AAS 200th meeting, Albuquerque, NM, June 2002
Session 26. Quo Vadis Astronomy Education
Special Session Oral, Monday, June 3, 2002, 2:00-3:30pm, Ballroom B

[Previous] | [Session 26] | [Next]

[26.02] Using the Astronomy Diagnostic Test to Identify Teaching Strategies that Improve Conceptual Understanding

G. L. Deming (University of Maryland), B. Hufnagel (Anne Arundel Community College)

The Astronomy Diagnostic Test (ADT) was developed in order to assess learning in undergraduate introductory astronomy classes, but an underlying goal was to use the information supplied by the ADT to improve student learning. The ADT National Project collected pre-course (5346 students) and post-course (3842 students) test results from 97 classes at a variety of institutions in 31 states. These results have been compiled in an extensive database. The overall gain between pre-course and post-course average scores amounts to a disappointing 15%, but significant gains are identifiable for specific questions in individual classes. Results from the ADT National Project database will be presented for specific questions with minimal gains. Astronomy education researchers in Maryland are beginning to use ADT results to identify minimal gain concepts and then to modify and assess instructional strategies with the goal of improving student learning. A comparison will be made between ADT pre-course and post-course responses for several classes in which different teaching methods were used. Successful teaching strategies applicable in a variety of class settings will be offered and instructors are encouraged to become involved in assessing results in their own introductory astronomy classes.

This research was supported by the National Science Foundation through grant REC-0089239.

[Previous] | [Session 26] | [Next]

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