to the real world, through the labactivities.

    The aim of the thesis has thus become to

    • develop a model: The learning of a complex concept
    • show how this model can be used as well for analysis of the intended object of learning as students activities during lab-work, and thus the lived object of learning
    • use the model in analysis of what changes in instruction that are critical for student learning.

    The model was used to change the instructions. The teacher interventions were included into the instructions in a systematic way, according to as well what questions that were raised by the students, as what questions that were not noticed, but expected by the teachers, as a means to form relations between theoretical aspects and measurement results. Also, problem solving sessions have been integrated into the lab sessions.

    Video recordings were also conducted during the spring 2003, when the new instructions were used. The students' activities were again analysed. A special focus of the thesis concerns the differences between the results from 2002 and 2003.

    The results are presented in four sections:

    • Analysis of the students' questions and the teachers' answers during the lab-course 2002
    • Analysis of the links students need to make, the critical links for learning
    • Analysis of the task structure before and after changes
    • Analysis of the students' activities during the new course

    The thesis ends with a discussion of the conclusions which may be drawn about the possibilities to model and develop teaching sequences through research, especially concerning the aim to link theoretical models to the real world.

  • 6.
    Carstensen, Anna-Karin
    et al.
    Ingenjörshögskolan, Jönköping.
    Bernhard, Jonte
    Linköping University, Department of Science and Technology, Physics and Electronics. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Interactive lectures - linking theory to practice: Helping students pass the threshold when learning two-terminal equivalents in electrical engineering education2014Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 7.
    Carstensen, Anna-Karin
    et al.
    Ingenjörshögskolan, Jönköping, Sweden.
    Bernhard, Jonte
    Linköping University, Department of Science and Technology, Physics and Electronics. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Make links: Overcoming the Threshold and Entering the Portal of Understanding2012Conference paper (Other academic)
1 - 7 of 7
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