AAS 201st Meeting, January, 2003
Session 28. Astronomy Education and Public Outreach
Oral, Monday, January 6, 2003, 10:00-11:30am, 613-614

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[28.02] Web Based Homework for CAPA in General Education Astronomy Courses

T. H. Robertson (Ball State University)

Qualitative questions in astronomy have been developed to operate under the CAPA web-based homework system. Multiple versions of similar questions and software randomization are used to create different homework sets for each student. The questions are grouped by concept and subject to create more challenging activities from relatively simple questions. These questions have been used for three semesters in five sections of ASTRO 100 which enrolled a total of 500 students over the past two years. Student surveys consistently indicate that they like the system and believe that it helps them to learn. Cognitive measures in the form of exam and course grades do not demonstrate statistically significant improvement in sections which have used the new homework system. This is due in part to a conscious effort to create exam questions which focus on content understanding and not memorization and the persistent student habit of studying for exams by memorizing homework. Differences have been identified between female and male students in terms of completion rates and performance on homework, quiz and exam scores.

This work was supported in part by funding from the George and Frances Ball Fund for Academic Excellence and the 21st Century Fund for Faculty Development.

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

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 34, #4
© 2002. The American Astronomical Soceity.