Electric Circuit Analysis is a critical course in engineering and technology programs for students studying electrical, computer, and mechanical engineering. This study compares student assignment and course grades for a group presented with written, hand-graded homework assignments, and a group presented with the identical problems authored for the open-source WebWork online homework system. The two groups represent four sections of a Circuit Analysis course with twenty-four students in each section. The two groups of forty-eight students come from diverse academic backgrounds including those studying Electronics Technology, Computer Engineering Technology, Mechanical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering Technology, Manufacturing Engineering Technology, and Robotics Engineering Technology. The course, and assignments in question, cover topics such as voltage, current, power, resistance, capacitance, inductance, nodal analysis, mesh analysis, Thevenin's theorem, Norton's theorem, phasors, steady state and transient analysis. A discussion is included regarding the attributes of the problems authored for this study. These attributes include the instantaneous feedback given to the students, randomized values, and scaffolding of problems to reinforce methodical analysis. Of the forty-seven assigned problems, fourteen are in a scaffolded format. Assessment of the individual skills covered by these scaffolded problems are contrasted with the non-scaffolded problems. This assessment is performed using individual exams questions covering the topics of the scaffolded and non-scaffolded assignments. Controls are included for math scores on standardized entrance exams and previous course work. Furthermore, controls are included for the students chosen field of study. The study includes analysis of student comments regarding the use of WebWork for assignments, providing a view of the qualitative reception of the system. Finally, instructor workload is considered in the context of the small, undergraduate state university.
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