PHYsics 3050G

"Excursions OnLine" 

"Research is what I do when I don't know what I am doing."

-- Werner von Braun

| Equation Sheet | Mid-Term Exam | Final Exam |

| Back to 3050's Home Page | WebCT |

Welcome to Excursions - Online, the web-based version of PHYsics 3050G, Excursions in Physics. Excursions OnLine refers to the section of PHY 3050G which is delivered entirely over the interent. There is (usually) also another section of PHY 3050G which meets in Room 2153, with a live audience, a live lecturer, and live demonstrations. I referr to this as Excursions - Live!

For the most part, the two sections are identical. The requirements of the two sections are the same. The timescale or the pace of the two sections is the same. Due to logistical differences, the number of exams for the two sections is different.

This course assumes -- or requires! -- that you are comfortable navigating the internet and communicating via the internet and eMail.

There are online quizzes due throughout the course. You are welcome to take them ahead of time. But credit will not be given if the deadline is missed. If you disagree with what WebCT reports to me, I will always make the changes you tell me to make so do not worry if an online quiz score is not recorded or is recorded and then “lost”. I hope and expect these problems with WebCT to be minimal but they have been a severe problem some past semesters.

The schedule shows when I would cover topics with a section of Excurisions - Live! this semesterr. The deadline or due date for the online quizzes is the date that the homework assignment is shown. Do the real homework assignment on your own before clicking on the homework assignment link on the schedule. When you click on that link, the internet browser will take you to the homework solution. Following the solution will be a number of multiple-choice questions. Read through them and answer them on your own. Following those multiple-choice questions are the same questions with their answers. These are the same questions that appear on the online quizzes. So everyone should get 100% on the online quizzes.

So, what is the purpose of the online quizzes? They're a nag or a reminder to keep you from getting too far behind. It is always easy to let things go and then try to do half the course work the night before the mid-term. That simply will not work! The quizzes should help you keep up. Please feel free to take them early -- to work ahead. But missed quizzes are missed points! Please don't fall behind. That is usually fatal!

For Excursions Online, there will be two exams -- a mid-term on March 6, and a final in May. These will be taken online using WebCT, just like the online quizzes. I will ask you to write down your answers -- as backup just in case WebCT does something “strange”.

When you finish the exams, please send me an eMail note ( telling me that you did, indeed, take the exam withOUT help of notes, books, or assistants.

I am combining Excurisions Live! and Excursions Online so both groups of students can see all the comments and questions on the Bulletin Board. That also means you will see the same items for grades. Both groups will take all the online quizzes. Students in Excursions Live! will take four hour exams and the final. Students in Excursions Online will take only a mid-term exam and the final. Please do not worry about seeing blank entries under "hour exams" if you are in Excursions Online. You will take only a mid-term and final exam.

The Mechanical Universe video tapes are probably available at a community college (or high school) near you. They are useful and interesting (and FUN!). Call the Media Center and the Physics Department of a community college (or high school) near you and see if they are available. The Excursions calendar page lists the videos that I am showing on campus to my Live! audience.

Communication is important. Keeping current with the course material is vital. With only two exams, it will be very easy to get so far behind that you can not possibly catch up. Don’t do that to yourself. I have set up a bulletin board to make communication easy. There you can post a question and other students can comment on it and I will try to answer it, too. Use the bulletin board. The bulletin board should be more useful than eMail; but send me eMail too. Throughout the course, let me know how you’re doing and what you’re understanding and what you're having problems with. I will answer my eMail immediately but I will try to leave things alone on the bulletin board for a few days -- to elicit responses from other students.

Be sure to send me an eMail note early with your eMail address.

Send me eMail notes whenever you have questions. I will read the Bulletin Board postings only occassionally. Intentionally, I want other students to respond to the Bulletin Board postings. Do not use the bulletin board for important or crucial questions to which you need a quick answer from me.

You will use two textbooks -- Paul Hewitt’s, Conceptual Physics, a regular, hardcover book which you should receive through the mail, and Adventures in Physics, available over the internet. Be sure to read the texts. These texts are the most complete resource you have.

I still get “nervous” since I have no eye-to-eye or face-to-face contact with you. Please use the bulletin board often -- and send me eMail notes. I hope you have fun and enjoy this course.

What does a good lecturer do? What is the purpose of a traditional lecture? Surely there was great anxiety and uncertainty immediately after Guttenburg invented the printing press and textbooks became commonplace in libraries and Universities. If "all you need to know" is in the textbook -- and that is certainly the case with Conceptual Physics and Adventures in Physics -- then what is the purpose of the lecture and lecturer anyway?

Putting Excursions online, without a traditional lecture, has caused me to ask questions like this. Your and my common experiences will help to answer them. What do I do in a lecture, anyway? Certainly I answer explicit questions. More than that, or even before that, I try to look at students and notice from facial expressions if ideas are clear or murky. I can alter my presentations based upon reactions -- or questions -- from students.

One of the things I do in lectures is to show demonstrations that illustrate the ideas or concepts that we are discussing. I can not (yet) do that over the web! Present transmission rates are low enough that I have decided not to include many movies (yet!). But I have tried to include many images -- photographs and drawings -- to illustrate the ideas we discuss. The Mechanical Universe video tapes will also help supply some of the demonstrations that I can not give you directly over the web. Please do not ignore these video tapes. They should be available at a community college near you.

The Excursions Bulletin Board is an important component of this online course. -- a very important component. You can ask a question there. Other students -- from the "Live" section as well as the "onLine" section -- can respond to your question. You can respond to theirs. I will also respond to questions. Make frequent use of this Excursions Bulletin Board. It is accessible from the Calendar web page.

I need your feedback, your opinions, your advice. What components of the course help you to understand the material? What components are missing that would help your understanding? Let me know.

Excursions Bulletin Board and Online Quizzes

Try WebCT immediately! If you have any problems with it, drop me an eMail with WebCT problem as the subject and I will see if I can fix it. If you run into problems, let me know immediately!

Please use the Bulletin Board frequently and throughout the course.

| Equation Sheet | Mid-Term Exam | Final Exam |

for students in "Excursions Online" only.

Welcome . . .

Details . . .

| Back to 3050's Home Page | Back to Dr D's Home Page |

 (C) 2003, Doug Davis; all rights reserved


"Excursions Online" students have a MidTerm Exam and a Final Exam and the Online Quizzes. "Excursions Online" students do not the four hour exams.

The final exam for "Excursions Live!" is Tuesday, December 11, 2001. So I have set the deadline for the final for "Excursions Online" for noon on that day as well. You can take the Final Exam anytime during the week before that. Much like the MidTerm Exam, the Final Exam looks similar to the Online Quizzes which look similar to the Old Hour Exams. You may want to look at Old Hour Exams for review or practice. You can print out an Equation Sheet to use while you take the Final Exam. Other than that Equation Sheet, no additional help is allowed -- no book, no notes, no assistants.

When you finish the exams, please send me an eMail note ( telling me that you did, indeed, take the exam withOUT help of notes, books, or assistants.

WebCT seems to be working pretty well. However, PLEASE write down your answers and save them -- just in case there is a problem and we need to reconstruct your answers. This is just a precautionary backup.

Please browse around the Exam site early just to see if everything is working as it should. It is much easier to take care of problems now that on December 12. Just go to the site and look around and let me know if you have any problems.

| Equation Sheet | Final Exam |