Survey: Evaluating the effects of the shift to on-line Physics teaching

Dear Physics Lecturer,

How have you adapted your teaching of Physics in response to the covid pandemic? What new methods (if any) would you like to retain going forward and why?

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in late 2019 and the ensuing lockdowns in early 2020 forced universities to move rapidly to distance teaching in order to minimize the spread of the disease. With very little time to prepare and in many cases little or no experience of on-line teaching, there was a strong sense of an emergency response to a crisis, with students showing  a great deal of understanding. However, with the summer of 2020 providing at least some opportunity to plan for the onset of the new academic year in the autumn of 2020, there has been an expectation that on-line teaching should provide an educational experience that matches students’ expectations. 

Accordingly, we have prepared a short survey. It is entirely anonymous and provides for descriptive or reflective comments on up to three different activities. There are also a few questions aimed at some contextual information about you, such as country, as well as a link to an independent survey which is intended only to provide the opportunity to supply contact details should you be happy to be contacted further. These details are not linked in any way to the teaching survey and there is no intention to link responses to specific individuals. In this way we hope to get an insight into views of on-line teaching across Europe.

The STAFF SURVEY can be accessed at:

The survey is open until July, but an early response would be appreciated, and we aim to report back through various channels with some conclusions about what is effective and why and where opportunities lie for further work in developing on-line teaching.

This survey is being run jointly by The Physics Education Division of the European Physical Society, the Higher Education Group of the Institute of Physics in London and GIREP, the International Group on Physics Education Research, to evaluate the move to on-line teaching. 

We would also like to elicit the views of students across Europe and have prepared a similar survey. We would appreciate your help in distributing the link to your students regardless of whether you complete the staff survey or not. Again, the information is anonymous and is intentionally not linked to the staff survey. Nor does it ask for any information about individual members of academic staff or even the institution. Our aim is to evaluate whether students share the same perceptions as staff about what is effective or not in remote teaching.


If you are willing to disseminate the survey to your students, we have prepared the following text to help you.

What are your views of on-line teaching?

As a student of Physics, it would be valuable to hear your thoughts on the transition to online teaching and assessment in Physics in response to the Covid pandemic. What has worked well? What has been more challenging?  What changes would you like to see retained even when we are allowed to teach face-to-face again?

This survey is quick to answer and is gathering the views of physics students across Europe.  It is anonymous, and your thoughts are really valuable to inform future teaching of Physics. 

The STUDENT SURVEY can be accessed at:

This survey is being run through the professional organisations: GIREP, the International Group on Physics Education Research; EPS, the European Physical Society, and IOP, the UK Institute of Physics. 


Alison Voice and David Sands

On behalf of IOP-HEG, GIREP, EPS-PED