Color coding of circuit quantities in introductory circuit analysis instruction

Jana Reisslein, Amy Johnson, Martin Reisslein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Learning the analysis of electrical circuits represented by circuit diagrams is often challenging for novice students. An open research question in electrical circuit analysis instruction is whether color coding of the mathematical symbols (variables) that denote electrical quantities can improve circuit analysis learning. The present study compared two groups of high school students undergoing their first introductory learning of electrical circuit analysis. One group learned with circuit variables in black font. The other group learned with colored circuit variables, with blue font indicating variables related to voltage, red font indicating those related to current, and black font indicating those related to resistance. The color group achieved significantly higher post-test scores, gave higher ratings for liking the instruction and finding it helpful, and had lower ratings of cognitive load than the black-font group. These results indicate that color coding of the notations for quantities in electrical circuit diagrams aids the circuit analysis learning of novice students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6783753
Pages (from-to)7-14
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Education
Volume58
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015

Fingerprint

Electric network analysis
coding
instruction
Color
Networks (circuits)
Students
Group
learning
rating
student
symbol
Electric potential
school

Keywords

  • Circuit diagram
  • electrical circuit analysis
  • font color
  • multiple representations
  • novice learners

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Cite this

Color coding of circuit quantities in introductory circuit analysis instruction. / Reisslein, Jana; Johnson, Amy; Reisslein, Martin.

In: IEEE Transactions on Education, Vol. 58, No. 1, 6783753, 01.02.2015, p. 7-14.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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