Learning and Teaching Astronomy with Digital Tools promotes Physics Student Teachers' digital Competencies


  • Ronja Langendorf University of Göttingen, Physics Education Research
  • Susanne Schneider
  • Frederic V. Hessman




digital tools, astronomy tutorial, TPACK, attitude, course evaluation


In this paper, we study the experiences of physics student teachers when they are asked to use modern digital tools
within learner-centered astronomy education. Since digital tools are of particular importance in astronomy, this context
provides an authentic setting for testing the effects of both, learning and teaching, for digital competence. The project
was carried out as a highly-modified tutorial accompanying an introductory astronomy lecture with 20 M.Ed. physics
students. The student teachers were given an opportunity to apply the techniques learned within day-long projects
carried out with visiting school classes. A significant increase in digital competence, assessed by a TPACK
self-assessment, was observed after the 13-week tutorial. From interviews, twelve main strengths (e.g. familiarity with
digital tools) and two main weaknesses (e.g. preparation for exam) of the course could be identified. The developed
astronomy course concept can be easily adapted to conditions of other universities and the digital tools developed or
used can also be adopted in high school classes.






Astronomy Education and Practice