AstroBetter blog posts on teaching.
- CAE Teaching Excellence Workshops - focused on learning how to create productive learner-centered teaching environments for college-level introductory astronomy (Astro 101)
- New Physics and Astronomy Faculty Workshops - for tenure-track faculty within their first few years of teaching, through nomination by a department chair. many presenters, introduces a variety of research-based instructional strategies. 2x/year (June and November).
- Experienced Physics and Astronomy Workshops - like the New Faculty Workshop but for experienced faculty. 1x/year
- Workshops before AAPT meetings - a variety of one-day workshops, mostly physics
- CAPER workshops - workshop series from the Center for Astronomy and Physics Education Research
- CITRL MOOC: An Introduction to Evidence-Based Undergraduate STEM Teaching - a massive open online class on research-based teaching in STEM
- Learning Assistant Alliance Workshops - about initiating and maintaining undergraduate Learning Assistant programs
- Journal of Astronomy & Earth Sciences Education - A new peer-reviewed, open-access journal for scholars interested in disicpline-based education research. Partially fills the void created by the termination of the Astronomy Education Review.
- Astronomy Education Review - This was an AAS-sponsored journal, and many innovations in Astro 101 teaching were published there. This is an excellent place to start your thinking about astronomy education. It may be that some of your ideas and thoughts are also being studied by other people and you can benefit by building on their work. The journal archives are free to view and download.
- PhysPort (formerly the PER User's Guide) - A searchable compilation of teaching resources and strategies supported by physics and astronomy education research. Sort by topic (e.g., astronomy), course level, instructor effort required, what skills you want students develop, etc. In the process of expanding to include research-based assessment resources and virtual teaching workshops.
- ASP: Guide to Resources for Teaching Astro 101
- College-Level Astronomy Courses - links to course pages that include course material which can be used for inspiration.
- CAE: Outside Resources - Compilation of links to content and and teaching strategies.
- NASA Education Resources (NASA Wavelength)- comprehensive collection of NASA resources
- ComPADRE: Astronomy Center - a library of digital materials for teaching college-level introductory astronomy, sponsored in part by the AAS and the American Association for Physics Teachers. Has many links to other sites.
- Astrobites - A daily digest of astro-ph articles, written by graduate students at a level appropriate for undergraduate physical science majors. Could be used in the classroom in various ways: see this article for suggestions.
- Science Education Initiative (SEI) / CSWEI - materials and videos related to faculty professional development and course transformation, from CU Boulder and UBC, including guides for developing learning goals and multiple-choice assessments
- International Astronomical Union's Working Group on Astronomy Education: Theory & Methods
Online Courses and Textbooks
- free Astro 101 online textbook by Nick Strobel. If you don't plan to use Nick's textbook, you can see how another instructor lays out their Astro 101 course in great detail.
- Teach Astronomy - online text, links to Wikipedia, and APOD images by Chris Impey.
- Course on the nature of science that can be easily dropped into an Astro 101 course by Doug Duncan.
- Understanding Science - resources to integrate the nature and process of science into teaching at the undergraduate level.
Animations and Simulations
- NAAP Flash animations and simulations useful for Astro 101. Topics include seasons, moon phases, coordinate systems, light, and more.
- PhET Interactive Science Simulations - Physics simulations include Blackbody Radiation, Light and Filters, Gravity and Orbits, Solar Systems, and much more.
- Various intro astronomy animations in MPEG-4 and H.264 together with source code (hosted on github).
Videos and Podcasts
- Videos from Hubble and ESA.
- HR Diagram animation using Omega Cen
- Astronomy 001 video demos - Videos covering many key astro concepts with cheesy gags that are sure to appeal to some students.
- Silicon Valley Astronomy Lectures - Speakers over the years have included Nobel-prize winners, members of the National Academy of Sciences, the first woman in history to discover a planet, an astrophysicist who is an award-winning science fiction writer, and many other well-known scientists explaining astronomical developments in everyday language.
- Steward Observatory Public Evening Lectures - Quicktime videos.
- Cosmic Origins Lecture Series - 6-lecture series on "exploring our world and ourselves."
- Khan Academy - Cosmology and Astronomy special topic videos.
- Misconceptions about Science
- Physics Misconceptions
- Looking up papers about students' understanding of specific concepts would yield results for this (light and spectroscopy, gravity, lunar phases, stellar properties, cosmology, force and motion, etc.)
