PhysPort Help

Can’t find the answer you’re looking for below? Contact us.

Contributing to PhysPort

Q: How can I contribute an expert recommendation, teaching method, or assessment to PhysPort?

A: See our contribute page for details about how to contribute to PhysPort.

Q: How can I suggest content for PhysPort without writing it myself?

A: You can always contact us to tell us your ideas about what we should include on PhysPort.

Registration, educator verification, and access to restricted resources

PhysPort contains several kinds of resources for which access is restricted to verified educators, so our registration includes educator verification. For more details about who is eligible to register on PhysPort as a verified educator and how to do so if you are eligible, please see our Guidelines for Access to Restricted Resources on PhysPort.

Q: How can I register / become a verified educator on your site?

A: To register for PhysPort, if you are a physics educator, click the register link in the header and follow the instructions to register and get verified. If you are a regular member of the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) or (coming soon!) the American Physical Society (APS), you can use your AAPT or APS login to get instant verification. Otherwise, you will be asked to provide one of the following:

  • URL of a website at your institution that lists you as a faculty member, teacher, instructor, or education researcher, and includes your email address (preferred)
  • URL of a journal article or conference description that lists you as an author or participant, and includes your email address
  • an explanation of another way we can verify that you are an educator

If you are not sure whether you are eligible, please see our Guidelines for Access to Restricted Resources on PhysPort.

Teaching methods

Q: How do I get my teaching materials on PhysPort? 

A: Please see this page for details about how to get your teaching method on PhysPort.


Q: Can I give an assessment from your site online?

A: Please see our guidelines for administering concept inventories online for recommendations.

Q: Can I translate an assessment into another language?

A: Yes, we are always happy to have assessments translated into other languages. First check whether we already have an appropriate translation by going to the page for the assessment of interest and clicking on the “Translations” tab. To access the instrument, click on the big green arrow on the assessment page that says “Login or Register to Download”, and follow the instructions to get verified as an educator. If you have translated an assessment, please contact us and send us a pdf of your translation and a list of the full name(s) of the translator(s), so we can make it available for other PhysPort users.

Q: I am having issues translating an assessment into another language. Do you have any advice? 

A: Unfortunately we don’t have much guidance I can give you on this question. We know it is a common issue that just translating the words in an assessment is insufficient when cultural differences make the questions less applicable, and different translators address this in different ways. However, we don’t think there are any standards that have been agreed upon for how to best handle this issue. At PhysPort we provide translations that others make as a service to our users, but we are not experts on the actual process of translation, and can’t really help with that. You may want to contact the developers of the assessment to ask for their advice on how they would like it translated. If you come up with a solution that you are satisfied with, we would be happy to host your translation on PhysPort if you send us a pdf.

Q: May I have permission to use an assessment in my study? 

A: You do not need any explicit permission to use any of the assessments on PhysPort for research purposes. Just be sure to cite the papers about them in any publications about your research.

Q: May I have permission to use an assessment in my class?

A: You do not need any explicit permission to use any of the assessments on PhysPort in your class.

Q: How can I access a certain assessment? 

A: To access any of our assessments, please go to page for that assessment. Then click the big green button where it says “Login or Register to Download”, and follow the instructions to be verified as an educator.

Q: I found a copy of an assessment online. What should I do? 

A: We maintain strict security for most research-based assessments in order to keep them out of the hands of students, because if students use these tests to study, it reduces the usefulness and validity of the tests for research and assessment. If you find one of our restricted resources available online where anyone can see it, please contact us and let us know so we can contact the site owner and try to get it taken down.

Q: I’m developing an assessment. How do I get my assessment on PhysPort?

A: Please see this page for details about how to get your assessment on PhysPort.

Q: Do you have advice on the process for developing a research-based assessment? 

A: There is no official process for creating, testing, and publishing an assessment. PhysPort does not oversee or give advice on the process of instrument validation, we simply make available assessments that others have created using a variety of development and validation methods. While there is no standard process or consensus, there are some general principles that are widely agreed upon, which we have attempted to explain in the following article:

A. Madsen, S. B. McKagan, and E. C. Sayre, Resource Letter RBAI-1: Research-Based Assessment Instruments in Physics and Astronomy, Am. J. Phys. 85, 4 (2017).

Data Explorer

For questions about the Data Explorer, please see our Data Explorer Troubleshooting Page and Data Explorer Security FAQ.


Q: Are there Periscope-type videos from other content areas? Or activities which are not as content-specific? 

A: On the “all lessons” page, you can filter by “STEM-wide audiences” to find lessons that are less physics-specific and more appropriate for audiences outside of physics. All our lessons are currently from physics classes, but we are very interested in expanding Periscope to other STEM disciplines as part of future work. If you are interested in collaborating with us on such a project, please contact us.

Q: Is there a way for my learning assistants to access Periscope lessons directly?

A: Periscope lessons are best used for group discussion in an in-person class, and the videos are short enough to enable you to show them to your students live and discuss them immediately. We encourage you to use Periscope lessons in class using the recommendations in our Periscope facilitator guide. However, if you need your students to access Periscope directly for remote instruction or for some other reason, we’ve set a student account that your students can use to access Periscope. Please contact us to get access to the student account.