Investigating transfer of learning in advanced quantum mechanics Documents
Alexandru Maries, Ryan Sayer, and Chandralekha Singh
Research suggests that students often have difficulty transferring their learning from one context to another. We examine upper-level undergraduate and graduate students' facility with questions about the interference pattern in the double-slit experiment (DSE) with single photons and polarizers of various orientations placed in front of one or both slits. Before answering these types of questions, students had worked through a tutorial on the Mach-Zehnder Interferometer (MZI) in which they learned about interference of single photons when polarizers of various orientations are placed in the two paths of the MZI. After working on the MZI tutorial, students were asked similar questions in the isomorphic context of the DSE. We discuss the extent to which they were able to transfer what they learned in the context of the MZI to analogous problems in the isomorphic context of the DSE.
Last Modified December 16, 2015
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