AAS 197, January 2001
Session 120. Innovations in Teaching Astronomy III
Joint Oral, Thursday, January 11, 2001, 10:30am-12:00noon, Pacific One

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[120.07] Web-Based Astronomy Laboratories at the University of New Mexico

N. Duric (University of New Mexico)

An interactive web-based astronomy laboratory course, targeted at incoming non-science majors, has been developed at the University of New Mexico. The aim of this course is to provide students with exposure to the research methods used by professional astronomers and in the process to teach the students fundamental concepts and basic facts about astronomy. A tremendous demand for astronomy labs combined with limited observatory resources led to the challenge of opening a large number of daytime sections that would provide the students with a realistic research experience.

The challenge was addressed by developing a set of highly interactive laboratory exercises that simulate the experience at the telescope and at the researcher's desk. Students acquire data from a variety of telescopes and instruments by accessing web-based archives. The data are reduced and analysed using relatively simple web tools developed with Javascript code and Java applets. The ultimate goal is to bring in remotely controlled telescopes for real time data acquisition. The lab can be accessed at http://tesla.phys.unm.edu/a111.

A demonstration of the laboratory exercises will be presented. Some preliminary assessment results will also be discussed and future plans will be described.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://tesla.phys.unm.edu/a111. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: duric@tesla.phys.unm.edu

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