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 reviewing the history of astronomy, Kepler's and Newton's laws, and telescope powers.
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.
"The history of astronomy because it juxtaposed the two major paradigms that Earth was at the center contrasted to the sun being at the center."
"I found that how telescopes are made pretty interesting because you could see the stars and planets with them! It's amazing how people created something to look that far into space."
"I enjoyed learning about each of the astronomers, it made more sense to me learning about them 'in order' rather than individually and separate."
"I found the fact that it took many years and a lot of people to discover what we know now about astronomy."
Describe something you found confusing from the assigned textbook reading or presentation preview, and explain why this was personally confusing for you.
"i found retrograde and prograde motion a bit confusing."
"I found the 'ice skater effect' a bit confusing. I understand that the planets move faster when they are near the sun but I'm not sure as to why."
"Difference between how the resolving power and light-gathering power works."
When a planet is undergoing retrograde motion, over several nights it moves __________ with respect to the background stars.
east to west.   *************  west to east.   *******  (Either of the above choices is possible.)   ***  (Unsure/lost/guessing/help!)   ** 
When a planet is undergoing prograde motion, over several nights it moves __________ with respect to the background stars.
east to west.   ******  west to east.   **************  (Either of the above choices is possible.)   **  (Unsure/lost/guessing/help!)   *** 
The __________ powers of a telescope depends on the: (Only correct responses shown.)
light-gathering power: diameter of the primary lens/mirror [84%]
resolving power: diameter of the primary lens/mirror [56%]
magnifying power: both the focal lengths of the primary lens/mirror and eyepiece: [20%]
The least important feature to consider when purchasing an optical telescope is the __________ of its images.
brightness.   *  resolution.   ***  magnification.   *******************  (Two of the above choices.)   *  (Unsure/lost/guessing/help!)   * 
Briefly explain your answer for the least important feature to consider when purchasing an optical telescope.
"Resolution is the most important feature to consider when looking into buying a telescope, magnification can be altered with a simple eyepiece change."
"Even though you can magnify the image, that doesn't necessarily make it more bright or more clear."
"Telescopes do not show more detail when it has a higher magnification."
The brightness and resolution are important because the more light your telescope is able to produce the better the image will be and you need a clear resolution in order to see every aspect of the object you're viewing."
Ask the instructor an anonymous question, or make a comment. Selected questions/comments may be discussed in class.
"Please help explain the retrograde and prograde motions once more." (You'll practice distinguishing between these two types of motion on an in-class activity.)
"I'm really struggling with this flipped classroom thing. How do I take notes? Will you ever have lecture? Or is this only an activity-based class?" (The 'lecture' that you would traditionally takes notes on are the presentation slides assigned for you read on your own; you can read, re-read, and annotate them at your pace. So yes, class is devoted more towards activities, but there is still time for some lecture to clarify some of the 'muddy points' as needed.)