My name is Dr. Patrick M. Len, and I will be your instructor for this course. You can watch this video to find out more about me!
Instructor: Dr. Patrick M. Len, Ph.D.
About This Course
Here are some important details to know about this course before the start of the spring 2024 semester. You will gain full access to this course on the first day of the semester (Tuesday, January 16). This course is fully online with no mandatory meetings or proctored exams.
In this course you will be learning how telescopes work, how to use remote robotic telescopes and a historical reproduction of Galileo's telescope to observe, document and explore celestial objects in the night sky, and keeping up with present-day discoveries and developments in astronomy.
Together we will explore the universe, while being respectful of everyone's backgrounds, experiences, and viewpoints. We will have an opportunity to learn about astronomy and from each other in an enthusiastic and welcoming environment. Your feedback is valuable, and so please let me know what can be done to maximize your learning experience.
Online Course Information
We will be using Canvas (a web-based learning management system) for course materials and links, pre-recorded asynchronous video lectures, lab worksheets, current events quizzes, grades, e-mail and discussion boards. There are no in-person meetings. Please be prepared to spend 3-4 hours per week for this course on self-directed reading, viewing, studying, and writing.
If you are unsure if taking an online course is right for you, go to Cuesta College's Online Readiness Resources webpage and go through the questions listed there, to self-assess your ability to succeed.
Refer to the Technical Frequently Asked Questions regarding specific minimum computer and browser requirements for Canvas.
Cuesta College has resources on Getting Started with Canvas, and offers a "Being Successful Online" tutorial.
Cuesta College has a technical support page available to help you with Canvas problems.
Course Catalog Description
This course presents the principles of measurement, data collection and analysis to the astronomical phenomena of celestial motions and characteristics of planets, stars, galaxies in the planning, execution, and presentation of research projects. Prerequisite: elementary algebra or eligibility for college-level math using the current college process. Corequisite: ASTR 210 (enrolled during this semester, or completed in a previous semester).
Student Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of this course, you should be able to:
- Describe present-day discoveries and developments in astronomy (current events)
- Make observations of astronomical objects using the naked eye, actual telescopes, and/or
- Develop procedures to make observations.
- Document observation data and conclusions.
- Prepare presentation materials, such as a report or poster, to share results of experiments
You can arrange reasonable learning accommodations for this course (or for selected components that may be inherently inaccessible) through Cuesta College Disabled Student Programs & Services, and they will coordinate with you and me on the specific details.
In this course, you will learn a lot of astronomy, and you will need to show me how much astronomy you have learned. In order to do this, I promise that:
- I will help you learn astronomy to the best of your ability. If and when you need help, please ask!
- I will be fair in grading work that is clearly and completely your own. Show me what you have learned!
In return, you must work hard and do only your own individual work on the current events quizzes and lab worksheets. Together we can do this, and successfully explore the universe and our place in it!
(Review the Cuesta College Student Code of Conduct for a complete list of acceptable and unacceptable behavior.)