Online reading assignment question: confusing Midterm 1 astronomy topics

Astronomy 210 Reading Assignment 7, Fall Semester 2010
Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA

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Wordle.net tag cloud for confusing topics covered in Midterm 1, generated by responses from Astronomy 210 students at Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA (http://www.wordle.net/show/wrdl/2547684/Untitled).

Students have a weekly online reading assignment (hosted by SurveyMonkey.com), where they answer questions based on reading their textbook, material covered in previous lectures, opinion questions, and/or asking (anonymous) questions or making (anonymous) comments. Full credit is given for completing the online reading assignment before next week's lecture, regardless if whether their answers are correct/incorrect. Selected results/questions/comments are addressed by the instructor at the start of the following lecture.

List at least three words describing confusing subjects covered in class (up through this midterm). (Graded for completion.)

[Responses have been edited to consolidate related common subjects.]

Student responses
Sections 70158, 70160
Copernicus'smodel, Kepler'slaws, Newton'slaws
telescopes, wavelengths, electrons
moonphases, telescopes, sunlayers
electromagneticradiation, spectra, astronomers, telescopes
retrograde, prograde, highestoverheadtime
astronomers, telescopes
telescopes, astronomers, moonphases
tedious, agony, torment
retrograde, starwheels
Dopplereffect, wavelengths, spectra
starwheels, astronomers, telescopes
expansive, idk, confusing
moonphases, focalpoints
telescopes, electromagneticradiation, constellations
Sun, stars, electromagneticradiation
protons, quantumleaps
astronomy, telescopes, P-dog
moonphases, telescopes
moonphases, telescopes, astronomers
F, notsurehowtoanswerthisquestion
retrograde, moonphases, astronomers
astronomers, Newton'slaws, Kepler'slaws
seasons, solstices, retrograde, prograde, eclipses
Sun, eclipses, electromagneticraidation
math, astronomers, moonphases
horizon, parallax, spectra
planets, constellations, moonphases
focallength, LGP, RP, MP
moonphases, telescopes, eclipses
telescopes, moonphases, eclipses
telescopes, telescopelocations
telescopes, electromagneticradiation, meh
moonphases, telescopes, focallength, frustrating
moonset, moonrise, starwheels, moonphases
moonphases, telescopes, retrograde
turbulence, eclipses, adaptiveoptics
wavelengths, electromagneticradiation, stardistances, starbrightness
fusion, electromagneticradiation, stars
moonphases, planetfinding, spectra
Tycho, Galileo, Copernicus
moonphases, retrograde, photons
confusing, difficult, frustrating
starsize, H-Rdiagram, spectra, waveproperties
Ptolemy, Copernicus, thatotherguy
moonphases, starwheels
retrograde, planetfinding
vague, complex, scattered.
wavelengths, calculations, hypotheticalquestions
perplexing, bewildering, perturbing, confounding, flabbergasted
retrograde, moonphases, planetfinding
frustrating, spectra, telescopes

Describe your most confusing subject, and briefly explain why this subject confused you. (Graded for completion.)

The following are all of the student responses to this question, verbatim and unedited.
"The diagram for the moon phases was very hard to memorize. It would be nice to have that diagram on tests"

"chapter 3, the ancient astronomers and their laws are hard to memorize"

"I can't think of any really confusing subjects..."

"I don't feel as if we went over telescopes enough to really understand how each works and which would be best to use in certain situations"

"I am having trouble with the moon phases still. I can't seem to grasp the whole setting, rising and highest in the sky concept. I go into a test feeling ike I know it and then I forget what I studied and can't remember the positions and phases the moon is in. It's also confusing because I get the subtracting and adding mixed up."

"the electromagnetic spectrum because it took a long time for it to make sense of where the telescopes need to be."

"Prograde and Retrograde because I just don't get it, how to tell when Mars was at the beginning or end of prograde or retrograde."

