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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[87.02] The Web-Lecture – a viable alternative to the traditional lecture format?

S. Meibom (University of Wisconsin - Madison)

Educational research shows that students learn best in an environment with emphasis on teamwork, problem-solving, and hands-on experience. Still professors spend the majority of their time with students in the traditional lecture-hall setting where the combination of large classes and limited time prevents sufficient student-teacher interaction to foster an active learning environment.

Can modern computer technology be used to provide “lecture-type” information to students via the World Wide Web? If so, will that help professors make better and/or different use of their scheduled time with the students?

Answering these questions was the main motivation for the Extra-Solar Planet Project. The Extra-Solar Planet Project was designed to test the effectiveness of a lecture available to the student on the World Wide Web (Web-Lecture) and to engage the students in an active learning environment were their use the information presented in the Web-Lecture. The topic of the Web-Lecture was detection of extra-solar planets and the project was implemented into an introductory astronomy course at University of Wisconsin Madison in the spring of 2004. The Web-Lecture was designed to give an interactive presentation of synchronized video, audio and lecture notes. It was created using the eTEACH software developed at the University of Wisconsin Madison School of Engineering.

In my talk, I will describe the project, show excerpts of the Web-Lecture, and present assessments of student learning and results of student evaluations of the web-lecture format.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 36 5
© 2004. The American Astronomical Society.