Welcome to PhysPort (formerly known as the PER User's Guide), the go-to place for physics faculty to find resources based on physics education research (PER) to support your teaching. Learn more...

Where can I find good activities for small group discussions?

by Sam McKagan, PhysPort director
Nearly all research-based teaching methods in physics involve some kind of small group discussions of challenging conceptual activities. Finding good activities is an important component of making small group discussions work in your class. This recommendation includes links to collections where you can find activities to use in your class.
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active learning, SCALE-UP, Peer Instruction, CAE Think-Pair-Share, Technology-Enhanced Formative Assessment, clickers, cooperative groups

What can I do if students don’t speak up in discussions with peers, or with the whole class?

by Stephanie Chasteen, University of Colorado Boulder
Many active learning techniques require students to discuss their ideas either in small groups or in a large class discussion, but, as you know, students don't always erupt into productive conversation. This eighth chapter of our student engagement series focuses on helping students engage in class discussions. CHAPTER 8: STUDENT DISCUSSIONS.
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engagement, active learning, discussion, productive engagement

Best practices for whiteboarding in the physics classroom

by Sam McKagan and Daryl McPadden
Whiteboards are an indispensable tool that physicists use to work out ideas individually and collaboratively, and to present those ideas, both for public discussion and critique of tentative ideas and for communication of more fully formed ideas. In this recommendation, we offer guidance for how to use whiteboarding effectively in your classroom.
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whiteboarding, best practices, SCALE-UP, Modeling Instruction

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Latest news about PhysPort

Find a physics education consultant to help with your project! PhysPort now hosts an extensive list of consultants available to help on a variety of projects: external evaluators, experts in informal science education, researchers, expert teachers, writers, and editors. Just in time for the Fall grant season! Consider writing in some consultant time for one of these experts into your grants. Many of those listed are seasoned, experienced consultants, but there are also many newer consultants who are eager to get involved in a variety of education projects.

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