Online reading assignment question: confusing Midterm 1 physics topics

Physics 205A Midterm 1 Survey, fall semester 2011
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 Physics 205A students at Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA (www.wordle.net/show/wrdl/4220608/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 70854, 70855
projectilemotion, acceleration, velocity
friction, freebodydiagrams, Newtonslaws
friction, forcecomponents
motion, laws, velocity
friction, circularmotion
Chapter3, Chapter4
radialvelocity, radialacceleration, projectilemotion
vectors, Newtonslaws, knowingwhatthequestionisasking
deductive, unforeseeable, nonhabitual
projectilemotion, friction, normalforce, weight
freefall, displacement
normalforce friction Newtonslaws interactionpairs
circularmotion scales pulleys Newtonslaws
projectilemotion kinematicgraphs
speed, displacement, circularmotion
circularmotion, angular, friction
circularmotion angularacceleration angularvelocity tension
vectors, circularmotion, tension
circularmotion, friction,
headacheinducing, discombobulating, applicable
forces, rateofchange, motionalongaline
circularmotion projectilemotion
vectors, projectilemotion equations kinematicgraphs
uniformmotion, forces, friction
Newtonslaws, kinematicgraphs, circularmotion
angularmotion Zerg
friction, circularmotion, velocity
rotationalmotion freebodydiagrams
understandwordproblemsconfusing, tedious, difficult
everything :(
Newtonslaws, equilibrium
circularmotion vectors
friction, frequency Chainofpain

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.
"I thought I understood projectile motion before, but I've been having trouble understanding it recently. I think because there are so many different formulas, I over think the problem and confuse myself."

"Newton's laws are confusing for me because i having a hard time deciding whether or not something is 2nd or 3rd law."

"Force and Newton's laws. I never really mastered the concepts and formulas, so trying to solve the problems is really difficult.

"circular motion, converting angular velocity to tangential velocity. calculation frictional forces acting on an object in circular motion"

"I still have trouble setting up the vertical motion problem and some of the free body diagrams problems."

"Projectile motion was difficult to accurately determine all components."

"problems involving equations, because many of the coefficients are new to me."

"The circular motion problems are slightly confusing to me. I always think that centrifical motion exists and apply it to a problem first. It just takes a little getting used to."

"I often get confused by the relationship between weight force and normal force. I assume they are equal in too many cases.
delta y and delta x, i don't know why i don't get this, but i don't."

"newton's third law because it is hard to do the POFOSTITO test"

"Uniform circular motion because I have yet wrapped my head around it."

"This is difficult, I would say Circular Motion because I do not feel as comfortable as I do the other subjects. Over HW I get the problems correct but sometimes it can take longer than expected, this could be a downfall during a timed midterm."

"Projectile motion is really confusing for me because sometimes I do not realized how to break the question down."

"Speed; being used to velocity, sometimes it's hard to step back and see speed for what it is."

"I think the most confusing part is the circular motions, and the friction( Fs Fk) because sometiimes i don't know what the problem is asking sometimes"

"Chapter 3, 4, 5. just dealing with angles and such."

"The most confusing subject for me is circular motion. I'm having trouble understanding most everything from chapter 5."

"list of 5"

"I often got confused between whether it was newtons first law or third that applied to certain situations."

"tension force. it confuses me with the ropes and pullies"

"Uniform circular motion is confusing for me. It seems like I never know which formulas to use, and how to manipulate formulas to get a final answer."

"converting and using equations to get to other equations."

"Circular motion still confuses me a little bit. I guess I always thought that the force exerted on an object in uniform circular motion was opposite the centripetal force, but it's perpendicular. I'm still re-training my brain to think the right way."

"Angular Velocity, I haven't tapped into it yet."

"Vectors i confuse my self so easily and end up getting the problems wrong. I understand the simple definitions but get so worked up and change a simple problem into something more complex."

"projectile motion problems have always been confusing for me...its hard to determine what formulas to use sometimes, and its just been the most difficult aspect for me. newtons laws are hard too, determining 2nd law from 3rd law is tricky
unbanked turns. confusing in which the ways forces tend."

"newton's third law is tricky for me. Realizing that it could be Newton's first law but then taking things a step further and realizing it could become Newton's third law, and remembering the three rules for being Newton's third law."

"Angular Motion. The concept in itself is not confusing to me, but it was the subject that i was least exposed to."

"Uniform circular motion is the subject that I have the most problems with because it is hard for me to visualize what is happening in the problems."

"rotational motion because i haven't spent enough time working through problems and fully understanding the concepts."

"properly applying newtons three laws. the hardest part was once again reading the problem correctly to interpret how a problem is giving information about forces involved in a problem"

"vectors because i over think them"

"understanding the problems and finding out what the problem wants and using the equations."

"It confuses me very much that an object can be moving at a constant velocity, and still be in equilibrium. Newton's first law problem."

"circular motion and the different speeds such as angular and linear, i don't really grasp the concept of the velocity vectors and the acceleration vectors and which ones are linear and angular,,i get the equations but i don't think i can draw a diagram of FBD"

"I still don't really understand the chain of pain but someone described it well enough for me"

1 comment:

Patrick M. Len said...

Physics 205A Midterm 1 Survey, fall semester 2011
Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA

Student responses (raw, unedited, unconsolidated)
Sections 70854, 70855

projectile motion, acceleration, and velocity
friction, free body diagrams, newton's laws
static and kinetic friction, forces on an angle.
motion, laws, velocity
frictional coefficients, circular motion
chapter 3, chapter 4
Radial velocity, radial acceleration, projectile motion
vectors, N3, knowing what the question is asking.
Deductive, unforeseeable, nonhabitual.
Projectile motion, Static and Kinetic Friction, Normal force and weight force
Free fall, delta y and delta x
normal force is the contact force perpendicular to the contact surface. sliption is better know as kinetic friction. newton's third law involves interacting pairs.
normal force is the contact force perpendicular to the contact surface. sliption is better know as kinetic friction. newton's third law involves interacting pairs.
Newtons three basic laws.
I'm having some difficulty understanding the Uniform circular motion concept. I shouldn't say "understanding" because I do understand it, more say towards ironing out the minor details and memorization. Another subject I struggle a little with is problems regarding scales and pulleys that go off in two directions. For me it sometimes gets tricky deciding what law it is.
Projectile motion and kinematic graphs.
Speed, Displacement, Uniform circular motion.
Circular, Angluar, Friction
All of Chapter 5 is slightly confusing.
circular motion- extremely confusing! angular acceleration/velocity? - pretty confusing tension force- somewhat confusing
using the list of 5 well
newtons third law
vectors, circular motion, tension force
uniform circular motion, kinetic friction, static friction.
circular motion
Headache-inducing, discombobulating, applicable
Forces, Rate of Change, motion along a line
circular motion and motion of projectiles
vectors!, projectile motion problems and choosing between all those different equations, kinematic graphs!
uniform motion, forces, kinetic
Newton's third law, kinematic graphs, uniform circular motion.
Angular Motion... and... Zerg?
Friction, uniform circular motion, and velocity.
rotational motion is the most confusing while dealing with free body diagrams is familiar to me but not a solid concept.
the most confusing part was trying to understand how a word problem is written. A lot of problems give you information in subtle ways that go straight ove my head. Also just understanding how to apply the situation of the word problem to the equations used.
confusing, tedious, difficult
everything :(
Newton's laws, equilibrium
circular motion vectors
friction, frequency and chain of pain