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Thesis - University Access Only
Master of Science (MS)
Communication Studies and Theatre
John D. Ackerman
In this study, the researcher conducted a content analysis of undergraduate level introductory astronomy syllabi. The researcher focused only on introductory astronomy courses offered by physics or astronomy departments in the United States of America. The course syllabus is a document worthy of study for two primary reasons: 1) Its role as a contract between instructor and student and 2) its role as a medium for instructor to student interaction and immediacy. This study sought to illustrate the picture of undergraduate introductory astronomy courses in the United States of America. The researcher selected two independent variables: 1) institution type (public or private) and 2) instructor credentials. The study contained seven dependent variables for each syllabus: 1) the number of supplementary materials/activities, 2) total word count, 3) the number of explicitly stated course objectives, 4) identified course objectives, 5) degree of immediacy of instructor contact information present, 6) required textbook(s), and 7) the presence of a required laboratory component. Through independent samples ttests, Fisher's exact test, and descriptive statistics (when appropriate), the researcher found no statistically significant difference between institution type and any of the dependent variables. Descriptive statistics compare dependent variables and instructor credentials.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Astronomy -- Study and teaching (Higher)
Astronomy -- Curricula.
Content analysis (Communication)
Includes bibliographical references (pages 73-84)
Number of Pages
South Dakota State University
In Copyright - Non-Commercial Use Permitted
Hunt, Christopher J., "An Analysis of Undergraduate Introductory Astronomy Syllabi from Physics and Astronomy Departments" (2013). Theses and Dissertations. 1429.