June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
Educational Research and Methods
26.558.1 - 26.558.13
Do you catch my drift? Identification of misconceptions of emergence for the semiconductor phenomenon drift Misconceptions are incorrect understandings of scientifically held conceptions. Studentsdevelop misconceptions because of how they construct knowledge based on their perceptions ofthe world around them and sometimes through instruction. Recent research in learning sciencehas focused on students misconceptions about emergence. Emergence represents a class ofcomplex phenomena that have certain traits; the interactions of the agents in the phenomenaaggregate and form a self-organizing pattern that can be seen at a higher level. Misconceptionsabout emergence represent misunderstandings of how emergent systems work and the featuresthat characterize them. Semiconductor science can be found in many engineering disciplines; therefore, work isneeded to understand the misconceptions students have regarding this content. Forsemiconductors, emergence plays a role in electron conductivity, current, voltage, and powergeneration. Even though prior studies have identified emergent misconceptions in engineeringphenomena existing research studies have not considered emergent phenomena insemiconductors. In the process of drift, a fundamental mechanism for semiconductors, electron carriersmove in a certain net direction, opposite to the applied energy field placed on the semiconductor.But this movement is not just based on the electric field; it is also based on the randomcomponent of electrons colliding, and is thus emergent. The purpose of this study was todemonstrate the presence and prevalence of misconceptions about emergence (called emergentmisconceptions) students have about drift, and to determine what relationships existed betweenthe identified misconceptions. Forty one undergraduate engineering students participated in the written protocol study -providing written open-ended and Likert-style responses to questions that probed theirunderstanding of a video simulation of drift. Participants’ responses were coded and analyzedusing written protocol analysis. Protocol analysis, as described by Ericsson & Simon (1985) canbe used to gather information about a participant using an introspective approach, integratingboth qualitative and quantitative research methods. Using these responses, a semi-open coding ofthe data was conducted to develop the codebook for this work. Coding had an inter-raterreliability of 0.87. A total of 10 emergent misconceptions were observed for the three phenomena. Sixtythree percent of participant responses exhibited an emergent misconception, with participantstypically anthropomorphizing the electrons’ actions in the phenomenon. Quantitative analyses,utilizing non-parametric Kendall’s taub correlation demonstrated significant relationshipsbetween the goal directed nature of the phenomenon and electron volition (0.45, <0.05). Results indicate that undergraduate engineering students hold misconceptions related toemergence regarding semiconductor phenomena and that they are prevalent. Furthermore, therelationships observed indicate that learner’s may view emergence in particular ways – offeringinsight into how educators can better prepare and develop material in the courses. Even thoughthe presence of misconceptions related to emergence for the phenomena of drift has beenconfirmed, further analysis is needed to probe how these misconceptions impact learning, and toconsider additional emergent phenomena in the area of semiconductors.
Nelson, K. G., & Brem, S., & McKenna, A. F., & Pettinato, E., & Husman, J. (2015, June), Do You Catch My Drift? Identification of Misconceptions of Emergence for the Semiconductor Phenomenon Drift Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23896
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