How SAO Works

Custom-made course material is delivered via a fully online system with accompanying downloadable PDF files. Each of our normal units contain around 1500 slides written by a variety of professional astronomers. There are 15 units to choose from, 11 of which are accompanied by course material, and including 4 major project units. SAO also incorporates animations, websites and guest contributions on the latest astronomy headlines.

Students interact with instructors (all of whom are professional astronomers) and fellow classmates via asynchronous newsgroups and email, allowing you to study at a time that suits you.


Swinburne Astronomy Online (SAO) is a global classroom. Each semester we plot where our students are located in ... Planet SAO

Assessment is via a mix of computer-managed tests, an essay, a project and newsgroup contributions. There are no final exams in SAO, which instead offers continual assessment throughout the semester. Due dates for each assessment item is clearly stated at the start of the semester and reminders are provided in the study guides in the online classrooms.

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