Chandra Orrill

Chandra Orrill


STEM Education & Teacher Development

Research website




Liberal Arts 399L


1993University of AlabamaB.A. - Computer Applications in Music
1996Indiana UniversityInstructional Systems Technology
1999Indiana UniversityInstructional Systems Technology


  • Mathematics Education Ph.D. Courses
  • Middle School Mathematics Content Courses for Teachers
  • Educational Technology
  • Educational Assessment





Research skills development for STEM Education. This course aims to synthesize prior coursework/research experience, focusing on methods and research questions, in preparation for students' main research project in Year 3. It also focuses on the development of skills to defend one's work and preparation for the written component of the student's qualifying exams. Students will develop essential experience/skills in designing research, reading research critically, writing scholarly work, and developing proposals for research funding. Students will give oral presentations on their research topics and plan of study for peer review


Research Activities

  • Computational Thinking Counts in Elementary Grades: Powerful STEM Teaching and Learning for the 21st Century - Funded by the National Science Foundation
  • Advancing Middle School Teachers’ Understanding of Proportional Reasoning for Teaching - Funded by Institute of Educational Sciences
  • Usable Measures of Teacher Understanding: Exploring Diagnostic Models and Topic Analysis as Tools for Assessing Proportional Reasoning for Teaching - Funded by the National Science Foundation


Research Interests

  • Teacher Knowledge of Proportions and Fractions
  • Development of Tools and Curriculum for Supporting Teacher Learning of Mathematics
  • Integration of Computational Thinking into Elementary Math Classrooms

Select publications

  • Weiland, T., Orrill, C. H., Nagar, G. G., Brown, R. E., & Burke, J. (2020).
    Framing a robust understanding of proportional reasoning for teachers
    Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education
  • Orrill, C. H., Copur-Gencturk, Y., Cohen, A., & Templin, J. (2020).
    Revisiting purpose and conceptualization in the design of assessments for teachers of mathematics.
    Research in Mathematics Education, 22, 209-224.
  • Brown, R. E., Weiland, T., & Orrill, C. H. (2019).
    Mathematics teachers’ use of knowledge resources when identifying proportional situations
    International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 18, 1085-1104.

Dr. Orrill holds a Ph.D. in Instructional Systems Technology from Indiana University. She joined the faculty at UMass Dartmouth in 2010 after serving as a Research Scientist at the University of Georgia for nearly a decade. Dr. Orrill has taught a wide variety of courses in the MAT program and the Mathematics Education and STEM Education PhD programs including: Math Methods for Middle School Teachers, Math Methods for High School Teachers, Introduction to Mathematics Education Research, Introduction to Science Education Research, Proportional Reasoning for Middle School Teachers, K-12 STEM Reform in a Political Context, Developing Research Skills Part 2, and Research on Teacher Education. She has two main research areas. First, she has been examining how middle school math teachers understand proportions and fractions, how we can use emerging assessment models to better understand teacher knowledge, and how we can create instructional materials to support teachers’ understandings. Second, she is interested in how to integrate computational thinking into elementary math classrooms. All of this work has been done in ongoing, long-term partnerships with schools and teachers. Dr. Orrill has published more than 80 journal articles, chapters, and published proceedings in venues that include Journal of Research for Mathematics Education, Mathematical Thinking and Learning, Educational Researcher, and Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education. She has also presented over 100 papers at national and international conferences. Dr. Orrill has also been awarded more than 25 grants with a net value in excess of $8 million.

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