Online reading assignment: simple harmonic motion

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 reading textbook chapters and previewing a presentation on simple harmonic motion.

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.
"I have had someone who got through Physics 208AB try to explain simple harmonic motion to me and I didn't really understand it, so I am excited to learn about it here."

"That human slingshot is awesome! It would be fun to try that."

"How the motion of a spring and the motion of a rotating disk can have the same mathematical description--one complete revolution on the circle is like on complete cycle of simple harmonic motion."

"Maximum displacement = zero velocity; maximum velocity = zero displacement."

"The relationship of velocity, acceleration, and position for simple harmonic motion."
Describe something you found confusing from the assigned textbook reading or presentation preview, and explain why this was personally confusing for you.
"I am completely lost on this chapter. I am very confused with 'simple' harmonic motion."

"I am not the best with trigonometry and sine/cosine waves so I will have to study that a little more."

"The application of all the formulas and the graphs and what we are looking for in each of the graphs."

"Frequencies and periods and all the new equations are a bit confusing but I'll get over it."
Ask the instructor an anonymous question, or make a comment. Selected questions/comments may be discussed in class.
"I have a hard time reading orange whiteboard markers." (No more orange whiteboard markers after Halloween, and especially since the Giants won the World Series.)

"I hate the way this book is laid out--I feel like most of the information we receive in class is either not in the book, or just very hard to find in the book." (I hate the textbook just as much as you do. But (a) at least whatever you need can be found somewhere in the textbook (just treat it like an encyclopedia), and (b) there are textbooks that are much more worse, really.)

"Simple harmonic motion seems kind of pointless to me." (Sounds like someone needs to take a ride on that human slingshot.)

"There are an overwhelming amount of equations presented in these sections. Is there a way to simplify or group them so that they are easier to understand?" (Hopefully the presentation and lecture will be able to organize these concepts more clearly for you.)

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