Student misconceptions have recently been an important area of research in many branches of science. However, the research work on the misconceptions of engineering students has remained of limited extent. Although the most important task of a structural engineer is structural analysis, structural modeling and interpretation of analysis results have come into prominence due to emerging computer technology. This study is concerned with the levels of perception of structural modeling among eighth-semester civil engineering students. For this purpose, the students were given pier structures and asked to draw structural models for the analysis of these structures. Misconceptions developed by the students regarding structural modeling were then determined by investigating the drawings. It was observed that the students have major misconceptions, especially about boundary conditions. Beside the fact that these misconceptions stem from a large number of factors, one of the most significant consequences is the misconceptions about structural stability. Possible means to mitigate the misconceptions of engineering students are suggested in the conclusion.
Key words: Structural engineering, student misconceptions, structural modeling, drawings.
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