20120531

Education research: ALLS pre- to post-instruction attitude shifts (Cuesta College, spring semester 2012)

Student attitudes are assessed using an Astronomy Laboratory Learning Survey (ALLS), a five-point Likert scale questionnaire with demographic questions, and entry/exit evaluation questions (Patrick M. Len, in development) to Astronomy 210L students at Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA. This laboratory course is a one-semester, adjunct course to Astronomy 210 lecture, and is taken primarily by students to satisfy their general education science laboratory transfer requirement.

The ALLS is administered as a pre-test on the first laboratory meeting, before any introduction/instruction took place; and as a post-test on the last laboratory meeting.

The results from the pre- and post-test questions follow below. Values for the mean and standard deviations are given next to the modal response category for each question, along with a Student t-test for the probability of null hypothesis rejection, and the class-wise Hake gain. (Matched-pair Hake gains were not calculated for each student, as pre-instruction values such as "5" would result in undefined values.) For statistical purposes, blank entries were treated as "3. Neutral," and multiply-circled entries such as "12," "23," "34," and "45" were treated as "1," "2," "4," and "5" respectively.
Cuesta College
Astronomy Laboratory Learning Survey (ALLS)
Pre- and Post-instruction results
Astronomy 210L spring semester 2012 sections 30678, 30679, 30680, 30682
(N = 57, matched-pairs only)

1. I am interested in using a telescope or binoculars for astronomy.
Pre-instruction
1. Strongly disagree 0 :
2. Disagree 0 :
3. Neutral 10 : **********
4. Agree 26 : ************************** [4.2 +/- 0.7]
5. Strongly agree 21 : *********************

Post-instruction
1. Strongly disagree 0 :
2. Disagree 0 :
3. Neutral 13 : *************
4. Agree 33 : ********************************* [4.0 +/- 0.7]
5. Strongly agree 11 : ***********

Student t-test p = 0.079 (t = 1.77, sd = 0.687, dof = 112)
Class-wise <g> = -0.28

2. Astronomy has little relation to what I experience in the real world.
Pre-instruction
1. Strongly disagree 4 : ****
2. Disagree 26 : ************************** [2.6 +/- 1.0]
3. Neutral 18 : ******************
4. Agree 6 : ******
5. Strongly agree 3 : ***

Post-instruction
1. Strongly disagree 7 : *******
2. Disagree 25 : ************************* [2.6 +/- 1.1]
3. Neutral 13 : *************
4. Agree 9 : *********
5. Strongly agree 3 : ***

Student t-test p = 0.85 (t = 0.185, sd = 1.02, dof = 112)
Class-wise <g> = -0.01

3. I know where and how to look up astronomy information.
Pre-instruction
1. Strongly disagree 9 : *********
2. Disagree 21 : ********************* [2.7 +/- 1.2]
3. Neutral 11 : ***********
4. Agree 10 : **********
5. Strongly agree 6 : ******

Post-instruction
1. Strongly disagree 0 :
2. Disagree 0 :
3. Neutral 4 : ****
4. Agree 27 : *************************** [4.4 +/- 0.6]
5. Strongly agree 26 : **************************

Student t-test p < 0.0001 (t = -9.18, sd = 0.979, dof = 112)
Class-wise <g> = +0.73

4. I know where and how to find objects in the night sky.
Pre-instruction
1. Strongly disagree 9 : *********
2. Disagree 15 : ***************
3. Neutral 18 : ****************** [2.7 +/- 1.1]
4. Agree 14 : **************
5. Strongly agree 1 : *

Post-instruction
1. Strongly disagree 0 :
2. Disagree 1 : *
3. Neutral 17 : *****************
4. Agree 29 : ***************************** [3.8 +/- 0.7]
5. Strongly agree 10 : **********

Student t-test p < 0.0001 (t = -6.66, sd = 0.914, dof = 112)
Class-wise <g> = +0.50

5. I am interested in news that is related to astronomy.
Pre-instruction
1. Strongly disagree 0 :
2. Disagree 7 : *******
3. Neutral 17 : *****************
4. Agree 25 : ************************* [3.6 +/- 0.9]
5. Strongly agree 8 : ********

Post-instruction
1. Strongly disagree 2 : **
2. Disagree 3 : ***
3. Neutral 18 : ******************
4. Agree 24 : ************************ [3.6 +/- 1.0]
5. Strongly agree 10 : **********

Student t-test p = 0.76 (t = 0.306, sd = 0.920, dof = 112)
Class-wise <g> = +0.04

6. I often ask myself questions related to astronomy.
Pre-instruction
1. Strongly disagree 3 : ***
2. Disagree 14 : **************
3. Neutral 18 : ****************** [3.1 +/- 1.0]
4. Agree 19 : *******************
5. Strongly agree 3 : ***

Post-instruction
1. Strongly disagree 3 : ***
2. Disagree 8 : ********
3. Neutral 14 : **************
4. Agree 25 : ************************* [3.4 +/- 1.1]
5. Strongly agree 7 : *******

Student t-test p = 0.071 (t = -1.82, sd = 1.03, dof = 112)
Class-wise <g> = +0.18

7. I understand what science research is like.
Pre-instruction
1. Strongly disagree 2 : **
2. Disagree 14 : **************
3. Neutral 17 : *****************
4. Agree 18 : ****************** [3.2 +/- 1.0]
5. Strongly agree 6 : ******

Post-instruction
1. Strongly disagree 0 :
2. Disagree 0 :
3. Neutral 9 : *********
4. Agree 33 : ********************************* [4.1 +/- 0.6]
5. Strongly agree 15 : ***************

Student t-test p < 0.0001 (t = -5.49, sd = 0.870, dof = 112)
Class-wise <g> = +0.50


8. I understand how science research questions are answered.
Pre-instruction
1. Strongly disagree 4 : ****
2. Disagree 10 : **********
3. Neutral 20 : ******************** [3.2 +/- 1.1]
4. Agree 16 : ****************
5. Strongly agree 7 : *******

Post-instruction
1. Strongly disagree 0 :
2. Disagree 0 :
3. Neutral 7 : *******
4. Agree 32 : ******************************** [4.2 +/- 0.6]
5. Strongly agree 18 : ******************

Student t-test p < 0.0001 (t = -5.84, sd = 0.898, dof = 112)
Class-wise <g> = +0.55


9. I prefer to work independently rather than in groups.
Pre-instruction
1. Strongly disagree 8 : ********
2. Disagree 11 : ***********
3. Neutral 21 : ********************* [2.9 +/- 1.2]
4. Agree 12 : ************
5. Strongly agree 5 : *****

Post-instruction
1. Strongly disagree 8 : ********
2. Disagree 20 : ******************** [2.6 +/- 1.1]
3. Neutral 19 : *******************
4. Agree 5 : *****
5. Strongly agree 5 : *****

Student t-test p = 0.19 (t = 1.32, sd = 1.13, dof = 112)
Class-wise <g> = -0.13

10. I can understand difficult concepts better if I am able to explain them to
others.
Pre-instruction
1. Strongly disagree 2 : **
2. Disagree 9 : *********
3. Neutral 24 : ************************ [3.2 +/- 0.9]
4. Agree 19 : *******************
5. Strongly agree 3 : ***

Post-instruction
1. Strongly disagree 2 : **
2. Disagree 4 : ****
3. Neutral 22 : ********************** [3.5 +/- 1.0]
4. Agree 19 : *******************
5. Strongly agree 10 : **********

Student t-test p = 0.062 (t = -1.89, sd = 0.943, dof = 112)
Class-wise <g> = +0.19

11. I can understand difficult concepts better if I am able to ask lots of
questions.
Pre-instruction
1. Strongly disagree 1 : *
2. Disagree 3 : ***
3. Neutral 14 : **************
4. Agree 30 : ****************************** [3.8 +/- 0.9]
5. Strongly agree 5 : *****

Post-instruction
1. Strongly disagree 0 :
2. Disagree 9 : *********
3. Neutral 9 : *********
4. Agree 26 : ************************** [3.8 +/- 1.0]
5. Strongly agree 13 : *************

Student t-test p = 1.00 (t = 0.00, sd = 0.922, dof = 112)
Class-wise <g> = 0

12. Knowledge in astronomy consists of many pieces of information each of
which applies primarily to a specific situation.
Pre-instruction
1. Strongly disagree 5 : *****
2. Disagree 19 : *******************
3. Neutral 27 : *************************** [2.6 +/- 0.8]
4. Agree 5 : *****
5. Strongly agree 1 : *

Post-instruction
1. Strongly disagree 15 : ***************
2. Disagree 16 : ****************
3. Neutral 18 : ****************** [2.4 +/- 1.1]
4. Agree 6 : ******
5. Strongly agree 2 : **

Student t-test p = 0.18 (t = 1.34, sd = 0.976, dof = 112)
Class-wise <g>> = -0.10

