Online reading assignment question: confusing Midterm 1 astronomy topics

Astronomy 210 Reading Assignment 6, fall semester 2011
Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA

Originally uploaded by Waifer X

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/4176124/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
none nothing void
moonphases absolutemagnitude apparentmagnitude
astronomers, telescopes, sunlayers
astronomers, telescopes, sunlayers
moonphases telescopes
crazy, complex, detailed, illogical
starwheels sunrise sunset moonrise moonset
telescopes, moon, EMradiation
sunlayers, astronomers, telescopes
telescopes, EMradiation, astronomers
telescopes, light, EMradiation
confusing, challenging, hardtoexplain
different, weird, crazy
telescopes sun EMradiation
telescopes, astronomers, moonrise moonset
revolution, tilt, rotation
eclipses, telescopes, moonphases
telescopes, focallength, refractor, reflector
telescopes focallength
retrograde, models, motion
astronomers, wavelengths, telescopes
EMradiation, matter, stardistances
planetfinding, sunlayers, Heavens-Above.com
eclipses orbit constellations
apparentmagnitude, EMradiation, stars
moonphases, trackingthemoon telescopes
telescopes sunlayers EMradiation
alignment rotation constellations
telescopes, shadowzones, prograde retrograde
starwheels, EMradiation, Newton, Kepler
xray, infrared, ultraviolet
photons, telescopepowers
telescopes, retrograde, Newton, Kepler
prograde, retrograde, parallax
telescopes, constellations, stars

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 moon phases through out the day were confusing, because I had no idea that the moon went through phases in 24 hours"

"Telescopes because it is hard to differentiate what the parts are and what they are used for."

"i can understand it all"

"phases of the moon"

"Chromosphere, I don't remember what that is at the moment"

"The sun's layers are the most confusing because i get them confused."

"what time a certain phase will set, rise and be highest in the sky."

"I would say the most confusing subject covered in this midterm is the fact that light is both a wave length and a particle. I accept it as true, but it still seems crazy."

"The diagram where the sun rises and sets within certain hours for different months (like where NE, E, S ect. goes on it)."

"The different phases of the moon is probably the most confusing part of the midterm. I just don't understand the different times and phases of the moon. I don't understand how to calculate what phase the moon will be in at a specific time. It's just difficult for me."

"the sun's layers was the most confusing because I got very confused."

"At first I not realize planets orbit at different speeds. So for a while I could not grasp that you can see certain planets at different times of the day. Particularly in the wee hours of the morning."

"The most confusing subject we covered would be the part where we had to figure out whether or not the planet could be seen from an observor on Earth. It was confusing because sometimes you had to know which planet would be located at which location."

"The different powers for telescopes confused me at first but I understood it better after the in class assignments."

"the telescopes it was confusing measuring focal length"

"I find the moon phases the most difficult and confusing subject on the midterm. I always mix up waxing and waning moons."

"the electron rule."

"Telescopes because Im not familiar with them and don't understand how they are used."

"Telescopes, there are so many variables and I can never remember which one's are which."

"Memorizing the revolution, tilt, etc. for the Earth is a little tricky to understand."

"Lunar motions and cycles, trying to remember how to do the diagram confuses me sometimes."

"I had trouble remember what each telescope power depended on and finding the focal length."

"Understanding the telescopes and the focal points is just something that seems rather technical and dry. The mechanics of what each part did and why didn't seem clear."

"The telescopes were a bit confusing, knowing about length and magnification was a chore to learn. Maybe getting a chart to put them down would've helped."

"Knowing the astronomers is a bit of a challenge. Not as much as being confusing, but it's tricky to memorize them and knowing what they're famous for. That and being able to tell if they're a scientist or non-scientist."

"Telescopes are the most confusing for me. I have trouble determining what powers are affected when certain conditions are present. Also, the equations are a little confusing."

"Matter in space because I missed that part of class."

"Determining which planets are visible on a given date. I felt like we didn't spent enough time practicing this or having proper visuals."


"Spectrums. I feel like i know the definitions of the different ones, but the examples werent clear. I'm very nervous to see the questions that will be presented on the midterm."

"Eclipses confuse me because i have a hard time figuring out what type of eclipse it will be."

"figuring out how to track the moon"

"The most confusing was comparing telescopes. No one step was all that confusing, but I sometimes second-guessed myself on whether I was following proper procedure."


"moon phases: how you could tell what type of moon is in a certain spot and when it is rising or setting."

"Telescopes were the most confusing for me because I feel like we didn't get to have a lot of hands on experience measuring telescopes or using them."

"Everything is hard for me to comprehend"

"Learning all the different laws from the past on top of learning all the lingo."

"How and when you can see them."

"Powers, mix them up"

"I think the telescopes are the most confusing, because there is so much terminology about them that is mind boggling."

"retrograde, it's so confusing I can't explain why it's confusing"

"Remembering the moon phases and when they rise and set is difficult for me. Can't explain why, just is."

"the most confusing thing to me was planet finding because i really just don't understand it."

"time of day, relative to location off the planets."

"Telescopes: I get mixed up with the different aspects that one needs to know (magnification, resolution, etc.)."

1 comment:

Patrick M. Len said...

Astronomy 210 Reading Assignment 6, fall semester 2011
Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA

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

Understanding the telescopes and focal points.
Telescopes sun magnetic spectrum
Telescopes, Light, astronomers.
different, weird, crazy.
phases of moon i in class acticity we did last wed and i cant think of what that is because i dont have my notebook right now and im feeling really lazy and dont wanna get it
Retrograde, modeling, motion.
Confusing, challenging, hard to explain.
the telescopes, light, radaiton
none nothing void
Telescopes because it is hard to differentiate what the parts are and what they are used for.
telescope powers, focal length, refractor, reflector
Astronomers, telescopes, and sun's layers
Sun's layers, astronomers, telescopes
Astronomers, Telescopes, Sun Layers
telescopes, old astronomers, positioning of the moon and its corresponding rising/setting times
Telescopes, Moon, and Electromagnectic Radiation.
Crazy, complex, detailed, illogical.
Starwheels, time it takes for the sun to rise and set with certain months, and positioning of moon in certain times.
Eclipses, Telescopes,Lunar motions
The moon phases through out the day were confusing, because I had no idea that the moon went through phases in 24 hours
The telescopes were a bit confusing
moon phases and telescopes
Revolution, Tilt, Rotation
Light, matter, and star distances.
Telescopes Layers of the sun Visible spectrum
eclipses orbit constellations
Astronomers, wavelengths, telescopes
moon phases, tracking the moon and telescopes
the heavens above
Planet location, Layers of the Sun, Heavens Above
eclipses... they just confuse me.
the planets doing that circle thing
Telescopes, shadow zones, prograde and retrograde scales.
Telescopes, Retrograde Motion, Lawgivers
Sky wheels, electromagnetic radiation, and the lawgivers.
Telescopes, constellations, stars
Apparent Magnitude, Spectrums and Stars.
Pretty much everything
prograde, retrograde, Parallax
Alignment Rotational patterns consellations
Gonna need a tutor ( that was 4 words I know, but whatevs)
X-Ray, inferred, and ultraviolet.
Photons, n remembering the powers