Comins, Discovering the Universe, 10e

Document created by Digital Support on Jan 25, 2017Last modified by Digital Support on Apr 18, 2018
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LaunchPad contains resources for you and your students. In this tutorial, we'll take a detailed look at both types separately. Let's begin with student resources. Click the following link to go to the landing page of LaunchPad for Discovering the Universe.

What resources are available for my students?

From your LaunchPad home page, click Resources, then Content by Type. You'll see a list of all the resources available to your students. We'll now take a closer look at each.



Concise 2-D animations help students visualize and understand key concepts and figures from the text, and are accompanied by brief explanations.



LaunchPad’s e-Book is a complete online version of the textbook with an assortment of media-powered learning tools and a variety of customization options for students and instructors.



To make sure students understand the language of the course, virtual flashcards are available for every key term. Students can view these in stack mode, table mode, definitions shown, terms shown, or use quiz mode to test themselves.


Image Map Activities

These activities use figures and photographs from the text to assess key ideas, helping students to develop their visual literacy skills. Students must click the appropriate section(s) of the image and answer corresponding questions.


Interactive Exercises

These simple exercises allow students to interact with figures from the text while answering questions about key concepts in astronomy.



Developed in light of the latest advances in learning research, LearningCurve’s game-like adaptive quizzing is available for every chapter or module of the text.

LearningCurve provides a unique learning path for each student, with quizzes shaped by each individual’s correct and incorrect answers. The less a student knows about a topic, the more LearningCurve focuses on it. And the better a student does, the more difficult the questions become. Feedback for each question includes live links to e-Book pages relevant to the topic at hand, guiding students to the reading they need to do to address areas that are giving them difficulty.

Because LearningCurve is a formative assessment and not graded on a A-F scale, many instructors have found it to be an ideal source for pre-lecture assignments, with students coming to class more prepared to participate. LearningCurve is equally effective when used as a post-lecture review. Instructors have also found that making LearningCurve a small percentage of the overall grade further incentivizes students to take advantage of it when preparing for class.


SkyTracker Constellation Game

SkyTracker was developed by Neil Comins to help students identify the constellations through name matching, flashcards and sky maps.


Star Charts

Star Charts are visual displays showing the position of the stars in the night sky in the Northern Hemisphere for each month of the year.


Summative Quizzes

Each chapter includes a summative quiz with pre-loaded questions covering all content learned in the unit. These quizzes are easy to edit and can include instructor-authored questions.



These self-guided, concept-driven experimental walk-throughs engage students in the process of scientific discovery as they make observations, draw conclusions, and apply their knowledge. Astronomy tutorials combine multimedia resources, activities, and quizzes.



Select NASA videos illustrate and expand upon key concepts from the text. These are accompanied by brief explanations.


What resources are available for instructors?

From the same screen where you've been viewing student resources, you can scroll down to see those available to instructors. Let's now take a closer look at each.


Answers to Observing Projects Workbook

This PDF document provides the full solutions for the optional print workbook, Observing Projects Using Starry Night College, 2014 Version.


Clicker Questions

Written by Neil Comins, these questions can be used as lecture launchers with or without a classroom response system such as iClicker. Each chapter includes questions relating to figures from the text and common misconceptions, as well as writing questions for instructors who would like to add a writing or class discussion element to their lectures.


Image PowerPoint Presentations

Image PowerPoint Presentations include all the figures, photos, and tables from the chapter displayed on slides in the order they appear.



Images are a zip file with all the figures, photos, and tables from the chapter in JPG format.


Instructor's Manual

These PDF documents provide suggested learning objectives, teaching hints and strategies, and class discussion and project suggestions, as well as full solutions to all the end of chapter questions.


Lecture PowerPoints

Lecture PowerPoints are pre-assembled presentations for the chapter which can be used for lectures, or as an outline for your custom lecture presentations.

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