13. I am good at math.
Pre-instruction
1. Strongly disagree 7 : *******
2. Disagree 10 : **********
3. Neutral 19 : ******************* [3.0 +/- 1.1]
4. Agree 16 : ****************
5. Strongly agree 5 : *****

Post-instruction
1. Strongly disagree 9 : *********
2. Disagree 10 : **********
3. Neutral 19 : ******************* [3.0 +/- 1.3]
4. Agree 11 : ***********
5. Strongly agree 8 : ********

Student t-test p = 0.82 (t = 0.233, sd = 1.21, dof = 112)
Class-wise <g> = -0.03

14. I am good at science.
Pre-instruction
1. Strongly disagree 3 : ***
2. Disagree 9 : *********
3. Neutral 24 : ************************ [3.2 +/- 1.0]
4. Agree 17 : *****************
5. Strongly agree 4 : ****

Post-instruction
1. Strongly disagree 4 : ****
2. Disagree 9 : *********
3. Neutral 20 : ******************** [3.2 +/- 1.0]
4. Agree 19 : *******************
5. Strongly agree 5 : *****

Student t-test p = 0.85 (t = 0.186, sd = 1.01, dof = 112)
Class-wise <g> = 0.02

15. Astronomy lab will be/was difficult for me.
Pre-instruction
1. Strongly disagree 3 : ***
2. Disagree 24 : ************************ [2.6 +/- 0.8]
3. Neutral 22 : **********************
4. Agree 7 : *******
5. Strongly agree 1 : *

Post-instruction
1. Strongly disagree 21 : ********************* [2.0 +/- 0.9]
2. Disagree 19 : *******************
3. Neutral 15 : ***************
4. Agree 1 : *
5. Strongly agree 1 : *

Student t-test p = 0.0002 (t = 3.90, sd = 0.888, dof = 112)
Class-wise <g> = -0.27

This semester (spring semester 2012) was the third implementation of a backwards faded scaffolding curriculum (Slater, Slater, and Lyons, 2010), and second implementation of version 2.0 of the ALLS. Previous semesters (fall semester 2011 and earlier) used a conventional "cookbook" laboratory curriculum, and version 1.1 of the ALLS.

(The following results are similar for both this spring semester 2012, and the previous fall semester 2011.) A key difference between version 2.0 and version 1.1 of the ALLS is that the newer version has questions (7) and (8) specifically addressing gains towards achieving the student learning outcomes for the backwards faded scaffolding laboratory curriculum:
  • Keeping abreast of present-day discoveries and developments in astronomy (current events).
  • Developing scientific evidence-based research questions.
  • Developing procedures to gather evidence in order to answer research questions.
  • Making appropriate evidence-supported conclusions.
  • Explaining research findings in a report, poster, or presentation.
  • Evaluating evidence to determine whether or not it appropriately answers a research question.
Response to questions (7)-(8) show statistically significant, strong pre- to post-instruction gains, while all other responses show comparable results whether from the current BFS or conventional "cookbook" labs from a previous curriculum.

Previous posts:

20120530

Education research: ALLS pre- to post-instruction attitude shifts (Cuesta College, fall semester 2011)

Student attitudes are assessed using an Astronomy Laboratory Learning Survey (ALLS), a five-point Likert scale questionnaire with demographic questions, and entry/exit evaluation questions (Patrick M. Len, in development) to Astronomy 210L students at Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA. This laboratory course is a one-semester, adjunct course to Astronomy 210 lecture, and is taken primarily by students to satisfy their general education science laboratory transfer requirement.

The ALLS is administered as a pre-test on the first laboratory meeting, before any introduction/instruction took place; and as a post-test on the last laboratory meeting.

The results from the pre- and post-test questions follow below. Values for the mean and standard deviations are given next to the modal response category for each question, along with a Student t-test for the probability of null hypothesis rejection, and the class-wise Hake gain. (Matched-pair Hake gains were not calculated for each student, as pre-instruction values such as "5" would result in undefined values.) For statistical purposes, blank entries were treated as "3. Neutral," and multiply-circled entries such as "12," "23," "34," and "45" were treated as "1," "2," "4," and "5" respectively.
Cuesta College
Astronomy Laboratory Learning Survey (ALLS)
Pre- and Post-instruction results
Astronomy 210L fall semester 2011 sections 70178, 70186, 70200
(N = 44, matched-pairs only)

1. I am interested in using a telescope or binoculars for astronomy.
Pre-instruction
1. Strongly disagree 0 :
2. Disagree 0 :
3. Neutral 3 : ***
4. Agree 22 : ********************** [4.4 +/- 0.6]
5. Strongly agree 19 : *******************

Post-instruction
1. Strongly disagree 0 :
2. Disagree 0 :
3. Neutral 8 : ********
4. Agree 21 : ********************* [4.2 +/- 0.7]
5. Strongly agree 15 : ***************

Student t-test p = 0.15 (t = 1.44, sd = 0.665, dof = 86)
Class-wise <g> = -0.32

2. Astronomy has little relation to what I experience in the real world.
Pre-instruction
1. Strongly disagree 0 :
2. Disagree 17 : *****************
3. Neutral 19 : ******************* [2.6 +/- 0.8]
4. Agree 5 : *****
5. Strongly agree 0 :

Post-instruction
1. Strongly disagree 5 : *****
2. Disagree 18 : ****************** [2.5 +/- 0.9]
3. Neutral 15 : ***************
4. Agree 5 : *****
5. Strongly agree 1 : *

Student t-test p = 0.71 (t = 0.372, sd = 0.860, dof = 86)
Class-wise <g> = -0.03

3. I know where and how to look up astronomy information.
Pre-instruction
1. Strongly disagree 3 : ***
2. Disagree 9 : *********
3. Neutral 20 : ******************** [3.0 +/- 1.0]
4. Agree 8 : ********
5. Strongly agree 4 : ****

Post-instruction
1. Strongly disagree 0 :
2. Disagree 1 : *
3. Neutral 5 : *****
4. Agree 15 : ***************
5. Strongly agree 23 : *********************** [4.4 +/- 0.8]

Student t-test p < 0.0001 (t = -6.91, sd = 0.910, dof = 86)
Class-wise <g> = +0.68

4. I know where and how to find objects in the night sky.
Pre-instruction
1. Strongly disagree 3 : ***
2. Disagree 12 : ************
3. Neutral 11 : ***********
4. Agree 17 : ***************** [3.0 +/- 1.0]
5. Strongly agree 1 : *

Post-instruction
1. Strongly disagree 0 :
2. Disagree 1 : *
3. Neutral 9 : *********
4. Agree 24 : ************************ [4.0 +/- 0.7]
5. Strongly agree 10 : **********

Student t-test p < 0.0001 (t = -5.04, sd = 0.889, dof = 86)
Class-wise <g> = +0.48

5. I am interested in news that is related to astronomy.
Pre-instruction
1. Strongly disagree 0 :
2. Disagree 3 : ***
3. Neutral 14 : **************
4. Agree 15 : *************** [3.8 +/- 0.9]
5. Strongly agree 12 : ************

Post-instruction
1. Strongly disagree 0 :
2. Disagree 2 : **
3. Neutral 13 : *************
4. Agree 17 : ***************** [3.9 +/- 0.9]
5. Strongly agree 12 : ************

Student t-test p = 0.72 (t = 0.357, sd = 0.896, dof = 86)
Class-wise <g> = +0.06

6. I often ask myself questions related to astronomy.
Pre-instruction
1. Strongly disagree 3 : ***
2. Disagree 7 : *******
3. Neutral 18 : ****************** [3.3 +/- 1.1]
4. Agree 8 : ********
5. Strongly agree 8 : ********

Post-instruction
1. Strongly disagree 0 :
2. Disagree 8 : ********
3. Neutral 16 : **************** [3.5 +/- 1.1]
4. Agree 9 : *********
5. Strongly agree 11 : ******

Student t-test p = 0.25 (t = -1.16, sd = 1.11, dof = 86)
Class-wise <g> = +0.16

7. I understand what science research is like.
Pre-instruction
1. Strongly disagree 2 : **
2. Disagree 2 : **
3. Neutral 16 : ****************
4. Agree 18 : ****************** [3.4 +/- 1.0]
5. Strongly agree 6 : ******

Post-instruction
1. Strongly disagree 0 :
2. Disagree 0 :
3. Neutral 12 : ************
4. Agree 17 : ***************** [4.1 +/- 0.8]
5. Strongly agree 15 : ***************

Student t-test p = 0.0005 (t = -3.63, sd = 0.887, dof = 81)
Class-wise <g> = +0.41


8. I understand how science research questions are answered.
Pre-instruction
1. Strongly disagree 3 : ***
2. Disagree 13 : *************
3. Neutral 19 : ******************* [3.5 +/- 1.0]
4. Agree 7 : *******
5. Strongly agree 2 : **

