The goal of my research is to identify sources of student difficulties in learning physics both at the introductory and advanced levels, and to design, implement, and assess curricula/pedagogies that may significantly reduce these difficulties. The objective is to enable students at all levels to develop critical thinking skills, and to become good problem solvers and independent learners.
Below are examples of investigations in both the introductory and advanced courses we are pursuing:
- Difficulties in learning Quantum Mechanics and tutorial development: We have been investigating the difficulties that advanced undergraduate students have in learning quantum physics by designing surveys and interviewing individual students. We find that the difficulties and misconceptions displayed by advanced students are largely independent of their background, teaching style, and textbook similar to those documented for introductory physics. We are currently developing and evaluating tutorials for helping students learn various topics in advanced quantum mechanics.
- Introductory level topics: We have been investigating the difficulties that introductory students have with energy and momentum concepts, symmetry and Gauss's law, magnetism, and rotational and rolling motion concept. We have developed and administered free–response and multiple–choice questions and conducted interviews with individual students using think–aloud protocol to understand their difficulties. We have developed tutorials to help students learn superposition, symmetry, and Gauss's law.
- Cognitive issues in learning physics: We are interested in researching the connection between student difficulties in learning physics and models of cognition. For example, we want to understand how physical intuition develops and how the problem solving strategies of individuals at different levels of expertise in physics shows similaritities and differences when physical intuition fails. We are also investigating how expertise develops in the context of learning physics.
- Teaching effective problem solving: We are currently investigating the extent to which students can be taught effective problem solving heuristics. We are developing video–tutorials that help students learn effective problem solving strategies using concrete examples in an interactive environment. The tutorials are designed to provide scaffolding support and help students view the problem solving process as an opportunity for knowledge and skill acquisition rather than a "plug and chug" chore. Preliminary evaluations are encouraging.
|Brown, Ben||Postdoctoral Fellowfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|DeVore, Seth||Postdoctoral Fellowemail@example.com|
|Good, Melanie||Graduate Studentfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Justice, Paul||Graduate Studentemail@example.com|
|Kalender, Yasemin||Graduate Student|
|Karim, Nafis||Graduate Studentfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Keebaugh, Christof||Graduate Studentemail@example.com|
|Li, Jing||Postdoctoral Fellowfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Maries, Alex||Postdoctoral Fellow|
|Mason, Andrew||Postdoctoral Fellow|
|Sayer, Ryan||Postdoctoral Fellowemail@example.com|
|Whitcomb, Kyle||Graduate Studentfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Yin-Lin, Shih||Postdoctoral Fellow|
|Zhu, Guangtian||Postdoctoral Fellow|
- "Modeling the Interactions Between Polymers and Clay Surfaces through Self-Consistent Field Theory." Anna C Balazs, Chandralekha Singh, and Ekaterina Zhulina. Macromolecules 31.23 (1998)
- "Theoretical Phase Diagrams of Polymer/Clay Composites: the Role of Grafted Organic Modifiers." Valeriy V Ginzburg, Chandralkha Singh, and Anna C Balazs. Macromolecules 33.3 (2000)
- "Student understanding of quantum mechanics," Chandralekha Singh. Am. J. Phys. 69, 885 (2001)
- "Modeling the Phase Behavior of Polymer/Clay Nanocomposites." Anna C Balazs, Chandralekha Singh, Ekaterina Zhulina, and Yulia Lyatskaya. Accounts of Chemical Research 32.8 (1999)
- "Multiple-choice test of energy and momentum concepts," Singh, C., Rossengrant, D. American Journal of Physics
- "Investigating and Improving Introductory Physics Students' Understanding of Electric Field and the Superposition Principle: The Case of a Continuous Charge Distribution." Jing Li and Chandralekha Singh. Physical Review Physics Education Research 15.1 (2019)
- "Improving Student Understanding of Corrections to the Energy Spectrum of the Hydrogen Atom for the Zeeman Effect." Christof Keebaugh, Emily Marshman, and Chandralekha Singh. Physical Review Physics Education Research 15.1 (2019)
- "Fractal Aggregation in Charged Granular Gases." Chandralekha Singh and Marco G Mazza. arxiv 1812.06073 (2018)
- "Female Students with A's have Similar Physics Self-Efficacy as Male Students with C's in Introductory Courses: A Cause for Alarm?" Emily M Marshman, Z Yasemin Kalender, Timothy Nokes-Malach, Christian Schunn, and Chandralekha Singh. Physical Review Physics Education Research 14.2 (2018)
- "Physics Teaching Assistants' Views of Different Types of Introductory Problems: Challenge of Perceiving the Instructional Benefits of Context-Rich and Multiple Choice Problems." Melanie Good, Emily Marshman, Edit Yerushalmi, and Chandralekha Singh. Physical Review Physics Education Research 14.2 (2018)