2-7 June 2019
Simon Fraser University
America/Vancouver timezone
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Conceptual Understanding Through Visual Reasoning: An Example from Quantum Mechanics

5 Jun 2019, 11:30
SCC 9051 (Simon Fraser University)

SCC 9051

Simon Fraser University

Invited Speaker / Conférencier(ère) invité(e) Physics Education / Enseignement de la physique (DPE-DEP) W1-2 Teaching for Physics Skills Development (DPE) | Développement d'aptitudes pour l'enseignement de la physique (DEP)


Dr Gina Passante (California State University Fullerton)


Analyzing, constructing, and translating between graphical, pictorial, and mathematical representations of physics ideas and reasoning flexibly through them is a key characteristic of expertise. Abundant research shows that university physics students at all levels struggle to employ representations consistently and reflectively, but little instruction in physics is explicitly designed with this purpose in mind. We discuss how development of curricular activities intentionally designed to improve visual learning can improve student conceptual and visual understanding in physics using examples from quantum mechanics. The activities combine interactive computer simulations and University of Washington style tutorials. We will also discuss how learning theories have shaped the structure of the activities. We present results from pre, mid, and posttests to assess transitions in student thinking.

Primary author

Dr Gina Passante (California State University Fullerton)


Dr Antje Kohnle (St Andrews University)

Presentation Materials