General Card #1102
QFT in Circuits Analysis Course
The Question Formulation Technique used for research projects in circuits course
This course uses the Question Formulation Technique in an introductory Circuits analysis course. At St Thomas this technique was implemented in a course of 30 first and second year students. A fundamental assumption of the QFT is that students learn and retain knowledge better when, fueled by curiosity, they ask their own questions, and use them to drive their learning.
A total of four QFT research projects were assigned to students working in groups of four to six. Each project was launched with an in-class discussion, and the majority of the research work was done by students outside of class. Students were given between one and two weeks to research the answers to the questions asked in each research project. The topics covered in the research projects include basic circuit laws, linearity and superposition, sinusoidal steady-state AC circuit response, and operational amplifiers.
The main deliverable for the project was a paper summarizing the research questions and answering those questions with documented references. The students also needed to reflect on the questions they raised, the answers they found, and the overall QFT-based research process. QFT technique could be applied to any course.
- A fundamental assumption of the QFT is that students learn and retain knowledge better when, fueled by curiosity, they ask their own questions, and use them to drive their learning.
- The skills acquired during the QFT-based research projects will help the students seek and find answers to questions that arise during the rest of their Electrical Engineering education and beyond.
The nature of the QFocus is key to stimulating the curiosity of the student and enabling the question generation process. To stimulate thought, the QFocus should be pithy, provocative, and familiar to students. It should target the desired subject matter and ideally illuminate the knowledge gap of the student and drive the student to want to explore that knowledge gap. The exact form of the QFocus is the primary component of the QFT the instructor fully controls. The rest of the QFT process is constructed to be primarily student-driven, and should remain student-driven.