Global Physics Coaching

On December 14, we will roll up our sleeves to provide some coaching for each other. To do so, we need people to upload videos of their own classroom, and we need people to commit to viewing and coming to talk about them. 

Use this form to supply information about your video. At that form you’ll be able to give context about your video and explain the privacy settings you’ve elected to use.

Use this form to commit to watching others’ videos. That’s basically just a name and email. 

We need both of those by December 7 so that people will have a week to do the reviewing necessary.

I think this will be one of our best GPD meetings as we’re really stepping up our efforts to help and support each other.


  • November 30: All about Standards-Based Assessment and Retention. This is by popular demand. It’ll be an informal discussion of logistics, complaints, usefulness, and anecdotes.
  • December 7: We’ll talk about how the coaching process can be most useful and determine the best distribution of who should watch what. There’s an outside chance we’ll have a guest speaker that week. If so, we’ll do the logistics stuff via email/posterous.
  • December 14: Big Coaching Day. We’ll likely have both large- and small-group discussions of the various clips of interest.


Teacher coaching

Tonight we talked about helping each other be better teachers. Brian Frank and John Burk talked about how Brian went to visit John’s school and visited with several of the teachers there. I (Andy) talked about having people visit my class as both observers and participants. 

Ultimately we decided to try to get something going regarding coaching each other. By December 7, at least 5 people plan to make available (though password protected) links to ~5 minute clips of their teaching, showing something “interesting” happening. This could be a student interaction gone wrong (or right), a cool demo, trying a new technique, or whatever. Feel free to join us! Then, on December 14 we’ll use Global Physics Department to do some sort of communal feedback session. We’re not totally clear on the details of that yet, as you can probably tell.

Here’s the link to tonight’s recording.

Noah Podolefsky (PhET simulations)

Tonight we heard about the PhET simulations project at the Univeristy of Colorado. Noah walked us through the development process, how they interview students using it, and some of the research they’ve done with it.

Here’s the recording link.

Next week we’re going to talk to John Burk and Brian Frank about coaching, specifically the type of professional coaching teachers might be able to use. It might help if you read this article from the New Yorker before next week:

See you then!


Stephanie Chasteen (communicating PER)

Tonight we spoke with Stephanie Chasteen about how to communicate PER results and ideas.

Here’s the recording.

Here’s her abstract:

I’ll be talking about how Physics Education Research can learn from the experts in science communication.   This will be an excerpt from a plenary talk I did, so I’ll talk and invite discussion along the way.   Just as science journalists are struggling to communicate to a skeptical public about topics such as climate change, physics education researchers are struggling to communicate to physics faculty about research-based instructional strategies.  I’ll talk about some of the ideas and best practices I’ve learned in my career as a science communicator, including a stint at NPR, and how it does (and doesn’t!) apply to this problem — effectively communicating the results of PER to non-PER instructors.