"Astronomers, because I often mix up Ptolemy's ideas with Copernicus' ideas."

"Electromagnetic Radiation,"

"The most confusing thing covered in this midterm is the astronomers and trying to remember who had what ideas"

"Astronomers because i have not studied very much on them"

"the stars"

"One thing that confused me a bit is learning about primary lens and focal length and all that stuff. Just how things was worded threw me off a bit at times."

"It took me a long time to grasp retrograde motion, and the difference between how a planet actually moves and appears to move across the sky."

"my most confusing chapter was probably the telescopes and the different parts of it."

"The astronomers and who did what, when, where and why."

"Although i found the star wheel interesting, it took some time to figure out. i understood how to locate stars according to the month and day, the problem i had was figuring out what direction it was supposed to face."

"radiations, and because I don't know more applications of these rays."

"The telescopes and their powers. There are three different telescopes that we looked at in class, and they each have 3 powers. Knowing what makes each power better is confusing for me."


"The most confusing subject to me is the telescope powers. I just can't seem to get the different powers and what effects them straight."

"Planet location"

"Astronomer's and their ideas"

"The star wheel confuses me, I get lost trying to find certain constelations sometimse. But, I think I am getting the hang of it."

"Figuring out which planets were visible at a given time on earth because at first figuring where east and west was, was difficult."


"moon phases. i just never totally got it"

"Moon phases, I have not memorized that chart yet."

"Microscopes!! I just didn't understand the focal point and how it was twice the length or three times the length."

"The different astronomer get hard tom memorize because I just not good at putting names to the laws."

"Those dang moon phases are soooo easy to get mixed up!"

"moon phases"

"Remembering which astronomer did what gets a little confusing for me if i dont keep looking over the material."

"eclipses , i still don't understand how the moon and sun look from earth during the different eclipses"

"the most confusing subject covered in this midterm is eclipses. i barely understand the times that have to do with an eclipse and what eclipse you should see standing at different points on Earth."

"same as above"

"The time that the moon rises is difficult to memorize and conceptually had to grasp"

"The astronomers and what they did, its just a lot of memorization on top of all of the phases and stuff we have to know..."

"spectrums. because it is still new information to me and I am not fully comfortable with it yet."

"Trying to find out what constellation is in front of a given date. I still have trouble finding the where the horizons are supposed to line up to the dates."

"The subjects concerning the telescopes confused me because some questions that i have faced on quizes and practice quizes seem to be tricky. i would think i knew it but i missed or didn't fully understand a key word or situation."

"telescopes--we didnt really cover this subject really well--it was introduced to us when we had to do the in class activity on our own
telescopes--we didn't seem to go through the subject thoroughly enough, it was introduced to us in our in class activity--when we had to figure everything out by ourselves.. so now I'm am confused...:("

"Radiation and telescope location is confusing. It's just confusing knowing which telescope is better in which location. I don't quite understand it."

"The powers of telescopes are very easy to mix up and make me second guess myself."

"Moon phases, I get confused with the wax and wan and all the phases, a lot to remember."

"Mostly I'm just confused on where to put telescopes and why. If funding isn't an issue, we can place them anywhere?"

"I still don't really understand how the moon sets and rises at different times."

"Retrograde: it's not what it appears to be"

"what time of day it is when a moon is in a certain phases. because its hard to understand that the moon can go through all the phases in one night."

"the electromagnetic spectrum because I have trouble understanding differences in wavelengths"

"I don't understand how to find out when a certain moonphase will be highest overhead."

"I dont get the equations for the fusion."

"the positioning of the moon because of its eliptical orbit and that the orbit moves in certain areas, it is difficult to predict its phase"

"How to determine if an object gives off a emission, continuous, or absorption spectrum. Its hard for me to know whether a certain object has an emission or absorption spectrum."

"What the seven astronomers did. I keep getting them mixed up."

