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Using the Tutorial Approach to Improve Physics Learning from Introductory to Graduate Level
written by Seth DeVore
In this thesis, I discuss the development and evaluation of tutorials ranging from introductory to graduate level. Tutorials were developed based upon research on student difficulties in learning relevant concepts and findings of cognitive research. Tutorials are a valuable resource when used either in-class or as a self-study tool. They strive to help students develop a robust knowledge structure of relevant topics and improve their problem solving skills. I discuss the development of a tutorial on the Lock-in amplifier (LIA) for use as both an on-ramp to ease the transition of students entering into the research lab and to improve student understanding of the operation of the LIA for those already making use of this device. The effectiveness of this tutorial was evaluated using think aloud interviews with graduate students possessing a wide range of experience with the LIA and the findings were uniformly positive. I also describe the development and evaluation of a Quantum Interactive Learning Tutorial (QuILT) that focuses on quantum key distribution using two protocols for secure key distribution. One protocol used in the first part of the QuILT is administered to students working collaboratively in class while the second protocol used in the second part of the QuILT was administered as homework. Evaluation of student understanding of the two protocols used in this QuILT shows that it was effective at improving student understanding both immediately after working on the QuILT and two months later. Finally, I discuss the development and evaluation of four web-based tutorials focusing on quantitative problem solving intended to aid introductory students in the learning of effective problem-solving heuristics while helping them learn physics concepts. Findings suggest that while these tutorials are effective when administered in one-on-one think-aloud interviews, this effectiveness is greatly diminished when students are asked to use the tutorials as a self-study to
University: University of Pittsburgh
Academic Department:  Physics & Astronomy
Pages 213
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education - Applied Research
- Active Learning
= Problem Solving
- Instructional Material Design
= Tutorial
Education - Basic Research
- Assessment
= Conceptual Assessment
= Instruments
General Physics
- Equipment
Quantum Physics
- Entanglement and Quantum Information
- Upper Undergraduate
- Graduate/Professional
- Lower Undergraduate
- Reference Material
= Thesis/Dissertation
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© 2014 Seth DeVore
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created November 11, 2015 by Bruce Mason
Record Updated:
November 11, 2015 by Bruce Mason
Last Update
when Cataloged:
November 18, 2014
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Record Link
AIP Format
S. DeVore, University of Pittsburgh, 2014, WWW Document, (https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=13788&DocID=4208).
AJP/PRST-PER
S. DeVore, Using the Tutorial Approach to Improve Physics Learning from Introductory to Graduate Level, University of Pittsburgh, 2014, <https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=13788&DocID=4208>.
APA Format
DeVore, S. (2014, November 18). Using the Tutorial Approach to Improve Physics Learning from Introductory to Graduate Level (University of Pittsburgh, 2014). Retrieved December 13, 2017, from https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=13788&DocID=4208
Chicago Format
DeVore, Seth. "Using the Tutorial Approach to Improve Physics Learning from Introductory to Graduate Level." University of Pittsburgh, 2014. https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=13788&DocID=4208 (accessed 13 December 2017).
MLA Format
DeVore, Seth. "Using the Tutorial Approach to Improve Physics Learning from Introductory to Graduate Level." 18 Nov. 2014. University of Pittsburgh, 2014. 13 Dec. 2017 <https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=13788&DocID=4208>.
BibTeX Export Format
@phdthesis{ Author = "Seth DeVore", Title = {Using the Tutorial Approach to Improve Physics Learning from Introductory to Graduate Level}, School = {University of Pittsburgh}, Month = {November}, Year = {2014} }
Refer Export Format

%A Seth DeVore
%T Using the Tutorial Approach to Improve Physics Learning from Introductory to Graduate Level
%D November 18, 2014
%P 213
%I University of Pittsburgh
%U https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=13788&DocID=4208
%O Physics & Astronomy
%O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Thesis
%A DeVore, Seth
%D November 18, 2014
%T Using the Tutorial Approach to Improve Physics Learning from Introductory to Graduate Level
%B Physics & Astronomy
%I University of Pittsburgh
%P 213
%8 November 18, 2014
%U https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=13788&DocID=4208


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