Astronomy 307 - Fall 2010
TTh 9:30-11 · RLM 5.104 · Unique No. 47690
GRADE ACCESS AND BASIS: You will be able to access your grades on specific assignments on graded papers or via eGradebook, which will be updated frequently. (eGradebook is similar to Blackboard, but is maintained by U.T., although it will be eliminated in Spring 2011.) The breakdown for the course grade will be as follows:
Hour Exams: 72%. There will be three in-class exams, each worth 24% of your grade. These will last less than a full class period (50 instead of 75 minutes). The format will be mixed: a combination of multiple choice, short essays, and numerical problems. Bring your calculator; we will provide paper and a list of constants and equations. Note: Since our classroom is rather cramped, the exams may be held in another location; watch the Announcements for information!
Graded Homeworks: 16%. There will be 7 or 8 graded problem sets during the semester. The lowest score will be dropped from the homework total. You will usually have a week to complete each HW, with several opportunities to obtain help from the T.A. or instructor (see below). While you may discuss how to approach the homework with classmates, and seek help if you need it, the work you turn in must be your own.
Lateness Policy for Homework: You are expected to turn in homework on time, which means at the beginning of class on the due date. If it is turned in within the next 24 hours, it will receive reduced credit. (Details of where to turn it in will be announced). Homeworks that are more than 24 hours late will not be accepted for credit.
Participation Credits: 12%. The remaining 12% of the grade will be based on various activities, mostly in class but also some out-of-class events. The in-class activities may include pop quizzes, index cards, and surveys. External activities can include Star Parties and special lectures; no more than 4 points can be earned from such activities. This credit is cumulative and there will be more than 12 credits available to be earned, although once you reach the maximum of 12 points, you’ll be “maxed out.” Advice to the student: this portion of your grade is under your control; it’s up to you to earn it!
INSTRUCTOR POLICIES AND EXPECTATIONS: This course is designed under the assumption that students will attend regularly and will stay up to date on the material and assignments. Do “bookmark” the website and consult it frequently for information, assignments, and feedback. It should always be the first place to look for answers for your questions, before contacting the T.A. or instructor.
Classroom Protocol: While in class, I expect everyone to be respectful of the instructor and classmates. The classroom is not the place for social interactions or cell phone conversations. Please turn off the volume on your cell phone before the beginning of class. First time violators will be merely grimaced at, but subsequent cell-phone disruptions will adversely affect your grade. In addition, although some instructors allow students to use laptops in class, I find it distracting, and our classroom is crowded. Therefore I will not allow open laptops in regular class sessions.