Virtual New Faculty Workshop

What is the Virtual New Faculty Workshop?

Videos of presentations from the live Workshop for New Faculty in Physics and Astronomy feature:

  • leaders in physics education research and curriculum development
  • teaching techniques proven to work in many environments
  • cutting-edge developments in physics/astronomy curriculum and pedagogy

Workshop Videos

Research in Physics Education - A Resource for Improving Student Learning

Dr. Lillian McDermott
Learn from Lillian McDermott, one of the pioneers of physics education research, how such research can guide effective instruction in introductory physics, in graduate TA training, and in PD for K-12 teachers. Learn the key findings that have transformed our understanding of student learning and led to the development of the Tutorials in Introductory Physics, a highly effective curriculum.

Tutorials in Introductory Physics, Physics by Inquiry

PhET Interactive Simulations

Dr. Michael Dubson
Learn best practices for incorporating PhET simulations into lecture demos, virtual labs, clicker questions, and homework. PhET is a suite of free, online, interactive simulations for teaching and learning physics and other sciences. They are open-ended and game-like, with an intuitive interface. They make the invisible visible and enable scientist-like exploration and real-world connections.

PhET Interactive Simulations

Using Physlets and Easy Java Simulations to teach Physics and Astronomy

Dr. Mario Belloni
Learn to use Physlets, interactive applets for teaching physics, and Easy Java Simulations for modeling and authoring with basic Java programming. You can use them as in-class exercises, Just-in- Time Teaching warm-ups and puzzles, lab prepatory exercises, and extensions to traditional problem sets, in intro physics, intermediate classical mechanics, advanced quantum, and general relativity.

Physlets, Open Source Physics Collection

How to Get Your Students to Prepare for Every Class

Dr. Andrew Gavrin
Learn to use Just-in- Time Teaching (JiTT), a pedagogical system in which students answer questions online before class, in a variety of class settings. JiTT establishes feedback between students' homework/study time and in-class time, improving student engagement and morale, promoting active learning in the classroom, and helping students to stay caught up in the class.

Just-in-Time Teaching

Learner-Centered Teaching in Physics and Astronomy

Dr. Edward Prather
Learn techniques for intellectually engaging students in lecture classes of all sizes, including mega-lectures. Flashcards, lecture-tutorials, and student assistants allow you to engage all students in active thinking and learning, even in a class with hundreds of students. Research shows that with effective implementation, these techniques lead to large improvements in student learning.

CAE Think/Pair/Share, Lecture-Tutorials for Introductory Astronomy

Upper Level Physics - Lessons from Paradigms

Dr. Corrine Manogue
Learn about general strategies and specific exercises for teaching upper division physics from the Paradigms in Physics program, framed in terms of general principles and concrete suggestions for your teaching. Learn about computer simulations, kinesthetic activities, whiteboarding, compare and contrast activities, multiple representations, and other small group activities.

Paradigms in Physics

Evaluation and Assessment

Dr. Karen Cummings
Learn to set learning goals for your course and use a variety of pre/post assessments to find out what you're students are and aren't learning and to improve your classes. Good assessment allows you to shift the focus of your class from teaching to learning.


Teaching for Retention - Diversity Issues

Dr. James Stith
Learn how unconscious bias and stereotype threat can negatively impact your students and colleagues, even in physics departments, and what you can do about it. Use case studies to reflect on real-world situations you might face as a physics professor, so that you are prepared to deal with them when they arise. Learn strategies to address the challenges and benefits of diversity.


Doing What Matters First - Time Management for Busy Professors

Dr. Timothy Slater
Academics are pulled in many directions, so managing time effectively is a critical skill for a new professor. Learn strategies and systems to manage your time, including figuring out what matters, using technology to support you rather than distract you, batching your work, and scheduling your time.


The Physics IQ Test

Dr. Richard Berg
Predict the outcome of brainteaser physics questions, and see physics demonstration experiments that answer them. Learn to use these counterintuitive questions in classroom discussion with Peer Instruction or demonstrations. Find more questions like this in the Physics Question of the Week section of the University of Maryland Physics Lecture-Demonstration website.


Confessions of a Converted Lecturer

Dr. Eric Mazur
Hear Eric Mazur recount the story of how he discovered that his lectures weren't working (in spite of rave reviews from his students), and responded by inventing Peer Instruction, an interactive engagement approach that leads to improved student learning in a modified lecture setting. Learn how you can use Peer Instruction to support active learning in your classroom. (This presentation is not part of the New Faculty Workshop, but is similar to the presentation Dr. Mazur regularly gives there.)


The SCALE-UP Project: Student-Centered Active Learning Environments With Upside-Down Pedagogies

Dr. Bob Beichner
Learn how with the Student-Centered Active Learning Environment with Upside-down Pedagogies (SCALE-UP) project, now in use by more than 1/3 of all STEM majors at more than 150 institutions nationwide, can promote active learning, enable students to practice communication and teamwork skills, and boost the performance of underrepresented groups, even in large classes. (This presentation is not part of the New Faculty Workshop, but is similar to the kinds of presentations given there.)