Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Author

Aklilu Maasho

Date

2019

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Department

Instruction & Curriculum Leadership

Committee Member

Andrew Tawfik

Committee Member

Beverly Cross

Committee Member

James Meindl

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of using a mobile app-based sky map to teach college students about constellations, stars, nebulae, and star clusters. The name of the app was Star Chart. The setting for the study was a community college in West Tennessee. Twenty out of 60 participants were males, with 83% of all being less than 25 years old. The first effect studied was concerning students level of attitude toward astronomy after they used the mobile app to learn about sky constellations, stars, nebulae, and star clusters. The second effect investigated in the study was regarding the ability of participating college students to identify the above astronomical objects after using the mobile app. For comparison purposes, the same measurements were taken for a control group that used a conventional print-based sky map, commonly known as a planisphere. Multivariate Analysis of Variance (MANOVA) was used to compare the experimental or app-users group (n = 30) and control group (n = 30).The results of the study showed that Star Chart app users developed significantly more positive attitude toward astronomy than the planisphere users (Hotellings Trace = 0.132, F (2, 57) = 3.751, p < .05, multivariate effect size 2 = 0.12). The multivariate effect size obtained showed that the difference was substantial. On the other hand, both Star Chart and planisphere groups learned comparable skills of identifying constellations, stars, nebulae, and star clusters.Since app-based sky maps are available freely for various platforms of mobile devices, they can be added to the technology repertoire of teachers and other community members involved in astronomy education. Due to time constraints, the researcher used planetarium software to simulate the sky. Hence, future researchers are recommended to replicate this study in the context of real night sky observations.

Comments

Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest

Notes

embargoed

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