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 Title: Effects of two types of network diagrams on technical systems understanding of college-level aviation mechanic students Author(s): Satchwell, Richard Eugene Doctoral Committee Chair(s): Wentling, Tim Department / Program: Education Discipline: Education Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Degree: Ph.D. Genre: Dissertation Subject(s): Education, Industrial Education, Technology of Education, Vocational Abstract: This quasi-experimental study provided an operational replication of the Satchwell and Johnson (1992) study and further explored the effect of functional flow diagrams on technical system understanding. This study addressed the following research questions: (1) Do functional flow diagrams increase student's understanding of technical systems? (2) Do functional flow diagrams enhance students' knowledge structures of technical systems? (3) Do functional flow diagrams affect a student's cognitive abilities related to technical system understanding? (4) What is the relationship between the overt characteristics of a functional flow diagram and its ability to enhance students' knowledge structures of technical systems when measured against expert-like knowledge structures?Students enrolled in AVI 170, Aircraft Systems II at the Institute of Aviation, located at the University of Illinois' Willard Airport, were used as intact experimental groups for this study. The subjects studied the field training package entitled "Introduction to King Air Electrical Systems" which illustrated the electrical systems with either schematic diagrams or schematic diagrams supplemented with functional flow diagrams. Data were collected to determine the subjects' understanding regarding the structural, functional, and behavioral levels of system understanding. Data were collect to determine the subjects' ability to construct conceptual models that are thought to be similar to those of an expert. Data were collected to determine the effects of functional flow diagrams on subjects' cognitive processes.Students receiving the functional flow diagrams performed significantly better on the object attribute test items related to the functional level of understanding, than students who received the schematic diagram in isolation (p $<$.05).Students receiving the functional flow diagrams performed significantly better on the test items related to the cognitive processes of system theory, electronic symbol identification, and predicting, while subjects from the control group, receiving schematic diagrams in isolation performed better on test items related to the cognitive process of tracing a diagram.There were no significant differences in similarity indices calculated for the individual knowledge structure maps collected during the card sorting tasks when the means were averaged across all card sorting tasks. However, those student's receiving the functional flow diagrams performed significantly better on the sorting task related to voltage regulation (p $<$.05). There were no significant differences regarding the conceptual content or the size (i.e., the number of conceptual components) of the knowledge structures collected during the card sorting tasks. Issue Date: 1994 Type: Text Language: English URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/20744 Rights Information: Copyright 1994 Satchwell, Richard Eugene Date Available in IDEALS: 2011-05-07 Identifier in Online Catalog: AAI9503310 OCLC Identifier: (UMI)AAI9503310
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