The purpose of this study was to determine the level of conceptions reached by students’ who learnt the concepts of voltage and resistance with the conventional direct instruction. To answer the research questions, descriptive non-experimental research design was used. A two tier test on the concepts of voltage and resistance was administered to 49 physics and chemistry major first year students in Medda Walabu University, Ethiopia. Students’ responses to the five items were qualitatively compared to those found in literature for secondary school and university students. The result showed that the conception of students formed at school level about voltage and resistance were not that much affected even by learning the same concepts at advanced levels and with mathematical rigor at university. Besides, the analysis revealed that students hold multiple opposing ideas regarding the same concept, which contradicts the classical conceptual change perspective. Further, the average conception level reached by the students after learning university level physics courses was “partial understanding”. Therefore, attending advanced but traditional course would not enhance students’ conceptual understanding. Hence, teachers should have to investigate students’ conceptions, as a first step, to subsequently design and implement appropriate instructional interventions.
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