Any non-OU distance-learning Astronomy students ou there?

Astronomically-related chat

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Rosanella
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Any non-OU distance-learning Astronomy students ou there?

Post by Rosanella »

Is there anyone who's doing a non-OU Astronomy by distance-learning?

I've looked around the Net and it seems that most Universities follow a similar course structure (A Sense of Scale, A Universe of colour, Ancient astronomy,The birth of 'modern' astronomy,The Earth in space, Modern Observatories,The Sun,The Solar system, etc, etc).
Sooo, I was wondering if there's anyone else on this forum so that we could form a study support group (...or am I the only one :? ?...)

Rosanella
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ajb
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Post by ajb »

I am not doing a course in astronomy but I am a PhD student in mathematics with a background in physics. I am informally willing to help anyone on here in anyway I can. I am not professionally involved in astronomy or cosmology, but have a semi-professional interest.

So, please, if your group gets going them please call upon me if needed.
Deimos
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Post by Deimos »

Yes. I've done a couple (at different places). I did look at the OU but, despite being British, paying taxes, etc. as I no longer live in the UK the OU becomes quite expensive (i.e. UK government subsidy is withdrawn). It was that that started me looking elsewhere and I was well impressed - so much so that, ignoring the course fee aspects I now intend to stick with the alternatives.

I'm afraid for me the historical "overview" aspects are not desperately exciting so I jumped into something much more interesting and specialised to start with (and it was fascinating). I am currently doing a more general Astronomy course - but it is also proving very interesting. More theoretical. I'm 80% of the way through it and nothing really about the Solar System.

If you are looking for a decent course I'm quite happy to discuss the two (and a little bit) I have done. I don't know if it is of general interest and I would hate to mention any negative aspects of specific named courses on the open forum so Private Messages might be more appropriate. The courses I have done/am doing are excellent (in my opinion) but like all things some bits are better than others.

I have looked at the OU courses for other subjects and have to say I personally do not like their courses a much. Maybe something about their style, or topics or something that does not "click" with me. There are other reputable Universities offering Distance Learning courses out there and they start at different times of the year (i.e. not all Oct starting), courses of different lengths (i.e. different number of credits if working towards higher qualifications) and on both general and more specialised subjects.

Ian
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Post by Rosanella »

ajb wrote:I am not doing a course in astronomy but I am a PhD student in mathematics with a background in physics. I am informally willing to help anyone on here in anyway I can. I am not professionally involved in astronomy or cosmology, but have a semi-professional interest.

So, please, if your group gets going them please call upon me if needed.
Thank you! :-)

Deimos wrote:Yes. I've done a couple (at different places). ...

...I have looked at the OU courses for other subjects and have to say I personally do not like their courses a much. Maybe something about their style, or topics or something that does not "click" with me. There are other reputable Universities offering Distance Learning courses out there and they start at different times of the year (i.e. not all Oct starting), courses of different lengths (i.e. different number of credits if working towards higher qualifications) and on both general and more specialised subjects.

Ian
I thought of trying something other than the OU (I'm doing a Maths unit with OU at the moment) to see the difference, and I quite like the fact that there's not so much paperwork involved.
At the moment I'm working on two pieces of coursework, Galaxy Classification for Hydra and Virgo clusters and HR Diagrams. I quite enjoy the 1st one, as there are two large photographic Schmidt Plates with galaxies scattered all over the place. I've already classified the ones requested, then had to calculate the mean velocities for Hydra I from a couple of tables, then use Hubble Law to find the distance of the cluster. Pretty cool! :-)

Rosanella
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KendalAstronomer
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Post by KendalAstronomer »

As with ajb, I'm not a distance learning astro person, but I am an atmospheric physics PhD student and help as a teaching assistant in our non distance learning astronomy and physics courses (undergraduate and evening classes), so can also be an occasional resource if required.
Rosanella
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Post by Rosanella »

KendalAstronomer wrote:As with ajb, I'm not a distance learning astro person, but I am an atmospheric physics PhD student and help as a teaching assistant in our non distance learning astronomy and physics courses (undergraduate and evening classes), so can also be an occasional resource if required.
Brilliant!
Now, it's just a matter of finding the pupils, other than myself :D .

Rosanella
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Post by Hampshire Astronomer »

Are OU credits transferable to other Uni's and vice versa?

Once you have started with one are you in essence stuck with them?

Dave
David Scanlan

Director SPA Variable Star section

http://www.popastro.com/variablestar/index.php
Rosanella
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Post by Rosanella »

Hampshire Astronomer wrote:Are OU credits transferable to other Uni's and vice versa?

