Increasing motivation of engineering students: Combining "real World" examples in a basic electric circuits course

Aharon Gero, Yinnon Stav, Netanel Yamin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Literature indicates that electrical engineering students show little interest in the basic electric circuits course. Most of the students see it as a technical course, which does not provide an in-depth understanding of the discipline of electrical engineering. The Department of Electrical Engineering at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology has decided to integrate into the course examples reflecting the diverse areas of study the Department offers and the various fields of practice in which electrical engineers are employed in the industry. The integration of the examples was designed to increase students' interest in the course in particular and in electrical engineering in general. Using quantitative and qualitative tools, the study described in the paper set out to examine the effectiveness of the proposed approach and check whether there was a difference in the motivation toward the study of electrical engineering between students who participated in the course in its new format (with examples) and that of students who participated in the course in its original format (without examples). One hundred and twenty three sophomore electrical engineering students took part in the study. The findings indicate a significant gap between the intrinsic motivation of students who attended the course in its new format and that of their peers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2460-2469
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Engineering Education
Volume32
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2016

Keywords

  • Basic course
  • Electric circuit theory
  • Engineering education
  • Motivation

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering
  • Education

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