Chemistry Education

Chemistry Education Research investigates how people learn Chemistry.

Exploring how to embed general pedagogical research concepts in chemistry education. Some examples of areas of chemistry education research are evaluating effectiveness of active learning and engagement, novel digital education tools, assessment and feedback, Chemistry models and representations, and building inclusive communities for cohesive learning.

Theme leaders: Dr Vicky Hilborne and Dr Miguel Rivera

Theme Academics:

Dr Vicky Hilborne

My interests in chemistry education research are assessment and feedback, guided inquiry, active learning and sustainability for chemistry education. Solving sustainability as described by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals is important in chemistry research. Chemistry education, should therefore address understanding of sustainability, and develop skills for tackling and focussing ill-defined problems. Improving assessment and feedback using active learning. Systems thinking and network science can help to encompass the interdisciplinary nature of chemistry sustainability problem solving and form simpler paths through complex information. The focus is to link core chemistry principles to sustainability, delivering transformative learning, which in turn is essential for advising research, policy and lawmakers.

Vicky Hilborne Sustainable Chemistry
Dr Samson Khene and Dr Neha Arora

Reimagining Student Engagement in Chemistry Tutorials: An initiative aimed at decreasing the awarding gap in Chemistry.

The aim of our project is to understand how knowledge and curriculum practices experienced in second year chemistry tutorials enable or constrain epistemic access to Black, Asian and Minority ethnic (BAME) students and neurodiverse students. Understanding the barriers to epistemic access will enable development of a more focused intervention towards improving the 2:1 award gap between white and minority ethnic students. This will involve monitoring and measuring impact of actions we take in solving the problem. The project will draw on current literature on teaching and learning to design prompts or strategies to support engagement in the tutorial sessions. We hope to design tutorial activities which focuses on enabling epistemic access to Physical and Inorganic chemistry disciplines.

Samson Khene and Neha Arora
Dr Stephen Potts

My research is concerned with pedagogy and its evaluation, which involves designing or updating teaching methods, such as assessment, and critically evaluating the outcomes of that design or update. With my focus on e-learning, I facilitate the introduction of online or computer-based platforms within the department and evaluate their effectiveness in enhancing the student experience and engagement with the subject. For example, design and assessment of new online activities on molecular symmetry to foster more active learning, development of a new welcome page for incoming undergraduates to ease the information overload in induction week and which online activities are most effective for remote learning in terms of student engagement and efficacy.

Dr Miguel Rivera

The Rivera group is interested in models and representations in Chemistry Education. They develop tools for the visualisation of Quantum Chemical simulations by animations. Current work is the exploration of aural representations for quantum models. They aim to engage with the fields of art and pedagogy to create new ways of sensing unintuitive concepts such as wavefunctions or electron densities.

Miguel Rivera Graphic
Dr Anna Roffey

My research is in the area of chemical education and pedagogy, which involves designing or updating teaching methods, such as assessment, and critically evaluating the outcomes of that design or update. My particular focus is the postgraduate taught (PGT) student transition and experience, how these MSc and MRes students adapt to studying in what is often a new institution, city, country, and language of instruction. I am also interested in peer-to-peer learning and so-called peer assessment activities, student perceptions and the efficacy of such activities.

Dr David Palomas Dona

My research interests are focused on two main themes:

  • Active learning and inclusive practices in education. I aim to create a ‘shuttle’ between Learners and Educators by addressing student resistance to active learning. I want to explore the benefits of active learning methods, such as the flipped classroom, and develop educational practices and training programs to support students and faculty members in their transition to active learning practices.
  • Lab-based chemical education for chemical sustainability. I am interested in designing and implementing laboratory experiments that assist students in developing a more comprehensive understanding of sustainable chemistry concepts and their real-world applications.

David Palomas




Department Resources:
Research Fellowships
Research Facilities
Technical Services

UCL Resources:
Institutional Research Information System (IRIS)
UCL Discovery

Research Theme Contact:
Dr Vicky Hilborne
Email: v.hilborne@ucl.ac.uk

Dr Miguel Rivera
Email: miguel.rivera@ucl.ac.uk