Skip to main content

About Our Research

The Physics and Astronomy Education Research Group conducts research into the teaching and learning of physics and astronomy. We translate this research into active engagement curricula and alternative learning environments that are designed to improve students’ conceptual understandings, reasoning abilities, and problem solving skills.

Areas of Research

Student Difficulties

We study conceptual, reasoning, and quantitative difficulties students experience when studying physics and astronomy.  This research informs our development of active-learning curricula and instructional methods that benefit student learning.

Curriculum Development

We develop research-validated educational materials to help students learn physics or astronomy in both lecture and laboratory settings.

Curriculum Assessment

We use validated assessment tools to evaluate the educational impact of active-learning curricula.  The results of this assessment enable us to iteratively improve our curricula.

Assessment Design

We design assessments to evaluate student understanding and instructional efficacy.  This design follows a rigorous process that utilizes a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods to ensure that the assessments are valid, reliable, and equitable.

Social Aspects

We explore the ramifications of membership in underrepresented groups on learning physics and astronomy.

For more information, please visit our website.