Table of Contents
Astro 375 / Astro 300 (Fall 2013)
This course qualifies for the GSI Teaching and Resource Center's Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education.
Class is held: Wednesday from 6-8 pm in Dwinelle 210.
The Bootcamp is held: Tuesday, Aug 27 and Wednesday, Aug 28 from 4-6pm in Hearst Field Annex, Room B-1.
Faculty Instructor: Imke de Pater (
Graduate Student Instructors: Francesca Fornasini (
email@example.com), Aaron Lee (
- The Syllabus. Make sure you read this!
- The Electronic Big Red Binder. An important resource for GSIs. Reuse and modification of any and all of the materials in these resources is highly encouraged! So is contribution back to the EBRB of your improved materials! There is also an older physical copy (The Big Red Binder), located in the library.
- Teaching Logs. Summaries of the short teaching log prompts.
- Extended Logs. Summaries of the longer teaching log prompts.
- Assignments. Summaries of all assignments for Ay375.
- Suggested Readings. Links and copies of suggested reading on teaching and pedagogy.
- Midsemester Evaluation for Ay375.
Ay 375 Lesson Plans
(Any lesson plans for future dates are subject to revision, but feel free to peruse if you're interested.)
|Class Number||Date/Week of||Topics||Lesson Plan Link|
|1||Aug 27||Bootcamp 1: Paper airplane activity/discussion, What makes a good section? General classroom setting, syllabus design, philosophy from the instructors||BootCamp Day 1|
|2||Aug 28||Bootcamp 2: Syllabi activities, board work activity, first day activities (Experienced GSI visit (Karto)), class closings and assessment, resources||BootCamp Day 2|
|3||Sept 4||Section Recaps, Ay375 Logistics, Lecturing Styles||Class 3|
|4||Sept 11||Learning Styles, Implementing Group Work||Class 4|
|5||Sept 18||Experienced GSI visit (Isaac), Learning Objectives & Lesson Plans, Group Work continued||Class 5|
|6||Sept 25||Exam, Worksheet, and Quiz Question Discussion, Big and Small Group Dynamics||Class 6|
|7||Oct 2||Teaching Philosophy, Experienced GSI visit (Josiah), Grading Rubrics||Class 7|
|8||Oct 9||Board Work Part 1, Demos, Midsemester Evals||Class 8|
|9||Oct 16||Board Work Part 2, Experienced GSI visit (James)||Class 9|
|10||Oct 23||General Reflection Day, Improving Office Hours||Class 10|
|11||Oct 30||Midsemester Eval discussion, Experienced GSI visit (Nick), Ethics||Class 11|
|12||Nov 6||Design-A-Section (introduce, setting milestones), Misconceptions||Class 12|
|13||Nov 13||Design-A-Section (milestone 1), The Hidden Curriculum||Class 13|
|14||Nov 20||Design-A-Section (milestone 2), Student Expectations / Motivations (Celia's Day)||Class 14|
|15||Dec 4||Design-A-Section Presentations||Class 15|
|16||Dec 11||Professors Visit, Teaching Portfolios, Philosophy and Course Closing||Class 16|
Ay 375-specific and general pedagogy
- GSI Basics - getting started as a GSI (some basic ground rules)
- Teaching Resources - quite extensive list of teaching resources
- TALC - information about The Astronomy Learning Center (TALC)
- Academic Honesty and Cheating Policies - information regarding both the University and Department policies
- Writing Homework Assignments - tips and suggestions for writing good homework assignments from AY 300, Fall 2008.
- Writing Quizzes and Exams - tips and suggestions for writing good quizzes and exams
- Grading Student Work - guidelines and suggestions about grading homeworks, quizzes, and exams as well as calculating grades for discussion section and overall course grades
- Bloom Taxonomy Handout.
- Writing MC and FR Questions Slides.
Cool Teaching Links
- Astronomy Education Review - Awesome e-journal on astronomy education published a couple times a year.
- NASA's Center for Astronomy Education - NASA's portal for the teaching of introductory astronomy to nonscientists. Lots of stuff, updated frequently.
- Reaching the Second Tier: Learning and Teaching Styles in College Science Education - Interesting essay on learning styles and how to improve teaching styles.
- Berkeley TEA Essays - UC Berkeley gives Teaching Effectiveness Awards yearly to GSIs who have implemented new teaching techniques in their classrooms. This page links to essays by the GSIs describing their innovations.
- Heavenly Errors - A list of >1700 astronomy misconceptions compiled by Neal F. Comins at the University of Maine.
- Melissa's Teaching Page - Melissa Graham, a postdoc in the astronomy department, has taught a similar course at the University of Victoria. Her “Ay375” page is here.
Teaching Pedagogy Books that Aaron enjoys
Teaching and Designing Courses
Strategies for Astro 101 by Tim Slater and Jeff Adams. (Amazon) A great affordable book on designing Astro 101 (Introductory Astronomy for non-majors) courses. Applied to the course as a whole, but a lot of this book applies to running sections as well.
McKeachie's Teaching Tips by Marilla Svinicki and Wilbert McKeachie. (Amazon) Almost biblical in the pedagogy world, this book covers almost anything you need to know about teaching. If you want to shell out the money, this is the book to get. It covers everything in Slater and Adams and more (no need to buy both…).
Teaching Physics with the Physics Suite by Edward Redish. (Amazon ; the book chapters are available for free here) Teaching Physics is a book about learning to be a more effective physics teacher. It is meant for anyone who is interested in learning about recent developments in physics education.
Why Students Don't Like School: A Cognitive Scientist Answers Questions About How the Mind Works and What It Means for the Classroom by Daniel Willingham. (Amazon) Fascinating account on how the brain “learns” and how you can use that both to your advantage in the classroom and to assess why certain activities might have failed.
How Learning Works: Seven Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching by Ambrose et al. (Amazon) An interesting book that covers seven very real problems that you will experience in section. Applied to teaching a course as a whole, many of the book discussions can also be applied to sections.
Astro 10 (Blitz) - Cheng, Duncan
Astro 12 (Marcy) - Goldstein, Fricke, McBride, Lovill
Astro 160 (Marcy) - Nims
Astr 122 (Graham) - Wang, Cohen
Members of Ay375 (teaching times)
Elizabeth McBride (TR 2-3 W 9-10)
Carina Cheng (1-2 W B1 3-4 W Evans)
Danny Cohen (OH sun)
Danny Goldstein (12-2 W)
Jason Wang (T 6-8, OH T 5-6)
Jesse Nims (T 4-5 and M 4-5)
Kyle Fricke (W 11-12 2-3)
Sky Lovill (TR 12-1)
Jake Duncan (F 1-2 3-4)
Stuff for the instructors
Some Notes on development and from previous semesters.
The syllabus given to the GSI Resource Center.
Stuff Aaron uses for Spring 2014 C10: AyC10