Post-instruction
1. Strongly disagree 0 :
2. Disagree 0 :
3. Neutral 4 : ****
4. Agree 22 : ********************** [4.3 +/- 0.6]
5. Strongly agree 18 : ******************

Student t-test p = 0.0001 (t = -4.47, sd = 0.810, dof = 86)
Class-wise <g> = +0.53


9. I prefer to work independently rather than in groups.
Pre-instruction
1. Strongly disagree 3 : ***
2. Disagree 13 : *************
3. Neutral 19 : ******************* [2.8 +/- 0.9]
4. Agree 7 : *******
5. Strongly agree 2 : **

Post-instruction
1. Strongly disagree 8 : ********
2. Disagree 13 : *************
3. Neutral 18 : ****************** [2.5 +/- 1.0]
4. Agree 3 : ***
5. Strongly agree 2 : **

Student t-test p = 0.13 (t = 1.51, sd = 0.986, dof = 86)
Class-wise <g> = -0.15

10. I can understand difficult concepts better if I am able to explain them to
others.
Pre-instruction
1. Strongly disagree 2 : **
2. Disagree 11 : ***********
3. Neutral 18 : ****************** [3.0 +/- 1.0]
4. Agree 10 : **********
5. Strongly agree 3 : ***

Post-instruction
1. Strongly disagree 1 : *
2. Disagree 9 : *********
3. Neutral 11 : ***********
4. Agree 13 : ************* [3.5 +/- 1.1]
5. Strongly agree 10 : **********

Student t-test p = 0.037 (t = -2.12, sd = 1.06, dof = 86)
Class-wise <g> = +0.24

11. I can understand difficult concepts better if I am able to ask lots of
questions.
Pre-instruction
1. Strongly disagree 0 :
2. Disagree 4 : ****
3. Neutral 14 : **************
4. Agree 21 : ********************* [3.6 +/- 0.8]
5. Strongly agree 5 : *****

Post-instruction
1. Strongly disagree 0 :
2. Disagree 1 : *
3. Neutral 14 : **************
4. Agree 23 : *********************** [3.8 +/- 0.7]
5. Strongly agree 6 : ******

Student t-test p = 0.33 (t = 0.977, sd = 0.764, dof = 86)
Class-wise <g> = +0.12

12. Knowledge in astronomy consists of many pieces of information each of
which applies primarily to a specific situation.
Pre-instruction
1. Strongly disagree 5 : *****
2. Disagree 13 : *************
3. Neutral 23 : *********************** [2.6 +/- 0.8]
4. Agree 2 : **
5. Strongly agree 1 : *

Post-instruction
1. Strongly disagree 7 : *******
2. Disagree 15 : ***************
3. Neutral 16 : **************** [2.5 +/- 0.9]
4. Agree 6 : ******
5. Strongly agree 0 :

Student t-test p = 0.63 (t = 0.480, sd = 0.888, dof = 86)
Class-wise <g>> = -0.04

13. I am good at math.
Pre-instruction
1. Strongly disagree 3 : ***
2. Disagree 7 : *******
3. Neutral 13 : *************
4. Agree 18 : ****************** [3.3 +/- 1.0]
5. Strongly agree 3 : ***

Post-instruction
1. Strongly disagree 4 : ****
2. Disagree 6 : ******
3. Neutral 14 : **************
4. Agree 16 : **************** [3.2 +/- 1.1]
5. Strongly agree 4 : ****

Student t-test p = 0.92 (t = 0.0999, sd = 1.07, dof = 86)
Class-wise <g> = -0.01

14. I am good at science.
Pre-instruction
1. Strongly disagree 2 : **
2. Disagree 6 : ******
3. Neutral 13 : *************
4. Agree 21 : ********************* [3.3 +/- 0.9]
5. Strongly agree 2 : **

Post-instruction
1. Strongly disagree 4 : ****
2. Disagree 4 : ****
3. Neutral 11 : ***********
4. Agree 20 : ******************** [3.4 +/- 1.1]
5. Strongly agree 5 : *****

Student t-test p = 0.76 (t = 0.312, sd = 1.03, dof = 86)
Class-wise <g> = 0.04

15. Astronomy lab will be/was difficult for me.
Pre-instruction
1. Strongly disagree 2 : **
2. Disagree 20 : ******************** [2.6 +/- 0.8]
3. Neutral 19 : *******************
4. Agree 1 : *
5. Strongly agree 2 : **

Post-instruction
1. Strongly disagree 18 : ****************** [1.8 +/- 0.8]
2. Disagree 15 : ***************
3. Neutral 11 : ***********
4. Agree 0 :
5. Strongly agree 0 :

Student t-test p = 0.0001 (t = 4.20, sd = 0.812, dof = 96)
Class-wise <g> = -0.30

This semester (fall semester 2011) was the second implementation of a backwards faded scaffolding curriculum (Slater, Slater, and Lyons, 2010), and first implementation of version 2.0 of the ALLS. Previous semesters (fall semester 2011 and earlier) used a conventional "cookbook" laboratory curriculum, and version 1.1 of the ALLS.

A key difference between version 2.0 and version 1.1 of the ALLS is that the newer version has questions (7) and (8) specifically addressing gains towards achieving the student learning outcomes for the backwards faded scaffolding laboratory curriculum:
  • Keeping abreast of present-day discoveries and developments in astronomy (current events).
  • Developing scientific evidence-based research questions.
  • Developing procedures to gather evidence in order to answer research questions.
  • Making appropriate evidence-supported conclusions.
  • Explaining research findings in a report, poster, or presentation.
  • Evaluating evidence to determine whether or not it appropriately answers a research question.
Response to questions (7)-(8) show statistically significant, strong pre- to post-instruction gains, while all other responses show comparable results whether from the current BFS or conventional "cookbook" labs from a previous curriculum.

Previous posts:

20120529

Education research: ALLS demographic results (Cuesta College, spring semester 2012)

Student attitudes are assessed using an Astronomy Laboratory Learning Survey (ALLS), a five-point Likert scale questionnaire with demographic questions, and entry/exit evaluation questions (Patrick M. Len, in development) to Astronomy 210L students at Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA. This laboratory course is a one-semester, adjunct course to Astronomy 210 lecture, and is taken primarily by students to satisfy their general education science laboratory transfer requirement.

The ALLS is administered as a pre-test on the first laboratory meeting, before any introduction/instruction took place; and as a post-test on the last laboratory meeting.

The results from the pre-test demographic questions follow below. Only matched-pair results are shown, for students who were eventually able to take the post-instruction ALLS at the last laboratory meeting.
Cuesta College
Astronomy Laboratory Learning Survey (ALLS)
Demographic pre-instruction question results
Astronomy 210L spring semester 2012 sections 30678, 30679, 30680, 30682
(N = 57, matched-pairs only)

16. What is your gender?
(A) Female. [27]
(B) Male. [30]

17. Have you previously taken an astronomy lecture class?
(A) Yes. [17]
(B) No. [40]

18. Are you currently enrolled in an astronomy lecture class?
(A) Yes. [44]
(B) No. [13]

19. How many college science courses have you completed prior
to taking this course?
(A) None. [16]
(B) 1. [21]
(C) 2. [ 9]
(D) 3. [ 5]
(E) 4+. [ 6]

20. What is your college major (or current area(s) of interest
if undecided)? Choose as many areas of interest that apply.
(A) Business. [16]
(B) Education. [11]
(C) Humanities, Social Sciences, or the Arts. [23]
(D) Science, Engineering, or Architecture. [ 5]
(E) Other. [20]

21. Which of these college math classes have you completed
prior to taking this course? Choose as many classes that apply.
(A) Algebra. [40]
(B) Trigonometry. [ 8]
(C) Geometry. [13]
(D) Pre-calculus. [17]
(E) Calculus. [10]
(F) Statistics. [15]

Previous posts:

20120528

Education research: ALLS demographic results (Cuesta College, fall semester 2011)

Student attitudes are assessed using an Astronomy Laboratory Learning Survey (ALLS), a five-point Likert scale questionnaire with demographic questions, and entry/exit evaluation questions (Patrick M. Len, in development) to Astronomy 210L students at Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA. This laboratory course is a one-semester, adjunct course to Astronomy 210 lecture, and is taken primarily by students to satisfy their general education science laboratory transfer requirement.

The ALLS is administered as a pre-test on the first laboratory meeting, before any introduction/instruction took place; and as a post-test on the last laboratory meeting.

