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Systematic Review of Rigorous Research in Teaching Introductory Circuits

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Improvements in ECE Circuit Analysis

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

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Paper Authors


TomHenry J. Reagan Colorado School of Mines

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TomHenry is an undergraduate senior completing a B.S. in Electrical Engineering at the Colorado School of Mines. His research interests include integrated circuits and engineering education. He is also an avid musician and collector of music.

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Stephanie Claussen Colorado School of Mines

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Stephanie Claussen is a Teaching Professor with a joint appointment in the Engineering, Design, and Society Division and the Electrical Engineering Department at the Colorado School of Mines. She obtained her B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2005 and her M.S. and Ph.D. from Stanford University in 2008 and 2012, respectively. Her current engineering education research interests include engineering students' understanding of ethics and social responsibility, sociotechnical education, and assessment of engineering pedagogies.

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Eric Lyne

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Systematic review is a meta-analytical framework for quantitatively searching, sorting, and synthesizing scholarly research on a particular field or topic. Systematic review techniques have recently gained traction in the field of engineering education. A systematic review performed over a specific area of practice — for instance, the instruction of a particular subject — can consolidate results from many studies into a synthesis of best practices.

The purpose of this article is to identify best practices in introductory circuits education via systematic review of prior research. Relevant publications will be identified and appraised with a set of coding criteria generated by the researchers. The results of the review may inform educational techniques employed in post-secondary introductory circuits courses.

A database of 1056 unique journal articles and conference papers was created in a preliminary keyword search of four online scholarly databases. The researchers worked with an expert librarian to formulate a set of keywords and search phrases that would fetch recent research on instructional technique in introductory circuits and electronics courses. The researchers have generated coding criteria which is being used to narrow search results to research which directly addresses the primary research questions based on the title and/or abstract. Papers are being independently evaluated by multiple researchers to determine adherence to the coding criteria. Coding criteria will be similarly applied to the full-text of the remaining publications, leaving a pool of relevant and high-quality papers. The resulting data will be synthesized to draw conclusions about best practices in introductory circuits education.

The results of the systematic review will be used to inform and improve the teaching of introductory circuits at the host institution. The data is applicable to evaluation and revision of circuits curricula in general.

Reagan, T. J., & Claussen, S., & Lyne, E. (2020, June), Systematic Review of Rigorous Research in Teaching Introductory Circuits Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35265

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