A cognitive systems analysis of engineering students' mathematical reasoning in signals and systems
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This study was designed to investigate student understanding of fundamental concepts in the engineering course, signals and systems. The aim of this study was threefold: (1) to identify faulty reasonings students invoke in their study of signals and systems; (2) to identify the reasoning resources that explain the origin of student faulty reasonings; and (3) to identify consistencies in students' invocation of reasoning resources across different signals and systems topics. Fifty-one undergraduate students majoring in aerospace engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology participated in this study. Seven oral problems were designed to test student understanding of central topics in the study of continuous-time linear, time-invariant systems. Participants were divided into seven cohorts and each cohort was interviewed on a different problem. Interview transcriptions were analyzed based from a complex systems perspectiv to identify the knowledge elements of reasoning resources that characterize student reasoning in signals and systems. [TRUNCATED]
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