The results from the pre-test demographic questions follow below. Only matched-pair results are shown, for students who were eventually able to take the post-instruction ALLS at the last laboratory meeting.
Cuesta College
Astronomy Laboratory Learning Survey (ALLS)
Demographic pre-instruction question results
Astronomy 210L fall semester 2011 sections 70178, 70186, 70200
(N = 44, matched-pairs only)

16. What is your gender?
(A) Female. [21]
(B) Male. [23]

17. Have you previously taken an astronomy lecture class?
(A) Yes. [10]
(B) No. [34]

18. Are you currently enrolled in an astronomy lecture class?
(A) Yes. [34]
(B) No. [10]

19. How many college science courses have you completed prior
to taking this course?
(A) None. [19]
(B) 1. [11]
(C) 2. [ 5]
(D) 3. [ 2]
(E) 4+. [ 7]

20. What is your college major (or current area(s) of interest
if undecided)? Choose as many areas of interest that apply.
(A) Business. [ 9]
(B) Education. [ 6]
(C) Humanities, Social Sciences, or the Arts. [23]
(D) Science, Engineering, or Architecture. [10]
(E) Other. [17]

21. Which of these college math classes have you completed
prior to taking this course? Choose as many classes that apply.
(A) Algebra. [29]
(B) Trigonometry. [ 4]
(C) Geometry. [14]
(D) Pre-calculus. [11]
(E) Calculus. [ 7]
(F) Statistics. [12]

Previous posts:

20120527

Education research: ALLS post-instruction opinion results (Cuesta College, spring semester 2012)

Student attitudes are assessed using an Astronomy Laboratory Learning Survey (ALLS), a five-point Likert scale questionnaire with demographic questions, and entry/exit evaluation questions (Patrick M. Len, in development) to Astronomy 210L students at Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA. This laboratory course is a one-semester, adjunct course to Astronomy 210 lecture, and is taken primarily by students to satisfy their general education science laboratory transfer requirement.

The ALLS is administered as a pre-test on the first laboratory meeting, before any introduction/instruction took place; and as a post-test on the last laboratory meeting.

The results from the post-test opinion questions follow below. Only matched-pair results are shown, for students who were also able to take the pre-instruction ALLS at the first laboratory meeting. Values for the mean and standard deviations are given next to the modal response category for each question.
Cuesta College
Astronomy Laboratory Learning Survey (ALLS)
Post-instruction opinion results
Astronomy 210L spring semester 2012 sections 30678, 30679, 30680, 30682
(N = 57, matched-pairs only)

16. I can keep abreast of present-day discoveries and developments in astronomy
(current events).
1. Strongly disagree 2 : **
2. Disagree 4 : ****
3. Neutral 14 : **************
4. Agree 24 : ************************ [3.7 +/- 1.0]
5. Strongly agree 13 : *************

17. I can develop scientific evidence-based research questions.
1. Strongly disagree 1 : *
2. Disagree 2 : **
3. Neutral 11 : ***********
4. Agree 33 : ********************************* [3.9 +/- 0.8]
5. Strongly agree 10 : **********

18. I can develop procedures to gather evidence in order to answer research
questions.
1. Strongly disagree 0 :
2. Disagree 0 :
3. Neutral 3 : ***
4. Agree 38 : ************************************** [4.2 +/- 0.5]
5. Strongly agree 16 : ****************

19. I can make appropriate evidence-supported conclusions.
1. Strongly disagree 0 :
2. Disagree 1 : *
3. Neutral 0 :
4. Agree 35 : *********************************** [4.3 +/- 0.6]
5. Strongly agree 21 : *********************

20. I can explain research findings in a report, poster, or presentation.
1. Strongly disagree 0 :
2. Disagree 1 : *
3. Neutral 4 : ***
4. Agree 35 : *********************************** [4.2 +/- 0.6]
5. Strongly agree 17 : *****************

21. I can evaluate evidence to determine whether or not it appropriately answers
a research question.
1. Strongly disagree 0 :
2. Disagree 2 : **
3. Neutral 7 : *******
4. Agree 35 : *********************************** [4.0 +/- 0.7]
5. Strongly agree 13 : *************

22. Astronomy lab was an enjoyable experience.
1. Strongly disagree 0 :
2. Disagree 2 : **
3. Neutral 7 : *******
4. Agree 19 : *******************
5. Strongly agree 29 : ***************************** [4.3 +/- 0.8]

23. I asked a lot of questions in astronomy lab.
1. Strongly disagree 4 : ****
2. Disagree 13 : *************
3. Neutral 21 : ********************* [3.0 +/- 1.0]
4. Agree 15 : ***************
5. Strongly agree 4 : ****

24. I generally understood what needed to be done in astronomy lab.
1. Strongly disagree 1 : *
2. Disagree 0 :
3. Neutral 5 : *****
4. Agree 14 : **************
5. Strongly agree 45 : ********************************************* [4.1 +/- 0.7]

25. My work in astronomy lab was graded fairly.
1. Strongly disagree 1 : *
2. Disagree 0 :
3. Neutral 3 : ***
4. Agree 21 : *********************
5. Strongly agree 32 : ******************************** [4.5 +/- 0.8]

26. I did a lot of explaining to other students in astronomy lab.
1. Strongly disagree 1 : *
2. Disagree 7 : *******
3. Neutral 26 : ************************** [3.4 +/- 0.9]
4. Agree 17 : *****************
5. Strongly agree 6 : ******

27. I was generally confused about what was going on in astronomy lab.
1. Strongly disagree 14 : **************
2. Disagree 32 : ******************************** [2.0 +/- 0.9]
3. Neutral 7 : *******
4. Agree 3 : ***
5. Strongly agree 1 : *

28. I would recommend astronomy lab to other students.
1. Strongly disagree 0 :
2. Disagree 0 :
3. Neutral 4 : ****
4. Agree 21 : *********************
5. Strongly agree 32 : ******************************** [4.5 +/- 0.6]

29. Astronomy lab should be taken in the same semester as astronomy lecture.
1. Strongly disagree 3 : ***
2. Disagree 2 : **
3. Neutral 17 : *****************
4. Agree 14 : **************
5. Strongly agree 21 : ********************* [3.8 +/- 1.1]

30. Astronomy lab should be taken after completing the entire semester of
astronomy lecture.
1. Strongly disagree 11 : ***********
2. Disagree 13 : *************
3. Neutral 21 : ********************* [2.6 +/- 1.1]
4. Agree 9 : *********
5. Strongly agree 3 : ***

Previous posts:

20120526

Education research: ALLS post-instruction opinion results (Cuesta College, fall semester 2011)

Student attitudes are assessed using an Astronomy Laboratory Learning Survey (ALLS), a five-point Likert scale questionnaire with demographic questions, and entry/exit evaluation questions (Patrick M. Len, in development) to Astronomy 210L students at Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA. This laboratory course is a one-semester, adjunct course to Astronomy 210 lecture, and is taken primarily by students to satisfy their general education science laboratory transfer requirement.

The ALLS is administered as a pre-test on the first laboratory meeting, before any introduction/instruction took place; and as a post-test on the last laboratory meeting.

The results from the post-test opinion questions follow below. Only matched-pair results are shown, for students who were also able to take the pre-instruction ALLS at the first laboratory meeting. Values for the mean and standard deviations are given next to the modal response category for each question.
Cuesta College
Astronomy Laboratory Learning Survey (ALLS)
Post-instruction opinion results
Astronomy 210L fall semester 2011 sections 70178, 70186, 70200
(N = 44, matched-pairs only)

16. I can keep abreast of present-day discoveries and developments in astronomy
(current events).
1. Strongly disagree 0 :
2. Disagree 4 : ****
3. Neutral 15 : **************
4. Agree 17 : ******************** [3.7 +/- 0.9]
5. Strongly agree 8 : ***********

17. I can develop scientific evidence-based research questions.
1. Strongly disagree 0 :
2. Disagree 1 : *
3. Neutral 10 : **********
4. Agree 22 : ***************************** [4.0 +/- 0.8]
5. Strongly agree 12 : ********

18. I can develop procedures to gather evidence in order to answer research
questions.
1. Strongly disagree 0 :
2. Disagree 0 :
3. Neutral 2 : **
4. Agree 25 : ************************************ [4.3 +/- 0.6]
5. Strongly agree 17 : ************

19. I can make appropriate evidence-supported conclusions.
1. Strongly disagree 0 :
2. Disagree 0 :
3. Neutral 3 : ***
4. Agree 23 : *********************** [4.3 +/- 0.6]
5. Strongly agree 18 : ******************

20. I can explain research findings in a report, poster, or presentation.
1. Strongly disagree 1 : *
2. Disagree 0 :
3. Neutral 4 : ****
4. Agree 26 : ************************** [4.1 +/- 0.8]
5. Strongly agree 13 : *************

21. I can evaluate evidence to determine whether or not it appropriately answers
a research question.
1. Strongly disagree 0 :
2. Disagree 0 :
3. Neutral 5 : *****
4. Agree 22 : ********************** [4.3 +/- 0.7]
5. Strongly agree 17 : *****************

