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Abstract Title: Troubleshooting in an Electronics Course and the Experimental Modeling Framework
Abstract: Troubleshooting systems is integral to experimental physics in both research and instructional laboratory settings. The recently adopted AAPT Lab Guidelines identify student ability to troubleshoot as an important learning outcome of the undergraduate physics laboratory curriculum. The Experimental Modeling Framework--which describes physicists' use of mathematical and conceptual models when reasoning about experimental systems--is a useful lens through which to characterize the troubleshooting process and, ultimately, to inform educational activities that develop troubleshooting skills in physics. Upper-division electronics labs are an ideal context for studying students' troubleshooting abilities, due in part to the simplicity of the physical systems and models with which students interact and the ease with which components can be replaced. Using data collected in think-aloud interviews, in which pairs of students attempt to diagnose and repair a malfunctioning circuit, we describe the application of the Experimental Modeling Framework to the troubleshooting context.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Dimitri R. Dounas-Frazer
University of Colorado Boulder
Department of Physics 390 UCB
Boulder, CO 80309-0390
Phone: 303-862-0337
and Co-Presenter(s)
Kevin L. Van De Bogart
Department of Physics and Astronomy
University of Maine

MacKenzie R. Stetzer
Department of Physics and Astronomy
University of Maine

Heather J. Lewandowski
Department of Physics
University of Colorado Boulder