Electric Current
Electricity and Magnetism

Electricity CPD videos

CPD for 11-14 14-16 16-19 IOP RESOURCES

Electrical circuits are essential in everyday life, but students often find them challenging. In these videos, we look at ways to make links between the microscopic level of charged particles and macroscopic observations. We use several models of electric circuits, highlighting where care is needed and these models break down.

Learning about electrical circuits is a highly practical activity. We provide tips to trouble-shoot tricky circuits and ideas for purposeful practical work. There are also suggestions for more successful setups when investigating complex circuits.

Through models and practical work, we discuss how to introduce the relationship between voltage, current and resistance in a quantitative way. Finally, we delve more deeply into some of the other mathematical concepts needed from 14 years onward including internal resistance and potential dividers.

The short CPD videos below can be used alone or as preparation for a session in our online  IOP DOMAINS CPD Programme.

Meet the presenters

(Left to right, IOP Coaches) Alan Denton, Carole Kenrick, Dan Cottle, Eleanor Wylie, Jessica Rowson, John Parsons, Mark Whalley, Niloufar Wijetunge, Terri Ghoneim.


Charge and Static

Carole explains why it’s helpful to teach about charge and static before we teach simple circuits, and she demonstrates the use of visual representations for developing students’ understanding.

Using models to explain simple circuits

In this video Dan, Niloufar and Carole demonstrate a range of teaching models that can be used to help students understand simple circuits, and consider the benefits and limitations of each.

Exploring circuits practically 

Eleanor and Jessica discuss the importance of practical work in circuit pedagogy and suggest some tips for purposeful practicals.


Storytelling: the people behind the physics 

Carole shares fascinating stories about the people behind the physics we teach, demonstrating some historical experiments, and she highlights the importance of considering representation when we chose which physicists we teach students about.


Factors that affect resistance 

Jessica looks at the factors that affect the resistance of a wire and discusses some practical setups for investigations in the classroom.

Circuit equipment and I-V graphs 

Terri and John take you through the key issues in investigating I-V characteristics for resistors, filament lamps and diodes.

Electricity Equations 

In this series of three combined mini-videos, Mark looks at some of the electricity equations and how they're related (0:00-16:49), a framework for challenging questions (16:50-24:18) and goes through some worked solutions (24:19-39:16).


Potential dividers 

Alan shows a way of teaching potential dividers using mini-whiteboards that can help students to answer challenging qualitative questions.

Internal resistance and EMF

Alan looks at how we can calculate experimental values for EMF and Internal Resistances, and how students can understand the equation.

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