22. Astronomy lab was an enjoyable experience.
1. Strongly disagree 0 :
2. Disagree 0 :
3. Neutral 4 : ****
4. Agree 20 : ********************
5. Strongly agree 20 : ******************** [4.4 +/- 0.7]

23. I asked a lot of questions in astronomy lab.
1. Strongly disagree 3 : ***
2. Disagree 13 : *************
3. Neutral 22 : ********************** [2.7 +/- 0.8]
4. Agree 5 : *****
5. Strongly agree 1 : *

24. I generally understood what needed to be done in astronomy lab.
1. Strongly disagree 0 :
2. Disagree 0 :
3. Neutral 7 : *******
4. Agree 26 : ************************** [4.1 +/- 0.6]
5. Strongly agree 11 : ***********

25. My work in astronomy lab was graded fairly.
1. Strongly disagree 0 :
2. Disagree 1 : *
3. Neutral 2 : **
4. Agree 16 : ****************
5. Strongly agree 25 : ************************* [4.5 +/- 0.7]

26. I did a lot of explaining to other students in astronomy lab.
1. Strongly disagree 0 :
2. Disagree 4 : ****
3. Neutral 23 : *********************** [3.4 +/- 0.8]
4. Agree 12 : ************
5. Strongly agree 5 : *****

27. I was generally confused about what was going on in astronomy lab.
1. Strongly disagree 17 : *****************
2. Disagree 18 : ****************** [1.9 +/- 1.0]
3. Neutral 5 : *****
4. Agree 3 : ***
5. Strongly agree 1 : *

28. I would recommend astronomy lab to other students.
1. Strongly disagree 0 :
2. Disagree 0 :
3. Neutral 4 : ****
4. Agree 18 : ******************
5. Strongly agree 22 : ********************** [4.4 +/- 0.7]

29. Astronomy lab should be taken in the same semester as astronomy lecture.
1. Strongly disagree 0 :
2. Disagree 1 : *
3. Neutral 11 : ***********
4. Agree 10 : **********
5. Strongly agree 22 : ********************** [4.2 +/- 0.9]

30. Astronomy lab should be taken after completing the entire semester of
astronomy lecture.
1. Strongly disagree 6 : ******
2. Disagree 16 : ****************
3. Neutral 20 : ******************** [2.4 +/- 0.8]
4. Agree 2 : **
5. Strongly agree 0 :

Previous posts:

20120525

Education research: Astronomy Laboratory Learning Survey (ALLS) version 2.0

Student attitudes are assessed using an Astronomy Laboratory Learning Survey (ALLS), a five-point Likert scale questionnaire with demographic questions, and entry/exit evaluation questions (Patrick M. Len, in development) to Astronomy 210L students at Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA. This laboratory course is a one-semester, adjunct course to Astronomy 210 lecture, and is taken primarily by students to satisfy their general education science laboratory transfer requirement.

The ALLS is administered as a pre-test on the first laboratory meeting, before any introduction/instruction takes place; and as a post-test on the last laboratory meeting.

The pre- and post-instruction forms (version 2.0, dated 11.07.31) are reproduced below. These forms supersede the earlier version 1.1 forms (dated 09.08.21 and 07.12.29). The reason for this revised version is due to the changeover to a backwards faded scaffolding curriculum (Slater, Slater, and Lyons, 2010), previous semesters (fall semester 2011 and earlier) used a conventional "cookbook" laboratory curriculum.

ALLS pre-instruction form, front/back.

ALLS post-instruction form, front/back:

Previous post:
Education research: Astronomy Laboratory Learning Survey (ALLS) version 1.1.

20120524

Online reading assignment question: helpful/unhelpful Midterm 2 physics study tips

Physics 205B Online reading assignment 25, spring semester 2012
Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA

Students have a weekly online reading assignment (hosted by SurveyMonkey.com), where they answer questions based on reading their textbook, material covered in previous lectures, opinion questions, and/or asking (anonymous) questions or making (anonymous) comments. Full credit is given for completing the online reading assignment before next week's lecture, regardless if whether their answers are correct/incorrect. Selected results/questions/comments are addressed by the instructor at the start of the following lecture.

Describe something notable that either helped or did not help with studying for this midterm. Selected comments may be discussed in class. (Graded for completion.)

The following are all of the student responses to this question, verbatim and unedited.
"group studying"

"it really helps when we do problems in class"

"Former quizzes"

"Redbull"

"going to class"

"It really helps to draw pictures. These problems are so much harder to understand without diagrams."

"Studying from previous semester exams and quizzes helps."

"Playing with my dog does not help me study :)"

"It helps to collaborate."

"Practice stuff"

"Right Hand Rule"

"redoing all of the assigned homework helps a lot!"

"Going over sample problems"

"Looking over old quizzes and homework assignments helps a lot."

"examples"

"green tea to remain relaxed and focused"

"Doing the homework"

"go over problems in class. such that are on the test"

"Flash-card Questions"

"do lots of practice"

"Reviewing last semesters midterms really help me study."

"doing the hw and flashcard questions"

"quiz and midterm examples"

"office hours help, doing the assigned test review problems also help."

"flashcard questions always help, my notes confuse me!!!"

20120523

Online reading assignment question: confusing Midterm 2 physics topics

Physics 205B Online reading assignment 25, spring semester 2012
Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA

120514-Phys205B-MT2-confusing-1
http://www.flickr.com/photos/waiferx/7198002938/
Originally uploaded by Waifer X

Wordle.net tag cloud for confusing topics covered in Midterm 2, generated by responses from Physics 205B students at Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA (www.wordle.net/show/wrdl/5299128/Untitled).

Students have a weekly online reading assignment (hosted by SurveyMonkey.com), where they answer questions based on reading their textbook, material covered in previous lectures, opinion questions, and/or asking (anonymous) questions or making (anonymous) comments. Full credit is given for completing the online reading assignment before next week's lecture, regardless if whether their answers are correct/incorrect. Selected results/questions/comments are addressed by the instructor at the start of the following lecture.

List at least three words describing confusing subjects covered in class (up through this midterm). (Graded for completion.)

[Responses have been edited to consolidate related common subjects.]

Student responses
Sections 30882
householdelectricity, Eeq Req, capacitance
circuits, magentism, ammeters
magnetism capacitance magneticflux
inducedcurrent, magnetism, magneticflux
inducedcurrent, circuits, generators
inductance, idealemf, motionalemf
resistance, Kirchhoffsrules
circuits, generators, transformers
inductance
magnetism, inductance, magneticflux
magnetism, voltage, capacitance
magnetism, emf, power

RHR, magneticflux, units
sorryIgotnothing :(
everythingelse
Kirchhoffsrules, potentialenergy, householdelectricity.
inducedcurrent inductance magnetism
magneticflux, RHR
magneticflux, capacitance, inductance
flux capacitance magnetism
Kirchhoffsrules, RCcircuits, voltage.
currents, circuits, potentialdifference
magnetism, capacitance, potentialenergy
everything
circuits
circuits Kirchhoffsrules


Describe your most confusing subject, and briefly explain why this subject interested you. (Graded for completion.)

The following are all of the student responses to this question, verbatim and unedited.
"With the equivalent emf and resistors I am having a hard time figuring out the best way to add everything up. Like should I add them up as a series then add that to the parallel or vise versa"

"circuits, my mind does not think like that and it was very hard to understand"

"Capacitance"

"Keeping track of induced currents and magnetic fields and all the other fields that effect the things we have learned"

"generators"

"Resistance. It was interesting to try to wrap my mind around how resistors act in series and in parallel, but this was also one of the most confusing concepts for me. It took me a while to figure out just how to sum multiple different types of resistors."

"Anything in circuit"

"Transformers because I missed this lecture"

"magnets and coils are complicated"

"Magnetism because people still do not have a full understanding of it and possibly never will."

"Magnets"

"Magnetic Field"

"the most confusing subject covered is circuits with resistors in parallel. it's the most difficult for me to find current and applying the rules."

"Theres a lot of new units to know"

"At the very beginning magnetism was a little confusing, but then it started making sense and I was fine."

"conduction"

"Kirchhoff's rules because it is hard to remember."

"The inductor, they user induced current to resist changes in current"

"Figuring out where the V and B and F"

"Magnetic flux, its just too conceptual and I can't visualize it."

"the circuit things are difficult because of the drawings"

"Kirchhoff's Rules, because it is difficult to determine the change in voltage or the change in current."

"Circuts still confuse me I don't understand parallel and series."

"Magnetic fields are hard to wrap my mind around."

"all of them"

"circuits are the most confusing to me and how to add them together in parallel or series and whether you subtract them or add them."

