AAS 205th Meeting, 9-13 January 2005
Session 95 Technology in Astronomy Education
Poster, Wednesday, January 12, 2005, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall

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[95.01] Course Management Systems: Traveling Beyond Powerpoint Slides Online

A.J. Gauthier, C.D. Impey (Steward Observatory)

Course management systems (CMS) like WebCT, Blackboard, Astronomica, etc., have reached and surpassed their tipping point in higher education. They are no longer a technology-trendy item to use in a course, but rather an expected supplement to undergraduate courses. There is a well known disconnect between the student population of ''digital natives'' (1) and higher education instructors, the ''digital immigrants'' (1). What expectations and technology skills do the new generations of undergraduates have? How can instructors easily meet their students’ needs? What needs do instructors have and what resources are available to meet those needs?

In the past, instructors would create their own HTML web pages to post class materials like PowerPoint slides, homework, and announcements. How does an instructor-created web resource differ from a secure university run CMS? How can you make your university or college’s CMS system into a productive learning tool and not just a repository for class materials and grades? How can the astronomy instructor benefit from integrating a CMS into their course? What are common student attitudes regarding CMS usage in a course? How are instructors using CMSs in innovative ways? Where on your campus can you get free help designing and implementing a CMS resource for your students?

This presentation aims to answer these questions. Extensive literature reviews, formal surveys, case study reports, and educational research from the instructional technology community inform our astronomy teaching community of the answers. Highlights from innovative systems and uses of CMSs in undergraduate Astro 101 classrooms will be presented. Resources and further references will be made available as handouts.

(1) M. Prensky. ''Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants,'' On The Horizon, Vol.9, 2001.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://www.astronomica.org. 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: agauthier@as.arizona.edu

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