"i got really caught up on moon phases dont know why"

"figuring out if the sizes of the stars are the same"

"i got lost when we talked about the sun and different types of spectras for a bit. just must have missed something"

"the only thing I've been having trouble with is remembering which astronomer did what."

"the reason why I think the astronomers are confusing is because its hard to remember what each of them individually did
moon phases, it's hard to orient yourself with where the moon is at in different phases"

"The Phases each time of day. I keep Forgetting to add 6 hours or subtract 6 hours when you ask for the phase at a specific time."

"mar's retrograde motion, i just mess it up"

"I am confused with identifying the atomic spectrums of parts of the sun. I reading the textbook confused me in this section.
learning about the different astronomers and what each one contributed to the study of astronomy"

"Planet positions relative to slo were confusing at first. I was even stumped by the starwheel initially (I'm not very bright). However, I think I've got most of the material nailed down by now."

"The motion of planets, stars, and the sun confuses me. I'm not very good with directional stuff, so I feel like I memorize it for the quizzes and then forget again."

"I wish we would have had a group meeting/ study session."

1 comment:

Patrick M. Len said...

Astronomy 210 Reading Assignment 7, Fall Semester 2010
Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA

Student responses (raw, unedited, unconsolidated)
Sections 70158, 70160

copernicus's model, keplers three laws, issac newtons laws
No subjects really confused me.
Telescopes, wavelengths, and electrons.
Moon phases, telescopes, and sun layers.
the electromagnetic spectrum, the astonomers, telescopes.
Retrograde, Prograde and Highest overhead time
The astronomers and maybe telescopes.
Electromagnetic Radiation
All the different astronomers.
Telescopes, astronomers, moon phases
"all of it" see three words
Tedious, Agony, Torment
Retrograde motion and the star wheel.
the chapter about telescopes was a confusing chapter for me.
Doppler, Wavelength spectrum,
Starwheel, astronomers, telescopes
expansive, and idk. Confusing
placement of planets in the night sky.
phases, focal points
telescope powers. electromagnetic radiation. constellations.
Sun Stars Light
Proton energy level changes
Astronomy Telescope P Dog?
planets visible from earth
the retrograde, not sure what else
where the moons at in different phases and telescopes
Moon phases, Telescopes, Astronomers
F; Im not sure how to answer this question.
The diagram for the moon phases was very hard to memorize. It would be nice to have that diagram on tests
retrograde, moon phases, astronomers
the moon phases
The famous astronomers, Newton's laws, and Kepler's laws.
the seasons and solstice retrograde and pro grade eclipses
Sun Eclipses Electromagnetic Spectrum
finding the size by luminasity and color
time that the moon rises.
Math, Astronomers/what they did, all of the memorization of charts and phases and stuff
horizon. parallax. spectrums
planets constellations moon phases
Focal lengths of certain telescopes, LGP, RP, MP
lunar phases telescopes eclipses
telescopes lunar phases types of eclipses
Telescopes and location of telescopes
Telescopes, electromagnetic radiation, MEH
moon phases, telescope. focal length, frustrating
Telescopes are killing me.
moon set and rise times, starwheels, shapes of the moon.
Moon phases, telescopes, retrograde
turbulence, eclipses, adaptive optics
wavelengths, electromagnetic spectrum, star distance/brightness
Moon highest overhead
Fusion, Radiation, Stellar Structures
phase, position of venus in the night sky, and spectra
Emission/Absorption/Continuous spectra
Tycho, Galileo, and Copernicus.
moon phases, retrograde motion, photons
confusing, difficult, and frustrating
star size chart thing,absorption vs. emission, wave proerties
Ptolemy Copernicus that other guy
The astronomers are confusing
moon phases, star map
Quantum Leaps
retrograde motion, planet seen at specific times
Vague. Complex. Scattered.
Wavelengths, calculations, hypothetical questions
perplexing, bewildering, perturbing, confounding, flabbergasted.
retrograde motion, moon phases, planetary positions
frustrating, color spectrum, telescopes