Abstraction and problem solving in an undergraduate electrical engineering circuits course

Presentacion Rivera-Reyes, Lance C Perez

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The ability to solve problems is a critical skill in all undergraduate engineering curricula. Students' capacity for problem solving is complicated by the fact that higher level reasoning skills, including the capacity for abstraction, are not innate in a person until the mid-twenties or later. The results of an exploratory study that looked at students' episodes of reasoning when solving problems in a sophomore level electrical circuits course are presented. Students' problem solving attempts are analyzed using the representation mapping framework developed by Hahn and Chater that is based on store representations of knowledge and how they are applied. This framework distinguishes between similarity and rules-based cognitive processes, and accounts for memory-bank, rules-based, similarity-based and prototype types of reasoning. Students were asked to think aloud when solving specific problems selected by the course instructor. The interviews were recorded, transcribed, and analyzed in detail to identify the types of reasoning and the degree of abstraction in the students' problem solving attempts. This study demonstrated that representation mapping is useful framework for studying students' problem solving skills in electrical engineering.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFIE 2016 - Frontiers in Education 2016
Subtitle of host publicationThe Crossroads of Engineering and Business
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781509017904
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 28 2016
Event46th Annual Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2016 - Erie, United States
Duration: Oct 12 2016Oct 15 2016

Publication series

NameProceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE
Volume2016-November
ISSN (Print)1539-4565

Other

Other46th Annual Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2016
CountryUnited States
CityErie
Period10/12/1610/15/16

Fingerprint

electrical engineering
Electrical engineering
abstraction
Students
Networks (circuits)
student
Curricula
instructor
bank
engineering
Data storage equipment
curriculum
human being
ability
interview

Keywords

  • Abstraction
  • Engineering curriculum
  • Problem solving

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications

Cite this

Rivera-Reyes, P., & Perez, L. C. (2016). Abstraction and problem solving in an undergraduate electrical engineering circuits course. In FIE 2016 - Frontiers in Education 2016: The Crossroads of Engineering and Business [7757594] (Proceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE; Vol. 2016-November). Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.. https://doi.org/10.1109/FIE.2016.7757594

Abstraction and problem solving in an undergraduate electrical engineering circuits course. / Rivera-Reyes, Presentacion; Perez, Lance C.

FIE 2016 - Frontiers in Education 2016: The Crossroads of Engineering and Business. Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc., 2016. 7757594 (Proceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE; Vol. 2016-November).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Rivera-Reyes, P & Perez, LC 2016, Abstraction and problem solving in an undergraduate electrical engineering circuits course. in FIE 2016 - Frontiers in Education 2016: The Crossroads of Engineering and Business., 7757594, Proceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE, vol. 2016-November, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc., 46th Annual Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2016, Erie, United States, 10/12/16. https://doi.org/10.1109/FIE.2016.7757594
Rivera-Reyes P, Perez LC. Abstraction and problem solving in an undergraduate electrical engineering circuits course. In FIE 2016 - Frontiers in Education 2016: The Crossroads of Engineering and Business. Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc. 2016. 7757594. (Proceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE). https://doi.org/10.1109/FIE.2016.7757594
Rivera-Reyes, Presentacion ; Perez, Lance C. / Abstraction and problem solving in an undergraduate electrical engineering circuits course. FIE 2016 - Frontiers in Education 2016: The Crossroads of Engineering and Business. Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc., 2016. (Proceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE).
@inproceedings{3eccdad0a84441339e0d0de84fe418b5,
title = "Abstraction and problem solving in an undergraduate electrical engineering circuits course",
abstract = "The ability to solve problems is a critical skill in all undergraduate engineering curricula. Students' capacity for problem solving is complicated by the fact that higher level reasoning skills, including the capacity for abstraction, are not innate in a person until the mid-twenties or later. The results of an exploratory study that looked at students' episodes of reasoning when solving problems in a sophomore level electrical circuits course are presented. Students' problem solving attempts are analyzed using the representation mapping framework developed by Hahn and Chater that is based on store representations of knowledge and how they are applied. This framework distinguishes between similarity and rules-based cognitive processes, and accounts for memory-bank, rules-based, similarity-based and prototype types of reasoning. Students were asked to think aloud when solving specific problems selected by the course instructor. The interviews were recorded, transcribed, and analyzed in detail to identify the types of reasoning and the degree of abstraction in the students' problem solving attempts. This study demonstrated that representation mapping is useful framework for studying students' problem solving skills in electrical engineering.",
keywords = "Abstraction, Engineering curriculum, Problem solving",
author = "Presentacion Rivera-Reyes and Perez, {Lance C}",
year = "2016",
month = "11",
day = "28",
doi = "10.1109/FIE.2016.7757594",
language = "English (US)",
series = "Proceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE",
publisher = "Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.",
booktitle = "FIE 2016 - Frontiers in Education 2016",

}

TY - GEN

T1 - Abstraction and problem solving in an undergraduate electrical engineering circuits course

AU - Rivera-Reyes, Presentacion

AU - Perez, Lance C

PY - 2016/11/28

Y1 - 2016/11/28

N2 - The ability to solve problems is a critical skill in all undergraduate engineering curricula. Students' capacity for problem solving is complicated by the fact that higher level reasoning skills, including the capacity for abstraction, are not innate in a person until the mid-twenties or later. The results of an exploratory study that looked at students' episodes of reasoning when solving problems in a sophomore level electrical circuits course are presented. Students' problem solving attempts are analyzed using the representation mapping framework developed by Hahn and Chater that is based on store representations of knowledge and how they are applied. This framework distinguishes between similarity and rules-based cognitive processes, and accounts for memory-bank, rules-based, similarity-based and prototype types of reasoning. Students were asked to think aloud when solving specific problems selected by the course instructor. The interviews were recorded, transcribed, and analyzed in detail to identify the types of reasoning and the degree of abstraction in the students' problem solving attempts. This study demonstrated that representation mapping is useful framework for studying students' problem solving skills in electrical engineering.

AB - The ability to solve problems is a critical skill in all undergraduate engineering curricula. Students' capacity for problem solving is complicated by the fact that higher level reasoning skills, including the capacity for abstraction, are not innate in a person until the mid-twenties or later. The results of an exploratory study that looked at students' episodes of reasoning when solving problems in a sophomore level electrical circuits course are presented. Students' problem solving attempts are analyzed using the representation mapping framework developed by Hahn and Chater that is based on store representations of knowledge and how they are applied. This framework distinguishes between similarity and rules-based cognitive processes, and accounts for memory-bank, rules-based, similarity-based and prototype types of reasoning. Students were asked to think aloud when solving specific problems selected by the course instructor. The interviews were recorded, transcribed, and analyzed in detail to identify the types of reasoning and the degree of abstraction in the students' problem solving attempts. This study demonstrated that representation mapping is useful framework for studying students' problem solving skills in electrical engineering.

KW - Abstraction

KW - Engineering curriculum

KW - Problem solving

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85006818109&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85006818109&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1109/FIE.2016.7757594

DO - 10.1109/FIE.2016.7757594

M3 - Conference contribution

AN - SCOPUS:85006818109

T3 - Proceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE

BT - FIE 2016 - Frontiers in Education 2016

PB - Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.

ER -