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Characterizing and monitoring student discomfort in upper-division quantum mechanics
written by Giaco Corsiglia, Tyler Garcia, Benjamin P. Schermerhorn, Gina Passante, Homeyra R. Sadaghiani, and Steven J. Pollock
We investigate student comfort with the material in an upper-division spins-first quantum mechanics course. Prelecture surveys probing students' comfort were administered weekly, in which students assigned themselves a "discomfort level" on a scale of 0–10 and provided a written explanation for their choice. The weekly classwide average discomfort level was effectively constant over the semester, suggesting that the class found no single unit especially jarring nor especially easy. Student written responses were coded according to their reported source of discomfort--math, math-physics connection, physics, and notation. The relative prevalence of these categories varied significantly over the semester, indicating that students find that different units present different challenges, and also that some of these challenges fade in importance as the semester progresses. Semi-structured interviews with students in a similar quantum mechanics course at a different institution provided additional context and insight into these results.
Physics Education Research Conference 2020
Part of the PER Conference series
Virtual Conference: July 22-23, 2020
Pages 92-97
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education - Basic Research
- Assessment
= Self Assessment
- Cognition
= Cognition Development
- Student Characteristics
= Affect
Quantum Physics
- Foundations and Measurements
- General
- Spin and Finite Dimensional Systems
- Upper Undergraduate
- Reference Material
= Research study
PER-Central Type Intended Users Ratings
- PER Literature
- Researchers
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Format:
application/pdf
Mirror:
https://doi.org/10.1119/perc.2020…
Access Rights:
Free access
License:
This material is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 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.2020.pr.Corsiglia
NSF Numbers:
1626594
1626280
1626482
Keyword:
PERC 2020
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created August 27, 2020 by Lyle Barbato
Record Updated:
August 31, 2020 by Bruce Mason
Last Update
when Cataloged:
September 1, 2020
ComPADRE is beta testing Citation Styles!

Record Link
AIP Format
G. Corsiglia, T. Garcia, B. Schermerhorn, G. Passante, H. Sadaghiani, and S. Pollock, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2020, Virtual Conference, 2020, WWW Document, (https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=15465&DocID=5313).
AJP/PRST-PER
G. Corsiglia, T. Garcia, B. Schermerhorn, G. Passante, H. Sadaghiani, and S. Pollock, Characterizing and monitoring student discomfort in upper-division quantum mechanics, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2020, Virtual Conference, 2020, <https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=15465&DocID=5313>.
APA Format
Corsiglia, G., Garcia, T., Schermerhorn, B., Passante, G., Sadaghiani, H., & Pollock, S. (2020, July 22-23). Characterizing and monitoring student discomfort in upper-division quantum mechanics. Paper presented at Physics Education Research Conference 2020, Virtual Conference. Retrieved May 17, 2021, from https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=15465&DocID=5313
Chicago Format
Corsiglia, G, T. Garcia, B. Schermerhorn, G. Passante, H. Sadaghiani, and S. Pollock. "Characterizing and monitoring student discomfort in upper-division quantum mechanics." Paper presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2020, Virtual Conference, July 22-23, 2020. https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=15465&DocID=5313 (accessed 17 May 2021).
MLA Format
Corsiglia, Giaco, Tyler Garcia, Benjamin P. Schermerhorn, Gina Passante, Homeyra Sadaghiani, and Steven Pollock. "Characterizing and monitoring student discomfort in upper-division quantum mechanics." Physics Education Research Conference 2020. Virtual Conference: 2020. 92-97 of PER Conference. 17 May 2021 <https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=15465&DocID=5313>.
BibTeX Export Format
@inproceedings{ Author = "Giaco Corsiglia and Tyler Garcia and Benjamin P. Schermerhorn and Gina Passante and Homeyra Sadaghiani and Steven Pollock", Title = {Characterizing and monitoring student discomfort in upper-division quantum mechanics}, BookTitle = {Physics Education Research Conference 2020}, Pages = {92-97}, Address = {Virtual Conference}, Series = {PER Conference}, Month = {July 22-23}, Year = {2020} }
Refer Export Format

%A Giaco Corsiglia
%A Tyler Garcia
%A Benjamin P. Schermerhorn
%A Gina Passante
%A Homeyra Sadaghiani
%A Steven Pollock
%T Characterizing and monitoring student discomfort in upper-division quantum mechanics
%S PER Conference
%D July 22-23 2020
%P 92-97
%C Virtual Conference
%U https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=15465&DocID=5313
%O Physics Education Research Conference 2020
%O July 22-23
%O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Conference Proceedings
%A Corsiglia, Giaco
%A Garcia, Tyler
%A Schermerhorn, Benjamin P.
%A Passante, Gina
%A Sadaghiani, Homeyra
%A Pollock, Steven
%D July 22-23 2020
%T Characterizing and monitoring student discomfort in upper-division quantum mechanics
%B Physics Education Research Conference 2020
%C Virtual Conference
%P 92-97
%S PER Conference
%8 July 22-23
%U https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=15465&DocID=5313


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The AIP Style presented is based on information from the AIP Style Manual.

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