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 and previewing presentations on Wien's law and the Stefan-Boltzmann law.
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.
"Blue = hotter and red = cooler (although both are hot temperatures). Weird!"Describe something you found confusing from the assigned textbook reading or presentation preview, and explain why this was personally confusing for you.
"I thought the colors were backwards for the temperature, but then I thought about the different colors of fire, and it became more clear to me."
"We can pinpoint the temperature of a star's surface so accurately just by observing the spectra. It's amazing that we can tell how hot something is from a vast distance away."
"The color of stars was interesting because it's not the rainbow."
"The larger a star is, the less dense its atmosphere is. I would think the bigger the star the more dense it is."
"If the sun were a tennis ball, the white dwarfs would be grains of sand, and the largest super giant stars would be as big as football fields."
"A little confused about how to read an HR diagram."Ask the instructor an anonymous question, or make a comment. Selected questions/comments may be discussed in class.
"How astronomers find sizes of stars; it just seems like a lot of work."
"The laws to determine a stars's luminosity, color, and temperature."
"Why giants and supergiants don't follow the mass-luminosity relation."
"How do you grade reading assignments? Is there any way to make-up assignments we missed?" (Graded for completion, as long as there is a demonstrated effort towards reading and comprehending the material. Also there will be additional reading assignments near the end of the semester, as well as extra-credit surveys that can be used to make up points for any missed online reading assignments.)
"I'm feeling like I understand the material and concepts in class, but my quiz grade is telling me otherwise. Any tips for quizzes?" (Go over the archived quizzes and exams, and the flashcard questions. I would be more than willing to discuss your responses to the archived quizzes/exams and flashcard questions during posted office hours or an arranged appointment, just before/after lecture, or via e-mail.)
"Was last night a lunar eclipse? Because on my way to Paso Robles it was orange-ish, but once I reached Paso Robles it was white." (The orange color was not due to the moon being in Earth's umbra, but from being viewed low in the sky--much like the sun being redder when low in the sky.)