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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[27.05] Using High Level Literacy Techniques to Teach Astronomy to Non-Science Majors

C. A. Garland (Castleton State College), D. L. Ratay (Cortana Corporation)

We present a discussion of an introductory-level college astronomy class which significantly relied on reading and writing assignments to deliver basic content knowledge and provide a basis for deeper analysis of the material. As opposed to the traditional problem-set method of homework, students were required to read popular articles from magazines and newspapers related to the content presented in class and then prepare responses. Responses ranged from methodological analysis to using the readings to create original science journalism. Other forms of assessment indicated that students benefitted from this type of course design. We propose that given the background of students in this type of course, the course design is better suited to engage students in the material and provides a better assessment of student achievement.

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