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Thread: Astronomy Class on BAUT, perhaps???

  1. #151
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    I see this as a bit of overkill. Don't get me wrong, I would gladly like to learn more astronomy, but I don't think the best way to do it is through this forum (as an organized course; I do it through discussion). I consider forums as places of discussion and debate (like the Roman Forums), not a place for a formal class. A thread like this is a great thing, since we have people like Michael Richmond guiding us to the best online places of astronomical interest. I really am thankful for that, but I do not think that it's feasible to organize a class on an online forum.

    PS: An aside: you would have to deal with people registering continuously, and they might want to join the class, even though the class is in the middle of the course. Perhaps this has been dwelled on already, I don't know.

  2. #152
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    Quote Originally Posted by foreignkid View Post
    PS: An aside: you would have to deal with people registering continuously, and they might want to join the class, even though the class is in the middle of the course. Perhaps this has been dwelled on already, I don't know.
    Good one!

  3. #153
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    Yes, there shouldn't be many wanting a class here, except for the many that would like to join a class here.

    I still think a class here would work by establishing the topics for each class and getting amateurs, like me, to tackle all of the topics (requiring strong participation by would-be class memebers). Once complete, the professional volunteers could review them in their spare time. This minimizes the burden on the pros who don't need another teaching work load. The number of podcasts (Fraser and Dr. Gay) are now sufficent to augment the course materials for most classes.

    Once all, or most, of the topics (ie chapters) are complete for a given course, then the course could be announced and scheduled.

    The basic plan on how want to set-up a course here still needs resolution. Once this is done, the details, such as allowing others in late, can be worked out. We haven't gotten past step one, unfortunately.
    We know time flies, we just can't see its wings.

  4. #154
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    Let me also say that I still think it would be downright fun to be a part of tackling a topic for the purpose of using it as class material. This work certainly would help the learning experience, too.

    Time is not an issue either; notice the time period of this thread. There need not be any pressure on anyone. A class would be ready only in due time.
    We know time flies, we just can't see its wings.

  5. #155
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    Time is not an issue either
    I guess you're right... for now, at least. Once the class "officially" starts, there will have to be a time limit of some sort, otherwise it's not really a class.

    Again, I'm not trying to be difficult, I'm merely trying to help you guys in finding the best solution to this.

  6. #156
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    Quote Originally Posted by foreignkid View Post
    Once the class "officially" starts, there will have to be a time limit of some sort, otherwise it's not really a class.
    Even this needs some discussion. A self-paced course is viable, too. The simplist method might be to give a tough final exam for each course. Those who make the grade, whether they read the lessons or not, get the certificate for that course. This allows advance placement for those who feel they already know it well enough. For those who take the exam and bomb, they will know there is more in the course than they had thought and will go through it.

    I would like to see more involvement by class members, though having both a more regular class program, whatever that my be, and a self-paced course might work fine.

    Again, I'm not trying to be difficult, I'm merely trying to help you guys in finding the best solution to this.
    Your honest opinion is welcome. If it is not favorable to supporting a class here, well, you'll get my honest response. Sorry if I came on too strong, though.

    Online courses are not new, but what is special here is the number of people interested in astronomy who want to be engaged in it. Many are professionals who have no real use for lower level courses and exams. But more folks here are like me, amateurs that love astronomy and want to learn more but have no real time or real money for it. BAUT could easily be the best place for building-up their knowledge of astronomy because of the community support that is so embracing. [Not to mention their tolerance, too. I used to get taken out in the hallway for cutt'n-up in class, here I can shuck corn and tell bad jokes and get away with it. Admittedly, we can't scratch our nails across the blackboard, but there's hope, audio is improving. ]
    We know time flies, we just can't see its wings.

  7. #157
    I am definitely supporting this idea, and would be willing to get a hardcopy text if needed. I'm in the same boat as many as far as math and physics proficiency (I only made it so far as Algebra II and basic HS physics), but am willing to research and learn what I need to in order to keep pace. I'm planning a return to school anyhow, and this might work hand in hand with that well.

    So, another vote to support this idea!

  8. #158
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    This single idea could cause BAUT to go beyond relevant in today's world. This is a fantastic idea. It sets the bar so far above anyone's head they could only dream of catching it.

    I love powerful ideas and I recognize them when I see them. This is such an idea.

