By the end of the semester, all UC AST 104 students should gain
To achieve these course obectives, the course instructors have carefully designed a sequence of learning tasks and assessment procedures.
It is our belief that you can learn only a limited amount of information from lecture alone, no matter how clear or entertaining. Therefore, this course's lectures will be augmented by questions and collaborative classroom activities. The activities target specific ideas presented in lecture and are designed to be completed during class. These activities are a critical component to your success in the course.
Conceptual questions will be asked periodically in class to assess your understanding of course concepts. Sometimes we will ask you to work in pairs to come up with descriptive answers to questions and then we'll ask for volunteers to answer (if there are no volunteers we'll just choose random people). Active participation in lectures will be a very effective way to learn the subject (and prepare for the exams).
It is recommended that you complete the reading assignments before the corresponding class. Students who complete the assignments before class get more out of the lecture. Be aware that understanding a (dense) science text is a slow process, and it is easy to "miss the forest for the trees." Try to make sure you understand the main point of each paragraph, and test yourself with the Exercises and Problems in the book and online. Note that the readings do not cover all the material that will be covered in class, although this text does a better job than any others we have found.
On-line homework will be due before each class. We are using the Mastering Astronomy online platform, which represents the most sophisticated on-line system for astronomy tutorials and self-study. The MasteringAstronomy course ID for this course is UCAST104FALL09. Also, make sure to register your SU student ID code (9 digits, no hyphens) when you are prompted (so that you wil receive credit for completing the homework). Each assignment will be available one week before it is due, and will remain available for practice or late submission until the end of the semester. Late work will incur a penalty of 5% per day up to a maximum of 50%.
In the laboratory sections you will perform measurements and observations, discuss key ideas and questions, and interpret and analyze scientific evidence. Attending your weekly laboratory meeting is crucial. In lab you will be most actively engaged in learning, so it is probably the most valuable two hours you will spend on astronomy each week. You will work in a team of three students. Assignments must be handed in at the end of each lab. The general rule is that make-up labs are not allowed, so you should understand that missing a lab meeting will significantly affect your grade. During the last week of class, students with valid, documented excuses may be permitted to make up a single lab. For some laboratory exercises, calculators are recommended.
You are expected to show respect for your fellow students, TA and professor, and to help provide a good learning environment.
Grades will be calculated based on your scores on various course activities, in the following proportions:
It is important that you keep track of your grades (especially in the labs) throughout the semester. You will be able to access your up-to-date grades using Blackboard. Your final course grade will be determined from your total score at the end of the semester. The grade limits will not be stricter than the following: 60% for a C-, 80% for a B-, and 90% for an A-. More detailed breakdowns will be determined at the end of the semester, after the final exam, and not before. We stress that you are not in competition with your classmates; we will be very happy if everyone learns the material well enough to earn an A.
The three mid-term exams will be held during regular lecture times. For each student, the best exam score will count as 15% of the final grade, the second-best will count 10%, and the worst will count only 5%. In general, there will be no make-up exams offered for the midterms.
The final examination will be compulsory and count for every student. No make-up finals will be offered. The final exam will be given on as listed on the course calendar.
During these closed-book, close-note exams, you must bring a photo ID and sit in your assigned seat (posted outside Stolkin). You are not allowed to wear headphones or communicate with anyone in the classrom except for the course instructors and exam proctors. All electronics (cell phones, calculators, etc.) must remain off and stowed at all times during exams (the proctors will have cell phones on in case of an Orange Alert, in accordance with University policies).
The Syracuse University Academic Integrity Policy holds students accountable for the integrity of the work they submit. Students should be familiar with the Policy and know that it is their responsibility to learn about instructor and general academic expectations with regard to proper citation of sources in written work. The policy also governs the integrity of work submitted in exams, in laboratories, and in assignments, as well as the veracity of signatures on attendance sheets and other verifications of participation in class activities. Serious sanctions can result from academic dishonesty of any sort. For more information and the complete policy, see http://academicintegrity.syr.edu.
Students who are in need of disability-related academic accommodations must register with the Office of Disability Services (ODS), 804 University Avenue, Room 309, 315-443-4498. Students with authorized disability-related accommodations should provide a current Accommodation Authorization Letter from ODS to the instructor and review those accommodations with the instructor. Accommodations, such as exam administration, are not provided retroactively; therefore, planning for accommodations as early as possible is necessary. For further information, see the ODS website, Office of Disability Services
Office of Disability Services
804 University Avenue Room 309
Syracuse, New York 13244-2330
Phone: Voice: (315) 443-4498
TOO: (315) 443-1371
To support laboratory experiments and lecture demonstrations you have been charged a course fee of $30. This fee helps pay for (i) handouts which are distributed to you, (ii) supplies, small pieces of apparatus, and maintenance for the laboratory, (iii) supplies and apparatus for lecture exercises and demonstrations, and (iv) undergraduate students working in the demonstration laboratories.
Essentially ALL administrative information about this course is contained on this web site.
The web address is: /courses/UCAST104.09Fall/index.html