AAS 205th Meeting, 9-13 January 2005
Session 87 Use of Modern Technology in Introductory Astronomy Education
Oral, Tuesday, January 11, 2005, 2:00-3:30pm, Pacific Salon 1

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[87.03] Using PRS in Large Introductory Astronomy Courses: Engaging the Audience

R. Mutel (University of Iowa)

The use of electronic voting systems in large lecture-based courses is rapidly increasing in popularity. An obvious advantage of these systems are that they allow individual students to provide immediate anonymous feedback of their understanding (or misunderstanding) of a concept before the instructor continues to another topic. The instructor can also use the system for evaluation in place of written quizzes or even homework. I will review my experience with the Personal Response System (PRS) which I have used for two years in several large introductory astronomy courses. I will describe both the successes and problems encountered, both pedagogically and technically. In particular,I will discuss the art of writing non-trivial multiple choice questions suitable for PRS quizzes, capturing student interest by varying the question format (e.g. using a 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire Astronomer?' theme), and enhanced software that replaces the software originally provided.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: robert-mutel@uiowa.edu

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