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Developing and Assessing Research-Based Tools for Teaching Quantum Mechanics and Thermodynamics
written by Benjamin R. Brown
Research-based tools to educate college students in physics courses from introductory level to graduate level are essential for helping students with a diverse set of goals and backgrounds learn physics. This thesis explores issues related to student common difficulties with some topics in undergraduate quantum mechanics and thermodynamics courses. Student difficulties in learning quantum mechanics and thermodynamics are investigated by administering written tests and surveys to many classes and conducting individual interviews with a subset of students outside the class to unpack the cognitive mechanisms of the difficulties. The quantum mechanics research also focuses on using the research on student difficulties for the development and evaluation of a Quantum Interactive Learning Tutorial (QuILT) to help students learn about the time-dependence of expectation values using the context of Larmor precession of spin and evaluating the role of asking students to self-diagnose their mistakes on midterm examination on their performance on subsequent problem solving. The QuILT on Larmor precession of spin has both paper-pencil activities and a simulation component to help students learn these foundational issues in quantum mechanics. Preliminary evaluations suggest that the QuILT, which strives to help students build a robust knowledge structure of time-dependence of expectation values in quantum mechanics using a guided approach, is successful in helping students learn these topics in the junior-senior level quantum mechanics courses. The technique to help upper-level students in quantum mechanics courses effectively engage in the process of learning from their mistakes is also found to be effective. In particular, research shows that the self-diagnosis activity in upper-level quantum mechanics significantly helps students who are struggling and this activity can reduce the gap between the high and low achieving students on subsequent problem solving. Finally, a survey o
University: University of Pittsburgh
Academic Department:  Physics & Astronomy
Pages 243
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education - Applied Research
- Instructional Material Design
= Activity
= Tutorial
Education - Basic Research
- Assessment
= Instruments
Quantum Physics
- Foundations and Measurements
= Time Dependence
- Spin and Finite Dimensional Systems
Thermo & Stat Mech
- General
- Upper Undergraduate
- Graduate/Professional
- Reference Material
= Thesis/Dissertation
PER-Central Type Intended Users Ratings
- Thesis/Dissertation
- Researchers
- Educators
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Format:
application/pdf
Access Rights:
Free access
Restriction:
© 2015 Benjamin Brown
Keywords:
QuILT, STPFaSL, thermodynamics
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created November 11, 2015 by Bruce Mason
Record Updated:
November 21, 2015 by Bruce Mason
Last Update
when Cataloged:
July 7, 2015
Other Collections:

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Record Link
AIP Format
B. Brown, University of Pittsburgh, 2015, WWW Document, (https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=13786&DocID=4206).
AJP/PRST-PER
B. Brown, Developing and Assessing Research-Based Tools for Teaching Quantum Mechanics and Thermodynamics, University of Pittsburgh, 2015, <https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=13786&DocID=4206>.
APA Format
Brown, B. (2015, July 7). Developing and Assessing Research-Based Tools for Teaching Quantum Mechanics and Thermodynamics (University of Pittsburgh, 2015). Retrieved December 16, 2017, from https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=13786&DocID=4206
Chicago Format
Brown, Benjamin. "Developing and Assessing Research-Based Tools for Teaching Quantum Mechanics and Thermodynamics." University of Pittsburgh, 2015. https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=13786&DocID=4206 (accessed 16 December 2017).
MLA Format
Brown, Benjamin. "Developing and Assessing Research-Based Tools for Teaching Quantum Mechanics and Thermodynamics." 7 July 2015. University of Pittsburgh, 2015. 16 Dec. 2017 <https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=13786&DocID=4206>.
BibTeX Export Format
@phdthesis{ Author = "Benjamin Brown", Title = {Developing and Assessing Research-Based Tools for Teaching Quantum Mechanics and Thermodynamics}, School = {University of Pittsburgh}, Month = {July}, Year = {2015} }
Refer Export Format

%A Benjamin Brown
%T Developing and Assessing Research-Based Tools for Teaching Quantum Mechanics and Thermodynamics
%D July 7, 2015
%P 243
%I University of Pittsburgh
%U https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=13786&DocID=4206
%O Physics & Astronomy
%O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Thesis
%A Brown, Benjamin
%D July 7, 2015
%T Developing and Assessing Research-Based Tools for Teaching Quantum Mechanics and Thermodynamics
%B Physics & Astronomy
%I University of Pittsburgh
%P 243
%8 July 7, 2015
%U https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=13786&DocID=4206


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The AIP Style presented is based on information from the AIP Style Manual.

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