September 2, 2007
The key chart graphically relating instaneous, average, and difference kinematic variables.
Astronomy and physics education research and comments, field-tested think-pair-share (peer instruction) clicker questions, flashcard questions, in-class activities (lecture-tutorials), current events questions, backwards faded scaffolding laboratories, Hake gains, field-tested multiple-choice and essay exam questions, indices of discrimination, presentation slides, photos, ephemerae, astronomy in the marketplace, unrelated random sketches and minutiae.
H. John Wood acquired an excellent 2-hour video of the 19 November 2002 Leonids storm. The image tube was pointed toward the radiant, making most of the trails very short. Matthew Willson has extracted a 6-minute portion near the storm peak so that our web site visitors can get a sense of what this rare spectacle was like. The video is sped up by approximately a factor of three from real time. However, the field of view covers only about 10% of the sky. So the video extract shows only about 1/3 of the real-time meteor rates that an on-site observer might have seen under ideal viewing conditions.
I am only 32 [years old] but my perspective on [collaboration clicker questions] are a bit different. I found out that if time was running out and there was no sure answer for the CPS question, I could blurt anything out and the majority of the class would follow suit like sheep. I probably should have kept track of the times I did that so you could compare data. The older students in the class are less interested in participation with others, and were more likely to answer on their own anyway. I realize that this data is subjective, but I am willing to bet that if you rejected 25+ [year-old students] you would see a statisticial difference in the results. You would probably see the difference in attitude also.
--S.S., Spring 2006
--Dr. Michael Brown, California Institute of Technology, co-discoverer (along with Chad Trujillo of the Gemini Observatory, and David Rabinowitz of Yale University) of the new dwarf planet Eris, during his plenary talk "How I Demoted Pluto and Why It Had It Coming."
--Dr. Edward E. Prather, University of Arizona, title of his plenary talk, reflecting on the current state of education reform and the research that must go into supporting future changes to teaching introductory astronomy. (Dr. Pamela Gay, Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, discusses Prather's talk on her blog, starstryder.com.)
--Dr. Douglas Duncan, University of Colorado-Boulder, on concentrating on geolgical/atmospheric differences between the three terrestrial planets Venus, Earth, and Mars, and on the jovian planet exemplar Jupiter in his introductory astronomy course.
--Dr. Christopher Impey, University of Arizona, in his plenary talk "Teaching Astronomy with Electrons and Waves," comparing the rapid changes occuring to the societal mores, communication modes, and pop culture of the student body, relative to the glacial changes in attitudes and expectations of faculty.
How much are clicker questions worth?The presentation for this workshop is in the previous post: Formative, Summative, and Cooperative Clicker Instruction in Astronomy (Cosmos in the Classroom 2007).
There are a total of 600.0 course points for Astronomy 10 at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo, CA, of which 75.0 points are for using clickers. There are approximately 100-120 formative/summative clicker questions @ 0.3 points each = 30.0-36.0 points. There are exactly 100 collaborative (review) clicker questions @ 0.3-0.6 points each (depending on doubling if a cumulative review session score > 80%) = 30.0-60.0 points. Thus students who respond to every clicker question can get a maximum of 60.0-96.0 points, depending on how often the doubling bonus is attained. The average cumulative review session score is 82% +/- 17%, and a class typically reaches the doubling bonus threshold perhaps two-thirds of the time. If there are more than 75.0 clicker points awarded, those are considered extra-credit (and can only be awarded in a class that reaches the doubling bonus for collaborative (review) questions nearly every session, and to a student that has perfect attendance and responds to every clicker question).
Are clicker questions posted for students?
Clicker questions are posted online after each class, so students can download them from the course website instead of having to write down the questions in class. The posted questions do not have the correct choices indicated; these students can record for themselves in their class notes. These questions are taken down a short while afterwards, and some responses are scrambled for the subsequent semester.
Are clicker questions posted for other instructors?
Clicker questions (and exam multiple-choice questions and short-answer essay questions) for introductory astronomy are regularly posted on weekdays during the school year, and can be accessed by clicking on the links at right. For each posting, the context is given, and student responses are tabulated.
Can other education researchers use the tabulated student responses for these questions?
According to the Human Subject Regulations Decision Charts from the Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), tabulation of student responses as research is exempt under 45 CHR 46.101(b)(1) from all 45 CFR part 46 requirements, and exempt under 45 CFR 46.101(b)(2) exemption from 45 CHR part 46 requirements. However, these results should not be used by other education researchers in their own research, unless prior permission is sought.
F1. Why are you interested in this clicker workshop (H3)?These questions are meant to survey student opinions, preconceptions, pre-reading comprehension, or bridge new material with previously discussed concepts.
