People » Zhongzhou Chen

Dr. Zhongzhou Chen earned his Ph.D. in physics from University of Illinois Urbana Champaign in 2012, specializing in physics education and multimedia learning. In 2013 he joined the RELATE group at MIT as a postdoc, conducting educational research in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) on the edX platform, mentored by Prof. David Pritchard. His current research focuses on analyzing student learning data to improve the effectiveness of online learning, and designing online-learning environments to enhance the quality of measurement and data collection.

UCF Physics Education Research (PER) homepage:

Personal research page:

Dr. Chen’s current research interests include:

  • Understanding and modeling the cognitive mechanism behind learning
  • Developing online instructional methods that makes education more flexible, more cost-effective, and more scalable.
  • Developing accurate, secure and informative means to assess both teaching and learning.
  • Researching effective methods to categorize and curate online educational resources.


Physics and Online Education:
Alexandron, G., Antonio Ruiperez Valiente, J., Chen, Z., & Pritchard, D. E. (2016). Using Multiple Accounts for Harvesting Solutions in MOOCs. Proceedings of the Third ACM Conference on Learning @ Scale, 63–70.
Chen, Z., Chudzicki, C., Palumbo, D., Alexandron, G., Choi, Y.-J., Zhou, Q., & Pritchard, D. E. (2016). Researching for better instructional methods using AB experiments in MOOCs:Results and Challenges. Research and Practice in Technology Enhanced Learning, 11(9).
Chen, Z., & Gladding, G. (2014). How to make a good animation: A grounded cognition model of how visual representation design affects the construction of abstract physics knowledge. Physical Review Special Topics – Physics Education Research, 10(1), 10111.
Chen, Z., Lou, J., Zhu, C., & Schulten, K. (2008). Flow-induced structural transition in the beta-switch region of glycoprotein Ib. Biophysical Journal, 95(3), 1303–1313.
Chen, Z., Ma, C. R., & Ma, Y. L. (2006). Vortex lattices in fast rotating Bose-Einstein condensates between the Thomas-Fermi and the lowest-Landau-level regimes. Physical Review A – Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics, 74(5), 1–4.
Chen, Z., Stelzer, T., & Gladding, G. (2010). Using multimedia modules to better prepare students for introductory physics lecture. Physical Review Special Topics – Physics Education Research, 6(1), 10108.
Chudzicki, C., & Chen, Z. (2015). Learning Experiments Using AB Experiments at Scale. In Second (2015) ACM Conference on Learning@ Scale (pp. 405–408).
Tanner, D. E., Ma, W., Chen, Z., & Schulten, K. (2011). Theoretical and computational investigation of flagellin translocation and bacterial flagellum growth. Biophysical Journal, 100(11), 2548–2556.
Zou, X., Liu, Y., Chen, Z., C??rdenas-Jir??n, G. I., & Schulten, K. (2010). Flow-induced ??-hairpin folding of the glycoprotein ib?? ??-switch. Biophysical Journal, 99(4), 1182–1191.


Oversees the following Graduate Students

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