Document Type

Conference Paper


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Electrical and electronic engineering

Publication Details

Proceedings of the Science and Mathematics Education Conference (SMEC 2012), pp. 80-84, Dublin City University, June


There is an increasing diversity of educational background of students entering Level 7 and Level 8 programmes in engineering in Irish third level education. Student reasoning about basic electricity concepts often differs from accepted explanations. The paper reports, analyses and reflects on the results of a multiple-choice diagnostic test to assess student understanding of such concepts (developed by Engelhardt and Beichner (2004) for U.S. high school and college students) taken by four cohorts of students, on the same DIT Level 7 engineering programme, from 2008-12 (n=106) and two cohorts of students, on the same DIT Level 8 engineering programme, from 2010-12 (n=64). This paper updates a previous contribution (O’Dwyer, 2009) which described the application of the test to two cohorts of Level 7 students in the 2008-9 academic year.