College of Science

Homeyra Sadaghiani [CPP]

SEMINAR — Quantum Mechanics Concept Assessment (QMCA): Development and Validation Study

May 7, 2015 10:50 AM to May 7, 2015 12:00 PM at Building 8, Room 241

QM_conceptsInvestigations of student learning in introductory physics over the last several decades have helped us better assess
student conceptual understanding and identify and address common difficulties in learning physics. Research into student learning of quantum mechanics
(QM) is less mature compared to many other areas of physics. Nonetheless, several researchers have found persistent learning difficulties experienced by students undertaking
the formal study of quantum mechanics.

Well-designed, valid, and reliable assessment tools that are able to capture facets of student understanding of key concepts can help inform instructors about what students are learning. The Quantum Mechanics Concept Assessment (QMCA) is a 31-item multiple choice (MC) concept assessment instrument for first semester upper-division quantum mechanics. During two years of testing and refinement, the QMCA has been given in alpha (N=61) and beta versions (N=263) to students in upper division quantum mechanics courses at 11 different institutions. In this talk, I will discuss the construction process of effective distractors and the use of student interviews and expert feedback to revise and validate both questions and distractors. I will also discuss the results of common statistical tests of reliability and validity, which suggest the instrument is presently in a stable, usable, and promising form.

10:50 a.m. Refreshments

11:00 a.m. Seminar

Building 8 - Room 241

For further information, please call (909) 869-4014

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