Relationships among electronics troubleshooting, mathematics, and electronics knowledge
Loftin, Guy L.
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One purpose of this study was to determine the relationships among community college students' mathematics, electronics, and electronics troubleshooting knowledge. A second purpose of the study was to determine the extent to which independent variables predicted troubleshooting knowledge. Students involved in the study were enrolled in electronics technician associate degree granting programs. More specifically the study was designed to examine the relationships among electronics troubleshooting knowledge and the following independent variables: 1. Number of mathematics courses taken at the community college level 2. Types of mathematics courses taken at community college level 3. Mathematics knowledge as measured by scores on a standardized mathematics test 4. Number of electronics courses taken at the high school level 5. Number of electronics courses taken at the community college level 6. Prior work experience in the electronics industry In addition to examining these variables, this study also sought to answer the question: Which combination of variables best tends to predict troubleshooting knowledge? Usable data were gathered from 100 North Carolina community college students who were enrolled in electronics technician degree granting programs at five randomly selected community colleges. The students participating in this study were administered three data gathering instruments. The instruments included a Student Information and Data Sheet designed to gather demographic information about each student, a standardized mathematics knowledge test designed to cover the mathematical concepts stressed in elementary, intermediate and college algebra, and finally, a paper and pencil electronics and troubleshooting test which consisted of troubleshooting an AM transceiver functional block diagram, a servicing block diagram, a power supply, and a summing circuit. It was determined that under the conditions imposed by this study only one of the independent variables, score on the Mathematics Knowledge Test, could be used with some accuracy to predict troubleshooting knowledge. The independent variable mathematics knowledge, as represented by scores on the standardized mathematics knowledge test, could only predict troubleshooting knowledge with 6.8% percent accuracy.
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