A survey among 400 upper secondary school physics students reveals serious difficulties in their understanding of the dynamics of fundamental electrical circuits. The students are unable to explain how currents and voltages vary when a dynamic change in a resistance is introduced. In order to evaluate the effect of computer‐assisted learning in this field, an electrotechnical pedagogical program (ElPed) has been developed. The program is divided into three sections: circuit dynamics simulation, questionnaire, and reasoning. The structure and function of the program are discussed in detail. The major goal of the program has been to demonstrate the dynamics of fundamental electrical circuits and develop the students’ ability to perform systematic and structured reasoning in a simple and highly interactive manner. This implies that the students can work on the problems at their own pace until they master the whole reasoning process satisfactorily. A second survey, where the effect of ElPed is evaluated, is also presented. The results indicate that the students that have used ElPed perform better, and, on questions where complex reasoning is required, significantly better.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.