AAS 197, January 2001
Session 86. Innovations in Teaching Astronomy I
Joint Display, Wednesday, January 10, 2001, 9:30am-7:00pm, Exhibit Hall

[Previous] | [Session 86] | [Next]

[86.19] The Astronomy Diagnostic Test: Past, Present and Future

G. L. Deming (Univ. of MD), B. R. Hufnagel (Anne Arundel Comm. College)

During 1998, the Collaboration for Astronomy Education Research (Adams, Adrian, Brick, Deming, Hufnagel, Slater, and Zeilik) developed a content-based diagnostic test for undergraduate non-science majors taking their first introductory level astronomy course. Student interviews and written feedback were used to construct a series of questions reflecting the students' natural language and with distractors (wrong answers) that mirror commonly held misconceptions. Version 1.9 of the Astronomy Diagnostic Test (ADT) was administered during Spring 1999 by volunteers teaching astronomy at 22 institutions across the United States. Minor modifications were made and Version 2.0 was released on June 21, 1999. The ADT 2.0 currently is available to the astronomical community through two websites and we continue to collect pretest/posttest results. Award of an NSF Small Grant for Exploratory Research has enabled us to work with a team of education researchers at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. Our database will be subjected to a statistical analysis in order to establish reliability of ADT 2.0. In addition, content, face, and construct validity are being examined. If you are teaching an introductory astronomy course aimed at non-science majors for Spring 2001, your class can be part of this project. We are looking for volunteers! We are also interested in hearing your ideas for a "next-generation" version of the ADT.

Funding provided by NSF grant REC-0089239

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: deming@astro.umd.edu

[Previous] | [Session 86] | [Next]