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Thread: Better Living (and learning) through MOOCs

  1. #1
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    Lightbulb Better Living (and learning) through MOOCs

    An astrobiology MOOC, and how to create your own. The paper is a little hard to find, so I linked to the PDF as well as the abstract.

    abstract: http://cdsads.u-strasbg.fr/abs/2019EPJWC.20001019L
    paper itself: https://www.epj-conferences.org/arti...2017_01019.pdf

    Making a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) about Astrobiology: Why? For Whom? How?
    Lineweaver, Charles H.
    The International Symposium on Education in Astronomy and Astrobiology (ISE2A 2017), Utrecht, the Netherlands, Edited by Deustua, S.; Eastwood, K.; ten Kate, I.L.; EPJ Web of Conferences, Volume 200, id.01019 (07/2019)

    Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are becoming the textbooks of the 21st century. I describe what a MOOC is, and try to answer the questions: Why make a MOOC? Who are MOOCs for? and How to make a MOOC? Anxiety about MOOCs replacing teachers is largely misplaced. I describe my on-going experience of putting together an astrobiology MOOC for the Australian National University.
    Last edited by Swift; 2019-Apr-12 at 05:03 PM.
    There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.
    — Mark Twain, Life on the Mississippi (1883)

  2. #2
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    Two additional papers on teaching astrobiology, from Mexico (incl. how to get your own tardigrades for research)

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    https://www.epj-conferences.org/arti...2017_02011.pdf

    A sustainable culture of tardigrades (Hypsibius dujardini) for astrobiological laboratory activities
    Núñez, Patricia G.; Quevedo, Nayeli G.; Vázquez, Roberto
    The International Symposium on Education in Astronomy and Astrobiology (ISE2A 2017), Utrecht, the Netherlands, Edited by Deustua, S.; Eastwood, K.; ten Kate, I.L.; EPJ Web of Conferences, Volume 200, id.02011 (07/2019)

    Tardigrades are microscopic organisms that have gained importance in astrobiology in recent years. They have extreme survival ability and can enter into a state of latency for several years called cryptobiosis. Due to our interest in conducting experiments with tardigrades to complement the laboratory exercises with students in the course of astrobiology, we bought samples of tardigrades in the cryptobiotic state. A sample of these were cultured at room temperature (18oC) with an oxygenation system, and fed with Spirulina algae every week. We found that in a few weeks tardigrades were producing eggs normally. This species, H. dujardini, has been cultured before and it is a good sample for culture as we saw. This species provides a good sustainable culture and is inexpensive and easy to produce tardigrades for didactic purposes.

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    abstract: http://cdsads.u-strasbg.fr/abs/2019EPJWC.20001015V
    paper: https://www.epj-conferences.org/arti...2017_01015.pdf

    Learning Astrobiology 101 with experiments in Baja California, Mexico
    Vázquez, Roberto; Núñez, Patricia G.
    The International Symposium on Education in Astronomy and Astrobiology (ISE2A 2017), Utrecht, the Netherlands, Edited by Deustua, S.; Eastwood, K.; ten Kate, I.L.; EPJ Web of Conferences, Volume 200, id.01015 (07/2019)

    We present our experience teaching the subject `Astrobiology 101' ("Introducción a la Astrobiología", in Spanish), given in the University of Baja California at Ensenada, Mexico, since 2004 up to the present. The place of Astrobiology in Mexico, as well as the local academic context in Baja California are presented, as we consider that the multidisciplinary academic environment plays an important role in the motivation of our students. We describe the course itself, its materials, and resources. The course was designed based on classical books as well as news, academic papers, and internet sources. After seven editions of the course, we have noted that making practical experiments improves the understanding of concepts, ideas, and also strengths the interaction among students with different majors. This course has received support by means of an educational grant which objective is to compile all the experimental and hands-on activities in two manuals: one for students and the other for the teachers These manuals will be available to all the Spanish-speaker teachers who want to teach the full course or part of it, as well as those only interested in the hands-on activities. Locally, the establishment of the new Astrobiology Laboratory, in the Institute of Astronomy (UNAM, Campus Ensenada), surely will help us to increase the opportunities on research and education for our students, as well as visiting students and teachers.
    There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.
    — Mark Twain, Life on the Mississippi (1883)

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