2011 Annual Science Report

Montana State University Reporting  |  SEP 2010 – AUG 2011

EPO Activity: Undergraduate Curriculum in Astrobiology at Montana State University

Project Progress

We have completed the design and implementation of the last element in our Astrobiology Minor at Montana State University. This year we offered for the first time an upper level undergraduate course on Astrobiology as the final capstone for the Astrobiology Minor. The course used videoconferencing technology to bring Astrobiologists from around the country into the classroom. The major assignments for course included a Origin of Life hypothesis paper and a NASA mission white paper. Formative and summative assessment of the course indicated that the concept of visiting scientists joining regular lectures live by videoconferencing was very well received. Lecture captures of the Astrobiology expert mini lectures are being compiled in an archive that conceivably be available to the Astrobiology Education Community. The concept is now readily adaptable to online distance learning and we are in the process of designing an online course to make it possible for other institutions to offer the course.