11/6 Preview: Aaron Titus—Physics on steroids-how to give your class a shot in the arm

Our speaker this Wednesday will be Professor Aaron Titus, from High Point University in North Carolina.

Here is an abstract for his talk:

Physics on steroids — how to give your physics class a shot in the arm

I like to define undergraduate research as asking interesting questions and finding answers to those questions. The kinds of topics that many GPD members have described in their blogs are great examples. Video analysis is one of the most economical and flexible experimental techniques to enable students to do undergraduate research, starting with introductory physics. Students’ projects will be demonstrated, with an emphasis on the benefit of undergraduate research in introductory physics in high school and in the first two years of college.

Soccer ball

August 8: Advice for new high school physics teachers

Last week's Global Physics Department meeting was devoted to advice for new high school physics teachers, and featured presentations by 4 new-ish teachers sharing lessons they've learned, including Akwetee Watkins, Daniel Longhurst, Matt McCollum and Steve Nixon. 
Here are a few more additional resources that 

Elluminate recording of Wednesday August 8 discussion on New High School Teacher Advice.

This week's session: Advice for New College Physics Teachers

This week, we'll be giving advice to new college physics teachers. Come to hear advice from faculty who recently began thier careers teaching physics in college. 


Wednesday, August 1: AAPT wrap-up

Last night's Global Physics Department meeting was devoted to a wrap up discussion of the Summer AAPT meeting in Philadelphia that just took place.  We shared highlights from the meeting, talked about ideas that AAPT might be improved, and the overall value face to face conferences in the day of social media. links from the discussion:

Elluminate recording of Wednesday August 1 discussion.

Next Week's session: Advice for New High School Physics Teachers

Next week, we'll be giving advice to new high school physics teachers. To help make this session awesome, we need you to do two things:

  1. Fill our this 5 minute survey with advice for new teachers.

  2. Recruit any new teachers you know to come to our meeting next Wednesday at 9:30 PM EST.

In two weeks, we'll be giving advice to New College/University Physics teachers.

Ted Hodapp and the PhysTEC Teacher Education Coalition

Last night we had a discussion with Ted Hodapp, the Director of Education and Diversity for the American Physical Society, about the state of high school physics teaching and teacher training in the US.

link to recording of discussion with Ted Hodapp


Eugenia Etkina: Rutgers teacher preparation

We talked with Eugenia about her program for preparing physics teachers. She talked about four courses that she teachers that focus on content, pedagogy, and curriculum preparation.

We also continued our discussion of the Physics Problem Database (now at version 0.2!)

Here’s the recording.

Next week we’ll talk with Ted Hodapp from the APS, continuing our conversations about teacher preparation.

The Expert TA: automated partial credit

Last night we talked with Jeremy Morton from The Expert TA. He talked with us about how he’s expanded his PhD research on how to reliably code student work into his current company that competes with WebAssign and others. It also led naturally into a further discussion of our Physics Problem Database (that’s now in Alpha release).

Here’s the link to the recording.

Our next meeting will be in two weeks (we’re taking the US holiday off next week). We don’t yet have a confirmed speaker, so please send Andy (andy.rundquist@gmail.com) some suggestions if you have any.

Rachel Pepper: PER in upper division courses

We talked with Rachel about the efforts she was involved in at the University of Colorado. They made numerous, research-based changes to the advanced E&M course and saw good learning gains.

Here’s her handout:

Pepper UpperDiv Handout GlobalPhysDept

And here’s the recording.

Don’t forget to sign up for our mailing list (on the right side of the home page).

Next week we’ll be talking with Joshua Whitney about particle physics

Greg Jacobs classroom demos

This week we talked with Greg about demonstrations to do on your first day of class. One in particular that got some praise is seen here:

Normal force demo

We also continued our conversation about the physics problem database (that conversation began at the one hour mark).

Here’s the recording

Next week we’ll talk with Rachel Pepper about research she’s done on upper division physics teaching, please join us!