Developing novel explanatory models for electronics education
journal contributionposted on 17.08.2017, 09:14 by Sarah Pule, John McCardleJohn McCardle
This paper explores how representations of technological concepts may be designed to help students with visual learning styles achieve successful comprehension in the field of electronics. The work accepts a wide definition of what is understood by the visualisation of a model in that it can take different external forms, but also include an internal representation in a person’s mind. We are of the opinion that to acquire scientific or technological knowledge there is a requirement for abstract models to exhibit particular features that complement the nature of their fields, and that their effectiveness is dependent on the context in question. This work reports on the development of experimental materials which are novel teaching aids in the context of electronics education. It proposes design principles based on congruent, schematised, symmetrical spatial metaphors of circuits incorporating interactivity by the use of gesture, scaffolding, learning by topological, analogical and conceptual resemblances. We conclude that qualitative methods may be employed with a significant measure of success even for a field such as electronics that is often considered to be difficult due to the necessity of abstract explanations.