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The Signals And Systems Concept Inventory

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Electrical and Computer Engineering Poster

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.1184.1 - 7.1184.29



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Paper Authors

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John Buck

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Kathleen Wage

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Thad Welch

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Main Menu Session 1532

The Signals and Systems Concept Inventory

Kathleen E. Wage Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering George Mason University, VA

John R. Buck Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering University of Massachusetts Darmouth, MA

Thad B. Welch Department of Electrical Engineering U.S. Naval Academy, MD

Cameron H. G. Wright Department of Electrical Engineering U.S. Air Force Academy, CO


This paper describes the development of continuous-time and discrete-time sig- nals and systems concept inventory exams for undergraduate electrical engineering curricula. Both exams have twenty-five multiple choice questions to assess students’ understanding of core concepts in these courses. The questions require little or no com- putation, and contain incorrect answers that capture common student misconceptions. The design of both exams is discussed, as are ongoing studies evaluating the exams at four campuses. Preliminary results from administering the continuous-time exam as a pre-test and post-test indicate a normalized gain of 0.24 ± 0.08 for traditional lecture courses, consistent with reported results for the Force Concept Inventory exam in lecture courses for freshman physics.1

1 Introduction

Faculty have expressed a strong need to quantitatively assess the ”amount” of learning achieved by students taking a particular class. Having the ability to do so would allow more reliable assessment and comparison of various teaching methods. One measurement technique is a concept inventory exam given at the start and end of a course (or sequence of courses).

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright c 2002, American Society for Engineering Education Main Menu

Buck, J., & Wage, K., & Wright, C., & Welch, T. (2002, June), The Signals And Systems Concept Inventory Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10670

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