20120827

Online reading assignment: speed and velocity

Physics 205A, fall semester 2012
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 the reading textbook chapters (Giambattista/Richardson/Richardson, Physics, 2/e, Chs. Chs. 2.1-2.2) and previewing a presentation on displacement, distance traveled, and average/instantaneous speed/velocity.

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.
"Differentiating between displacement and distance."

"Displacement of certain things can be so much less than the actual distance traveled."

"Greek letter delta actually means 'the change in...'"

"I've learned all this before. Nothing really interesting here."
Describe something you found confusing from the assigned textbook reading or presentation preview, and explain why this was personally confusing for you.
"Most of it was confusing to me."

"Nothing confusing in these readings. I've taken physics before."

"Instantaneous velocity versus average velocity kind of confusing because of the limit formula for the instantaneous velocity."
Briefly describe how you would walk along a straight, level road such that your distance traveled would be longer than your displacement.
"You could walk forward for 10 feet and then backwards for 5 feet. The distance traveled is 15 feet but the displacement is only 5 feet."

"One step forward, two steps back. Story of my life."

Briefly describe the difference between an odometer and a speedometer.
"Mileage vs. speed."

"An odometer measures distance traveled, and a speedometer measures your average speed, or distance traveled divided by a short time interval."

"Odometers tracks distances traveled, while speedometers track the instantaneous speed."
Ask the instructor an anonymous question, or make a comment. Selected questions/comments may be discussed in class.
"Will negative velocities always correspond to traveling west, and does this also apply to traveling south?"

"Will we need to memorize all of the equations we get in the book for tests?"

"By the time class starts Monday, I will have gone to the library to borrow the book."