Madhu Mahalingam PhD

Madhu Mahalingam PhD

Interim Chair, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry
Undergraduate Program Director
Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry


BS (University of Delhi)

MS (Indian Institute-New Delhi)

PhD (SUNY Stony Brook)

Research Interests

  • Develop and evaluate effective approaches for ‘scaffolding’ student learning with appropriate use of learning technology both synchronously and asynchronously.
  • Develop and adopt new methodologies in chemistry instruction that promote a shift from faculty-centered teaching to learner-centered teaching.


I am interested in the development and adoption of methodologies in chemistry instruction that enable students to become engaged learners, shifting the focus from faculty instruction to student learning. The goal is to improve students understanding of chemistry, their ability to apply learning to new situations, and enhance their critical thinking and problem solving skills. Currently, ‘scaffolding’ of student learning is achieved by interweaving asynchronous online learning, in the form of online homework and timed online quizzes, with face-to-face learning, in lecture and recitation. This is designed to help transition students’ knowledge levels and problem solving abilities from level 1 skills (recall, repeat, reproduce, state) to level 2 (explain, classify, recognize), and finally to higher order thinking skills, level 3 and 4 (application, analysis, interpretation, comparison) (Anderson et. al. (2001)). All of the activities enable students to assess their comprehension and skills relative to their peers, therefore, developing their metacognitive skills.  Assessment of student learning as a result of adoption of these methodologies is an important component of the research.

Selected Scholarly Activity

  • Madhu Mahalingam, Fred Schaefer and Elisabeth Morlino, “Promoting Student Learning Through Group Problem Solving in General Chemistry Recitations”, J. Chem. Educ. 85, 1577 (2008).
  • Madhu Mahalingam and Elisabeth Morlino, ‘Technology as a Tool to Develop Problem Solving Skills in General Chemistry’ in ‘The Plugged-In Professor”, Editors: S. P. Ferris & H. A. Wilder, Chandos Publishing, (2013)
  • Madhu Mahalingam, Elisabeth Morlino and Elisabetta Fasella, ‘ Case Study on MasteringChemistry website: ‘Redesigning the general chemistry course to increase the level of student problem solving via the use of MasteringChemistry, clickers, and collaborative activities resulted in higher exam scores and increased student success rates’. (2013)
  • Poster: ‘Effect of Cooperative Prelab and Postlab group discussions in University Level General Chemistry Laboratories’, European Conference on Research in Chemical Education, July 2014
  • Podium presentation: ‘Using Group Discussions to Improve Student Engagement and Learning in General Chemistry Laboratories’, ACS National Meeting, Boston, August 2015
  • Madhu Mahalingam and Sarah Saylor, General Chemistry I Lab Manual and General Chemistry II Lab manual, Bluedoor Publishing, (2016)
  • Madhu Mahalingam and Elisabetta Fasella, ‘Effective Use of Technology for Asynchronous Learning to Elevate Students’ Knowledge and Problem Solving Ability, in ‘Unplugging from the Classroom”, Editors: S. P. Ferris & H. A. Wilder, Elsevier Publishing, p149-158, (2017)
  • Mahalingam, M.; Morlino, E.; Fasella, E. The Impact of Technology Assisted ‘Scaffolding’ on Student Learning in General Chemistry. In Technology Integration in Chemistry Education and Research (TICER); ACS Symposium Series #1318, Edited by Tanya Gupta and Robert E. Belford, p 233-245, (2019)
  • Madhu Mahalingam, Phyllis Blumberg, ‘Using Sustained Assessment Practices for Improving Student Learning Outcomes at Course and Program levels’ The Journal of Assessment and Institutional Effectiveness, JAIE 8.1-2, (2019)

Contact Information

Office location: Griffith Hall Room 147D
Mailing address: Box 48
University of Sciences
600 South 43rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-4495
Office Phone: 215-596-7549

m [dot] mahali [at] usciences [dot] edu