Pilot case

Atomien ja molekyylien kvanttimekaniikka ja spektroskopia (AMOKS) -course

Developing an effective course unit for the instruction in quantum chemistry and spectroscopy based on latest pedagogical research.
Atomien ja molekyylien kvanttimekaniikka ja spektroskopia (AMOKS) -course

Pilot leader

Lauri Partanen


School of Chemical Engineering


Spring 2020 – Spring 2021


Currently, students in the Kemian tekniikka –bachelor’s program learn quantum mechanics in a course organized by the physics department (Aineen rakenne, PHYS-A2140). This is problematic, because the physics course includes superfluous topics such as special relativity, while not putting sufficient weight on important topics of quantum chemistry like the formation of many-electron atoms. The course includes labwork, but the labs also focus on phenomena that are more relevant to physicists than chemists, such as the diffraction of light and radioactivity. Consequently, a number of chemistry students feel that the course topics feel detached from other courses. They fail to learn how quantum mechanics forms the foundation of all chemical reactions and enables the existence of compounds. This problem becomes especially apparent at the beginning of the Master’s level quantum mechanics course, where many students often cannot recall even the very basics of quantum mechanics.

Quantum chemistry is a deep and interesting field that permeates much of chemistry. We want to get students to appreciate this, and share the sense of excitement and wonder that comes from studying the interaction between light and matter or the structure of atoms. Unfortuntaly, learning quantum mechanics is often challenging due to the radical conceptual overhaul required and the heavy use of mathematics.[1] Thus, we aim to develop a new course for chemistry students that is suitable or their level of mathematical understanding and is based on the latest pedagogical research in the field.

[1] Marshman E. and Singh C. Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res., 2015https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.11.020119

Platforms and tools

The pilot will employ the Perusall platform [2] for reading assignments in conjunction with different MyCourses-tools such as quizzes and workshops.

[2] Miller, K., Lukoff, B., King, G., & Mazur, E.Frontiers in Education, 2018 https://doi.org/10.29060/TAPS.2018-3-3/PV2000

Pedagogical methods

The course structure is influenced by elements from extreme apprenticeship, blended learning, flipped learning, student-centred teaching, peer learning, active learning. The Perusall platform is an online reading tool. The different MyCourses-tasks are also online.

Involved courses

CHEM-A1240 – Quantum Mechanics and Spectroscopy of Atoms and Molecules (5 ECTS)


Lauri Partanen
School of Chemical Engineering, Department of Chemistry and Materials Science
Pilot leader

Matias Jääskeläinen
School of Chemical Engineering, Department of Chemistry and Materials Science
Content creator, Teaching Assistant

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