Crowdsourcing Open Astrophysics Texts for Everyone

by Guest July 27, 2015

Michael Zingale is a computational astrophysicist who enjoys blowing up stars and working on new algorithms to enable these simulations.  He is an Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Stony Brook University on Long Island, NY. Many of us have written notes for our classes or have searched online for notes written by our […]


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GrayStar: A Virtual Star in the Classroom

by Guest November 12, 2014

Ian Short is an Associate Professor of Astronomy and Physics at Saint Mary’s University, has taught the core first and second year courses in the undergraduate astrophysics program, and is a published researcher in the field of stellar atmospheres and spectra. Do you teach a course in which students should understand why some spectral lines […]

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Preparing for Teaching Classes

by Danny Barringer July 30, 2014

Instructors, are you starting to think about preparing for your fall classes? Looking for some good resources? If so, AstroBetter has you covered with our Wiki pages under the Teaching category: Course Notes and Astro 101 Resources. You can also search through past teaching-related AstroBetter  posts with the teaching tag. If you want to go […]


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Strategies for improving diversity in the physical sciences

by Chris Crockett July 3, 2013

Despite a variety of efforts at all levels, minority representation in the sciences remains stagnant.  This was one of the take-home-messages at the (relatively) recent American Institute of Physics (AIP) annual Assembly of Society Officers. The assembly is an opportunity for member organizations (e.g., AAS) to come together and discuss common issues of concern. The […]


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Presentations on iPad v2 [Ask AstroBetter]

by Kelle April 24, 2013

We’ve covered this topic of iPad presentations before, but with an emphasis on Keynote for iPad pros and cons. While Keynote for the iPad now supports actions and is probably still the best app for creating presentations on the iPad, it’s not the best solution if you create presentations in PowerPoint or want to make […]


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Sharing Astro Course Notes and Classroom Activities [Wiki]

by Jessica Lu April 16, 2012

There is a large pool of resources for Astro 101 level courses organized on the AstroBetter wiki. Advancements in education research are frequently incorporated in Astro 101 classes, thanks to the availability of these resources. However, there is much less available for higher level courses, including those for undergraduate astronomy majors and graduate physics and astronomy […]


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Giving Presentations from the iPad? [Ask Astrobetter]

by Kelle August 10, 2011

AstroBetter reader Eilat asks: One of the reasons I got the iPad was because I have heard great things about giving talks and presentations using the iPad. I understand that you can actually write on the screen during a presentation. This makes me hopeful about the end days of the laser pointer! If you or […]


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Study on Interactive Lecture in Physics Courses Slammed by NY Times

by Kelle May 13, 2011

I’m turning into an interactive lecture evangelist. I’m not the best advocate since I was raised in the faith, rather than converting, but I’ve still been seriously trying to convince my physics colleagues and the adjuncts who teach our evening and summer Astro101 to add just at least a bit of student-centered learning to each […]


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One Way to the Battle the Gender Gap in the Science Classroom

by Kelle December 29, 2010

Reducing the Gender Achievement Gap in College Science: A Classroom Study of Values Affirmation | Science In this randomized double-blind study, 399 students either wrote about their most important values or not, twice at the beginning of the 15-week course. Values affirmation reduced the male-female performance and learning difference substantially and elevated women’s modal grades […]


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Let Go, Delegate, and Let the Students Do the Work

by Kelle November 8, 2010

Why I suck at delegating (and why you might too) | kent’s posterous (via Lifehacker.) Delegation is not natural, it’s a skill and an art. Some of the most successful and note worthy people got to where they are due to their ability to let go of control and delegate. Other would be great people […]


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