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The Effect of Reworking Exam Problems on Problem-Solving Performance in a Circuit Analysis Course: An Exploratory Study

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1 Author(s)
Archie L. Holmes ; Charles L. Brown Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Univ. of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA

In foundational knowledge engineering courses, students engage in problem solving in order to learn important course concepts. To help in this process, students receive feedback on their performance from the instructor. This paper explores an alternative to instructor-provided feedback: a semi-structured assignment in which students reworked problems they failed to solve correctly on a midterm exam for credit. The assignment required students to provide a correct solution to the problem and identify both mathematical and conceptual errors made in the initial solution. The initial results show that students who completed this assignment were able to apply course concepts in analysis and reasoning questions more accurately than students who received exam feedback from the instructor. In addition, these students showed a marked improvement in their ability to solve problems common in a Circuit Analysis course. These results show that such semi-structured assignments can replace instructor-provided feedback in large-enrollment classes and lead to improved problem solving.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Education  (Volume:57 ,  Issue: 2 )