Quantum Interactive Learning Tutorials

We are developing and assessing Quantum Interactive Learning Tutorials (QuILTs) for the advanced undergraduate courses.

The following features of the QuILTs 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 providing appropriate feedback.
  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.
  6. They can be used in class by the instructors once or twice a week as supplements to lectures or outside of the class as homework or as self-study tool by students.
  7. They consist of self-sufficient modular units that can be used in any order that is convenient.

Some QuILT modules expose students to contemporary and exciting topics such as quantum teleportation that can be taught using simple two-level systems.

The tutorial development 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. We are currently beta-testing several QuILT modules. If you are teaching quantum mechanics and would like to implement the modules in your class and provide us feedback, please send an email to clsingh@pitt.edu

A majority of the computer-based visualization tools for this project are being developed by M. Belloni and W. Christian at Davidson College under the Open Source Physics (OSP) project (see http://www.opensourcephysics.org/projects/packages/index.html)