"I have never had such a hard time understanding something and the lab yesterday just confused me more with all those wires"

20120522

Online reading assignment question: interesting Midterm 2 physics topics

Physics 205B Online reading assignment 25, spring semester 2012
Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA

120514-Phys205B-MT2-interesting-1
http://www.flickr.com/photos/waiferx/7198002938/
Originally uploaded by Waifer X

Wordle.net tag cloud for interesting topics covered in Midterm 2, generated by responses from Physics 205B students at Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA (www.wordle.net/show/wrdl/5299046/Untitled).

Students have a weekly online reading assignment (hosted by SurveyMonkey.com), where they answer questions based on reading their textbook, material covered in previous lectures, opinion questions, and/or asking (anonymous) questions or making (anonymous) comments. Full credit is given for completing the online reading assignment before next week's lecture, regardless if whether their answers are correct/incorrect. Selected results/questions/comments are addressed by the instructor at the start of the following lecture.

List at least three words describing interesting subjects covered in class (up through this midterm). (Graded for completion.)

[Responses have been edited to consolidate related common subjects.]

Student responses
Sections 30882
magnetism, RHR, motionalemf
circuits, power, inductance
interesting difficult exciting
RHR
magnetism, current, circuits
magnetism, inductance, resistance
transformers, capacitance, magnetism
magnetism, forces, fields
resistance, inductance, capacitance
magnetism, inductance, magneticflux
magnetism, voltage, capacitance
capacitance, magnetism, voltage
circuits, magnetism, magnetism
current, RHR, magnetism
magnetism, railgun, circuits
circuits, circuits circuits
capacitance, motionalemf, Ohmslaw
magnetism Tesla inducedcurrent
resistance, magneticflux, magnetism
resistance, circuits, magnetism
magnetism, transformers, voltage
magneticflux, transformers, inducedcurrent
magnetism, electricpotential, pointcharge
Ohmslaw, resistance, capacitance, motionalemf
blah?
magnetism,
everythingbutelectriccircuits


Describe your most interesting subject, and briefly explain why this subject interested you. (Graded for completion.)

The following are all of the student responses to this question, verbatim and unedited.
"I really liked learning about the right hand rules. They helped make things make sense and also helped me see what was going on with the problems."

"circuits were the most interesting because that was what I knew the least about"

"I enjoyed household electricity"

"magnetic fields being used to create generators and flux change. I like this because finding ways to utilize these changes which occur all around us, including the earth speeding along its path around the sun, and the magnetic field of the earth would be a fun challenge"

"induced current"

"Magnetic field. It was cool to how magnetic field, force, and current/velocity are related like in RHR1. It was also interesting to learn about the field model and how magnetic field acts with dipole magnets."

"Magnetic field"

"Magnetic Forces because of Star Wars!"

"resistance... light bulbs man"

"Magnetism because people still do not have a full understanding of it and possibly never will."

"Magnets"

"Magnetic Field"

"i like working with the magnetic fields and finding current and things like that. it just comes easier to me than the other subjects"

"That just by moving, a magnet can create electricity"

"Circuit analysis is my favorite part of this midterm. I like electronics and enjoy getting a look at how they work."

"circuits"

"Magnetic field lines because I never knew how they worked!!"

"The properties of magnets, because of their ability to induce current without contact"

"Magnetic field , the different scenarios it can create while having different variables"

"Magnetic fields, I really like the practical use if the right hand rules and Shakira hand rule."

"The magnetism stuff was cool because its fun to play with magnets"

"Induced Current because it has a wide range of applications, and is commonly used but not common knowledge."

"I thought magnetism was most interesting."

"Resistors and capacitors, i thought this was interesting because it applies to my everyday life."

"not much really"

"i thought the right hands rules were interesting and those make the most sense to me out of any of the other subjects."

"i love the RHRs they are easy to understanding the concept of directions and forces exerted.."

20120521

Online reading assignment question: confusing Midterm 2 astronomy topics

Astronomy 210 Online reading assignment 13, spring semester 2012
Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA

120514-Astr210-MT2-confusing-1
http://www.flickr.com/photos/waiferx/7197652944/
Originally uploaded by Waifer X

Wordle.net tag cloud for confusing topics covered in Midterm 2, generated by responses from Astronomy 210 students at Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA (www.wordle.net/show/wrdl/5298653/Untitled).

Students have a weekly online reading assignment (hosted by SurveyMonkey.com), where they answer questions based on reading their textbook, material covered in previous lectures, opinion questions, and/or asking (anonymous) questions or making (anonymous) comments. Full credit is given for completing the online reading assignment before next week's lecture, regardless if whether their answers are correct/incorrect. Selected results/questions/comments are addressed by the instructor at the start of the following lecture.

List at least three words describing confusing subjects covered in class (up through this midterm). (Graded for completion.)

[Responses have been edited to consolidate related common subjects.]

Student responses
Sections 30674, 30676
darkmatter, spacetime, bigbang
darkmatter, starages, nebulae
confusing, difficult, frustrating
apparentmagnitude, absolutemagnitude, parsecs
lookbacktime,
bigbang quiz MilkyWay
luminosity, fusion, distances
HRDiagram, spectra, apparentmagnitude, absolutemagnitude
blackholes, Olbersparadox, Earth
spectra, supernovae, absolutemagnitude
parallax, planetarymotion, Keplerslaws
stars StefanBoltzmannlaw galaxies magnification
bigbang, explosion, expansion
complicated, aggravating, frustrating.
everything everything everything
absolutemagnitude apparentmagnitude
bigbang planets orbits
lightyears, blackholes, parallax
apparentmagnitude, absolutemagnitude metallicity galaxies
darkmatter, expansion, reionization
nothing
MilkyWay, spiralarms, galaxies
MilkyWay
apparentmagnitude, absolutemagnitude, stardeath
starclusters, magnitudes, parsecs.
globularclusters, darkmatter, CMB
darkmatter, globularclusters, darkmatter halo
bigbang, spiralarms, blank
wth
MilkyWay, bigbang, Hubbleslaw
blackholes, fusion, starclusters ages
expansion galaxies.
stars, sun, heat
nebulae, absorptionlines, sun.
starformation mass supernovae
Wienslaws StefanBoltzmannlaw
bigbang, MilkyWay, darkmatter
galaxies, nucleosynthesis, starformation
bigbang , redshift , blueshift
backwards. twisted. intense
starclusters ages
supernovae neutronstars bigbang
supernovae, fusion, nucleosynthesis, bigbang.
fusion, StefanBoltzmannlaw, blackholes
nucleosynthesis, fusion
starformation, bigbang, darkmatter
elements gases, stellarevolution, Wienslaw
iou
supernovae, galaxies, negativespace
supernovae starclusters blackholes
Venus, greenhouse, light
starclassification, galaxies, universe
sun sizes spiralarms wizardstaff
bigbang, platetectonics, Mercury, rupes
luminosity, parallax, bigbang
craters, lava, maria
CMB, wizardstaff, timetravel
MilkyWay blackholes, supernovae
everything, evolution timeline, blackholes
darkmatter, spectra, Dopplereffect
darkmatter, lookbacktime, blackholes


Describe your most confusing subject, and briefly explain why this subject confused you. (Graded for completion.)

The following are all of the student responses to this question, verbatim and unedited.
"Big bang because it's something that ended up starting from nothing."

"Dark matter, because I think it's just a hard subject to comprehend."

"m & M confuse me."

"Figuring out what star is the further from Earth by looking at its apparent and absolute magnitude."

"Time look back is confusing because I don't understand how by studying the cycles of stars and their galaxies we are able to determine how many years ago Earth came into existence and what elements were present before life began"

"light years, how we know how far away things are."

"How far away a star is. The apparent and absolute stuff."

"Apparent/absolute magnitudes. The positive and negatives is what confused me as well as the parsecs."

"seeing the beyond the milky way because its impossible seeing more stars."

"The whole absolute magnitude thing is kina hard to get in my head, idk why it's just hard to understand."

"memorizing the laws and who delegated them. I didn't take the time to memorize any of them."

"Galaxies. The way they move, how to tell how old they are. Everything?"

"universe falling/ expanding just don't exactly grasp the creating of it and if it is still growing or simply all falling and dying away from us"

"Supernovae, because trying to tell the difference between a type 1a and type II is difficult for me"

"knowing the steps of the planets. i never understood the steps."

"Absolute and apparent magnitude. The math is difficult"

"Metal stars"

"Halo and disk stars, Keep getting them confused"

"telescope stuff yikes, i just use them to roast ants"

"dark matter, how can something be matter and everywhere but we cant see it"

"flash card questions !!"

"Understanding the milky way has been confusing because i feel like there is so much going on its hard to keep it all straight"

"the shape of the milky way"

"I continuously get absolute magnitude and apparent magnitude mixed up."

"Parsecs confuse me because I don't know how to calculate how many parsecs a star is away and what not."

"The idea of observable universe me because it was difficult to imagine such a limitation on such a huge scale."