  9. #159
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    I was looking at a paper written by a man who was mostly ignored when he first presented his ideas. He is now considered one of the most influential people in his field. I admit that when he gets into details I read it very slowly. OK, maybe I skip vast chunks of it.

    I found this PhD's paper at a site with a library and extensive course offering. I'm not sure if it's accredited but at this point I'm not looking to get credit for learning. I just want to know. I recall when his ideas were first being talked about and I thought I knew enough about them. I can see I didn't.

    I suppose if I take some of the other courses at the site I might get to the point where I could somewhat understand what this doctor is talking about. I'd enjoy that. It costs a little under $200 a year to have access. I haven't made the investment but I'm seriously thinking about it.

    Here is the point. I think if BAUT would begin to grow a repository of PDF papers on different aspects of Astronomy there would be interest. Eventually courses could be offered that would make use of that library.

    The writers of the papers would be given credit for their ideas and could cite them on their resumes. I've read this thread and I can see there is interest. I'm not sure if that interest has reached a critical mass to cause some action. That would be good to see.

  10. #160
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bessler007 View Post

    Here is the point. I think if BAUT would begin to grow a repository of PDF papers on different aspects of Astronomy there would be interest. Eventually courses could be offered that would make use of that library.

    The writers of the papers would be given credit for their ideas and could cite them on their resumes. I've read this thread and I can see there is interest. I'm not sure if that interest has reached a critical mass to cause some action. That would be good to see.
    Well, the Astrophysics Data System

    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abstract_service.html

    has copies of the titles and abstracts of nearly every paper published in the refereed astronomical literature for the past century. It even has PDF copies of many of the entire papers. You can search and browse and read them at your leisure.

    There is also the astro-ph preprint archive:

    http://arxiv.org/archive/astro-ph

    with a smaller selection from the past decade only, but always the full text of the paper.

    Perhaps you want a guided tour through some portion of the field. If so, you might simply do a little searching for course notes which are freely available on the Internet. There are plenty of them.

    Can you explain in concrete terms exactly what you want that cannot be satisfied by a little self-guided reading?

  11. #161
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    Quote Originally Posted by StupendousMan View Post
    . . .

    Can you explain in concrete terms exactly what you want that cannot be satisfied by a little self-guided reading?
    . . .
    Hello StupendousMan,

    This is a good question to ask people that have posted in this thread. I know some are very comfortable with independent study yet there are a lot of people that prefer a structure defined by others. I notice from reading the thread there is quite an interest in the later.

    Through out the thread there have been some great references to stores of information and you've added some good ones. I see a trend today of circumventing the expense of formal education via the Internet. It is a powerful trend. There isn't anything for me in this equation but I think if BAUT would catch that wave it would be an excellent opportunity for them.

    That's my only point.

  12. #162
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    im in...

    i want to learn and need help..



    -aaron

  13. #163
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    I would still like some opinions regarding the idea to use the 70+ astronomycast podcasts as a BAUT course. These are a bit too general for me, but they are very nicely done and enjoyable.

    To make it into an introductory "course" here in the forum, might only require several of us preparing tests and, somehow, administering them in a way that would produce an honest grade of some kind.

    It would be very helpful if a certificate of some sort were offered to those who passed the tests for each of several sections. For instance, a number of podcasts deal strictly with the Solar system, which could be one section.

    Perhaps special recognition could be added for the astronomical ace. A final exam could be given also.

    I think the use of Astronomycast might be a good nascent approach to getting started with a BAUT structured education program. This makes even more sense because it appears unlikely a more in-depth program will be the initial step. If an introductory program takes-off, then something more serious might be warranted, and at a level that has, hopefully, some financial compensation for those who have done the hard work to teach us.

    Is anyone willing to help generate 15 or 20 good test questions from the podcasts of Astronomycast?

    If so, then we can go to Fraser, Pamela, and Phil with this idea to see if they can acquire something test-like from their forum software supplier. The certificates could be created by us and easily given out as pdf files, or jpg, to those who have earned them.

    It's time to do something, even if it's something basic!
    We know time flies, we just can't see its wings.

  14. #164
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fraser 11/14/2006 View Post
    Perhaps a Wiki might be a good format to do this? Maybe something similar to the Wikibooks.
    http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Astronomy

    There are a lot of unwritten sections in their book which we could complete, since it's open for editing by anyone. We could then integrate the wikibook entries back into this forum as part of the course. That would probably take a lot of hassle off everyone's hands, and encourage other people to contribute.
    How's that Wikibook page going? George? what do you think?

