Abstract content <br> (Max 300 words)<br><a href="http://events.saip.org.za/getFile.py/access?resId=0&materialId=0&confId=34" target="_blank">Formatting &<br>Special chars</a>
We report on research carried out to improve teaching and student engagement in the introductory astronomy
course at the University of Cape Town. We describe the development of an instrument, the Introductory
Astronomy Questionnaire (IAQ), which we administered as pre- and post-tests to students enrolled in the course.
The instrument comprised a small number of questions which probed three areas of interest: student motivation
and expectations, astronomy content, and worldview. Amongst our findings were that learning gains were
made in several conceptual areas, and that students appeared to develop a more nuanced view of the nature of
astronomy. There was some evidence that the course had a positive impact on students’ worldviews, particularly
their attitudes towards science.
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