June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
22.1109.1 - 22.1109.13
An Applied Quantum Mechanics Course Aligned with the Electrical and Computer Engineering CurriculumAn Applied Quantum Mechanics course for engineers was developed and integrated with theElectrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) curriculum to improve student learning,performance, and affective behaviors. Previously, undergraduate ECE students were required totake a Modern Physics course offered by the Physics Department in which relativity andquantum mechanics were treated separately and without a clear connection to the ECEcurriculum. The objectives for the new course are to (1) improve student cognitiveunderstanding of fundamental quantum mechanical concepts, (2) improve affective behavior ofstudents associated with the learning experience of quantum mechanics, (3) motivate students toenroll in advanced devices courses, (4) improve student success, retention and graduation rates,and (5) increase the number and diversity of students enrolling in fields and devicesconcentration courses.The course was aligned with the existing Electronic Devices course by connecting wavebehavior and quantum theory to the physics and design of solid state devices. Severalinstructional practices were incorporated to improve the student learning experience. First, aspiral teaching model incorporated fundamental quantum concepts with the operation of devicessuch as quantum dots and resonant tunneling diodes. Second, a peer-led team learning modelencouraged active learning in and outside of the classroom, and finally, computer simulationsand software tools provided visualizations of both fundamental and applied quantum concepts.The course structure was subdivided into four parts: Electron Modeling and SemiconductorMaterials; Electromagnetic Waves; Schrödinger Equations and Quantum Applications; andAdvanced Applications: Quantum Dots, Tunneling, Zener Diodes and Resonant TunnelingDiodes.The assessment plan for the course included student performance measures (i.e., enrollment,withdrawals, reduction in elapsed time between quantum mechanics and device courses, andfinal grades in the new course compared with Modern Physics); a review of self-reportedlearning gains, reactions, and attitudes on a Self-Assessed Learning Gains (SALG) measurebased on Seymour, Wiese, and Hunter (2000), concept inventory (under construction) and focusgroups. In addition, the How I Work Inventory (HIWI) and a Work Preference Inventory (WPI)were used to assess the effects of motivation and self-regulation on student performance and todevelop a performance commitment pathway in which these two variables influenceachievement. The course was taught for the first time in the Spring 2010 semester, and initialresults indicate that the course will help meet the learning needs of future electrical engineers, asdemonstrated by student participation and completion and the reactions and attitudes of students.The assessment of knowledge and skills as shown by a concept inventory in quantum mechanicswill continue to be developed. Student-student interactions and the workshops were mentionedas important learning resources. The assessment also indicated that there is room for the additionof more advanced course material for students at the high end.
Quinones, S. A., & Flores, B. C., & Lush, B., & Della-Piana, G., & Ph.D., D. C. (2011, June), NSF CCLI: An Applied Quantum Mechanics Course Aligned with the Electrical and Computer Engineering Curriculum Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. https://peer.asee.org/18995
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