Do you catch my drift? Identification of misconceptions of emergence for the semiconductor phenomenon drift

Katherine G. Nelson, Sarah Brem, Ann McKenna, Eva Pettinato, Jenefer Husman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Recent research in learning science has focused on students' misconceptions about emergence. In emergent phenomena, the interactions of the agents in the phenomenon aggregate and form a self-organizing pattern that can be seen at a higher level. One such emergent system, drift, is a fundamental mechanism for semiconductors. The purpose of this study was to demonstrate the presence and prevalence of misconceptions about emergence students have about drift, and to determine what relationships existed between the identified misconceptions. Forty-one undergraduate engineering students participated in the written protocol study. Participants' responses were coded and analyzed using written protocol analysis. A total of 10 emergent misconceptions were observed for drift. Sixty-three percent of participant responses exhibited an emergent misconception, with participants typically anthropomorphizing the electrons' actions in the phenomenon. Quantitative analyses were completed utilizing non-parametric Kendall's taub correlation demonstrated significant relationships between the goal-directed nature of the phenomenon and electron volition (0.45,

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication122nd ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: Making Value for Society
PublisherAmerican Society for Engineering Education
StatePublished - 2015
Event2015 122nd ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - Seattle, United States
Duration: Jun 14 2015Jun 17 2015


Other2015 122nd ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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