Development and Implementation of a Lab Course for Introductory Astronomy
The typical “Astro 101” lecture-based course is passive, and adding well—designed learner-centered labs allows students to experience science as a pattern of thought. In this article, we present an approach to developing an introductory lab course. Identification of goals and student outcomes, particularly skills, and process and attitudinal goals, is a key step. We apply constructivist principles to the lab course and structure content around core concepts to provide cohesion and facilitate knowledge transfer. We discuss the role of the teaching assistant and assessment in a successful implementation of our approach.