How SAO Works

Custom-made course material is delivered via Canvas, a fully online system with accompanying downloadable PDF files. Each of our normal `Units' (subjects), contain around 1500 slides written by a variety of professional astronomers. As of 2022, there are 12 Units to choose from, ten of which are accompanied by course material, and 2 `major project' Units. SAO slides also incorporate relevant website links and some animations.

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.

Assessment is via a mix of computer-managed tests, an essay or project, and newsgroup posts. There are no final exams in SAO, which instead offers continual assessment throughout the semester. Swinburne Astronomy Online (SAO) is a global classroom.

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