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Do You Catch My Drift? Identification of Misconceptions of Emergence for the Semiconductor Phenomenon Drift

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Conference

2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015

ISBN

978-0-692-50180-1

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Student Approaches to Problem Solving: ERM Roundtable

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Page Count

13

Page Numbers

26.558.1 - 26.558.13

DOI

10.18260/p.23896

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/23896

Download Count

107

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Paper Authors

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Katherine G. Nelson Arizona State University

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Katie just recently finished her PhD at ASU and is currently working as a post doc for Dr. Ann McKenna. Her research interests include complexity learning, cognition, and motivation.

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Sarah Brem Arizona State University

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Faculty at ASU; Cognitive Scientist, and graduate of Northwestern University, conducts research on the public understanding of science.

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Ann F. McKenna Arizona State University, Polytechnic campus

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Ann F. McKenna is a Professor in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering and Director of The Polytechnic School at Arizona State University. Prior to joining ASU she served as a program director at the National Science Foundation in the Division of Undergraduate Education, and was on the faculty in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Segal Design Institute at Northwestern University. Dr. McKenna received her B.S. and M.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Drexel University and Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley. Dr. McKenna is also a Senior Associate Editor for the Journal of Engineering Education.

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Eva Pettinato Arizona State University

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Eva is a Master's student in Aerospace Engineering at Arizona State University. She is interested in using photovoltaics as a power source for space applications. Her research with QESST, Quantum Energy and Sustainable Solar Technologies, is primarily concerned with the photolithography process and how it can be used to optimize solar cells, though her involvement with QESST expands into educational outreach for all grade levels.

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Jenefer Husman Arizona State University

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Jenefer Husman received a doctoral degree in Educational Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin, in 1998. She served as an Assistant Professor at the University of Alabama from 1998 to 2002, when she moved to Arizona State University. In 2008 she was promoted by ASU to Associate Professor. Dr. Husman serves as the Director of Education for the Quantum Energy and Sustainable Solar Technology Center - an NSF funded Engineering Research Center. Dr. Husman is an assistant editor of the Journal of Engineering Education, has been a guest editor of Educational Psychology Review, served on editorial board for top educational research journals, and currently sits on the editorial board of Learning and Instruction. In 2006 she was awarded the U.S. National Science Foundation CAREER grant award and received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers from the President of the United States. She has conducted and advised on educational research projects and grants in both the public and private sectors, and served as an external reviewer for doctoral dissertations outside the U.S. She publishes regularly in peer-reviewed journals and books. Dr. Husman was a founding member and first President of the Southwest Consortium for Innovative Psychology in Education and has held both elected and appointed offices in the American Psychological Association (APA) and the Motivation Special Interest Group of the European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction.

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Abstract

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

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2015 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015