AAPT.org - American Association of Physics Teachers

workshop for new physics and astronomy faculty

November 2017 New Faculty Workshop

November 2-5, 2017 - Holiday Inn, College Park, MD

Workshop Schedule

June 2017 New Faculty Workshop

June 12-15, 2017 - Hilton Garden Inn, Greenbelt

June 2017 New Faculty Workshop
New Faculty Workshop - June 2017 - Group 2

The Physics and Astronomy New Faculty Workshop will be held June 12 -15 in Greenbelt, MD. The workshop introduces the faculty members to effective and easy-to-implement interactive engagement teaching methods as well as other to grant-writing best practices and plans for preparing for tenure and promotion decisions.


FINAL June 2017 New Faculty Workshop Program

Pre-workshop Assignment


Rethinking Introductory Physics Lab Courses - Holmes
Using Physlets and Easy JAVA Simulations to Teach Physics and Astronomy - Belloni
PhET Interactive Simulations - Dubson
Suggested Physics PhET Sims
How to get your Students to Prepare for Every Class (JiTT) - Gavrin
What will I do when I get back to the office? - Hilborn
Departmental Ecosystems: Recruitment, Retention, Mentoring, Diversity, Leadership, and More - Hodapp
Change and Adoption: Scaffolding Your New Faculty Workshop Experience - Horii
Links for Addtional Information
Research in physics education: A resource for improving student learning - McDermott and Shaffer
Highlighting PER - The Journey for Traditional Instruction to Active Learning - McNeil
NSF/MPS Grant Opportunities
Active Learning with Interactive Lecture Demonstrations - Sokoloff and Thornton
Beyond the First Year - Turley
Research-based resources on PhysPort - Sayre


November 2016 New Faculty Workshop

November 17-20, 2016 - Holiday Inn, College Park

November 2016 NFW group photo

November 2016 New Faculty Workshop Program

Gavrin: Just-In-Time-Teaching
Heller: Problem Solving
Hodapp: Departmental Ecosystems
Manogue: IE in Upper-Level Physics Courses
Manogue: Upper-Level Curriculum
Manogue: What We Have Learned
Sayre: PhysPort
Belloni: Using PhysLets and Easy Java Simulations to Teach Physics and Astronomy
Prather:  Doppler Extrasolar
Prather: Learner Centered Teaching
Prather: Lecture Tutorials
Mazur: Peer Instruction
Prather: TPS for Problem Solving
Hilborn: What will I do when I get back to the office?
Perkins: Teaching Physics with PhET Simulations
Perkins: Suggested PhET Simulations for Introductory Physics
Perkins: PhET Flyer
McDermott and Shaffer - Research in physics education: A resource for improving student learning


June 2016 New Faculty Workshop

June 20-23, 2016 - Holiday Inn, College Park

2016 nfw group photo


June 2016 New Faculty Workshop Program


PER and Interactive Engagement: The Big Picture - Pollock
PhysPort Data Explorer - McKagan
Research in Physics Education: A Resource For Improving Student Learning - McDermott
Digital Libraries - Mason
What We Learned - Manogue
Interactive Engagement in Upper-Level Physics - Manogue
Helping Your Students Develop Experise in Problem Solving - While Learning Physics  - Heller
Just-ini-Time Teaching (JiTT) - Gavrin
Using PhysLets and Easy Java Simulations To Teach Physics and Astronomy - Belloni
Teaching Physics with PhET simulations: Free, researched, web-based resources - McKagan

Workshop Documents:

CAE - Think-Pair-Share: A Revised "How-To" Guide

PEG - Research as a Guide for Curriculum Development

2016 PheT Pre-workshop Homework

Digital Libraries Pre-workshop Homework

Cooperative Problem Solving in Physics

Martinez Problem Solving

November 2015 New Faculty Workshop

2015 november nfw group photo

November 2015 New Faculty Workshop - Program



2008 New Faculty Workshop Speaker

Since 1996, the American Association of Physics Teachers has sponsored workshops designed to help new faculty at research and four-year institutions understand how to become more effective educators and support their quest to gain tenure.

Because of the pressure to establish their credentials in research or other scholarly activities, new faculty may be tempted to postpone or ignore the development of teaching proficiency. They may receive direct or subtle messages suggesting that only a focus on research will result in career advancement, and there is often a lack of mentors or role models who demonstrate dedication and enthusiasm for teaching.

Similar signals are transmitted to graduate students who may be in training for academic careers. Moreover, because the research universities include many of our large public institutions, a large number of undergraduates may suffer as a result of inadequate preparation of new faculty for teaching.

Data suggest that this inadequate attention to teaching, especially in introductory science and math courses, is responsible for driving students away from undergraduate majors in science, mathematics and engineering.

2009 New Faculty Reunion

To improve the quality of physics teaching on a national scale, AAPT created the New Faculty Workshop. Each workshop presents a small number of techniques that have proven to be effective in a variety of environments. These tactics can be implemented with minimal time and effort, thus allowing new faculty to devote more of their attention to research and scholarship.

In 2002, the American Physical Society and the American Astronomical Society joined with AAPT to expand the reach of this program. Financial support is provided by the National Science Foundation.

What the Workshop Covers

June 2010 Workshop Program

NFW Speaker Demonstrates

A group of leading figures in physics education has committed its time and effort to participating in the program on an ongoing basis. Leading physics education researchers tackle topics including:

  • the difficulties that students encounter with physics concepts
  • how-to strategies for teaching problem solving
  • ideas for interactive teaching and peer instruction
  • the proper uses of technology in lecture and lab settings
  • issues dealing with undergraduate enrollment, curricula, and retention
  • case studies on how to teach inclusively so that all students have equal opportunities to succeed

Some of the things that the Workshop offers to new faculty:

  • A focus on the introductory course along with lessons that apply to advanced undergraduate and graduate courses
  • Presentations surrounding effective teaching ideas that can be reproduced with minimum time and effort
  • Exploration of new developments in physics and astronomy curriculum and pedagogy
  • Materials provided for immediate application in the classroom
  • Facilitated discussions between new faculty, guided by a resource person. Popular topics include: promotion and tenure issues, dual-career couples, time management, and balancing professional and personal activities
  • Opportunities to meet with program officers from the National Science Foundation's research and education directorates

How to Participate

  New Faculty Workshop - Talk

Each spring and fall, department chairs at research and four-year institutions are asked to nominate tenure-track faculty in the first few years of their initial appointment. The ideal candidate would have a year or two of teaching experience so that they are aware of the challenges of the first year of teaching.

Participation continues to increase, with numbers reaching nearly 100 at each workshop. The program has grown in popularity, and for the last several years many qualified participants have had to be turned away and placed on a waiting list for the next workshop.

Many department chairs have seen the positive effect that participation in the workshop has had on their new faculty, and have sent more people in subsequent years.

The department chair is asked to verify that the institution will pay for the participant’s travel to the workshop, which is usually held at the American Center for Physics in College Park, MD. A grant from the National Science Foundation pays participant costs for lodging and meals.

For more information about the program, contact AAPT at 301-209-3340, or at programs@aapt.org

National Science Foundation
This program is funded by grants # DUE-0813481, DUE-0121384, and DUE-9554738 from the National Science Foundation.