FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Curated by the TalkPhysics team

Please let us know (via the email icon on the right hand side of this page or email talkphysics@iop.org) if anything needs further clarification or if you have any questions you’d like to add to the FAQ page.

On this page

Getting started
Posting guidelines
Your profile
Contact us
About TalkPhysics
Exploring TalkPhysics
Groups
Email notifications
Creating events
Booking onto events
Copyright & Legal
Terminology used on this site

Getting started

Who is TalkPhysics for?
If you’re a teacher of physics (specialist or non-specialist), technician, or supporter of teachers and technicians, you’re in the right place.

Why would I want to use TalkPhysics?
TalkPhysics is a forum for all those involved in the teaching of pre-19 physics to share ideas, hear about CPD events, network, get advice, and talk physics.

The forum is secured behind a login, which means your conversations can’t be viewed by anyone who isn’t a vetted member of the site. This also means you will need to go through an initial registration process to gain access.

How do I register and what is involved in the registration process?
Complete the brief registration form to gain access to the TalkPhysics community.

Each application for TalkPhysics membership is manually approved by someone in the TalkPhysics team. In most cases this is a swift process, but there will be instances where some applicants will be contacted directly for further clarification of their status as a teacher of physics, technician, or supporter of teachers/technicians.

How do I make my first post?
If you’re not sure which group to post to first, we suggest using the group ‘News and Comment’. Once logged in, click on ‘Start a conversation’ from the landing page and your post will be linked to the ‘News and Comment’ group.

When you first join TalkPhysics, you will be automatically joined up to these groups:
News and Comment
Teaching Physics 11-14
Teaching Physics 14-16
Teaching Physics 16-19

If you have a teaching question or suggestion, we would suggest you post to the appropriate age group.

To post to other groups, you will need to first join that group. Once joined, select ‘Start a conversation’. For more information on joining groups, see below.

How do I add or embed an image to my post?
Click on ‘Add Media’ when you’re writing a post (it’s below ‘Reply to’ or ‘Create new topic’ and above the grey editing bar). You’ll be able to upload new files or select one from our Media Library, and then insert it into the post.

Are my posts available for anyone to read?
Most of the conversations that occur within the TalkPhysics community are private: either behind a login, or behind a login AND within a Closed Group. However, we do now have one public group, Talking Physics. This means that any posts created in this group are available for anyone to read, regardless of whether they are logged in or not.

What content is not contained within the TalkPhysics community (ie can be accessed without logging in)?
The Events booking area is available for anyone to view/use without logging into TalkPhysics.

How do I contact another TalkPhysics user?
If you wish to send a user a direct message, click on their profile and click on the green box ‘Private Message’ which can be found underneath their photo.

You can tag another user within a post by appending @ before their username. They will then receive a notification that they have been mentioned in a post.

Posting guidelines

Is there a set of posting guidelines?
Visit the terms and conditions for an outline of your responsibilities as a user of TalkPhysics.

How do I report inappropriate posts?
Use the email icon found on the right hand side of any page to contact the TalkPhysics team or alternatively email talkphysics@iop.org.

Can I post job ads?
Members of TalkPhysics are welcome to make the community aware of vacancies at their school/college. However commercial companies such as recruitment agencies cannot use this website to recruit staff. Please refer to the terms and conditions.

Your profile

How can I change my password?
Go to your personal membership area (via your name found on the top navigation bar). Then select ‘Settings’ to access the area for changing passwords.

How can I change my email?
You should be able to change your email via your personal membership area (via your name found on the top navigation bar). However this is currently not working on the website. If you wish to change your email, please ask the TalkPhysics team to change it for you. Use the email icon found on the right hand side of any page to contact the TalkPhysics team or alternatively email talkphysics@iop.org.

How can I change my username?
This is set during your registration process and cannot be altered.

How can I change my profile picture?
Go to your personal membership area (via your name found on the top navigation bar). Then select ‘Profile’ to access the area for changing your profile photo. Select ‘Change Profile Photo’ and upload your new chosen photo.

Contact us

Who do I contact if I want to give feedback, encounter any technical problems, or want to report inappropriate posts?
Use the email icon found on the right hand side of any page to contact the TalkPhysics team or alternatively email talkphysics@iop.org.

About TalkPhysics

How is TalkPhysics funded and supported?
TalkPhysics was launched in 2009 by the Institute of Physics, and is now supported by the Stimulating Physics Network.

What’s changed since the last upgrade of TalkPhysics?
In 2016 we made some significant changes to the site. Our core offering – discussion forums for advice, ideas, resources, and networking – remains securely behind a login. A new section providing details of teacher-focussed CPD events has been added. You should also notice an improved search and increased site speed.

Exploring TalkPhysics

Where can I find information on teaching energy for the new English curriculum?
Visit the Energy in the New Curriculum forum.

The question of how best to teach energy has been under discussion for more than 50 years – in prep rooms, education departments and physics education journals. During that time, there have been plenty of proposals for new approaches. Join this group to post your energy teaching queries and to comment on the teaching approach for energy found in the new English curriculum.

Where do I find information on supporting my physics teaching with 5 to 16 year-olds?
Visit the Supporting Physics Teaching group.

Where do I find information on getting more girls into physics or the Whole School Equality project?
Visit the Whole School Equality forum.

