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Session 4 - Education: Telescopes, the Web and Curricula.
Display session, Wednesday, January 07
Over the past two years, the University of Pennsylvania has successfully restructured its introductory astronomy curriculum. Small class sections taught by five different instructors expose students to a variety of lecture styles and provide individual attention to each student. However, common lecture topics, common homework assignments, common exams and common observing projects preserve the integrity of a large introductory course. All sections of the course are united further by the use of a website, introduced to enhance, not to supplant, traditional methods of teaching. The website includes links to bi-weekly homework assignments, instructor/TA contact information, sign-up sheets for student observing, a weekly online "AstroChat," lecture topics and slide shows. A network connection in the classroom allows instructors to access the web-based slide library during lectures in addition to videos, laser disk images and computer and animations. Other popular features of the course include in-class demos, evening observing projects (in downtown Philadelphia) and TA help sessions.
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