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Our astronomy education resources are fully integrated into a current introductory astronomy course at New Mexico State University (NMSU).

We have developed a set of 26 lectures modules covering basic topics in modern astronomy, ranging from the history and movements of planets and satellites in our own solar system to the evolution of stars in our Milky Way galaxy and the formation and growth of galaxies throughout the expanding universe. Among our study aids, we provide a set of audio recordings of these lectures.

These audio recordings have been synced to a set of lecture slides and additional freehand drawings for each lecture topic. The result is a clear timeline that can be followed both aurally and visually, allowing students to work through the common questions and points of difficulty experienced by previous students (in a traditional classroom).

We have also developed Think-Pair-Share questions for each lecture, which can be utilized in large lecture sessions or with smaller discussion groups of students. (For a description of the Think-Pair-Share model, see this CAE guide.)

Our in-class students use the audio recordings to review lectures after having attended them in person, and they also make up occasional absences from class by reviewing the recording sequences. This is particularly helpful for students with inflexible work schedules and when illnesses of family members or other emergencies lead to unplanned absences. Some students also like to review audio recordings while exercising, to refresh key concepts.

In distance education mode, students review the lecture slides and parallel audio recordings to reproduce the classroom experience.