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Paper: Utilizing Active Learning Strategies to Achieve Classroom and Outreach Goals: Teaching Multiwavelength Astronomy and Apparent Sizes
Volume: 533, ASP 2021: Sharing Best Practices – AstronomyTeaching and Public Engagement
Page: 198
Authors: Vassos, T.
Abstract: Professors and teachers are challenged with the difficult task of engaging and inspiring students with abstract astronomy concepts. This paper is intended to help transform teaching methods from simply lecturing, to employing active learning strategies that engage, motivate, entertain, and inspire students and event attendees. Active learning can take many forms. Thought experiments can be used to trace the footsteps of Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton. Gamification has proven to be a powerful learning tool—games can be used to captivate students. Quizzes challenge students to apply their knowledge and then experience lightbulb moments when they learn the answer. Interactive workshops encourage students to think and to come up with solution themselves. Hands-on workshops/lab exercises engage and immerse students in learning activities. Debates enable students to formulate a position on a particular topic and communicate their position grounded in scientific knowledge. Artistic exercises absorb students in learning activities such as drawing, photography, music and videos that expand their intellect. Combining several of these active learning exercises can have a profound impact on learning outcomes. This paper will provide a case study of the use of thought experiments, artistic exercises and games to teach the topics of multiwavelength astronomy and the apparent size of astronomical objects.
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