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Session 4 - Education: Telescopes, the Web and Curricula.
Display session, Wednesday, January 07
Exhibit Hall,

[4.14] Introducing Interactive Teaching Styles into Astronomy Lectures

G. L. Deming (U. of Maryland)

The majority of undergraduate students who take an astronomy class are non-science majors attempting to satisfy a science requirement. Often in these "scientific literacy" courses, facts are memorized for the exam and forgotten shortly afterwards. Scientific literacy courses should advance student skills toward processing information and applying higher order thinking rather than simple recall and memorization of facts. Thinking about material as it is presented, applying new knowledge to solve problems, and thinking critically about topics are objectives that many astronomy instructors hope their students are achieving. A course in astronomy is more likely to achieve such goals if students routinely participate in their learning. Interactive techniques can be quite effective even in large classes. Examples of activities are presented that involve using cooperative learning techniques, writing individual and group "minute papers," identifying and correcting misconceptions, including the whole class in a demonstration, and applying knowledge to new situations.

Program listing for Wednesday