Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Publication Title

2002 ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings



Conference Name

2002 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Montreal, Canada, June 16-19, 2002


Although there has been considerable research on the development and use of assessment instruments to measure the effectiveness of various pedagogical approaches to teaching introductory physics classes (Hestenes et al. 1, Hestenes et al 2, Hake 3, Saul et al. 4) and other science courses (for example, see Vosniadou 5), there is relatively little similar work that has been done to develop assessment instruments for the first circuit theory course that is taught in electrical and computer engineering. Given the large numbers of students nationwide who take such a course, the challenge this course presents to beginning engineering students, and the introduction of new approaches to teach this material, an instrument similar to those available for physics is needed to identify student misconceptions at the beginning of the class and to measure the normalized learning gain at the end of the class (Hake 3). These gains and other metrics can then be used to compare the effect of different teaching methods. In addition, this same instrument or portions of it can be offered at later times in the curriculum to measure retention and reinforcement from other courses. This concept-based testing approach is useful to examine the overall effectiveness of the circuit component of a curriculum and could thus be used as part of the continuous self-improvement process required under the ABET 2000 rules.


© 2002 American Society for Engineering Education, ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings, (Montreal, Canada, June 16-19, 2002).

Original Publication Citation

Lakdawala, V. K., Zahorian, S. A., González, O. R., Amit Kumar, H., & Leathrum Jr, J. F. (2002). An instrument for assessing knowledge gain in a first course in circuit theory. Paper presented at the 2002 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Montreal, Canada June 16-19, 2002.


0000-0001-9503-4171 (Gonzalez)