AAS 207th Meeting, 8-12 January 2006
Session 27 Probing and Understanding Effective Learning and Teaching
Poster, Monday, 9:20am-7:00pm, January 9, 2006, Exhibit Hall

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[27.03] Results of Peer Instruction in an Introductory Astronomy Course

D. L. Williams (St. Cloud State University)

Numerous methods to improve instruction within large classes have been suggested to improve learning beyond the typical lecture model. The method used to improve student learning at St. Cloud State University was Peer Instruction. This Peer Instruction approach increased student learning 16 compared with typical lecture results.

Our introductory solar system course, Astronomy 106, was conducted during the summer of 2005. A pre-test was administered on the first day of class, resulting in 38.5 correct answers. On subsequent days a 20 minute lecture was given followed by one of the pre-test questions matching the lecture topic. Student responses were made with a quick method using a colored sheet of paper with letters A, B, C, and D. Students held up their response in front of them. A digital picture was taken of the entire class and counted later. The average post-lecture test was 76 discussion followed between students of different responses. A post-discussion test was given and resulted in a 92 correct response. The remainder of class was completed with lecture.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #4
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.