Physics Education Resources

It has been a while since my last list post, and I feel like focusing more on my mission for this blog. With this in mind, I would like to share a list of my favorite resources for physics teaching and physics education research (PER). Hopefully some of these are familiar, and if you use others, let me know in the comments section.

  • MIT Open Courseware
    • A growing collection of course materials from MIT. I find these to be most useful as a reference to see what other students are seeing in Physics. There can be a lot of flexibility in a curriculum and as a young professor, I like to see what other people are doing in their courses. There are a lot of reasons that I can’t use these courses verbatim, but it’s nice to see what is happening at a leading institution.
  • Concept Tests (PER@C)
    • One of the easiest things you can do for your course in Physics is to check student conceptual understanding. It is most insightful to pre- and post-test and it’s important not to use these as for-credit exams. This is a test of your abilities as a teacher more than a test of your students… the sooner you come to terms with this idea the better.
  • NCSU Concept Test links
    • Another list of concept tests for a wide variety of courses.
  • PhET Java-based Concept Simulations
    • Ever thought there had to be a better way to teach a new concept? Sometimes all it takes is a good simulation and giving students a chance to tinker around with some different scenarios. Many of the PhET sims are designed to help students build intuition as a preparation to a more thorough understanding.
  • PER Central
    • A general resource for Physics Education Research.

I’m sure there are many other good sites, but these are the ones I end up referring to quite a bit. In the future, I will discuss these topics in other posts, so feel free to contact me with any questions about how I’ve used these resources.


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