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Pre-college students were randomly assigned to learn about electrical circuit analysis with an instructional program that included two problem solving practice conditions. In the first condition, students learned to solve parallel circuit problems that were contextualized around real electrical devices and represented with realistic diagrams. In the second(More)
—Technological literacy education involves the teaching of basic engineering principles and problem solving, including elementary electrical circuit analysis, to non-engineering students. Learning materials on circuit analysis typically rely on equations and schematic diagrams, which are often unfamiliar to non-engineering students. The goal of this(More)
How can we help college students develop problem-solving skills in engineering? To answer this question, we asked a group of engineering freshmen to learn about electrical circuit analysis with an instructional program that presented different problem-solving practice and feedback methods. Three findings are of interest. First, students who practiced by(More)
In 3 experiments, we examined the effects of using concrete and/or abstract visual problem representations during instruction on students' problem-solving practice, near transfer, problem representations, and learning perceptions. In Experiments 1 and 2, novice students learned about electrical circuit analysis with an instructional program that included(More)
—Outreach to K–12 schools is important for attracting students to electrical engineering. Circuits kits provide K–12 students hands-on interactions with electrical circuits. The goal of this experimental study was to investigate the effects of two types of electrical circuit element representations on the self-reported perceptions of the outreach activity(More)
The similarity attraction hypothesis posits that humans are drawn toward others who behave and appear similar to themselves. Two experiments examined this hypothesis with middle-school students learning electrical circuit analysis in a computer-based environment with an Animated Pedagogical Agent (APA). Experiment 1 was designed to determine whether(More)
—Novice learners are typically unfamiliar with abstract engineering symbols. They are also often unaccustomed to instructional materials consisting of a combination of text, diagrams, and equations. This raises the question of whether instruction on elementary electrical circuit analysis for novice learners should employ contextualized representations of(More)
An experiment examined the effects of providing explicit verbal guidance to learners in integrating information with abstract or contextualized representations during computer-based learning of engineering. Verbal guidance supported learners in identifying correspondences and making mental connections among multiple textual and diagrammatic representations.(More)