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 Fellowemail@example.com|
|DeVore, Seth||Postdoctoral Fellowfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Good, Melanie||Graduate Student|
|Justice, Paul||Graduate Studentemail@example.com|
|Kalender, Yasemin||Graduate Student|
|Karim, Nafis||Graduate Student|
|Keebaugh, Christof||Graduate Studentfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Li, Jing||Postdoctoral Fellow|
|Maries, Alex||Postdoctoral Fellow|
|Marshman, Emily||Postdoctoral Fellowemail@example.com|
|Mason, Andrew||Postdoctoral Fellow|
|Sayer, Ryan||Postdoctoral Fellowfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Whitcomb, Kyle||Graduate Studentemail@example.com|
|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, Ekaterina Zhulina, Macromolecules 31, 8370 (1998)
- "Theoretical phase diagrams of polymer/clay composites: the role of grafted organic modifiers," Valeriy V Ginzburg, Chandralekha Singh, Anna C Balazs, Macromolecules 33, 1089 (2000)
- "Modeling the phase behavior of polymer/clay nanocomposites," Anna C Balazs, Chandralekha Singh, Ekaterina Zhulina, Yulia Lyatskaya, Acc. Chem. Res. 32, 651 (1999)
- "Student understanding of quantum mechanics," Chandralekha Singh, Am. J. Phys. 69, 885 (2001)
- "Connecting three pivotal concepts in K-12 science state standards and maps of conceptual growth to research in physics education," Chandralekha Singh, Christian D. Schunn, arXiv:1603.06024 (2016).
- "Comparing introductory physics and astronomy students’ attitudes and approaches to problem solving," Melanie Good, Andrew Mason, and Chandralekha Singh, EJP-103840.R1 (2018).
- "Investigating and addressing student difficulties with a good basis for finding perturbative corrections in the context of degenerate perturbation theory," Christof Keebaugh, Emily Marshman, and Chandralekha Singh,EJP-103304.R2 (2018).
- "Investigating and improving introductory physics students’ understanding of electric flux," Jing Li and Chandralekha Singh,EJP-103253.R1 (2018).
- "Exploring one aspect of pedagogical content knowledge of teaching assistants using the Conceptual Survey of Electricity and Magnetism," Nafis I. Karim, Alexandru Maries, and Chandralekha Singh, PHYSICAL REVIEW PHYSICS EDUCATION RESEARCH 14, 010117 (2018)
- "Case of two electrostatics problems: Can providing a diagram adversely impact introductory physics students’ problem solving performance?," Alexandru Maries and Chandralekha Singh,PHYSICAL REVIEW PHYSICS EDUCATION RESEARCH 14, 010114 (2018).
- "Investigating and addressing student difficulties with the corrections to the energies of the hydrogen atom for the strong and weak field Zeeman effects," Christof Keebaugh, Emily Marshman, and Chandralekha Singh, EJP-103333.R1 (2018)