Conceptual change, software development, and curriculum design

Project Tags: 
Education Research
Time Critical: 
Research Project Description: 

We are looking for undergraduates who are interested in how students learn and interact with one another in college classrooms. We work in a number of areas:

  1. qualitative analysis* of student response to collaborative learning activities
  2. qualitative analysis* of student responses on physics assignments to identify areas of confusion
  3. statistical analysis of education data (using Python and R)
  4. creation of curriculum materials and analysis of their effectiveness, including software development

Previous research experience is not required. We encourage you to apply if you are enthusiastic about studying the learning process in physics!

* In our work, qualitative analysis involves analyzing students' written work to find themes and patterns. For example, this may be analyzing various approaches students take to solving a certain physics problem.

Undergraduate Student Participation: 

Students working on software projects will work on a team to code, document, and test education software.

Students creating curriculum will review literature, relevant existing curriculum, and adapt or create new materials.

Students analyzing the effectiveness of curricular materials will learn applicable techniques in quantitative / statistical analysis and qualitative analysis (to analyze free-form responses).

Time Commitment: 

5-12 hours per week

Minimum GPA: 
Other Requirements to Participate: 

No other requirements.

Programming experience may be helpful for some projects, but is not required.

All students (first year through final year) are welcome. You are encouraged to apply while taking Physics 2, 7, or even before starting physics courses at UCI!

Some paid positions are available in summer, depending on project and usually after 1-2 quarters of work
Contact Info: 

Laura Tucker,


How many hours per week will you be able to work on the project? Will you be available to work outside of the academic year (particularly during the Summer)?
List any lab and computer programming courses you have completed (with grades received) and for which you are currently enrolled.
Briefly describe any previous research experience (less than 300 words). If you have previously received course credit for student research, list those courses here (with grades received) and the name(s) of your supervisor(s).
Give a brief statement (less than 300 words) summarizing what qualities you will bring to the research program and explaining what you hope to achieve through your participation. (Is there something essential that you want to get out of the project? Paid position? Senior thesis? Co-author a journal publication?)
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