Ranking Tasks for Introductory Astronomy

developed by: David Hudgins, Kevin Lee, and Edward Prather

middle schoolhigh schoolintro collegeinter-mediateupper levelgrad school   other

Intro College Conceptual

Lecture - Large (30+ students)  Lecture - Small (<30 students)  Recitation/Discussion Session  Homework  Studio

What? Conceptual exercises in which students make comparative judgments to identify the order of various situations based on a physical outcome or result. Analyzing multiple scenarios requires students to think more deeply about the critical features that distinguish one situation from another.

Student skills developed

Designed for:
  • Conceptual understanding

Instructor effort required

  • Low

Developer's website: Astro Ranking Tasks
Bronze Validation
This is the third highest level of research validation, corresponding to:
  • at least 1 of the "based on" categories
  • at least 1 of the "demonstrated to improve" categories
  • at least 1 of the "studied using" categories
(Categories shown below)

Research Validation Summary

Based on Research Into:

  • theories of how students learn
  • student ideas about specific topics

Demonstrated to Improve:

  • conceptual understanding
  • problem-solving skills
  • lab skills
  • beliefs and attitudes
  • attendance
  • retention of students
  • success of underrepresented groups
  • performance in subsequent classes

Studied using:

  • cycle of research and redevelopment
  • student interviews
  • classroom observations
  • analysis of written work
  • research at multiple institutions
  • research by multiple groups
  • peer-reviewed publication