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Physical Review Special Topics - Physics Education Research
written by Homeyra R. Sadaghiani and Steven J. Pollock
As part of an ongoing investigation of students' learning in first semester upper-division quantum mechanics, we needed a high-quality conceptual assessment instrument for comparing outcomes of different curricular approaches. The process of developing such a tool started with converting a preliminary version of a 14-item open-ended quantum mechanics assessment tool (QMAT) to a multiple-choice (MC) format. Further question refinement, development of effective distractors, adding new questions, and robust statistical analysis has led to a 31-item quantum mechanics concept assessment (QMCA) test. The QMCA is used as post-test only to assess students' knowledge about five main topics of quantum measurement: the time-independent Schrödinger equation, wave functions and boundary conditions, time evolution, and probability density. During two years of testing and refinement, the QMCA has been given in alpha (N=61) and beta versions (N=263) to students in upper division quantum mechanics courses at 11 different institutions with an average post-test score of 54%. By allowing for comparisons of student learning across different populations and institutions, the QMCA provides instructors and researchers a more standard measure of effectiveness of different curricula or teaching strategies on student conceptual understanding of quantum mechanics. In this paper, we discuss the construction of effective distractors and the use of student interviews and expert feedback to revise and validate both questions and distractors. We include the results of common statistical tests of reliability and validity, which suggest the instrument is presently in a stable, usable, and promising form.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education Foundations
- Assessment
= Conceptual Assessment
= Instruments
- Research Design & Methodology
= Validity
Quantum Physics
- General
- Upper Undergraduate
- Reference Material
= Article
Intended Users Formats Ratings
- Researchers
- application/pdf
- text/html
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Access Rights:
Free access
License:
This material is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license.
Rights Holder:
American Physical Society
DOI:
10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.11.010110
NSF Number:
1023028
PACSs:
01.40.Fk
01.40.gf
03.65.-w
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created April 8, 2015 by Sarah Keffer
Record Updated:
April 28, 2015 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
March 13, 2015
Other Collections:

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Record Link
AIP Format
H. Sadaghiani and S. Pollock, Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 11 (1), 010110 (2014), WWW Document, (http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.11.010110).
AJP/PRST-PER
H. Sadaghiani and S. Pollock, Quantum mechanics concept assessment: Development and validation study, Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 11 (1), 010110 (2014), <http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.11.010110>.
APA Format
Sadaghiani, H., & Pollock, S. (2015, March 13). Quantum mechanics concept assessment: Development and validation study. Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res., 11(1), 010110. Retrieved December 12, 2017, from http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.11.010110
Chicago Format
Sadaghiani, Homeyra, and Steven Pollock. "Quantum mechanics concept assessment: Development and validation study." Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 11, no. 1, (March 13, 2015): 010110, http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.11.010110 (accessed 12 December 2017).
MLA Format
Sadaghiani, Homeyra, and Steven Pollock. "Quantum mechanics concept assessment: Development and validation study." Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 11.1 (2014): 010110. 12 Dec. 2017 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.11.010110>.
BibTeX Export Format
@article{ Author = "Homeyra Sadaghiani and Steven Pollock", Title = {Quantum mechanics concept assessment: Development and validation study}, Journal = {Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res.}, Volume = {11}, Number = {1}, Pages = {010110}, Month = {March}, Year = {2015} }
Refer Export Format

%A Homeyra Sadaghiani
%A Steven Pollock
%T Quantum mechanics concept assessment: Development and validation study
%J Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res.
%V 11
%N 1
%D March 13, 2015
%P 010110
%U http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.11.010110
%O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Journal Article
%A Sadaghiani, Homeyra
%A Pollock, Steven
%D March 13, 2015
%T Quantum mechanics concept assessment: Development and validation study
%J Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res.
%V 11
%N 1
%P 010110
%8 March 13, 2015
%U http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.11.010110


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