AAS 200th meeting, Albuquerque, NM, June 2002
Session 81. Astronomy Education and Public Outreach
Oral, Thursday, June 6, 2002, 10:00-11:30am, Mesilla

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[81.03] The Development of an Interactive Web-Based Astronomy Course

N. Duric, G. Heald (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 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 analyzed using relatively simple web tools developed with Javascript code and Java applets. The lab course can be accessed at www.unm.edu/~astro1/101lab.

A demonstration of the laboratory exercises will be presented. Assessment results, based on the University of Wisconsinís Student Assessment of Learning Gains (SALG) and the use of pre and post-tests will also be presented.

A future goal of this project is to integrate the use of remotely controlled telescopes into the course. The ultimate goal is to develop a space science curriculum for use in regional institutions that include Dine College, University of New Mexico and NM Highlands University.


If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://www.unm.edu/~astro1/101lab. 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@unm.edu

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 34
© 2002. The American Astronomical Soceity.