Astrobites Education Study 2022

This page is now defunct / outdated — go check out the completed study at https://arxiv.org/abs/2309.05822

Are you a college-level instructor or TA for astronomy or related courses?

You may be eligible to participate in a research study investigating the efficacy of Astrobites-based lesson plans!

If you are teaching (or TA-ing!) an undergraduate course for astronomy-related majors in the 2022-2023 school year, and would be willing to implement an Astrobites lesson plan in your course, you may be eligible for this study. 

The requirements for the study are implementing an Astrobites lesson plan in your classroom, administering pre- and post- lesson surveys to your students, collecting student work, and participating in a follow-up interview. Participation is expected to take approximately 5 hours, spread over multiple weeks at times that are mutually convenient to the instructor and the research coordinators.

If you are interested in participating in this study, please fill out the following form at your earliest convenience: Link to Recruitment Survey

Participation in this study is voluntary, although allowing use of your data will benefit future iterations of the course and inform future science education methods. If you have any questions, feel free to contact either of the study leads directly (Briley Lewis, [email protected] or Abby Waggoner, [email protected]). Please share this call for participation with your networks as well!

Check out our past studies about Astrobites in the Classroom here:

Astrobites Astro2020 White Paper: https://ui.adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2019BAAS…51g.230K/abstract

Preparing Undergraduates for Research Careers: Using Astrobites in the Classroom (Astronomy Education Review): https://ui.adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2012AEdRv..11a0201S/abstract

Incorporating current research into formal higher education settings using Astrobites (American Journal of Physics): https://ui.adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2017AmJPh..85..741S/abstract 

FAQ

Q: I teach a course for non-majors — am I eligible for this study?

A: For this study, we are specifically looking for courses intended for astronomy or related major students. However, if you are unsure of your eligibility, please do fill out the form anyways and one of our study leads can determine your eligibility.

Q: Do I need to worry about doing the whole IRB process at my home institution to participate?

A: As a participant in the study, you would not need to worry about IRB review at all since you are not a Co-I/PI on the research. All necessary review has been conducted by UCLA’s IRB, and the study has already been approved and given an exemption certificate. The surveys that will be distributed to your students include a consent form for them, and the educator intake form (which you may have seen in the recruitment message already) includes the appropriate consent form for participating educators.

Q: I’m a TA for a course — can I participate?

A: Yes! TAs are more than welcome. We just ask that you communicate with your instructor of record so that they approve of this addition to their course and are aware of your participation.

Q: I’m not formally teaching a course, but I mentor an undergrad / a group of undergrads and want to do an Astrobites lesson with them. Can I participate?

A: Yes! Please fill out the recruitment form so we can confirm your eligibility, but this should be an implementation we can support.

Q: How much of my class time will this take? I can maybe spend one session on it, but I can’t give up or rearrange a whole term.

A: It’s really flexible, and DEFINITELY won’t take up or replace your whole course curriculum! The lesson plans vary in the level of commitment needed, from a very short reading comprehension lesson plan that could fit into a problem set to larger writing / presentation assignments that could become a major or even final project. You can check out all the lesson plans here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1jAr6VsjxYxOJFJfvTquvLF4id1x5_JEvMM7eUPQnyNc/edit?usp=sharing


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