Students' perceptions and designs of simple control systems

David Mioduser*, Richard L. Venezky, Brian Gong

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


This study examines students conceptions and designs of simple control systems. A framework is presented that characterizes the cognitive models generated by the students for simple opening/closing systems in terms of an increasing differentiation of both structural and functional aspects of the systems: from an undifferentiated general input/output model, up to a complete causal model. The students' conceptions, missing conceptions, and misconceptions of the control systems are described and analyzed at three main levels: device knowledge, perception of the control process, and perception of information-flow within the system. The implications of this study are discussed for the learning of technological concepts, the instructional use of building and programming kits (e.g., Lego-Logo), and our research agenda.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363-388
Number of pages26
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1996


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