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ERIC Number: EJ1156515
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0263-5143
The Effect of Integrating Lab Experiments in Electronic Circuits into Mathematic Studies--A Case Study
Sabag, Nissim
Research in Science & Technological Education, v35 n4 p427-444 2017
Background: The importance of knowledge and skills in mathematics for electrical engineering students is well known. Engineers and engineering educators agree that any engineering curriculum must include plenty of mathematics studies to enrich the engineer's toolbox. Nevertheless, little attention has been given to the possible contribution of examples from engineering fields for the clarification of mathematical issues. Purpose: The current paper describes the results of a study in which examples from the discipline of electrical and electronics engineering were introduced into two mathematics study units, one on complex numbers and one on differential equations. Sample: The research population was a class of 34 students studying for a practical engineering degree in electronics. The students were divided randomly into two groups. Group A was the experimental group and group B served as a control group on the complex numbers unit; the groups switched roles for the differential equations unit. Design and method: Both groups attended the same lectures but the experimental group practiced the study unit concepts in lab experiments using basic AC circuits and integration circuits. The control group's exercises were the standard ones--using markers and a whiteboard. The study compared the groups' achievements. Results: The first test, given immediately after completing the complex numbers unit, showed a small, but not significant gap between the experimental (A) group's grades--which were higher--and the control group. In a retention test on complex numbers, given a few months after completing the complex numbers unit, group A widened the achievement gap to about 16 points on average--a significant difference. After switching the roles, on the differential equation test given immediately after studying the unit, group B's (as an experimental group) grades were slightly, but not significantly higher than the control group's grades. Since the differential equations unit was the last topic of the course, there was no opportunity to conduct a retention test.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Israel
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A