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Nicole Vogt » Distance Educational Development

American universities currently have few extended learning (distance education) resources in the physical sciences. It is particularly challenging to provide laboratory science exercises that can be completed without an instructor on hand, without a peer group to share ideas, and without a laboratory full of equipment!

Providing distance access to a core curriculum can broaden the participation of underrepresented groups in higher education, by allowing greater scheduling flexibility (in time, as well as in location). It can also draw in underserved individuals who might otherwise have no viable opportunity to consider a career in the sciences. We thus are strongly motivated to provide additional physical science resources at the general education level.

With the aid of NASA and NSF funding, I have developed a distance learning course in general astronomy for undergraduates (and for high school students, under a concurrent enrollment model). The key components, outlined below, also offer an opportunity for graduate students with a strong interest in education to participate in educational development and outreach activities.

If you would like to learn more about our project, or become involved and use our materials, please sign up to our mailing list to receive occasional updates.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) under Grant No. AST-0349155 and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) under Grant No. NNX09AV36G. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NSF or NASA.