24-03-2021  Wednesday

12 February to 28 May, 2021

Foundations of Educational Research

Every Wednesday (11:00-13:00), Friday (11:00-13:00)

Venue: Online Meeting/Video Conferencing

Coordinator: Dr. Deepa Chari and Dr. Aniket Sule

Graduate Course (Core)


Dr. Deepa Chari and Dr. Aniket Sule


Ph.D. synopsis seminar by Mr. Shirish Pathare

Date: 24 March, 2021
Time: 14:30 - 15:30

Venue: Online Meeting/Video Conferencing

Coordinator: Dean's Office

Mode of Presentation:

Virtual Classroom Platform [Zoom meeting application]

Zoom link:


Meeting ID:

974 6584 9238




Investigating students’ alternative conceptions in elementary thermodynamics and developing and testing activity-based modules to address them


Heat and thermodynamics is an important area for physics education at the undergraduate level. Due to various reasons, including daily experiences as one of them, students misinterpret these concepts and often develop alternative conceptions about them. In our work, we have investigated undergraduate physics students’ alternative conceptions in elementary thermodynamics.

It is evident from the physics education research literature that conventional instructional strategies are not sufficient to address such alternative conceptions. It is important to introduce active learning strategies to deal with them. The current work has adopted an activity-based approach to challenge alternative conceptions. The developed activity-based modules on, namely, thermal equilibrium and the first law of thermodynamics, consists of a series of activities with experiments/demonstrations, designed with specific objectives along with structured activity-sheets. These modules were implemented using the predict-observe-explain (POE) approach to undergraduate students from different colleges located in different cities across India. The study indicated that the developed modules, by addressing the alternative conceptions, helped in enhancing students' conceptual understanding of the central concepts covered in the module.

In the Indian curricula, the theoretical courses in thermodynamics are not supported by the practical course work. Thus, using the activity-based modules in classrooms as demonstrations or using them as part of a laboratory course is a promising alternative to develop a deeper understanding of the core areas like thermodynamics.