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2010 Summer Meeting

2011 AAPT Summer Meeting
July 30-August 3, 2011
Omaha, Nebraska

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Assessment of Student Understanding in Modern Physics
  Location: HC 3028
  Date: Monday, Aug.1
  Time: 7:20 PM -7:30 PM
  Author: Jessica Uscinski, American University
  Co-Author(s): Teresa L. Larkin
  Abstract: A number of tools are widely available to assess student understanding of key concepts in introductory physics, but less so for modern physics and quantum mechanics. The Modern Physics course at American University presents an ideal opportunity for conceptual assessment given its somewhat atypical student composition. In this study, student understanding of the photoelectric effect is probed using a variety of measures. A quantitative assessment was first performed using the Quantum Physics Conceptual Survey (QPCS)*. A series of both qualitative and quantitative exam questions were then developed and given as additional assessment measures of the photoelectric effect. In this presentation we summarize the pre-/post-gains of the assessments and correlate them with academic background and performance. The preliminary results from these assessment methods will be discussed in the larger context of how assessment measures can be maximized to enhance student understanding in a modern physics course.
  Footnotes: *Wuttiprom, S., Sharma, M. D., Johnston, I. D., Chitaree, R., & Soankwan, C. (2009). Development and use of a conceptual survey in introductory quantum physics. International Journal of Science Education, 31(5), 631-654.
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