121 Policies

A. General

     The course during this Semester commences on FRI Aug 21 and concludes on FRI Dec 4.

     Class meetings are on MW from 1:30 until 2:45 in PSH-356. THERE IS NO LECTURING at these class meetings. Instead, class time is spent on collaborative activities in small, assigned groups. You will, at times, be required to report your group's findings to the entire class (see Active Learning). Minimal preparation for each class meeting is to do the reading assignment for that day, and to answer the Reading Quiz questions (at Mastering Physics) for that reading assignment. To more fully prepare for each class meeting, also take an advance look at the homework problems which will be assigned for that day (at Mastering Physics). A small number of multiple choice questions will be asked during each class meeting. These may cover the reading assignment, or may check your comprehension of some topic that has been covered in the small-group activities. You are expected to record your response to these questions by logging in to your Turning Point account or by using your Turning Point transmitter. You must register your Turning Point transmitter in order for your responses to be graded. YOU MUST USE ONLY THE TRANSMITTER THAT YOU REGISTER AND NO OTHER. Use of another student's transmitter is a case of academic dishonesty, just exactly like cheating on a test. Any and all students involved in any such incidents will automatically receive an E for the course, and may be referred to the Dean for further sanctions.

     RECITATION sections occur weekly as scheduled, beginning with the 9:00 AM recitation on FRI Aug 21. EXCEPTION: Recitations do not meet on FRI Sep 25, FRI Oct 30, or FRI Dec 4, because our tests are being giving in the physics testing center (PSH-563) on those days. The last recitation meeting will be the 12:00 PM recitation on FRI Nov 20. This schedule results in 12 recitation meetings for every student. The small-group exercises which are completed at FRI recitations will provide an introduction to the concepts, and problem-solving strategies, which will be explored in detail in the following week's readings, classroom exercises, and homeworks. Quiz 1 will be given at the beginning of the fifth recitation meeting, on FRI Sep 18.

     HELP-STUDY Sessions are for the students' benefit, but participation is optional. Beginning MON Aug 24, the Help-Study Hall (PSF-186) will be staffed by volunteer faculty and Teaching Assistants several hours each day between 9:00 AM and 6:00 PM. Teaching Assistants associated with this course, and your instructors, will keep some of their office hours in the Help-Study Hall.

     An E-MAIL account is available for every student enrolled at ASU. Instructions for obtaining an e-mail account can be obtained at the ASU Computer Commons. Important class information may be disseminated through e-mail. The student will be responsible for receiving it. If you currently have an ASU e-mail account, then you need do nothing. If you have not recently used your ASU email account, then you should double-check to make sure that your email is properly being redirected to your favorite email address.

B. Turning Point and Classwork

     You will use your Turning Point transmitter or software to answer Multiple Choice questions during the class meetings. For the first two class meetings, Turning Point questions will be considered practice questions, as you learn to use your Turning Point transmitters. Beginning MON Aug. 31, at least some Turning Point questions will be graded. You are always encouraged to discuss Turning Point questions with your team and with others at your table, but when answering, always think for yourself. A correct answer will be counted as 3 points, an incorrect answer will be counted as 2 points, and no answer will be counted as zero points; so the penalty for an incorrect answer is very small. There are expected to be about 70 Turning Point questions over the course of the semester, so the maximum possible Turning Point score will be about 210 points. The final Turning Point grade will be determined as a percentage out of 189 points (or ∼90% of all possible points should the number of possible Turning Point points change.) Your maximum Turning Point grade is 100%, i.e. more than 189 points will not be counted as extra credit. Since only 90% of all possible Turning Point points are required for a perfect Turning Point score, no opportunity is provided to make up missed Turning Point questions. USING SOMEOME ELSE'S TRANSMITTER, OR ALLOWING SOMEONE TO USE YOUR TRANSMITTER, WILL RESULT IN AN AUTOMATIC FAILING GRADE FOR THE COURSE. It is your responsibility to make sure that your Turning Point transmitter is in working order, and that your response is recorded. See our Turning Point information page for tips.

     Classwork will consist of small-group exercises which are usually related directly to the assigned homeworks. Your group will complete each exercise on a portable whiteboard at your table location. Several times during the semester, someone from your group will be selected to report your group's results to the entire class; all members of the group who are present on that day will receive a satisfactory or unsatisfactory grade based on the quality of that report. The small groups will be rearranged twice during the course of the semester. Your Turning Point grade plus your classwork grade will count a total of 6% of your overall class grade.

C. Reading Quizzes and Homework

     There is one Reading Quiz (RQ) for each of the 24 topics listed in our Topic and Reading Schedule; all Reading Quizzes can be found only at Mastering Physics (MP). Each RQ is due at 1:30 PM on the day before the topic for that RQ is covered in our classroom. The final question on every RQ is an opportunity for you to ask for an in-class discussion of topics which you may have found confusing in the reading, or in the previous class. The Reading Quizzes will count 3% of your overall class grade.

