Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA
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.
The following questions were asked on reading textbook chapters (Seeds/Backman, Perspectives on Astronomy, 1/e, Chs. 2-2, 2-3, 2-4) and previewing presentations on Earth's rotation/precession/revolution/tilt, and the moon's motions and cycles.
Selected/edited responses are given below.
Describe something you found interesting from the assigned textbook reading or presentation preview, and explain why this was personally interesting for you.
"It was odd to know that the axis wobbles and the northern star changes."Describe something you found confusing from the assigned textbook reading or presentation preview, and explain why this was personally confusing for you.
"Seasons are caused by changes in the amount of the sun's energy obtained by Earth's northern/southern hemispheres at different times of the year. I found this interesting because I was under the impression that Earth was either farther/closer to the sun at different times of the year causing the seasons."
"I never knew when the sun was lower it was winter, and when it was raised high in the sky it meant it was summertime."
"In Australia you can see constellations that are invisible to North America. But they never see the Big Dipper... I had never really thought about if different things were seen in the night sky in different places on Earth.."
"Although we can't see them during the daytime, there are still stars during the daytime. I guess it caught my attention because I never took into consideration what happened to the stars during the daytime."
"The fact that the sun lines up directly with particular [zodiac] constellations."
"Having a hard time understanding the difference between all the phases of the moon. Especially between the waxing and waning phases of the moon."Ask the instructor an anonymous question, or make a comment. Selected questions/comments may be discussed in class.
"I thought that the seasons were caused by the distance from Earth to the sun."
"The zodiac and the way the stars lined up with the sun confused me. I just don't really get how that affects someone's future, or personality, or whatever."
"Knowing whether stars or rising or setting in a time-lapse photo...that is confusing and I look forward to finding out how to tell."
"Do you believe in astrology?"
"What causes a blue moon to occur once a year?"
"What will be the most useful study tool for this class?"
"I was unable to purchase the starwheel/textbook because the bookstore was sold out... Is there another store close by that we can purchase the textbook/starwheel from?"