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A Systematic Literature Review of Misconceptions in Linear Circuit Analysis

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Electrical and Computer Division Technical Session 1

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

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Paper Authors


Nikitha Sambamurthy zyBooks

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Nikitha Sambamurthy completed her Ph.D. in engineering education at Purdue University in 2017. Nikitha works with zyBooks, a startup that develops interactive, web-native textbooks for college courses in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) disciplines.

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Alex Daniel Edgcomb zyBooks

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Alex Edgcomb finished his PhD in computer science at UC Riverside in 2014. Alex works with, a startup that develops interactive, web-native textbooks in STEM. Alex has also continued working as a research specialist at UC Riverside, studying the efficacy of web-native content for STEM education.

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Misconceptions in circuit analysis have been investigated by many researchers. However, we could not find a literature review from the last 20 years. We conducted a systematic literature review on circuit analysis misconceptions from the last 20 years, finding 15 articles meeting the search criteria, relevance, and accessibility. In total, the articles identified 20 misconceptions (e.g., term confusion in physics, algebraic manipulations, and failure to consider local changes in context of entire circuit), which we grouped into 8 misconception categories (e.g., Physics, Math, Sequential reasoning, and Application of Ohm's Law). We also created a conceptual dependency graph to help point out foundational misconceptions within the misconception categories, yielding Physics, Math and Application of Ohm's Law as the most foundational misconceptions. Physics had 5 misconceptions (the most) and in total cited by 7 articles. Within Physics, the most cited was term confusion, cited by 4 articles. Math had 2 misconceptions, cited by 3 articles. Application of Ohm's Law had 2 misconceptions, cited by 7 articles. Interestingly, none of the articles attempted to address misconceptions. Thus, there appears to be a need for research that addresses misconceptions. We might suggest focusing on prevalently reported misconceptions, such as physics term confusion and appropriate application of Ohm's Law.

Sambamurthy, N., & Edgcomb, A. D. (2018, June), A Systematic Literature Review of Misconceptions in Linear Circuit Analysis Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--29735

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