Teaching undergraduate astrophysics with PIRATE

Brodeur, Marcus; Kolb, Ulrich; Minocha, Shailey and Braithwaite, Nicholas (2014). Teaching undergraduate astrophysics with PIRATE. In: Revista Mexicana de Astronomía y Astrofísica, 45 pp. 129–132.

URL: http://www.redalyc.org/pdf/571/57132995040.pdf


PIRATE is a 0.43m semi-autonomous research and teaching observatory owned by The Open University, UK. Since 2010, it has been reserved for several months of each year for teaching astronomy in the OU's undergraduate programme. As students in these courses operate PIRATE remotely rather than travelling to the observatory itself, we chose to investigate whether effective learning was adversely affected by the absence of a more traditional 'hands on' experience. We discuss student perspectives on the technologies employed (i.e., remote and virtual investigations), the impact these had on perceived course outcomes, and consider implications for future teaching and outreach.

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