Distance Education and Online Learning in Physics Workshop

June 1-2, 2013
The American Center for Physics
College Park, Maryland


With the recent explosion of courses offered through online platforms, the pressure has been mounting for many individuals to tap into this paradigm to improve their course offerings.What has been missing from many of these discussions is how to bring the evidence-based reforms of education research to the delivery, pedagogy, and assessment of distance learning environments. 

On June 1-2, 2013, the Distance Education and Online Learning in Physics Workshop brought together leaders from the physics education community to discuss how physics education research can impact distance learning courseware and pedagogical delivery. More than 100 participants gathered at APS headquarters in College Park to learn about the opportunities and implications of distance education and online learning for the physics community, and over the course of the workshop, participants explored resources available to instructors of online classes and discussed some of the practical challenges of teaching online. 

Workshop ReportDistance Education Workshop

This workshop report describes the topics discussed during the workshop, including types of online learning, course components, and emerging challenges. The report concludes with participants’ suggestions for open questions that need to be answered and proposed next steps for APS. Appendices provide the list of online resources discussed at the workshop, the workshop program, and the list of participants.

Gray Arrow Read the report

The workshop was supported in part by a grant from the National Science Foundation. Steering Committee members included:

  • Jacob Clark Blickenstaff, American Physical Society
  • Noah Finkelstein, University of Colorado-Boulder
  • Theodore Hodapp, American Physical Society
  • Edward Prather, University of Arizona
  • David Pritchard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Carl Wieman, University of British Columbia
The workshop report was prepared by Renee Michelle Goertzen, and conference support was provided by Deanna Ratnikova.