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Abstract Title: Long-term assessment of computational activities in an astronomy course
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation
Abstract: This study explored the effectiveness of integrating computational exercises as an instructional tool in a
general education astronomy course over four semesters. Fifteen spreadsheet-based computational exercises were designed and incorporated into a single-semester astronomy course to complement the existing active learning curriculum. Computational exercises were added to improve students' understanding of concepts, influence connecting concepts with the mathematics, and support the association of science with prediction. As most new curricula only report one or two semesters of results before widespread introduction occurs, the longer-term assessment of these instructional interventions provide a better indication of effectiveness of the new curriculum. Student learning pre to post was measured with the TOAST and LPCI. Additionally, student survey data was collected to investigate student attitudes toward computational exercises and overall perceptions of the course. Assessment revealed TOAST correctness gains of 20%, LPCI correctness gains of 29%, and overall positive attitudes towards the computational activities.
Session Time: Poster Session 2
Poster Number: II-13

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: James DiCaro
Illinois State University
and Co-Presenter(s)
Raymond Zich, Illinois State University
Rebecca Rosenblatt, National Science Foundation EHR/HRD