  15. #165
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    Nice. I like the outline. Why don't the subtopics simply use Wiki articles, at least until something nicer is written, if needed?
    We know time flies, we just can't see its wings.

  16. #166
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    Quote Originally Posted by George View Post
    Nice. I like the outline. Why don't the subtopics simply use Wiki articles, at least until something nicer is written, if needed?
    The wikipedia is great and fine, through which the enhancement is possible for the subtopics as you said "something is nicer is written". No doubt the outline is fine, but actual commencement of the class is so much needed as early as possible so that everyone will experience here that the class is going on. What do you think.!

    Even giving answers for the querrys "just like a online paper format" people can test their knowledge by clicking the oval buttons of the online astronomy knowledge paper, would be an added advantage.

  17. #167
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    http://bb.nightskylive.net/asterisk/...ic.php?t=14459

    APOD is doing an online Astronomy course.

  18. #168
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    Tinaa, great link here, that can perfectly assist so far but need is to hear with a great concentration so that one may grasp easily.

    Because today most of the personalities are in hurry and if they want to sum up the kind of information they want, they can use easily this apod online astronomy..

    Sunil

  19. #169
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinaa View Post
    http://bb.nightskylive.net/asterisk/...ic.php?t=14459

    APOD is doing an online Astronomy course.
    Great link, Tinaa! This looks like a great way to start-off a more formal learning approach to astronomy. I'll be going at it.
    We know time flies, we just can't see its wings.

  20. #170
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    http://ocwfinder.com/

    This is interesting. OpenCourseware is a free way to take college courses - without the credit if course. Many courses form MIT are offered in a variety of subjects. No strictly astronomy courses but there are several astronautics courses and lots of science courses. Pretty cool!

  21. #171
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    For those wanting an astronomy course where BAUTizens can participate together...I've found it. You do have to register. One can set up group activities, have a discussion forum, create a learning club, utilize video conferencing, and other features all while following a curriculum online.

    Topics include: Maths for Science, The Evolving Universe, The Moon, The Sun, Comparing Stars, Icy Bodies: Europa and Elsewhere, Intro to Active Galaxies, Telescopes and Spectrographs, The Restless Universe, The Big Bang, and many other science and nature studies.

    http://openlearn.open.ac.uk/

  22. #172
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    Thanks for keeping on this one, Tinaa! I'm going to look into those.

  23. #173
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    Hi guys.
    Any further developments on this?
    I have looked at Swinburnes online Astronomy course requirements but too expensive for me.
    i stumbled across this thread a couple of days ago and thought it sounded brilliant..I for one would definitely be interested but it doesn't seem to be getting anywhere (or is it?).
    PLEASE dont give up, not much I could do to help other than to sign up when the time comes.
    Good luck.

  24. #174
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    Has anyone tried the MIT route as mentioned by Tinaa? [About a year ago I tried and gave up trying to get it to work.]
    We know time flies, we just can't see its wings.

  25. #175
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    If anyone wants to start an introductory level 12 hr course here is a link: http://openlearn.open.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=2382

    You do have to sign up - it's free. There is a learning club, shared activities and several other interesting ways to interact.

  26. #176
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinaa View Post
    If anyone wants to start an introductory level 12 hr course here is a link: http://openlearn.open.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=2382
    Thanks Tinaa.

    Folks, don't be put off by the opening page, with:
    The evolving Universe

    A history of the Universe Resource

    In the beginning there was nothing at all. To the north and south of nothingness lay regions of fire and frost.
    That didn't seem the right approach to me, somehow.

    But if you go to the first link you find it's a quote from Snorri Sturleson in 1220 AD

  27. #177
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    I was going to take one of MIT's Open courses on quantum physics, but the lecture notes are blank.

  28. #178
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    ISO Astronomy Courses & Podcasts

    Quote Originally Posted by Tinaa View Post
    If anyone wants to start an introductory level 12 hr course here is a link: http://openlearn.open.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=2382

    You do have to sign up - it's free. There is a learning club, shared activities and several other interesting ways to interact.
    Thanks Tinaa! That's just the type of resource I am looking for.

    Just got an iPod....some kindhearted teens are taking pity on me and helping me set it up. Any recommended podcasts?

    So glad I found BAUT!

  29. #179
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  30. #180
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    Thanks again!

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