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Developing and Evaluating Research-Based Learning Tools for Quantum Mechanics

Keebaugh, Christof (2018) Developing and Evaluating Research-Based Learning Tools for Quantum Mechanics. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Here I present my work on developing and evaluating research-based learning tools for quantum mechanics. In particular, I will discuss the development and evaluation of two Quantum Interactive Learning Tutorials (QuILTs) focusing on Degenerate Perturbation Theory (DPT) and a System of Identical Particles. The QuILTs are guided by several learning theories from cognitive science and strive to help students develop a more robust understanding of the concepts covered. The investigation was carried out in advanced quantum mechanics courses by administering free-response and multiple-choice questions and conducting individual interviews with students. It was found that students share many common difficulties related to relevant physics concepts. They had difficulty with mathematical sense-making and applying linear algebra and combinatorics concepts correctly in this novel context of quantum mechanics. I describe how the research on student difficulties was used as a guide to develop and evaluate the QuILTs, which strives to help students develop a functional understanding of concepts necessary for DPT and a system of identical particles. I also discuss the development and validation of the DPT QuILT focusing on these issues and its in-class evaluation in the undergraduate and graduate courses that focused on these issues.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Keebaugh, Christofckk10@pitt.educkk100000-0001-6926-5267
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairSingh, Chandralekhaclsingh@pitt.educlsingh
Committee MemberKosowsky, Arthurkosowsky@pitt.edukosowsky
Committee MemberDevaty, Robertdevaty@pitt.edudevaty
Committee MemberShuman, Larryshuman@pitt.edushuman
Committee MemberClark, RussellRussell.Clark@pitt.edurussell.clark
Date: 27 September 2018
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 13 July 2018
Approval Date: 27 September 2018
Submission Date: 10 July 2018
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 840
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Physics
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: quantum mechanics, tutorials, degenerate perturbation theory, identical particles
Date Deposited: 27 Sep 2018 19:32
Last Modified: 27 Sep 2018 19:32

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