Teaching, learning and outreach in astronomy

Start Date
End Date

 An RAS Specialist Discussion Meeting organised by Professor Paul Roche (University of South Wales)* and Professor Andy Newsam (Liverpool John Moores University)
* Contact: paul.roche_AT_faulkes-telescope.com

New approaches to teaching and learning mean that the way content, practical skills, data analysis/observing techniques etc. are delivered to students is very different in the modern lecture theatre/classroom to how many current teaching staff may have been taught. The growth of e-learning has opened up many new ways for teachers and learners (of all ages/abilities/experience) to engage with astronomy, astrophysics and space science, and examples of several recent projects in this area will be given.

This discussion meeting will examine current practises and approaches to the teaching and learning of astronomy, in higher education and beyond. Innovative methods by which astronomy is being taught by higher education establishments (including via distance learning) will be highlighted, as will examples of the external impact of research though engagement and outreach programmes to schools and the general public.

Tea and coffee will be available from 10:00 and again after the meeting at 15:30.


10:00  Registration & Coffee



MORNING Session (10:30-12:30)

Chair: Robert Massey (Royal Astronomical Society)

10:30   Paul Roche (University of South Wales)

Introduction: HEA/RAS review of astronomy teaching and learning in UK HEI’s

10:45   Paul Yates (Higher Education Academy)  

Higher Education Academy Support for Learning and Teaching

11:00   Annabel Cartwright (Cardiff University)

Synoptic physics and astronomy courses

11:15   Norman Gray (University of Glasgow)      

Tagging and Linking Lecture Audio: Practical Experience

11:30   Malcolm Coe (University of Southampton)

Sending your astronomy students abroad

11:45   Ulrich Kolb (Open University)       

Distance learning and online labs

12:15   Discussion

12:30 Lunch

Please note that we are not able to offer sandwiches for purchase at Burlington House, however, there are many good sandwich shops nearby.



Chair: Paul Roche (University of South Wales)

13:30   Chris Leigh (Liverpool John Moores University)

Liverpool Approach to Astronomy Education and Outreach

13:45   Michael McCabe & Graham Bryant (University of Portsmouth)           

The University of Portsmouth and the Hampshire Astronomical Group - 20 Years of Astronomical Partnership

14:00   Mark Gallaway (University of Hertfordshire)      

Bayfordbury Observatory

14:15   Joanne Bibby (University of Central Lancashire)           

Traditional and Distance Learning (and Teaching) at UCLan

14:30   Rob Simpson (University of Oxford)

Citizen Science as a Tool for Education

14:45   Patricia Whitelock (South African Astronomical Observatory)

SALT Collateral Benefits Plan and establishing the National Astrophysics and Space Science Programme

15:00   Ian Robson (ROE)

IAUC55 and the OAD Task Force 3

15:15   Discussion

15:30   Tea will be available in the Lower Library of the Geological Society for those attending the Open (Monthly A&G) Meeting of the Royal Astronomical Society