Peer Instruction for Quantum Mechanics

We are developing and assessing resource material for Peer Instruction in Quantum Mechanics for undergraduate courses.

The resource material includes the ``ConcepTests" for assessment with continuous feedback to the students, standarized assessment tools, reflective questions and the material for Just-In-Time Teaching (JITT) for quantum mechanics courses. The following features of the Peer Instruction tools make them particularly suited for the challenging task of teaching quantum physics:

  1. They are based upon research in physics education and pay particular attention to cognitive issues.
  2. They employ visualization tools to help students build physical intuition about quantum processes.
  3. They consistently keep students actively engaged in the learning process by asking them to predict what should happen in a particular situation and then having them discuss these with their peers.
  4. They attempt to bridge the gap between the abstract quantitative formalism of quantum mechanics and the qualitative understanding necessary to explain and predict diverse physical phenomena without dumbing down the content.
  5. They are based on systematic investigations of difficulties students have in learning various concepts in quantum physics.

The peer-instruction tools give students an opportunity to reflect upon their own learning and take advantage of both their own strengths and those of their peers.

The development of the peer-instruction resource materials goes through a cyclical iterative process that includes research on student difficulties in learning a particular physics concept, followed by the development, evaluation and refinement of the material. f you are teaching quantum mechanics and would like to implement the peer instruction tools in your class and provide us feedback, please send an email to