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Spin First vs. Position First instructional approaches to teaching introductory quantum mechanics
written by Homeyra R. Sadaghiani
As part of ongoing research in teaching and learning quantum mechanics, we are investigating student learning of basic introductory quantum concepts in two different paradigms. In one paradigm, students are introduced to the postulates of quantum mechanics by discrete bases of Spin-half (Spin First) before being introduced to Schrödinger's equation. In the second paradigm, continuous bases of position probability wave functions (Position First) are the context within which students first encounter quantum mechanical phenomena. In this paper, we compare student learning of basic introductory quantum ideas in two sections of a sophomore level modern physics course at Cal Poly Pomona that were taught using these two approaches by means of their performances on a research-based concept posttest. Based on our results, the students who were taught using Spin First outperformed their peers in Position First group with average score of 53±3% vs. 34±5% in Quantum Mechanics Concept Assessment (QMCA), suggesting that the Spin First approach might improve some aspects of student learning of quantum mechanics.
Physics Education Research Conference 2016
Part of the PER Conference series
Sacramento, CA: July 20-21, 2016
Pages 292-295
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education - Applied Research
- Curriculum Development
= Course
- Pedagogy
Education - Basic Research
- Assessment
= Conceptual Assessment
Quantum Physics
- General
- Lower Undergraduate
- Reference Material
= Research study
PER-Central Type Intended Users Ratings
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- Researchers
- Educators
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Format:
application/pdf
Mirror:
http://dx.doi.org/10.1119/perc.20…
Access Rights:
Free access
License:
This material is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license. Further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the published article's author(s), title, proceedings citation, and DOI.
Rights Holder:
American Association of Physics Teachers
DOI:
10.1119/perc.2016.pr.068
Keyword:
PERC 2016
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created November 30, 2016 by Lyle Barbato
Record Updated:
December 23, 2016 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
December 29, 2016
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Record Link
AIP Format
H. Sadaghiani, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2016, Sacramento, CA, 2016, WWW Document, (https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14251&DocID=4605).
AJP/PRST-PER
H. Sadaghiani, Spin First vs. Position First instructional approaches to teaching introductory quantum mechanics, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2016, Sacramento, CA, 2016, <https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14251&DocID=4605>.
APA Format
Sadaghiani, H. (2016, July 20-21). Spin First vs. Position First instructional approaches to teaching introductory quantum mechanics. Paper presented at Physics Education Research Conference 2016, Sacramento, CA. Retrieved December 11, 2018, from https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14251&DocID=4605
Chicago Format
Sadaghiani, Homeyra. "Spin First vs. Position First instructional approaches to teaching introductory quantum mechanics." Paper presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2016, Sacramento, CA, July 20-21, 2016. https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14251&DocID=4605 (accessed 11 December 2018).
MLA Format
Sadaghiani, Homeyra. "Spin First vs. Position First instructional approaches to teaching introductory quantum mechanics." Physics Education Research Conference 2016. Sacramento, CA: 2016. 292-295 of PER Conference. 11 Dec. 2018 <https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14251&DocID=4605>.
BibTeX Export Format
@inproceedings{ Author = "Homeyra Sadaghiani", Title = {Spin First vs. Position First instructional approaches to teaching introductory quantum mechanics}, BookTitle = {Physics Education Research Conference 2016}, Pages = {292-295}, Address = {Sacramento, CA}, Series = {PER Conference}, Month = {July 20-21}, Year = {2016} }
Refer Export Format

%A Homeyra Sadaghiani
%T Spin First vs. Position First instructional approaches to teaching introductory quantum mechanics
%S PER Conference
%D July 20-21 2016
%P 292-295
%C Sacramento, CA
%U https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14251&DocID=4605
%O Physics Education Research Conference 2016
%O July 20-21
%O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Conference Proceedings
%A Sadaghiani, Homeyra
%D July 20-21 2016
%T Spin First vs. Position First instructional approaches to teaching introductory quantum mechanics
%B Physics Education Research Conference 2016
%C Sacramento, CA
%P 292-295
%S PER Conference
%8 July 20-21
%U https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14251&DocID=4605


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