I love the flexibility of this lab book. We have multiple instructors teaching the same class in different ways, and we can each customize our course by building a collection of lab activities to suit. The labs are reliably well-constructed and pitched at just the right level for an intro astronomy course of primarily non-STEM majors. The students are challenged, but not overwhelmed, and the activity design encourages our TAs to be engaged supporters instead of lecturing in the lab room. I recently restructured my intro astronomy course to focus on the search for life in the universe, and this collection had plenty of lab activities that fit in really nicely with my new course plan.
Astronomy Labs by McCrady and Rice are absolutely essential for my Introduction to Astronomy course. Though I love getting the students out under the stars and using telescopes, all too often the weather doesn't cooperate! These labs are well designed to explore important astrophysical concepts using the most basic materials and tie in very closely to the course material we cover during the day. Each exercise is designed to take a student through a series of concepts, and its step-by-step framework makes it easy to follow along, but challenging enough to address students' preconceptions. Some of the labs feature simulations that can be found for free online, and those are wonderful in our new smart classroom with shared big screens. You can pick and choose which labs to include to match your curriculum, and it saves the students money at the bookstore. I haven't yet broken the exercises into smaller chunks for active learning in our short classes, but I look forward to trying that in the future.