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ERIC Number: EJ1046793
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 81
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: EISSN-1554-9178
Introductory Astronomy Course at the University of Cape Town: Probing Student Perspectives
Rajpaul, Vinesh; Allie, Saalih; Blyth, Sarah-Louise
Physical Review Special Topics - Physics Education Research, v10 n2 p020126-1-020126-20 Jul-Dec 2014
We report on research carried out to improve teaching and student engagement in the introductory astronomy course at the University of Cape Town. This course is taken by a diverse range of students, including many from educationally disadvantaged backgrounds. We describe the development of an instrument, the Introductory Astronomy Questionnaire (IAQ), which we administered as pre- and posttests to students enrolled in the course. The instrument comprised a small number of questions which probed three areas of interest: student motivation and expectations, astronomy content, and worldview. Amongst our findings were that learning gains were made in several conceptual areas, and that students appeared to develop a more nuanced view of the nature of astronomy. There was some evidence that the course had a positive impact on students' worldviews, particularly their attitudes towards science. We also identified a promising predictor of course success that could in the future be used to identify students requiring special teaching intervention.
American Physical Society. One Physics Ellipse 4th Floor, College Park, MD 20740-3844. Tel: 301-209-3200; Fax: 301-209-0865; e-mail: assocpub@aps.org; Web site: http://prst-per.aps.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa