Introducing a lab component into an Astronomy 101 lecture course
Whitmer, Wendy D.
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This descriptive study follows the work of an Astronomy 101 Community College instructor during the transition of a lecture based course to a lecture/lab course. The transition occurred because of the addition of a planetarium and computer lab to a new campus science building and the instructor's desire to update his course. This paper discusses the process of transition, including a conceptual framework for the transition, establishing course goals, finding and implementing labs, and examining and analyzing student assessment data to measure the effectiveness of the labs. Instructional and pedagogical changes are also presented. The most significant finding of this study was the increase in student engagement in the astronomy content due to the implementation of a lab component.