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Project Overview

The ClassAction Project is developing interactive materials to be used in the introductory astronomy classroom at either the college or advanced high school level. The materials are centered around questions that are projected in the classroom. Students then respond to the questions through voting, oral report, or other means either individually or in groups. A large number of resources are provided to help the instructor provide feedback to the questions. The questions for a given astronomy topic are incorporated into a database module allowing the instructor to conveniently select among the questions from that module. The materials are designed to be very flexible so that instructors may adapt them as appropriate to their method of instruction.

This project acknowledges the large body of educational research illustrating the importance of "interactive engagement". It also recognizes the financial realities of higher education -- large introductory level course are not going to disappear anytime soon at large universities despite their limitations. The typical instructor is also unlikely to find large amounts of time to develop interactive teaching materials. ClassAction will bridge these gaps and allow large astronomy classes to be taught in a very interactive manner while few demands on the instructor's time.

A thorough literature review of interactive engagement in astronomy may be found this document (pdf).