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An instrument for assessing the effectiveness of the circuits curriculum in an electrical engineering program

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2 Author(s)
Finelli, Cynthia J. ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Kettering Univ., Flint, MA, USA ; Wicks, M.A.

This paper discusses an instrument developed and used at Kettering University (USA) to assess learning and retention of circuit topics in an undergraduate electrical engineering program. The instrument is composed of two separate skills assessment tests. The first test covers material that should be learned in prerequisite courses. It consists of 30 multiple-choice questions and is administered during the first week of the first circuits course (Circuits I) to provide a benchmark for students beginning their electrical engineering course work. The second test comprises topics taught in Circuits I. It consists of 20 multiple-choice questions and is administered both at the end of Circuits I and at later points in the students' careers at Kettering University. In addition to describing the development and administration of the tests, data for three analyses is presented here. First, students' performance on the Pre-Circuits Skills Assessment Test is compared with class performance in Circuits I (as measured by class grade and score on the Circuits Skills Assessment Test). Second, the effect of the 12-week time lag between the end of Circuits I and the beginning of the second circuits course is investigated. Finally, the effectiveness of the circuits curriculum in facilitating mastery and long-term retention of circuits skills is assessed by examining the test scores over time. Statistical methods including correlation and hypothesis testing are used to support these analyzes

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Education, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:43 ,  Issue: 2 )