Effectiveness of Spreadsheets implementation and Cooperative Learning on Students’ Conceptual Understanding about Quantum Physics
Tuesday, October 22 2:45 PM-3:05 PM
Students who are studying quantum physics often find the graphing of wave functions and probability density curves difficult and time consuming. The common spreadsheet of Microsoft Excel® is an excellent tool for the teaching of physics. It makes it easy to construct illustrative examples, to manipulate variables, and to plot results in graphical form. In this article efforts have been made to investigate the use spreadsheet simulations in quantum physics on student’s conceptual understanding. Three groups – one control group and two experimental groups of students at third year undergraduate level were studied to determine the role of these simulations in the development of functional understanding of the concepts of wave group, wave function, probability density plots in quantum mechanics. The results of this study strongly support the fact that spreadsheets in cooperative group learning help students confront their cognitive constraints and foster a functional understanding.