A Systematic Literature Review of Misconceptions in Linear Circuit Analysis

Published 2018


Dr. Nikitha Sambamurthy
zyBooks, A Wiley Brand

Dr. Alex Daniel Edgcomb
zyBooks, A Wiley Brand

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Misconceptions in circuit analysis have been investigated by many researchers. However, we
could not find a literature review from the last 20 years. We conducted a systematic literature
review on circuit analysis misconceptions from the last 20 years, finding 15 articles meeting the
search criteria, relevance, and accessibility. In total, the articles identified 20 misconceptions
(e.g., term confusion in physics, algebraic manipulations, and failure to consider local changes in
context of entire circuit), which we grouped into 8 misconception categories (e.g., Physics, Math,
Sequential reasoning, and Application of Ohm’s Law). Interestingly, none of the articles
addressed the misconceptions, which may be low-hanging fruit. We also created a conceptual
dependency graph to help point out foundational misconceptions within the misconception
categories, yielding Physics, Math, and Application of Ohm’s Law as the most foundational
misconceptions. Physics had 5 misconceptions (the most) and in total cited by 7 articles. Within
Physics, the most cited was term confusion, cited by 4 articles. Math had 2 misconceptions, cited
by 3 articles. Application of Ohm’s Law had 2 misconceptions, cited by 7 articles. Interestingly,
none of the articles attempted to address misconceptions. Thus, there appears to be a need for
research that addresses misconceptions. We might suggest focusing on prevalently reported
misconceptions, such as physics term confusion and appropriate application of Ohm’s Law.

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