David J. Jeffery
2005 January 1
Download site: NOAO Image Gallery: Andromeda and the Moon Collage.
Instroductory Astronomy Lectures (IAL) is a set of online lectures that I began developing at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) in 2003--2004. The aim of IAL is to provide an online resource that serves as course text, course notes for the students, lectures notes for the instructor, and a lecturing tool: i.e., unified, single resource for introductory astronomy courses on either the solar system or extrasolar astronomy (i.e., stars, galaxies, cosmology).
I believe IAL satisfactorially achieves its aim. Of course, good text books will often provide more detail and be consistently more accurate. Also some people prefer having a text that one can hold in one's hand and make notes on.
As a lecturing tool IAL works well for me. The lectures are projected directly onto a big screen and the lecturer scrolls through them. The images and text and voice can be integrated. I find that students adjust quickly to not taking notes in class and in not being able to read every word. In lecturing, I focus on images, key words, questions to the class (which are inserted in the text), and occasionally on videos (which are linked from the IAL).
Occasionally, a diagram or math expression needs to be improvised on a blackboard or whiteboard. One could also use document camera (doccam) with the projector set to mute.
The questions to class are usually multiple choice. Hitherto, I've just used a show of hands to get responses. One could have the student use remotes (i.e., clickers) in order to collect answers. That takes more technology than I currently know how to use. Some questions are intended to elicit a response from an individual student in words.
IAL is under construction. It is probably about 80 % complete for the solar system and about 70 % complete for extrasolar astronomy: many lectures need further improvement. For an all-astronomy, there is more than enough material. But be warned: some material is probably out-of-date, erroneous, and/or garbled. I am working to ameliorate things.
In addition to IAL, I have created a problem bank, Introductory Astronomy Problems, in TeX format. The problems are all multiple choice. A pdf file of the problems, but not solutions, can be downloaded at the link above. I will provide instructors with the TeX source file (which includes solutions) on request. The questions are all coded for electronic selection. I can provide a fortran routine for selection, but an instructor could easily construct his/her own program.
Alien mesmerized by copyright.
Many images are included in the lectures. The main sources for images that are not of my own creation and copyright are Wikipedia, NASA, the National Optical Astrophysical Observatories (NOAO), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and United States Geological Survey (USGS). The Wikipedia images when they are not public domain are used under Creative Commons licenses. The images created US government agencies are usually public domain (see Copyright and Other Rights Pertaining to U.S. Government Works). I have also used architectural images from the Digital Imaging Project of Mary Ann Sullivan, Bluffton College, maps from the Perry-Castaneda Library Map Collection, University of Texas Austin, some figures from Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and some images from various other sources. In all cases, I have attempted to give the correct credit for the image and permission to use the image. In most cases, I have given a download site for the image. If anyone finds that I am improperly or discourteously using an image, please contact me and I will resolve the matter.
In regard to my own text and images (all signed DJ Jeffery), I hereby give permission for downloading, use, and modification for any non-commercial or educational purposes with proper credit. Express permission is not required. I'd appreciate hearing from any users.
For their support for this work, I thank the Departments of Physics (& Astronomy where applicable) of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), Washburn University (WU), the University of Idaho (UI), and Northern Arizona University (NAU).
The Russell Frank Astronomy Lecture Series
If there is an upcoming Russell Frank Lecture,
Special public lecture advertisement below.
For students of David Jeffery's
AST 103/104 sections,
attendance at a
Lecture counts as a substitute for the
interview marked item.
Just report that you attended and I will give you the mark.
Ast 105 lab sections meet in 1st week of classes
Advertizement: Phy 108: Physics for a Better Environment
Course Web Site and Syllabus
A course-specific site. This has to be modified for
each new semester.
There are three course streams:
The Russell Frank Astronomy Lecture Series
If there is an upcoming Russell Frank Lecture, see the Special public lecture advertisement below.
For students of David Jeffery's AST 103/104 sections, attendance at a Russell Frank Lecture counts as a substitute for the interview marked item. Just report that you attended and I will give you the mark.