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Astronomy Education Volume 1

Evidence-based instruction for introductory courses
Chris Impey, Sanlyn Buxner


Astronomy is a popular subject for non-science majors in the United States, often representing a last formal exposure to science. Research has demonstrated the efficacy of active learning, but college astronomy instructors are often unaware of the tools and methods they can use to increase student comprehension and engagement. This is particularly true of two-year college instructors and faculty who are trained in astronomy and physics who may lack any formal instruction in teaching and learning.

This book focuses on the practical implementation of evidence-based strategies that are supported by research literature. Chapter topics include an overview of learner-centered theories and strategies for course design and implementation, the use of Lecture Tutorials, the use of technology and simulations to support learner-centered teaching, the use of research-based projects, citizen science, World Wide Telescope and planetariums in instruction, an overview of assessment, considerations for teaching at a community college, and strategies to increase the inclusivity of courses.

About Editors

Chris Impey is a Distinguished Professor of astronomy and Associate Dean of the College of Science at The University of Arizona. He has won 11 teaching awards and has taught two online classes with more than 180,000 enrolled and more than 2 million minutes of video lectures watched. He is a past Vice President of the American Astronomical Society, and he has been an NSF Distinguished Teaching Scholar, the Carnegie Council's Arizona Professor of the Year and, most recently, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor.

Sanlyn Buxner is an Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Sociocultural Studies at The University of Arizona, where she also serves as the Director of Graduate Studies. In addition, she is a Research Scientist and Education and Communication Specialist at the Planetary Science Institute. She is the current Education and Outreach Officer for the Division for Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society.

Table of Contents

1 - Learner-centered Teaching in Astronomy

2 - Effective Course Design

3 - Lecture-tutorials in Introductory Astronomy

4 - Technology and Engagement in the University Classroom

5 - Using Simulations Interactively in the Introductory Astronomy Classroom

6 - Practical Considerations for Using a Planetarium for Astronomy Instruction

7 - Authentic Research Experiences in Astronomy to Teach the Process of Science

8 - Citizen Science in Astronomy Education

9 - WorldWide Telescope in Education

10 - Measuring Students' Understanding in Astronomy with Research-based Assessment Tools

11 - Everyone's Universe: Teaching Astronomy in Community Colleges

12 - Making Your Astronomy Class More Inclusive


Hardback ISBN: 9780750317214

Ebook ISBN: 9780750317238

DOI: 10.1088/2514-3433/ab2b42

Publisher: Institute of Physics Publishing

Series: AAS-IOP Astronomy


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