Research by the IOP indicates that there are cultural barriers to the choices that both girls and boys make at 16. This group aims to provide a space to discuss how to identify, challenge and remediate all aspects of gender bias – whether conscious or unconscious – within the school environment and ideas for working with the whole school staff and student body.

Alternatively, sign up for the Whole School Equality newsletter and access further IOP resources on this.

Where can I find the Classroom Physics archive?
Visit the Classroom Physics archive.

Classroom Physics is a newsletter published by the IOP’s Education Department, with information about events, resources and training, as well as teaching tips and practical ideas focused on the 11 to 16 age group. The paper copy goes out to all affiliated schools in the UK and Ireland.

Where do I find information on teacher CPD workshops, conferences and events?
Visit the Events section of the website.

We now have a public events calendar that enables teachers to view and book onto CPD events, workshops and conferences.

Where can find the Education Forum?
Visit the Education Forum group.

The Institute’s Education Forum is open to members of the Institute or to the nominated teacher in an affiliated school/college. Members of the forum will be given opportunities to engage with educational issues, support Institute educational activities, and advise on projects and education policy – providing input to consultations.

Groups

What are groups? What is a Closed Group?
There are three types of groups on TalkPhysics: Open, Closed and Public. Open Groups are available for anyone to join, once logged in. To access Closed Groups, you will need to ‘Request membership’ (again you will need to be logged in). There is a single Public Group called Talking Physics, where anyone can read the posts, regardless of whether they are logged in or not. If you are reading the posts in the Talking Physics group, you will not be able to post or view the author details of each post to the group (unless you are logged in).

Which groups am I automatically joined up to when I start?
News and Comment
Teaching Physics 11-14
Teaching Physics 14-16
Teaching Physics 16-19

How do I join other groups?
Go to the Groups area (via ‘Groups’ found on the top navigation bar). Select the groups you wish to join using ‘Join Group’.

What happens when I join a group?
You’ll be added to the list of group members, and you’ll be able to post to the group forum.

What happens when I leave a group?
You’ll be removed and you won’t receive notifications of new posts to that group.

What is a group owner?
Group owners have direct control over created groups. You’ll see an extra tab – ‘Manage’ – that other members won’t.

How do I create a new group?
Go to the Groups area (via ‘Groups’ found on the top navigation bar). Select ‘Create a group’.

Email notifications

I’d like to be notified of new content – how do I turn on notifications?
You can turn on notifications by navigating to each Group, clicking ‘Email Options’ and then selecting and saving your preference.

I’m getting too many emails – how do I stop notifications?
You can manage your email notifications (or turn them off completely) by visiting your profile, clicking on ‘Notifications’ and then ‘Manage.’

Creating events

How do I create an event?
Go to the Events area (via ‘Events’ on the top navigation bar). Select ‘Create an event’, and complete the details required to promote your event on TalkPhysics. The details will go to the TalkPhysics team who will manually check and approve your event.

Why should I link my group to an event?
Linked events will be displayed in the group’s activity page. This can be a useful way of advertising your event to group members.

What sort of events can I advertise on TalkPhysics?
You are welcome to promote events that will be of interest to teachers of physics (specialist or non-specialist), technicians, or supporters of teachers and technicians.

Visit the terms and conditions for an outline of your responsibilities as a user of TalkPhysics.

How do I manage my event(s)?
To manage event bookings, go to your personal membership area (via your name found on the top navigation bar). Select ‘Events’ and then ‘My Event Bookings’.

How do I know who has booked onto my event?
You’ll receive an email notification whenever someone books on to your event. You will need to approve or reject each booking. When you approve or reject a booking, the user will automatically receive an email notification from TalkPhysics – you don’t need to do anything else unless there’s specific pre-event information that can’t be included in the event description.

Booking onto events

Where do I find information on teacher CPD workshops, conferences and events?
Visit the Events section of the website.

We now have a public events calendar that enables teachers to view and book onto CPD events, workshops and conferences.

What will I need to provide to book onto an event?
The booking form will normally ask for your: full name, email, mobile number, institution (and its postcode), and includes a space for any other requirements.

How do I know if I’m booked onto an event?
You will receive an email notification confirming your booking.

Where are your terms and conditions?
Our terms and conditions include privacy & cookies, disclaimer, and copyright information.

Where are your offices located?
Institute of Physics
76 Portland Place
London W1B 1NT

How do I contact legal?
Email legal@iop.org.

Terminology used on this site

What is a Group?
There are three types of groups on TalkPhysics: Open, Closed and Public. Open Groups are available for anyone to join, once logged in. To access Closed Groups, you will need to ‘Request membership’ (again you will need to be logged in). There is a single Public Group called Talking Physics, where anyone can read the posts, regardless of whether they are logged in or not. If you are reading the posts in the Talking Physics group, you will not be able to post or view the author details of each post to the group (unless you are logged in). For more information on groups, visit the Groups section.

What is a Forum?
Each group features its own forum. This is the area where all the conversations around the group’s particular interest are being carried out.

What is a Topic?
On this site, a topic is another term for conversation (thread).

What is a Post?
When you post you are either replying to a conversation or starting a new conversation. For more information on posting, visit the Getting started section.

What is a Member?
When you register for TalkPhysics, you became a member of the TalkPhysics community with your own unique user/profile details.

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