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Grading Policy

 

A variety of measures will be utilized to evaluate your physics understanding and performance and thus determine your grade in this course. These evaluation measures include but are not limited to daily homework, Internet problems and problem sets, writing assignments, lab exercises, quizzes (almost weekly), tests, and projects. The formula used to compute your quarter grade is as follows:

Qtr Grade = 0.20 * Homework % + 0.15 * Lab % + 0.65 * Assessment %

Your homework score will result mostly from the electronic submission of textbook Reading Sheets, Minds On Physics Internet Modules, and Internet Problem Sets. There may also be daily homework assignments, short writing assignments, and other collected work. Every reading assignment has an accompaning Reading Sheet. Answers to the Reading Sheet must be submitted online by 7am on the day that it is due. Whenever this presents a problem, a paper copy of the Reading Sheet must be turned in before the start of classes on the day that it is due (with a very brief explanation of the problem). An Internet Problem Set is a set of mathematical problems created by a web server database. The problems are unique to each individual student. Answers must be submitted online before the due date; feedback is provided and multiple opportunities for correction are allotted. Finally, there

will be several units for which you will have to complete the Minds On Physics (MOP) modules; these modules must also be completed electronically through an internet connection. Extensions to Internet Problem Sets and MOP modules are rare. When technical difficulties are the reason for the need for such extensions, they are usually granted. Requests for extensions must be applied for immediately.

Lab work is a frequent and useful means of evaluating your understanding of physics principles. During labs, students have an opportunity to make meaning of their learning by applying physical principles to the physical world of observation and measurement. Most student difficulties in lab results from a tendency to abstract physics knowledge from the everyday world of observation. Labs are often performed in groups of 2-4 students; yet an individual lab report is almost always required of every student.

Physics is about the physical world and ought never to be removed from the world we touch, feel and observe. On most occasions, the teacher will take a laissez-faire approach to lab work, recognizing that students learn best when they are left to work out the connections between their own knowledge base and the physical world of observation and measurement with which that knowledge is associated. Students can expect that labs will be carefully graded. Each lab is worth between 3 and 10 points, depending on the complexity of the lab, the amount of classtime spent on the lab, and the amount of quantitative analysis associated with the lab.

The final portion of your quarter grade is dependent upon what is referred to as assessment. This category includes those evaluation methods which are deemed most reliable and trustworthy. Such methods either demand individual accountability (i.e., cheating is virtually impossible) on the part of the student or evaluate student ability to make cognitive connections between multiple concepts (in this sense, mere memorization without real learning becomes useless). Such evaluation methods include quizzes, tests, and projects. Quizzes are typically short (1-2 pages) and cover a small quantity of concepts.

Tests are typically longer (4-6 pages) and require student application of knowledge (as opposed to mere memorization of information). On occasions, tests may cover a couple of units worth of material.

 

 

Survival Packet Contents:

[ Cover Page | Course Description | Grading Policy | Policy on Late Work and Makeup Work | The Be Attitudes | Problem Solving Tips | Graphical Analysis of Data | Henderson's Incomplete List of Frequently Used Abbreviations ]

 

 

E-mail: Tom Henderson || Last update: 8/24/2001