Conceptual astronomy: A novel model for teaching postsecondary science courses

Zeilik, Michael and Schau, Candace and Mattern, Nancy and Hall, Shannon and Teague, Kathleen W. and Bisard, Walter (1997) Conceptual astronomy: A novel model for teaching postsecondary science courses. American Journal of Physics, 65 (10). pp. 987-996. ISSN 0002-9505, 1943-2909

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An innovative, conceptually based instructional model for teaching large undergraduate astronomy courses was designed, implemented, and evaluated in the Fall 1995 semester. This model was based on cognitive and educational theories of knowledge and, we believe, is applicable to other large postsecondary science courses. Major components were: (a) identification of the basic important concepts and their interrelationships that are necessary for connected understanding of astronomy in novice students; (b) use of these concepts and their interrelationships throughout the design, implementation, and evaluation stages of the model; (c) identification of students’ prior knowledge and misconceptions; and (d) implementation of varied instructional strategies targeted toward encouraging conceptual understanding in students (i.e., instructional concept maps, cooperative small group work, homework assignments stressing concept application, and a conceptually based student assessment system). Evaluation included the development and use of three measures of conceptual understanding and one of attitudes toward studying astronomy. Over the semester, students showed very large increases in their understanding as assessed by a conceptually based multiple-choice measure of misconceptions, a select-and-fill-in concept map measure, and a relatedness-ratings measure. Attitudes, which were slightly positive before the course, changed slightly in a less favorable direction

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Astronomy Education Research
Depositing User: Mr Saeed Salimpour
Date Deposited: 14 Apr 2017 16:36
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2018 06:03

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