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Carstensen, Anna-KarinORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0002-2823-5245
Publications (10 of 27) Show all publications
Carstensen, A.-K. & Bernhard, J. (2018). Design science research – a powerful tool for improving methods in engineering education research. European Journal of Engineering Education
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Design science research – a powerful tool for improving methods in engineering education research
2018 (English)In: European Journal of Engineering Education, ISSN 0304-3797, E-ISSN 1469-5898Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Modelling is a central activity in practical engineering and something that is also useful in engineering education research (EER). Additionally, qualitative research methods have found important applications in engineering research, although their use in EER has not always been widely accepted. Design science research is a qualitative research approach in which the object of study is the design process, i.e. it simultaneously generates knowledge about the method used to design an artefact and the design or the artefact itself. This paper uses techniques from design science research to analyse the method used when deriving the ‘learning of a complex concept’ (LCC) model, which we developed while designing teaching sequences for a course on electrical engineering. Our results demonstrate the value of design science research in EER and suggest that the LCC model is generally applicable in this field.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2018
Keywords
design science research, design-based research, engineering education research, Modelling, Curricula, Engineering education, Models, Product design, Teaching, Design-science researches, Practical engineering, Qualitative research, Qualitative research methods, Teaching sequences, Value of designs, Engineering research
National Category
Didactics Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-41960 (URN)10.1080/03043797.2018.1498459 (DOI)2-s2.0-85050569848 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2018-11-01 Created: 2018-11-01 Last updated: 2018-11-01
Bernhard, J. & Carstensen, A.-K. (2017). "Real" experiments or computers in labs - Opposites or synergies?: Experiences from a course in electric circuit theory. In: J. Bernardino, J. Rocha,J. C. Quadrado (Ed.), Proceedings of the 45th SEFI Annual Conference 2017 - Education Excellence for Sustainability, SEFI 2017: . Paper presented at 45th Annual Conference of the European Society for Engineering Education, SEFI 2017, 18 September 2017 through 21 September 2017 (pp. 1300-1307). European Society for Engineering Education (SEFI)
Open this publication in new window or tab >>"Real" experiments or computers in labs - Opposites or synergies?: Experiences from a course in electric circuit theory
2017 (English)In: Proceedings of the 45th SEFI Annual Conference 2017 - Education Excellence for Sustainability, SEFI 2017 / [ed] J. Bernardino, J. Rocha,J. C. Quadrado, European Society for Engineering Education (SEFI) , 2017, p. 1300-1307Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In this study we report from our experiences designing and re-designing a lab where engineering students studied transient response in electric circuits. In the first version of the lab students had difficulties doing the mathematical modeling of the experimentally measured graphs as it required students' to link the time- and frequency domains as well as the object/event and theory/model worlds simultaneously. In the re-designed lab some computer simulations were included together with the original experiments on real circuits. The simulations opened up for learning and enabled students to establish links that are hard access directly with real experiments. Still doing real experiments is important to secure students ability to make links between models and theories and the physical reality. This study demonstrates that synergetic learning effects can be achieved by a careful design using an insightful combination of real experiments and computer simulations. Hence, we propose that the question of "real" experiments or "virtual" labs using computer simulations are best for students' learning is not an either or question. Rather, it is a question of finding the right blend to achieve synergetic effects.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
European Society for Engineering Education (SEFI), 2017
Keywords
Experiential learning, Interaction analysis, Modeling, Simulations, Circuit theory, Education computing, Electric network analysis, Electric network parameters, Laboratories, Models, Students, Timing circuits, Learning effects, Physical reality, Real circuits, Synergetic effect, Time and frequency domains, Education
National Category
Didactics Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-38311 (URN)2-s2.0-85034765609 (Scopus ID)9789899887572 (ISBN)
Conference
45th Annual Conference of the European Society for Engineering Education, SEFI 2017, 18 September 2017 through 21 September 2017
Funder
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2017-12-30 Created: 2017-12-30 Last updated: 2017-12-30Bibliographically approved
Bernhard, J., Carstensen, A.-K. & Karlsson, K. (2016). Alternating currents first: Experiences from designing a novel approach to teaching electric circuit theory. In: 44th Annual Conference of the European Society for Engineering Education - Engineering Education on Top of the World: Industry-University Cooperation, SEFI 2016. Paper presented at 44th Annual Conference of the European Society for Engineering Education - Engineering Education on Top of the World: Industry-University Cooperation, SEFI 2016, 12 September 2016 through 15 September 2016. European Society for Engineering Education (SEFI)
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Alternating currents first: Experiences from designing a novel approach to teaching electric circuit theory
2016 (English)In: 44th Annual Conference of the European Society for Engineering Education - Engineering Education on Top of the World: Industry-University Cooperation, SEFI 2016, European Society for Engineering Education (SEFI) , 2016Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND: Commonly in electric circuit theory courses, circuit laws are first introduced in the context of direct current (DC) electricity and first thereafter are alternating currents (AC) introduced. The extension of DC-theory to AC is quite easily done mathematically but is conceptually difficult for students. Engineering students have difficulties in understanding phase relationships and phasor representations in AC-electricity. Indeed, it has been suggested that phase should be seen as a threshold concept.

PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to investigate if a re-designed introductory electric circuit course could improve students’ understanding of important concepts in AC-electricity.

METHOD and COURSE DESIGN: The course was re-designed introducing AC and DC electricity simultaneously. DC was introduced as a special case of AC with requency equals zero. The re-designed course was taught for the first time during the spring semester 2014 and a new textbook was written. A conceptual test was developed and first administered in 2013 to serve as a baseline and in subsequent years to evaluate the revised course. In 2014 the students’ courses of action in selected lab-groups were video-recorded.

RESULTS: In the first revision cycle many students had difficulties to complete the labs in time. Students revealed a mixed response towards the revised course and the results on the conceptual test showed neglible improvement. In the second cycle revisions the number tasks were reduced and focus was laid on tasks that were identified as most important for contributing to the development of student understanding. As a result the learning gain improved with an effect size (Cohen’s delta) of 0.56. Also the course and the textbook were very well appreciated. In the third cycle only small revisions are made.

CONCLUSION: The results show that that AC-electricity can be taught concurrently with DC. However, two revisions cycles was needed which demonstrates that curriculum development needs a sustained effort over a considerable period of time with continuous revisions in light of gained experiences. In further revision we will continue to refine the labs and to develop appropriate interactive lecture demonstrations for the lectures and to develop the problems.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
European Society for Engineering Education (SEFI), 2016
Keywords
Design-based research, Electric circuits, Engineering education research, Variation theory
National Category
Didactics Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-35194 (URN)2-s2.0-85014117362 (Scopus ID)9782873520144 (ISBN)
Conference
44th Annual Conference of the European Society for Engineering Education - Engineering Education on Top of the World: Industry-University Cooperation, SEFI 2016, 12 September 2016 through 15 September 2016
Available from: 2017-03-13 Created: 2017-03-13 Last updated: 2018-09-12Bibliographically approved
Carstensen, A.-K. & Bernhard, J. (2016). Make Links: Overcoming the Threshold and Entering the Portal of Understanding. In: Ray Land, Jan H. F. Meyer, & Michael T. Flanagan (Ed.), Threshold Concepts in Practice: (pp. 211-222). Rotterdam: Sense Publishers
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Make Links: Overcoming the Threshold and Entering the Portal of Understanding
2016 (English)In: Threshold Concepts in Practice / [ed] Ray Land, Jan H. F. Meyer, & Michael T. Flanagan, Rotterdam: Sense Publishers, 2016, p. 211-222Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In engineering the student is often ‘faced with contrasting representations or models’ (Entwistle et al., 2005, p. 9), which Entwistle explores as ‘ways of thinking and practising’ (ibid). These contrasting representations are in electric circuits for example: graphs, mathematical models, drawings of circuits and the real circuits. In our research we have found that exploring the relationships - links - between these different representations, as well in the theory/model domain as in the object/event domain (Tiberghien, Vince, & Gaidioz, 2009) is of uttermost importance. We have developed a tool for investigation of ‘the learning of a complex concept’ (Carstensen & Bernhard, 2008a) which we have used in order to find critical aspects, which we call “key concepts” (Carstensen & Bernhard, 2008b), which open up the portal of understanding threshold concepts.

In this paper we will explore these links further. As we have continued our work on how students make links between the different islands of single concepts, in order to make a whole of the complex concept, we have noted that the links between these islands are of different kinds. We will here discuss what kinds of relationships these links consist of, and how they differ in ways of coping with them for students, and how the teachers may notice and highlight these relationships in their instructions.