"dark matter is definitely the most confusing mostly because it is hard to wrap your brain around the idea of gravity being evenly distributed in all areas."

"big bang, where did it start or begin"

"pretty much the last three quizes we took because they were hard to understand"

"milky way... too much info to remember."

"The most confusing subject for me is black holes. I still can't wrap my mind around them and the whole space-time continuum thing."

"My notes are confusing me, this is weird!!!"

"Stars"

"Star formations and deaths because each star is different."

"i think one of a really confusing subject is a supernovae. how all that energy is held inside an object and how big the explosion is when it happen."

"the two laws. i have to review them."

"milkyway is just confusing in itself"

"creation of new stars are because its confusing how they work"

"Big bang"

"probably crater stuff"

"i missed that class"

"The different supernova i get mixed up."

"It will probably be answering or explaining supernovae types and processes. It seems confusing because there are many things happening in these processes."

"The concept of black holes is confusing because it's a theory we can't really test by touching..."

"memorizing the laws because I get them confused"

"Big Bang, wtf?"

"i still dont really get or know how to read that one model or chart you put on all the quizzes, Wiens Law"

"deeerrrrp"

"The black space, and how it has a so much gravity"

"probably star ages and distances, i just dont get it"

"II am very confused by Fusion."

"I think remembering all there is about the luminosity and star classification things will be the most difficult"

"wizard staffs, do they lose power when they break?"

"The Big Bang. It was confusing mostly because it required you to disengage yourself from any sense or idea of a 'beginning.' That, and we've grown up under the illusion from a misnomer, that it was a massive explosion, rather than an all-inclusive, ever-pervasive coalescence of extremely hot, agitated hydrogen atoms. The Big Bang wasn't here or there, it was everywhere. And that's some heavy shi-"

"luminosity and size, it is a tad complicated to get your head around"

"The way stars begin and the chemical changes they go through"

"if wizard staffs brea.. do they loose there spell casting powers?"

"all the black hole, wrinkle in time stuff"

"All of the above...and below"

"The spectras just because I have not fully paid attention to them."

"Dark matter and how it holds the galaxy together."

20120520

Online reading assignment question: interesting Midterm 2 astronomy topics

Astronomy 210 Online reading assignment 13, spring semester 2012
Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA

120514-Astr210-MT2-interesting-1
http://www.flickr.com/photos/waiferx/7197652548/
Originally uploaded by Waifer X

Wordle.net tag cloud for interesting topics covered in Midterm 2, generated by responses from Astronomy 210 students at Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA (www.wordle.net/show/wrdl/5298643/Untitled).

Students have a weekly online reading assignment (hosted by SurveyMonkey.com), where they answer questions based on reading their textbook, material covered in previous lectures, opinion questions, and/or asking (anonymous) questions or making (anonymous) comments. Full credit is given for completing the online reading assignment before next week's lecture, regardless if whether their answers are correct/incorrect. Selected results/questions/comments are addressed by the instructor at the start of the following lecture.

List at least three words describing interesting subjects covered in class (up through this midterm). (Graded for completion.)

[Responses have been edited to consolidate related common subjects.]

Student responses
Sections 30674, 30676
planets, absolute, darkmatter
supernovae, MilkyWay, blackholes
dark, massive, space
stars, bigbang, galaxies
supernovae, supernovae, blackholes
bigbang galaxies stars
blackholes, stars, mass
MilkyWay, bigbang, planets
MilkyWay, bigbang, Earth
bigbang blackholes
blackholes, stars, quantumleaps
blackholes, photons, sun
darkmatter
exciting, fun, intriguing
blackholes, space, heat
absolutemagnitude apparentmagnitude
confused numbers grade
stars, supernovae, blackholes
eventhorizon, supernovae, Pdog Pimpstarrims
bigbang, lookbacktime, darkmatter
bigbang, blackholes darkmatter
bigbang, blackholes, supernovae
bigbang
bigbang, Hubbleslaw, lookbacktime
supernovae, galaxies, MilkyWay
antimatter, blackholes, supernovae
galaxies, MilkyWay, planets
supernovae, blackholes, bigbang
housepartymodel, craters, blackholes
blackholes, starclusters, supernovae
supernovae, galaxies, bigbang
nebulae, galaxies
starclusters, red, blue
supernovae, bigbang, starclusters
bigbang starsizes distances
supernovae, stars, starclusters
supernovae, blackholes, volcanoes
supernovae, starclusters, galaxies
planets, luminosity, bigbang
lightspeed, blackholes, craters
bigbang
bigbang dinosaurs
HRdiagram, bigbang, sun
Kirchhoffslaws, photosphere, stars
Wienslaw supernovae stars
bigbang, supernovae, Dopplereffect
HRdiagram, supernovae, MilkyWay
iou
bigbang novae galaxies
stardeath blackholes bigbang
bigbang, blackholes, planets
starformation, novae, blackholes
solarflares expansion, lookbacktime
galaxies, expansion, Hubbleslaw
luminosity, size, stars
lightyears, MilkyWay, gravity
solarflares, expansion, universe
MilkyWay, novae, blackholes
MilkyWay, evolution, novae
bigbang, MilkyWay, supernovae
bigbang, densitywaves, blackbodyradiation


Describe your most interesting subject, and briefly explain why this subject interested you. (Graded for completion.)

The following are all of the student responses to this question, verbatim and unedited.
"It would have to be the planets because they are objects close enough to see but yet we know so little."

"supernovae, because before this class I didn't know much about them at all and now I have more knowledge on the subject."

"Dark Matter, because it's interesting."

"The most interesting part to me was learning about the beginging of the universe up to the very first seconds because I never knew any of that information."

"I thought it was really interesting to learn about blackholes. It was particularly mind boggling learning about the event horizon and how if someone fell in that we would see them forever going in a circle but they would die of being stretched apart"

"Big bang because it wasnt just a bang"

"I liked learning about your house party concept; it really helped."

"Big Bang. I was very curious as to what evidence there is about how our universe was created."

"The big bang theory, this interest me because its interesting trying to know how we came here and our universe too."

"The big bang is interesting because of the whole concept of the wall of light and the fact that in actuality there was no bang."

"The means by which a photon will leap from one level to the next. The strict rules that dictate just how many levels it will reach or not reach. That being the case, the sun will be very interesting."

"The sun, it's a constant in our lives that seems so distant in the heavens but so palpable when examined with a careful eye. Astrologically speaking."

"supernovaes type II and the creation of valuable meatals and gold"

"Star cluster ages, because the house party model really helped me to understand."

"Nothing really interested me to be honest."

"Absolute and apparent magnitude. I find it sweet to be able to determine the distance and true brightness of stars"

"The box of fun"

"Blackholes, how they are still an anomaly"

"Black Holes, they are a mystery and as of yet are not completely understood"

"look back time, it is cool that we can see back in time"

"creation of the earth and sizes of the cores"

"Black holes because i never really understood what they were but they seemed interesting"

"The milky way assortment"

"Hubble's Law because I didn't know that the space between the galaxies shifted, instead of the galaxies themselves."

"Planets are pretty interesting; for example, how they develop. Cool stuff."

"Look back time.I find it interesting that were are able to see back billions of years because of the finite speed of light."

"The milky way galaxy, because it's cool to look up at the sky and know that you are looking at a disc shaped galaxy and not just some random brownish stuff in the air."

"supernovae, how they can create different things"

"The house party because im pretty sure that is the only thing i semi understand"

"star clusters... easy to understand."

"The most interesting subject covered was learning about how to identify the different nebulae. How to differentiate between what is in the blue/pink/black nebulae."

"Dark matter blew my mind. The fact that stars all orbit the centers of their respective galaxies at the same speed as each other is insane."

"Star clusters"

"Big Bang Theory because I like to hear others opinions on how things were created."

"star sizes. i am very interested in star sizes. it is incredible how big they are and how hot they are and how they don't come crashing down on earth."

"stars. i find them fascinating."

"black hole is really interesting because there is so much mystery"

"Star cluster, because its cool to see which stars are hotter and larger"

"Terestial planets because we live on one"

"black holes are just a crazy concept"

"looking at further stars and seeing into the past is very cool because its like a time machine"

"Learning about black holes was cool."

"Determining the characteristics of the stars using the H-R diagram."

"The stars really interested me because I didn't know anything about the life and death of stars."

"supernovae- how elements are made"

"The Doppler Effect, now I understand the joke in the Big Bang Theory and understand why cars honks change as they go by"

"i found that the luminosity chart was interesting. its something i can figure out. not just an idea that is hard to grasp"

"derp"

"The Big Bang, I find it interesting how it is a look back into time. How the farther you look into space, the farther your looking back in time"

"probably the death of stars. i always assumed that they just disappeared into the night sky but its cool to know that their star dust created us."

