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ClassAction v2

A major focus of our efforts recently has been improving ClassAction. Not only have we made many new questions (there are nearly 450), we have also created a completely new ‘browser’ for ClassAction: ClassAction v2. Although this new browser is still considered beta it is sufficiently well developed that we want to encourage people to try it. Here are some of the things it lets you do:
  • You can now create custom modules with questions and resources that you select. Instructions are on the v2 page.
  • You can download your custom modules in a zip file and run them from your laptop or flash drive during class (no internet dependence).
  • You can resize the browser window and the question will get bigger or smaller as needed.
  • You can use search to find the questions you want. (In the v2 browser, click the logo in the upper right and select ‘Search’ from the menu.)
  • You now have access to all questions and resources in a single package.
  • You can navigate between modules and questions in much the same way as you would in a web browser. You can navigate to the next or previous question in a module with a single click.
  • Large modules are handled more efficiently (reduced CPU load).
Shawn Langan will be presenting this new version of ClassAction at the Mid-American Regional Astrophysics Conference on April 9, 2010.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010  —  Chris

Recent Changes

(Here's a little list of some of the things we have been working on since last fall. We're saving the biggest development for the next post.)

Several times a year we invite guest speakers to UNL to discuss topics relevant to astronomy educators. These talks are now available online. If you aren't using ClassAction (or other active engagement techniques) in your classroom then start by watching Dr. Ed Prather's talk.

We have begun creating training videos to show instructors how to use our materials in their classrooms.

The Astronomy Interactives project has released several new ranking tasks.

The Lunar Phases Simulator has been translated into Dutch and Greek. This is our first internationalized simulator.

In addition to many new ClassAction questions, we've also introduced several new simulators. Three of our favorites are the Gravity Calculator, the Lunar Phase Quizzer, and the Galactic Redshift Simulator (thanks to Dr. Travis Rector at the University of Alaska Anchorage for the idea for this simulator).
Tuesday, April 6, 2010  —  Chris