Presentation #212.03 in the session Public Engagement and Education Research.
Teaching astronomy in an undergraduate or high school setting provides challenges in reaching the educational goals for individual students. Generally, students who take an introductory astronomy course have various background in astronomy, science and mathematics. Some students take astronomy to fulfill course requirements while other students take it to genuinely deepen their understanding of the universe. Therefore the course is either too simplified or advanced for the members of the class. A solution to address the needs and backgrounds of all learners is to provide an opportunity to explore their own interests through authentic scientific research. A hybrid course was developed with traditionally taught classes to give students a general background of astronomy and time dedicated to guided astronomy research. Students were graded using a completion system rather than a traditional weighted grading system. Their final was a research poster and presentation with their collected data. Through this experience, the students worked harder, had more of an active role in their education and found confidence in their learning by engaging in their own authentic research. All students learned at their own skill level and produced a product they were proud to present. This presentation will share the course structure, the role of the teacher, how to guide students through research and sharing the results of student work.