Role-Playing and Problem-Based Exercises for Teaching Undergraduate Astronomy

Paul Francis, Australian National University

This site is a collection of role-playing exercises for teaching space science. It includes debates and collaborative problem-solving exercises, with data and equations provided to the students. Topics include the greenhouse effect on Venus, formation of solar systems, the dangers of astronomy and exploration, international space law, and navigation by the stars. The exercises generally involve the students working in teams as experts on part of a problem and sharing their results with the rest of the class to come up with an overall solution. The students are expected to use math, teamwork, and astronomy to overcome the challenge. This site also includes papers on the theory and assessment of role-playing and problem-based learning in education, as well as photos of students role-playing.

This description of a site outside SERC has not been vetted by SERC staff and may be incomplete or incorrect. If you have information we can use to flesh out or correct this record let us know.

Part of the Starting Point collection. The Starting Point collection includes resources addressing the needs of faculty and graduate students designing, developing, and delivering entry-level undergraduate courses in geoscience.

Starting Point
This resource is referenced here:
Subject: Geoscience:Atmospheric Science, Lunar and Planetary Science
Resource Type: Activities:Classroom Activity
Grade Level: Graduate/Professional, College Upper (15-16), College Lower (13-14)
Topics: Chemistry/Physics/Mathematics, Atmosphere, Solar system, Human Dimensions/Resources
Theme: Teach the Earth:Course Topics:Planetary Science, Atmospheric Science