     There is one assigned Homework (HW) for each of the 24 topics listed in our Topic and Reading Schedule; all Homeworks can be found only at MP. Due dates for each HW are available on the MP Assignment list. In general, assignments for topics discussed in class on MON are due by 11:59 PM the following MON and assignments for topics discussed on WED are due by 11:59 PM the following WED, but the official due dates are always the ones found at MP. Please take a look at the Tips for Using MP.

     A total of approximately 1800 HW points will be possible. The final homework grade will be determined as a percentage out of 1620 points (or ∼90% of all possible points should the number of total HW points change.) Your maximum homework grade is 100%, i.e. more than 1620 points will not be counted as extra credit. There may be HW extra credit opportunities throughout the semester to help you obtain the necessary 1620 points. Your HW percentage will count 10% of your overall class grade.


D. Graded Group Exercises

     Eleven of the 12 recitation meetings will consist of a graded group exercise which will be distributed at the beginning of recitation and completed within your assigned small group. Exercises will be the same for all groups in a given recitation. Exercises will be solved as a group, but each student will write up his or her own solution; solutions will be graded individually and returned the following week. Your two lowest graded group exercise scores will be dropped. THERE ARE NO MAKE-UP GROUP EXERCISES FOR ANY REASON, with the following EXCEPTIONS: once (AND ONLY ONCE), you may arrange with your TA to attend an alternate 121 recitation; a list of 121 recitations for our class can be found here.

E. Quizzes

     As posted in the schedule, the four quizzes will occur on FRI Sep 18 (at recitation), FRI Oct 9 (at recitation), WED Oct 28 (in class before the review session for Test 2), and WED Dec 2 (in class before the review session for Test 3). Each quiz will consist of a multi-part HW-style problem for which you will be required to show your work in detail. Quizzes may cover any topics introduced or explored during recitations or classes which have met before the quiz is given. TA's will grade the quizzes out of 25 points; partial credit will be given. The lowest of your four quiz scores will automatically be dropped when averaged; therefore, there are no make-up quizzes for any reason. Your quiz average will count as 12% of your overall class grade.

F. Examinations

     The three tests will cover material indicated in the schedule by topic numbers. Each of the three tests will consist of about 15 multiple choice questions, and will be given online, through WebAssign, on computers provided by the physics department in the Physics Testing Center (PSH-563), under the supervision of recitation TA's. The online tests have a 75 minute time limit and the testing center will be open from 9:00 AM - 1:30 PM on the test days. On the test days, recitation will be cancelled, and you will take the online test in the testing center during your recitation time. The final exam, on MON Dec 7 from 12:10- 2:00 PM, will be 40 MC questions; it will be comprehensive, and it will be given in PSH-356 with assigned seating.

Examinations are governed by the following policies:

  • In figuring your test average, the lowest of the three MC test scores will automatically receive half-weighting when averaged ( i.e. will be regarded as being worth half as much as the other two MC tests).

  • Academic dishonesty on an examination will result automatically in a failing grade for the course and referral to the Dean for further sanctions. Cheating in any form will not be tolerated! You will be required to sign a statement of academic integrity for each test.

  • A full set of test rules is available at the course web site.

  • The use of hand calculators is permitted. However, YOUR CALCULATOR MAY NOT CONTAIN STORED PHYSICS EQUATIONS.

  • Test paper (including scratch paper) will be provided. Bring only your pencils and calculators.

  • Your scratch paper will include any necessary constants and a few equations; before the test, a copy of the scratch sheet will be available on the class website.

  • In the event of a fire alarm occuring during an examination, students will be asked to gather their belongings and leave the testing room as expeditiously as possible. Those students whose testing was interrupted by the alarm will then be given the appropriate amount of extra time to finish their tests, or else given an entirely new test, once the exam is able to resume.

    G. Final Grades.

    The final course grades will be determined with the following weights:

    Turning Point and other Classwork: 6%
    Reading Quizzes: 3%
    Homework (total points out of 1685): 10%
    Recitation Exercises (drop 2 Exercises): 4%
    Quizzes: 12%
    MC Tests: 50%
    Final Examination: 15%

    A MINIMUM OF 820 HOMEWORK POINTS IS REQUIRED FOR A PASSING GRADE IN THE COURSE. The scale for final letter grades will ultimately be determined by the overall class performance. However, any student who earns 80% of all possible points can expect to receive an A of some type (A-, A, or A+); students who earn 65-80% of all possible points can expect to receive some type of B, and students who earn 50-65% of all possible points can expect to receive a C or C+. Don't depend solely on your instructors to figure your grade correctly. For a more detailed explanation see HOW TO FIGURE YOUR FINAL GRADE (usually posted later in the semester).

    H. Withdrawal

    Withdrawal policies are established by the University (see the ASU Calendar.) The deadline for course withdrawal is Nov 4.

    Lecture Schedule