Once you have started with one are you in essence stuck with them?

Dave
As far as I'm aware credits are transferable. The OU, for instance, will accepts credits from another University in 5-10 increment. So, if you've followed a course elsewhere and obtained let's say 24 credits, the OU will transfer 20 or something like that.
Each university has its own regulations, though, so it's best to find out
beforehand.

Rosanella
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T Russell
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Post by T Russell »

Hi,
I'm currently doing the Introduction to astronomy course at UCLAN. Finding it quite challenging at the moment. Didn't do very well in the 1st assignment, so I feel I am playing catch up. Been out of exams for a long time. Definately learning lots though!

Tom
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Post by Rosanella »

T Russell wrote:Hi,
I'm currently doing the Introduction to astronomy course at UCLAN. Finding it quite challenging at the moment. Didn't do very well in the 1st assignment, so I feel I am playing catch up. Been out of exams for a long time. Definately learning lots though!

Tom
Hello Tom :-)

What is the course like with UCLAN and coursework? I'm doing Introduction to Astronomy with Liverpool Jhon Moores University and getting through the 2nd module (Stars formation, evolution, Galaxies et all). Yes, it's quite intense and learning loads.
What part of the course are you doing at the moment? I think they're all pretty similar (... I think...)

Rosanella
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T Russell
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Post by T Russell »

Hi again,
At the moment we're doing an investigation of the Crab Nebula. and then we finish up with Galaxies. Final assessment in May. I have found it quite challenging considering I've been an amateur for many years. Mind you in the past if I wanted to know the magnitude of an object I would just look it up rather than work it out mathematically which I can do now thanks to the course. The math is not difficult but there is quite a bit of it. I might do one of the short courses at Liverpool next.

Tom
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Post by Rosanella »

T Russell wrote:Hi again,
At the moment we're doing an investigation of the Crab Nebula. and then we finish up with Galaxies. Final assessment in May. I have found it quite challenging considering I've been an amateur for many years. Mind you in the past if I wanted to know the magnitude of an object I would just look it up rather than work it out mathematically which I can do now thanks to the course. The math is not difficult but there is quite a bit of it. I might do one of the short courses at Liverpool next.

Tom
Our final assessment too is due in May. I've already started revising because I don't want to rush it the last 3 weeks or so :o But we still have about 3 pieces of coursework, an observation project (I'm still undecided what to do :? ), and a popular assay. It's quite a lot to do, but fingers crossed I'll get there...I think...I hope :D

Rosanella
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Post by Deimos »

My experience is the JMU and UCLAN courses are quite different in their nature. Neither better or worse, just a different approach and different teaching/assessment methods.

For example, the UCLAN “Introduction tom Astronomyâ€
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Post by T Russell »

Have to agree that the UCLAN course is very theoretical, probably why I'm finding it tough despite my years as an amateur. Up till now I've never had the need to calculate data. I just look at things in the eyepiece and then look them up in books. The UCLAN course takes you through how the information in the books was worked out using different formulae ( doppler shift, distance modulus, Flux, inverse square law etc.etc). Still working on the Crab Nebula assignment - need to hand it in next week!
One of the strange things about UCLAN is that they prefer all assignments, essays/exam questions be handed in by snail mail rather than electronically- not sure why this should be?
Deimos is quite right, there is nothing about the planets in the course work. Although there is quite a bit about gravitation, it is all general theory and at no point does the course cover individual planetary details.


Tom
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Post by Rosanella »

Deimos wrote:My experience is the JMU and UCLAN courses are quite different in their nature. Neither better or worse, just a different approach and different teaching/assessment methods.
....
Ian
Did you do the Introduction to Astronomy, with the JMU, or other modules?
I quite enjoy the labs attached to the coursework (even if they take quite some time to get through, though :? ), with relevant software.
Tom wrote:Deimos is quite right, there is nothing about the planets in the course work. Although there is quite a bit about gravitation, it is all general theory and at no point does the course cover individual planetary details.
Tom
I don't mind not delving on the Planets (or Moons) more than I really need to, because it gets a little boring with various geological details to learn.
Having said tha, one of our coursework was to observe the Moons of Jupiter (Io, Europa, Ganimede and Callisto) with a simulator, then measure the distances and apply Kepler's Third Law to calculate the mass of Jupiter. It was laborious, but one of my best so far ;)
Applying the theory to the observation puts things into a more real perspective, and it makes me thing that I'm actually doing something with all this theory.

Rosanella
If we do not try, we will not know. (Ayya Khema)
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