NSF DUE: A Multi-phase development of the Electric Circuit Concepts Diagnostic tool: Phase I (NSF IUSE #2021468)

Project’s NSF Page


Nathaniel Hunsu, Ph.D. - Assistant Professor of Engineering Education
Kun Yao, Ph.D. - Senior Lecturer in Electrical Engineering
Adel Al Weshah, Ph.D - Lecturer

Dr. Shiyu Wang – Assistant Professor in the UGA College of Education

Grant Details

Funder: Division of Undergraduate Education, National Science Foundation
Amount: $299,951.00
Award number: 2021468
Start and End date: October 2020 – September 2024


When students show up in engineering classrooms, some often come with misconceptions about the concepts covered in engineering course contents. However, instructional efforts, and being able to learn advanced engineering concepts require building on existing accurate prior knowledge to be effective. Some instructors rely on concept inventories (CIs) to identify misconceptions in students’ prior knowledge – hoping to use the information they glean from students’ CI scores to adjust their own instructions in order to be effective in their pedagogies. However, many instructors never benefit much from using CIs because they lack either the know-how, time commitment, or statistical skills required to use them effectively and efficiently. Furthermore, there sometimes are ambiguities about whether students’ CI scores should be interpreted as showing a lack of prior knowledge, or as revealing a misconception. The Electric Circuit Concepts Diagnostic (ECCD) project team will address these limitations of CIs by creating web-based electric circuit concept inventory that: (i.) provides an immediate and multi-purpose feedback system for reporting about students’ circuits and electricity prior knowledge; (ii.) differentiates, with a high probability, between a lack of prior knowledge and misconceptions; and (iii.) uses a scheme of multidimensional knowledge profiles to report on students’ prior knowledge and misconceptions. The project team will integrate the affordances of cognitive diagnostic modeling (CDM), multi-tier testing frameworks, and computer-assisted testing to realize these project objectives. The ECCD project will be implemented in three overlapping phases, and provide a framework for developing value-added CIs in other STEM domains.

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