Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
This paper presents a study conducted in the fall semester of 2017 that aimed to promote students’ critical thinking through a series of newly-designed troubleshooting exercises embedded in fundamental DC electric circuits labs for engineering technology first-year students.
Three circuit troubleshooting sessions were purposefully designed and embedded throughout the course of the semester. For each session, students investigated several different scenarios in which the given circuits were not working. The complexity of the given circuits increased as the semester progressed with the increasing theoretical knowledge of the students. Each scenario challenged students to identify and solve one or more unknown faults in the circuit. After each session, instructors used students’ troubleshooting plan, reflective discussions, and conclusions in their reports to evaluate students’ critical thinking skills. A newly-designed critical thinking rubric refined for circuits troubleshooting was distributed to all instructors for assessment purpose.
According to the instructors’ evaluation of students’ troubleshooting reports, about 38% of students who completed all troubleshooting activities and assignments showed significant improvement in their troubleshooting skills. According to the student surveys, about 86% of students agree or strongly agree that troubleshooting exercises helped them improve their troubleshooting skills; about 83% of students agree or strongly agree that troubleshooting exercises helped them improve their critical thinking skills; about 53% of students agree or strongly agree that troubleshooting exercises helped them perform better in other labs and projects; about 56% of students agree or strongly agree that troubleshooting exercises helped them better understand the theory introduced in the lectures.
Sample troubleshooting exercises, troubleshooting rubric, detailed student performance evaluation data, students’ and instructors’ feedback, and future plans for improvement are presented.
* Appearance of authors is in alphabetical order by last name.
Delvicario, J., & Lauria, D. G., & Mellodge, P., & Yu, Y. (2018, June), Promoting Critical Thinking Through Troubleshooting Exercises in Fundamental Electric Circuits Labs Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30905
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