Physics & Astronomy
University of Oklahoma
Materials Contributed through SERC-hosted Projects
Combined Series and Parallel Circuits: Interactive Lecture Demonstrations part of comPADRE Pedagogic Library:Interactive Lectures:Examples
This sequence of interactive lecture-demonstration questions provides a probe of student understanding of fundamental concepts in DC circuits. There are two initial questions, the first about a two-resistor series circuit and the second about a two-resistor parallel circuit. The final question is on a combined circuit with one light bulb in series with two in parallel. Students who understand this circuit should be able to generalize this understanding analyze a large number of different circuit types. The demonstrations used to motivate these questions can be done either with simple circuit elements, a virtual circuit simulator, or both. Using the virtual simulation will allow the students to perform the experiments themselves outside of class and encourage hands-on exploration of the properties of circuits.