University students' conceptual understanding of microscopic models of electrical and thermal conduction in solids
European Journal of Physics
electrical conduction, kinetic-molecular theory of solids, microscopicmodels, misconceptions, physics education research, thermal conduction
Teaching the concepts of electrical and thermal transport in solids begins in elementary school through simple macroscopic models and progressively develops to microscopic quantum models within specialized university courses. Educational research has pointed to a number of misconceptions in this field, especially when it comes to understanding related phenomena at the microscopic level. This study aimed to design an appropriate open-ended version of the concept inventory to test the level of students' understanding of microscopic models of electrical and thermal conduction in solids (METCS). The METCS concept inventory consists of 27 open-ended questions that examine the understanding of different and interrelated concepts. We used it as a tool for conducting interviews on a sample of ten students from the universities of Rijeka and Split (Croatia). The results of our research confirmed some previously discovered students' misconceptions and revealed a wide range of new ones. These results can be used to stimulate student discussions and to design curricula and lecture plans for more efficient teaching of transport phenomena in solids. The obtained spectrum of misconceptions will serve as a reference tool for the development of a multiple-choice conceptual METCS test to allow research on larger sample.
Erceg, Nataša; Jelovica, Lejla; Hrepić, Zdeslav; Mešić, Vanes; Karuza, Marin; and Aviani, Ivica, "University students' conceptual understanding of microscopic models of electrical and thermal conduction in solids" (2021). Faculty Bibliography. 3264.