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ERIC Number: EJ833092
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Mar
Pages: 24
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 40
ISSN: ISSN-0950-0693
Development and Use of a Conceptual Survey in Introductory Quantum Physics
Wuttiprom, Sura; Sharma, Manjula Devi; Johnston, Ian D.; Chitaree, Ratchapak; Soankwan, Chernchok
International Journal of Science Education, v31 n5 p631-654 Mar 2009
Conceptual surveys have become increasingly popular at many levels to probe various aspects of science education research such as measuring student understanding of basic concepts and assessing the effectiveness of pedagogical material. The aim of this study was to construct a valid and reliable multiple-choice conceptual survey to investigate students' understanding of introductory quantum physics concepts. We examined course syllabi to establish content coverage, consulted with experts to extract fundamental content areas, and trialled open-ended questions to determine how the selected content areas align with students' difficulties. The questions were generated and trialled with different groups of students. Each version of the survey was critiqued by a group of discipline and teaching experts to establish its validity. The survey was administered to 312 students at the University of Sydney. Using the data from this sample, we performed five statistical tests (item difficulty index, item discrimination index, item point biserial coefficient, KR-21 reliability test, and Ferguson's delta) to evaluate the test's reliability and discriminatory power. The result indicates that our survey is a reliable test. This study also provided data from which preliminary findings were drawn on students' understandings of introductory quantum physics concepts. The main point is that questions which require an understanding of the standard interpretations of quantum physics are more challenging for students than those grouped as non-interpretative. The division of conceptual questions into interpretive and non-interpretive needs further exploration. (Contains 5 figures and 4 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia