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Session 15 - Teaching of Astronomy.
Display session, Monday, June 10
Great Hall,

[15.01] A Sourcebook of Cooperative Learning Activities for Introductory Undergraduate Astronomy for Non-Science Majors

G. L. Deming, S. T. Miller, J. D. Trasco (U. of Maryland)

Students become more interested in learning and retain more in courses that rely on active rather than passive teaching methods. Cooperative learning activities can be structured to engage students toward greater participation in their own education. We have developed a sourcebook containing a variety of cooperative learning methods and activities to aid in the teaching of astronomy at the undergraduate level. Special effort has been made to include activities that can be used within the classroom or as a group homework assignment, in courses with teaching assistants and those without, and in large or small classes. In addition to reinforcing concepts taught in introductory astronomy, the activities are structured to strengthen skills associated with a scientifically literate person. A goal of undergraduate science education is to produce citizens who can understand and share in the excitement of scientific discoveries as well as make informed decisions regarding scientific and technological issues.

The sourcebook, available in August, 1996, will contain sections on the advantages/disadvantages of group activities, basic cooperative learning techniques, in class/out of class activities, and how to use peer instruction to expose students to the wonderfaul astronomy resources on the internet. Each activity includes suggestions to the instructor as to how the assignment can be incorporated into an introductory astronomy course.

This project funded by NSF DUE-9354503.

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