AAS 198th Meeting, June 2001
Session 15. Education: Projects, Techniques and Outreach
Display, Monday, June 4, 2001, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall

[Previous] | [Session 15] | [Next]

[15.04] Astronomy 101 Student Demographics

G. L. Deming (Univ. of MD), B. Hufnagel (Anne Arundel Comm. College), K. L. Snyder, E. A. Miller (Univ. of MD)

From 1999 to 2001, the Astronomy Diagnostic Test Version 2.0 (ADT 2.0) was administered to undergraduates taking introductory astronomy for non-science majors (Astronomy 101) across the United States. A national database has been established using the results from the ADT 2.0 taken as a pretest by more than 5000 students. The 33-question multiple choice test contains 12 student background questions that can be used to create a profile of student enrollments in Astronomy 101. Students who take introductory astronomy reflect undergraduate national trends of gender, choice of major, and ethnic background. Specific questions on course expectations reveal that these students are less confident of their abilities in science than in mathematics. Mathematics background is evenly split between those who have completed only high school level topics (algebra and geometry) and those who have completed college level topics (pre-calculus and calculus). Class demographics aid in the design of effective teaching strategies for successful learning.

This research was supported by the National Science Foundation through grants REC-0089239 and DGE-9714489.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: deming@astro.umd.edu

[Previous] | [Session 15] | [Next]