"Big Bang"

"star formation because I think it is interesting to think about"

"the end of time in space because it's crazy to think that there is an exact end point of when the universe began."

"Hubble Law--that from any galaxy in the universe, it *appears* as if you are the center and everything is moving away from YOU, yet in reality, everybody is moving apart due to the expansion of space. That and the understanding that everything around us (including us) came from a various mishmash of atoms from the earliest moments of the universe."

"tar distance and the finite speed of light. It is crazy how the stars we look at are from the past"

"I never knew what supernova's were before this class and now I know!"

"how when we look at time were loolong into the past... or maybe future... who knows"

"honestly, i don't even remember whats going to be on the test."

"Well i didn't know we were part of the milky way galaxy before, so that's cool. its like a whole new world! i would say a whole new galaxy, but i guess its not really"

"The big bang because it shows all everything started."

"I enjoyed learning about the death of stars. I was unaware of all the different ways a star could die."

20120519

Astronomy quiz question: heavy element fusion

Astronomy 210 Quiz 7, spring semester 2012
Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA

A type Ia supernova or type II supernova produced the:
(A) lithium in hybrid car batteries.
(B) hydrogen in Jupiter's atmosphere.
(C) iron in your blood.
(D) helium in the sun's core.

Correct answer: (C)

Heavy elements are typically produced in the last stages of a massive or medium-mass star's main-sequence lifetime, and these elements would then be scattered by a type II or type Ia supernova, respectively (assuming that the medium-mass star would have a close companion). Lithium was produced by nucleosynthesis in the first few minutes of the big bang, while hydrogen would be primordial remnants of the big bang, and helium in the sun's core would typically be produced by proton-proton cycle fusion.

Section 30674
Exam code: quiz07n4rS
(A) : 6 students
(B) : 8 students
(C) : 11 students
(D) : 5 students

"Success level": 42% (including partial credit for multiple-choice)
Discrimination index (Aubrecht & Aubrecht, 1983): 0.11

Section 30676
Exam code: quiz07sPh3
(A) : 6 students
(B) : 11 students
(C) : 5 students
(D) : 9 students

"Success level": 22% (including partial credit for multiple-choice)
Discrimination index (Aubrecht & Aubrecht, 1983): 0.23

Previous post: Online reading assignment question: Earth's gold and silver.

20120518

Astronomy quiz question: IAU classification scheme

Astronomy 210 Quiz 7, spring semester 2012
Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA

Refer below to the minimal qualifications established by the International Astronomical Union for a planet:
I. Orbits the sun.
II. Shape "rounded-out" by gravity.
III. Cleared/dominates orbit around sun.

Of the following choices, which solar system object(s) satisifies qualifications I and II, but does not satisfy qualification III?
(A) Jupiter's moon, Amalthea, a captured asteroid.
(B) Haumea, a dwarf planet.
(C) Earth's moon.
(D) Venus.
(E) (More than one of the above choices.)
(F) (None of the above choices.)

Correct answer: (B)

Haumea, a dwarf planet, directly orbits the sun (qualification I) and is rounded in shape (qualification II), but does not gravitationally dominate its neighboring Kuiper Belt objects. Both Almatheta and Earth's moon do not meet qualification I, while Venus meets all three qualifications.

Section 30674
Exam code: quiz07n4rS
(A) : 7 students
(B) : 18 students
(C) : 7 students
(D) : 0 students
(E) : 0 students
(F) : students

"Success level": 73% (including partial credit for multiple-choice)
Discrimination index (Aubrecht & Aubrecht, 1983): 0.11

Section 30676
Exam code: quiz07sPh3
(A) : 2 students
(B) : 17 students
(C) : 3 students
(D) : 4 students
(E) : 5 students
(F) : 0 students

"Success level": 59% (including partial credit for multiple-choice)
Discrimination index (Aubrecht & Aubrecht, 1983): 1.00

20120517

Astronomy quiz question: IAU classification of vulcanoids

Astronomy 210 Quiz 7, spring semester 2012
Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA

Refer below to the minimal qualifications established by the International Astronomical Union for a planet:
I. Orbits the sun.
II. Shape "rounded-out" by gravity.
III. Cleared/dominates orbit around sun.
Vulcanoids[*] are hypothesized to be a group of irregularly shaped bodies inside of Mercury's orbit around the sun. If all these vulcanoids were relocated to share Mercury's orbit around the sun, they would be:
(A) a moon.
(B) solar system debris.
(C) a dwarf planet.
(D) a planet.
(E) (None of the above choices.)

[*]Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vulcan_(astronomy)#Vulcan_revived.

Correct answer: (B)

Since the vulcanoids would be now relocated to directly orbit the sun (qualification I), but are still not rounded in shape (qualification II), this categorizes them as solar system debris.

Section 30676
Exam code: quiz07sPh3
(A) : 7 students
(B) : 18 students
(C) : 7 students
(D) : 0 students
(E) : 0 students

"Success level": 62% (including partial credit for multiple-choice)
Discrimination index (Aubrecht & Aubrecht, 1983): 0.70

20120516

Astronomy quiz question: IAU classification of Caduceus

Astronomy 210 Quiz 7, spring semester 2012
Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA

Refer below to the minimal qualifications established by the International Astronomical Union for a planet:
I. Orbits the sun.
II. Shape "rounded-out" by gravity.
III. Cleared/dominates orbit around sun.
Caduceus[*] is purported to be an irregularly shaped body in orbit around Mercury. If Caduceus was relocated to inside of Mercury's orbit around the sun, it would be:
(A) a moon.
(B) solar system debris.
(C) a dwarf planet.
(D) a planet.
(E) (None of the above choices.)

[*] http://messenger.jhuapl.edu/gallery/sciencePhotos/image.php?gallery_id=2&image_id=811.

Correct answer: (B)

Since Caduceus would be now relocated to directly orbit the sun (qualification I), but is still not rounded in shape (qualification II), this categorizes it as solar system debris.

Section 30674
Exam code: quiz07n4rS
(A) : 3 students
(B) : 20 students
(C) : 5 students
(D) : 1 student
(E) : 1 student

"Success level": 69% (including partial credit for multiple-choice)
Discrimination index (Aubrecht & Aubrecht, 1983): 0.56

20120515

Astronomy quiz archive: solar system

Astronomy 210 Quiz 7, spring semester 2012
Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA

Section 30674, version 1
Exam code: quiz07n4rS
Section 30674
0- 8.0 : * [low = 6.0]
8.5-16.0 : ****
16.5-24.0 : *********
24.5-32.0 : ******* [mean = 24.8 +/- 8.0]
32.5-40.0 : ********* [high = 36.5]


Section 30676, version 1
Exam code: quiz07sPh3
Section 30676
0- 8.0 : *** [low = 3.0]
8.5-16.0 : ***********
16.5-24.0 : ******* [mean = 19.8 +/- 8.5]
24.5-32.0 : *******
32.5-40.0 : *** [high = 36.5]

20120514

Astronomy current events question: using the moon as a mirror

Astronomy 210L, spring semester 2012
Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA

Students are assigned to read online articles on current astronomy events, and take a short current events quiz during the first 10 minutes of lab. (This motivates students to show up promptly to lab, as the time cut-off for the quiz is strictly enforced!)
Cheryl Gundy, "Hubble to Use Moon as Mirror to See Venus Transit," May 4, 2012
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hubble/science/transit-mirror.html
The Hubble Space Telescope is planning to observe the moon while Venus transits across the sun on June 5, in order to study:
(A) the composition of Venus' atmosphere.
(B) minute fluctuations in the moon's orbit.
(C) the moon's concurrent annular eclipse.
(D) the shape of Venus' shadow on the moon.
(E) evaporation of ice from the moon's polar caps.

Correct answer: (A)

Student responses
Section 30682
(A) : 10 students
(B) : 2 students
(C) : 1 student
(D) : 4 students
(E) : 0 students

Astronomy current events question: 'Homestake' vein on Mars

Astronomy 210L, spring semester 2012
Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA

Students are assigned to read online articles on current astronomy events, and take a short current events quiz during the first 10 minutes of lab. (This motivates students to show up promptly to lab, as the time cut-off for the quiz is strictly enforced!)
Guy Webster, "Paydirt at 8-Year-Old Mars Rover's 'New Landing Site,'" May 3, 2012
http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/newsroom/pressreleases/20120503a.html
NASA's Mars Rover Opportunity observed an exposed layer of bright minerals at Endeavour Crater, which may have been caused by water:
(A) deposited by torrential rainfalls.
(B) evaporating from a small inland sea.
(C) released when the impact crater was formed.
(D) coming into contact with underground lava.
(E) permanently frozen by Mars' declining temperatures.

Correct answer: (C)

Student responses
Section 30682
(A) : 1 student
(B) : 3 students
(C) : 12 students
(D) : 1 student
(E) : 1 student