We have video recorded students interactions during lab-work and analysed these tapes according to the Theory of Variation (Marton & Tsui, 2004). Now we are taking this further, and make a more detailed analysis of what the links are, and by that we contribute to the understanding of the nature of a threshold concept.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Rotterdam: Sense Publishers, 2016
Series
Educational Futures : Rethinking Theory and Practice ; 68
Keywords
Threshold concepts, engineering education research, variation theory
National Category
Didactics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-32263 (URN)978-94-6300-510-4 (ISBN)978-94-6300-511-1 (ISBN)978-94-6300-512-8 (ISBN)
Available from: 2016-11-11 Created: 2016-11-11 Last updated: 2016-11-11Bibliographically approved
Bernhard, J. & Carstensen, A.-K. (2015). Analysing and modelling engineering students’ learning in the laboratory: A comparison of two methodologies. In: : . Paper presented at The 6th Research in Engineering Education Symposium (REES), Dublin, July 13-15, 2015.. Curran Associates, Inc.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Analysing and modelling engineering students’ learning in the laboratory: A comparison of two methodologies
2015 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Producing structured, meaningful and useful descriptions (representations) of students’ learning in labs is not straightforward. Two possible approaches are compared here. Students’ courses of action in labs of an electric circuit course were video-recorded, then the activities during the labs were described and analysed using “the learning of a complex concept” (LCC) methodology. Conversations during the full lengths of the same labs were also transcribed verbatim. Subsequent analysis indicates that transcription offers a more detailed representation of the learning and interaction that occurred. However, it is considerably slower than LCC methodology, which can also represent learning in the full length of a lab in some detail. Furthermore, the latter gave a better overview of the analysed labs than transcription and more readily facilitated representation of both learning complexities and linking theory to practice. In conclusion, both methods can play valuable roles in engineering education research, depending on the questions addressed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Curran Associates, Inc., 2015
Keywords
Engineering Education Research, Qualitative research methods
National Category
Didactics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-28578 (URN)978-1-5108-1557-5 (ISBN)
Conference
The 6th Research in Engineering Education Symposium (REES), Dublin, July 13-15, 2015.
Projects
VR 721-2011-5570
Funder
Swedish Research Council, VR 721-2011-5570
Available from: 2015-12-11 Created: 2015-12-11 Last updated: 2018-09-12Bibliographically approved
Carstensen, A.-K. & Bernhard, J. (2015). Design Science Research – an engineering research approach to improve methods for engineering education research. In: Proceedings: 6th Research in Engineering Education Symposium (REES 2015),  Translating Research into Practice, Dublin, Ireland, 13-15 July 2015: . Paper presented at The 6th Research in Engineering Education Symposium (REES), Dublin, July 13-15, 2015. Curran Associates, Inc.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Design Science Research – an engineering research approach to improve methods for engineering education research
2015 (English)In: Proceedings: 6th Research in Engineering Education Symposium (REES 2015),  Translating Research into Practice, Dublin, Ireland, 13-15 July 2015, Curran Associates, Inc., 2015Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Modelling is an engineering activity commonly used by engineers, and can be used also in engineering education research (EER). The use of qualitative research methods have in EER not always been widely accepted but have recently gained more attention (Case & Light, 2011). There are, however, also qualitative research methods in engineering research that may be used in EER (Bernhard, in press). One such approach is design science research, where the object of research is the design process, i.e. the knowledge retrieved is not always knowledge about the phenomenon, the artefact, the design, but rather knowledge about the method used. This paper aims at researching the method used when deriving the model “the learning of a complex concept”, the LCC-model, which we developed while designing teaching sequences in a course in electrical engineering.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Curran Associates, Inc., 2015
Keywords
Engineering Education Research, Qualitative research methods, Learning of a Complex Concept
National Category
Didactics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-28575 (URN)978-1-5108-1557-5 (ISBN)
Conference
The 6th Research in Engineering Education Symposium (REES), Dublin, July 13-15, 2015
Projects
VR 721-2011-5570
Funder
Swedish Research Council, VR 721-2011-5570
Available from: 2015-12-11 Created: 2015-12-11 Last updated: 2018-09-12Bibliographically approved
Carstensen, A.-K. & Bernhard, J. (2014). Interactive lectures - linking theory to practice: Helping students pass the threshold when learning two-terminal equivalents in electrical engineering education. In: : . Paper presented at Threshold concepts in practice, 5th Biennial International Threshold Concepts Conference, Durham, UK, 9–11 July, 2014..
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Interactive lectures - linking theory to practice: Helping students pass the threshold when learning two-terminal equivalents in electrical engineering education
2014 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Keywords
threshold concepts, engineering education research
National Category
Didactics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-28583 (URN)
Conference
Threshold concepts in practice, 5th Biennial International Threshold Concepts Conference, Durham, UK, 9–11 July, 2014.
Funder
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2015-12-11 Created: 2015-12-11 Last updated: 2015-12-11Bibliographically approved
Carstensen, A.-K. & Bernhard, J. (2012). Make links – Overcoming the threshold and entering the portal of understanding. In: : . Paper presented at Threshold concepts in practice, 4th Biennial International Threshold Concepts Conference, Dublin, 28-30 July, 2012..
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Make links – Overcoming the threshold and entering the portal of understanding
2012 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Keywords
Variation theory, Practical Epistemology, Threshold concepts, Key concepts, Learning of a complex concept
National Category
Didactics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-28584 (URN)
Conference
Threshold concepts in practice, 4th Biennial International Threshold Concepts Conference, Dublin, 28-30 July, 2012.
Funder
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2015-12-11 Created: 2015-12-11 Last updated: 2015-12-11Bibliographically approved
Bernhard, J., Carstensen, A.-K. & Holmberg, M. (2008). Historical epistemology, symbolic tools and threshold concepts. In: : .
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Historical epistemology, symbolic tools and threshold concepts
2008 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-5210 (URN)
Available from: 2008-01-09 Created: 2008-01-09 Last updated: 2017-12-30Bibliographically approved
Carstensen, A.-K. & Bernhard, J. (2008). Opening up the portal of understanding: Variation theory, key concepts, threshold concepts and critical factors for learning. In: : .
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Opening up the portal of understanding: Variation theory, key concepts, threshold concepts and critical factors for learning
2008 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Other academic)
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-5209 (URN)
Available from: 2008-01-09 Created: 2008-01-09 Last updated: 2017-12-30Bibliographically approved
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0002-2823-5245

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