- Project CLEA labs
- Engaging in Astronomical Inquiry (CAPER)
- University of Washington Lab Clearinghouse
- Astronomy Labs: A Concept-Oriented Approach (40 labs available individually through the Pearson Custom Library)
- Teaching Astronomy blog
- P-dog's blog: boring but important
- Sciencegeekgirl - blog and resources for college-level science education and teacher professional development
- Astronomy Faculty Teaching Lounge blog
- astrolrner - This email list has been around for over a decade now, and is filled with experts in the field. The list is moderated, so usually the signal-to-noise is very high. The archives may also answer the questions you have about your class.
- Facebook/AstronomyEducation - This Facebook group is filled with people interested in teaching astronomy at a variety of levels.
- Facebook/CAE - This is the Facebook group for the NASA/JPL Center for Astronomy Education hosted the University of Arizona.
- Learner-Centered Astronomy Teaching: Strategies for ASTRO 101 - discusses leaner-centered concepts and how to implement them.
- Cosmos in the Classroom conference series in teaching introductory astronomy is available at the Astronomy Society of the Pacific website. The 2000, 2004 and 2007 editions are available in paper copy, and the 2010 edition will also be out soon. These series are not just filled with articles on astronomy education, but also contain handouts and activities from other astronomy instructors. There may be something you can adopt immediately for your class that has been developed by another instructor.
- How People Learn - a general introduction to, you guessed it how people learn, based in part on research in cognitive science. Many aspects of the books are relevant to Astro 101 teaching, including the differences between how novices and experts solve problems.
- CAPER Team Bookstore - a frequently updated list of "must haves" for Astronomy teaching experts
Multiple Choice Questions
- How to prepare better multiple-choice test items: guidelines for university faculty - Burton et al.
- Getting the Most Out of Multiple-choice Questions - D. DiBattista
- Advice for Students on taking MC tests
- CAE short online article about assessment, and the longer paper associated with it (Brissenden et al. 2002)
- Teaching and learning astronomy in the 21st century. Prather, E. E., Rudolph, A. L., and Brissenden, G., (2009).
Easy-to-digest Physics Today article summarizing a national study of the relationship between student learning and active engagement in astronomy, the curriculum and professional development efforts that supported instructors in implementing these particular active engagement strategies, and the analogous, highly influential study from physics education research that inspired it.
- Why peer discussion improves student performance on in-class concept questions. Smith, M. K. et al. (2009)
Short and sweet statistical analysis of students' responses to in-class, conceptual, multiple-choice questions, showing that students learn from discussing with their peers and are able to correctly answer subsequent questions independently.
- Do you always need a textbook to teach Astro 101? Rudolph, A. L. (2013).
Shows that using a textbook did not correlate with improved student learning in an interactive introductory astronomy course.
- Reaching students: What research says about effective instruction in undergraduate science and engineering. National Research Council (2015).
An illustration of the huge variety of ways that STEM instructors have incorporated education research into their instruction, aimed at instructors. Many of the people profiled are discipline-based education researchers and/or professional development leaders.
- Psychological insights for improved physics teaching. Aguilar, L., Walton, G., and Wieman, C., (2014).
Four short psychological interventions that can be paired with active learning, student-centered teaching strategies in an attempt to further reduce inequities that commonly arise when teaching a diverse population of students.
- Scientific teaching: defining a taxonomy of observable practices. Couch, B. et al. (2015).
An organized compliation of teaching goals that commonly come up for faculty during professional development efforts, and examples of teaching practices faculty use to support those goals. Gives references for readers to explore how those practices connect to research.
- The Classroom Observation Protocol for Undergraduate STEM (COPUS): A New Instrument to Characterize University STEM Classroom Practices. Smith, M. K. et al. (2013).
A non-evaluative tool used to document teaching practices - useful for observing others' teaching or being observed.
- Misconceptions or p-prims: How may alternative perspectives of cognitive structure influence instructional perceptions and intentions. Hammer, D., (1996).
An exploration of what it looks like to teach thinking students have misconceptions versus p-prims (small but not inherently wrong ideas). Contains some jargon, but aimed at teachers.
- What's all the fuss about metacognition? Schoenfeld (1987).
The author explains, with intentionally minimal jargon, what it means for students to regulate their own thinking (i.e., be metacognitive), and what it can look like to teach it. For him, this includes routinely asking students "What are you doing?", "Why are you doing it?" and "How does it help you?" as they solve problems in class.
- Conducting astronomy education research: a primer. Bailey, J. M., Slater, S. J., and Slater, T. F., (2010).
A brief guide to getting involved in astronomy education research yourself.
- Title, Authors