Southern California Regional Teaching Exchange
May 08 2010 | 10:00am - 5:30pm

Join us for a FREE series of workshops on interactive learning. College-level instructors from all disciplines are encouraged to attend. Register for any or all of the workshops. The morning sessions are discipline-independent, as is the first afternoon session. Others are specifically astronomy content. Click here for the conference flyer.
MiraCosta College - Oceanside Campus:
One Barnard Drive
Oceanside, CA 92056

760.757.2121 or Toll-Free 888.201.8480
Hotel Information:
Extended Stay America
3190 Vista Way
Oceanside, CA 92056

760.439.1499 / 800.804.3724
Inns of America Suites
5010 Avenida Encinas
Carlsbad, CA 92008

760.929.8200 / 800.826.0778
Holiday Inn Express
3170 Vista Way
Oceanside, CA 92056

760.757.2200 / 877.863.4780

All events take place in room 3516. [campus map]

10:10am -
"Deconstructing Multiple-Choice Questions"
Think multiple-choice questions are only appropriate for low-level assessments? Think again! We'll use Bloom's taxonomy and example questions from different disciplines to illustrate their hierarchy and power in achieving multiple levels of assessment. See how the different levels of questioning can take your students from simple recall to deep, conceptual learning. Learn some of the mechanics of designing good questions while avoiding common pitfalls. This workshop is appropriate for instructors from all disciplines.

Bloom's Taxonomy and “magic” verbs.
Sample solicitation for questions.
10:45am -
"Interactive Questioning and Learning"
Much research has been done on the pedagogical effectiveness of interactive questioning in the classroom (sometimes called "peer instruction" or "think-pair-share") and associated methods of voting (clickers, flash cards, etc.). Such questioning serves many purposes and can range from simple recall to deep, conceptual learning. The results are clear: proper implementation is the key, regardless of the method of delivery or voting mechanism. We'll provide a context for questioning in terms of the research supporting a learner-centered classroom. Then see how to use multiple-choice questions and the response system of your choice to obtain real-time feedback, whether pre-, mid-, or post-lecture. We'll cover pedagogical best practices for implementation and some of the pros and cons of low- vs. high-tech voting methods. This workshop is appropriate for instructors from all disciplines.

ABCD card.
While most of the discipline content is specific to astronomy and/or physics, similar studies, principles, and pedagogies exist in other disciplines, with similar results.
Revisiting Think-Pair-Share: An Expanded “How-To” Guide.
Clicker Best Practices.
Clickers as Data Gathering Tools and Students’ Attitudes, Motivations, and Beliefs on Their Use in this Application.
Teaching and Learning Astronomy in the 21st Century.
Farewell, Lecture?.
A National Study Addressing the Teaching and Learning of Introductory Astronomy.
    • Part I: The Effect of Interactive Instruction.
    • Part II: The Connection Between Student Demographics and Learning.
How People Learn. (can be read online)
12:30pm -
1:20pm -
"Reverse-Engineering Your Course"
Want to move towards a learner-centered classroom but don't know where to start? Begin with your assessment...and let us help by giving you some ideas about the various methods of interactive learning, pedagogical best practices for implementing them, and how to weave them together en route to your assessment goals. This workshop is appropriate for instructors from all disciplines.

While the discipline content of the following Lecture Tutorials and Ranking Tasks is specific to astronomy, similar materials and/or materials that can be adapted to these formats exist in many other disciplines.
Lecture Tutorials for sample learning sequence.
    • excerpt from Lecture Tutorials for Introductory Astronomy.
Ranking Tasks for sample learning sequence.
    • Available from CAE website (see link in “Show-N-Tell”).
2:30pm -
(astronomy content-specific)
Wish you had some nifty visuals to aid in teaching introductory astronomy? What about a ready-made database of multiple-choice and discussion questions? With over 400 questions, 60+ interactive simulations and animations, dozens of topic outlines and images, and your choice of web-based or locally downloaded delivery methods, ClassAction is a (FREE) powerful tool for active-learning sequences in astronomy and physics. Experience this tool for yourself and see how to make your own customizable modules from the built-in content or add your own. This workshop is appropriate for those teaching (or who will teach) introductory astronomy.
3:30pm -
(astronomy content-specific)
Got a neat thing you do in class to teach a specific topic? Developed an activity that your students love? Found a way to make Kepler's laws more exciting? Got a killer demonstration that rocks the house? Bring your good stuff: it's astronomy show-n-tell for anyone who wants to share. This workshop is appropriate for those teaching (or who will teach) introductory astronomy.

Dana Backman
    • IR remote and speaker + photocell demos.
    • General SOFIA E/PO materials.
Philip Blanco
    • Crash landing on Moon.
        • Slides.
        • Handout.
        • Web page with flash animation.
        • Flash animation source file. (if you wish to use the webpage above, you must also download this file – it plays inside the webpage)
        • Apollo_17b video. (mov format; 1.2 MB)
        • Apollo16_jump video. (mp4 format; 160 MB)
Brodney Fitzgerald
    • Astronomy Jeopardy.
    • Wheel of Astronomy.
• Rica French
    • Human Orrery (credit = Peter Newbury @ UBC)
        • AAS poster presentation.
        • YouTube video.
        • Worksheet.
        • Disk construction data.
    • One of Rica's Astro 101 classes at MiraCosta
        • Pictures.
        • Videos. (mov format; 105 MB)

Links to other interactive materials for teaching astronomy, physics, and physical science.
ClassAction, NAAP project, plus other astronomy interactives from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.
Interactive Physical Science Simulations.
Physlets (R) resource page.
Virtual Laboratory at the University of Oregon (physics, astronomy, & environmental science)
Resources for teaching introductory Astronomy from the Center for Astronomy Education. (if you have trouble accessing the materials, contact Shannon Roach and let her know you attended the SoCal Regional Teaching Exchange)
4:30pm -
"A Ringside Seat to Planet Formation: Nearby Stars and Protoplanetary Disks"
Join Dr. Dana Backman [bio] from the Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) as he highlights recent results from research into the formation of planets around nearby stars. Hear about some of the infrared, submillimeter, and visible technologies utilized. This colloquium is appropriate for astronomers, including graduate students and advanced undergraduates.
Other reference materials for interactive teaching and learning (many of the sources have content specific to astronomy, physics, and/or other sciences, but the principles apply to virtually all disciplines).
Teaching Strategies from CAE.
Five Easy Lessons (good general info with specific physics content)
Peer Instruction: A User’s Manual
Learner-Centered Astronomy Teaching: Strategies for Astro 101
Peer Instruction for Astronomy
Carl Wieman Science Education Initiative
Evening star party to follow (8:00pm-10:00pm), weather permitting with Professor French and students and staff from the MiraCosta Astronomy Program. For more information and cancellation updates, visit our observing page.