- Never used clickers before; would like to learn about them.
- Already use clickers; would like to learn more.
- Every other workshop at this time is too crowded.
- Selected this workshop at random.
F2. Which one of the following choices best describes the glowing colors of light emitted by a "blackbody" (such as a charcoal briquette glowing in the dark), as it is gradually heated up from a warm temperature to a very hot temperature?
- Dark gray, medium gray, light gray, white.
- Red, blue, yellow, white, violet.
- Red, orange, yellow, white, blue.
- Blue, green, yellow, orange, red.
F3. Consider a 1.0 MSun giant and a 4.0 MSun main sequence star in a close pair ("mass-exchanging") binary star system. Which star is older?
- The 1.0 MSun giant.
- The 4.0 MSun main sequence star.
- Both stars have the same age.
- (The ages of these stars cannot be determined, without knowing how much mass has been exchanged between them.)
S1. Why is a white dwarf star known to be smaller than a main-sequence star that has the same white-hot color?
- It is less luminous than the main-sequence star.
- It is more luminous than the main-sequence star.
- It is cooler than the main-sequence star.
- It is hotter than the main-sequence star.
C1. Which one of following statements best explains why white dwarfs are known to be smaller in size than red dwarfs?
- They have the same temperature as, but are more luminous than red dwarfs.
- They have the same temperature as, but are less luminous than red dwarfs.
- They have the same luminosity as, but are hotter than red dwarfs.
- They have the same luminosity as, but are cooler than red dwarfs.
- (None of the above choices (A)-(D), as white dwarfs are actually larger in size than red dwarfs.)
C2. Which one of the following statements best describes how the blackbody (continuous) spectrum of a solid object would change as it is gradually cooled down from a very hot temperature to a warm temperature? On this intensity versus wavelength graph, spectrum W and spectrum X have their peaks at the same wavelength of 480 nm; spectrum Y and spectrum Z have their peaks at the same wavelength of 1,070 nm.
- Spectrum W will gradually become spectrum X.
- Spectrum W will gradually become spectrum Y.
- Spectrum W will gradually become spectrum Z.
- Spectrum Y will gradually become spectrum X.
- Spectrum Y will gradually become spectrum Z.
C3. Which one of following sets of parameters best describes the minimum information required to determine the radius of a star?
- The distance from the Earth to the star, and its apparent magnitude.
- The surface temperature of the star, and its parallax angle.
- The surface temperature of the star, and its luminosity.
- The parallax angle of the star, and its apparent magnitude.
- The parallax angle of the star, and its luminosity.
C4. Which one of the following statements best describes the relationship between a main sequence star and a supergiant that have the same luminosity?
- The main sequence star is cooler and smaller than the supergiant.
- The main sequence star is cooler and larger than the supergiant.
- The main sequence star is hotter and smaller than the supergiant.
- The main sequence star is hotter and larger than the supergiant.
- (None of the above choices (A)-(D), as it is not possible for a main sequence star to have the same luminosity as a supergiant.)
Refer to the table below in answering the following question (C5).
C5. Which one of the following choices best explains which star is the largest in size, according to the Stefan-Boltzmann law?
Shaula 25,000 K –5.0 +1.6 π Puppis 4,300 K –5.0 +2.7 β Muscae 25,000 K –1.8 +3.0 Minkar 4,300 K –1.8 +3.0
- π Puppis.
- β Muscae.
- (Not enough information is given to determine which of the above stars (A)-(D) is the largest in size.)
You are expected to bring your textbook to each class. At least one, but no more than two quizzes during a semester may be specially designated as "open book," where you will be allowed access to your own individual textbook during the quiz, but open notes are not allowed. Highlighting, underlining and short comments written in your textbook are acceptable. Lecture notes, reading guides, and other separate study materials are not acceptable. An "open book" quiz will not be announced until just before the start of a quiz. You should be prepared to answer all quiz questions regardless of whether or not you have access to a textbook, and regardless of whether a quiz is "open book" or not. Time spent to retrieve a textbook from outside the classroom during a quiz will be considered time during the 15 minutes allotted to take the quiz. The intent of this practice is to encourage individual ownership and accountability, and to emphasize the importance of utilizing the textbook effectively as a learning resource.Since there are 12 scheduled quizzes during the semester, a 12-sided die is used for a volunteer student to "roll" for an open-book quiz for the class. The first three quizzes for the semester are always closed-book (as they focus on spatial relationships in determining diurnal, lunar, and planetary positions and motions in the celestial sphere), and midterms are also always closed-book.