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written by Katie Berryhill and Timothy F. Slater
As discipline-based astronomy education researchers become more interested in experimentally testing innovative teaching strategies to enhance learning in undergraduate introductory astronomy survey courses ("ASTRO 101"), scholars are placing increased attention toward better understanding factors impacting student gain scores on the widely used Test Of Astronomy STandards (TOAST). Usually used in a pre-test and post-test study design, college faculty might naturally assume that the pre-course differences observed between high- and low-scoring college students might be due in large part to their pre-existing motivation, interest, experience in science, and attitudes about astronomy. To explore this notion, 11 non-science majoring undergraduates taking ASTRO 101 at west coast community colleges were interviewed in the first few weeks of the course after taking the TOAST as a pre-test to better understand students' pre-existing affect toward learning astronomy with an eye toward predicting student success. The goal is to contribute to a better understanding of the incoming knowledge of students taking undergraduate introductory astronomy classes and provide guidance for how faculty can best meet those students' needs and assist them in greater achievement. Perhaps surprisingly, there was only weak correlation between students' motivation toward learning astronomy and their pre-test scores. Instead, the most fruitful predictor of TOAST pre-test scores was the quantity of pre-existing, informal, self-directed astronomy learning experiences, sometimes occurring many years before course enrollment. This data suggests that professors should be wary of correlating low incoming pre-course scores with student apathy toward their subject.
Journal of Astronomy & Earth Sciences Education: Volume 4, Issue 2, Pages 95-108
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Astronomy
- Astronomy Education
= Education Research
- Fundamentals
Education - Basic Research
- Achievement
- Assessment
= Instruments
- Research Design & Methodology
= Data
- Sample Population
- Student Characteristics
= Affect
- Lower Undergraduate
- Reference Material
= Research study
PER-Central Type Intended Users Ratings
- PER Literature
- Educators
- Administrators
- Researchers
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Format:
application/pdf
Access Rights:
Free access
License:
This material is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.
Rights Holder:
Clute Institute
DOI:
10.19030/jaese.v4i2.10127
Keyword:
TOAST astronomy assessment
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created April 13, 2022 by Adrian Madsen
Record Updated:
June 13, 2022 by Caroline Hall
Last Update
when Cataloged:
February 16, 2018
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Record Link
AIP Format
K. Berryhill and T. Slater, , J. Astro. Earth. Sci. Educ. 4 (2), 95 (2018), WWW Document, (https://doi.org/10.19030/jaese.v4i2.10127).
AJP/PRST-PER
K. Berryhill and T. Slater, Opportunity to Learn: Investigating Possible Predictors for Pre-Course Test Of Astronomy STandards TOAST Scores, J. Astro. Earth. Sci. Educ. 4 (2), 95 (2018), <https://doi.org/10.19030/jaese.v4i2.10127>.
APA Format
Berryhill, K., & Slater, T. (2018, February 16). Opportunity to Learn: Investigating Possible Predictors for Pre-Course Test Of Astronomy STandards TOAST Scores. J. Astro. Earth. Sci. Educ., 4(2), 95-108. Retrieved April 18, 2024, from https://doi.org/10.19030/jaese.v4i2.10127
Chicago Format
Berryhill, Katie, and Timothy F. Slater. "Opportunity to Learn: Investigating Possible Predictors for Pre-Course Test Of Astronomy STandards TOAST Scores." J. Astro. Earth. Sci. Educ. 4, no. 2, (February 16, 2018): 95-108, https://doi.org/10.19030/jaese.v4i2.10127 (accessed 18 April 2024).
MLA Format
Berryhill, Katie, and Timothy F. Slater. "Opportunity to Learn: Investigating Possible Predictors for Pre-Course Test Of Astronomy STandards TOAST Scores." J. Astro. Earth. Sci. Educ. 4.2 (2018): 95-108. 18 Apr. 2024 <https://doi.org/10.19030/jaese.v4i2.10127>.
BibTeX Export Format
@article{ Author = "Katie Berryhill and Timothy F. Slater", Title = {Opportunity to Learn: Investigating Possible Predictors for Pre-Course Test Of Astronomy STandards TOAST Scores}, Journal = {J. Astro. Earth. Sci. Educ.}, Volume = {4}, Number = {2}, Pages = {95-108}, Month = {February}, Year = {2018} }
Refer Export Format

%A Katie Berryhill %A Timothy F. Slater %T Opportunity to Learn: Investigating Possible Predictors for Pre-Course Test Of Astronomy STandards TOAST Scores %J J. Astro. Earth. Sci. Educ. %V 4 %N 2 %D February 16, 2018 %P 95-108 %U https://doi.org/10.19030/jaese.v4i2.10127 %O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Journal Article %A Berryhill, Katie %A Slater, Timothy F. %D February 16, 2018 %T Opportunity to Learn: Investigating Possible Predictors for Pre-Course Test Of Astronomy STandards TOAST Scores %J J. Astro. Earth. Sci. Educ. %V 4 %N 2 %P 95-108 %8 February 16, 2018 %U https://doi.org/10.19030/jaese.v4i2.10127


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