Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA
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Wordle.net tag cloud for confusing topics covered in Midterm 1, generated by responses from Astronomy 210 students at Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA (http://www.wordle.net/show/wrdl/8230851/Untitled).
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.
List at least three words describing confusing subjects covered in class (up through this midterm). (Graded for completion.)
[Responses have been edited to consolidate related common subjects.]
Sections 70158, 70160
Moon, Sun, EarthDescribe your most confusing subject, and briefly explain why this subject interested you. (Graded for completion.)
sunspotcycles, EMwaves, planetcomposition
moonphases, starwheel, telescopes
parallax, empiricallaw, precession
parallax, lightgatheringpower, resolvingpower
astronomers, telescopes, Earth, geologicalactivity
frustrating, painful, puzzling
planetfinding, planetfinding, planetfinding
precession, parallax, moonphases
starwheel, constellations, diurnalmotion
Babcockmodel, Brahe, pwaves
electrons, corona, light
astronomers, tilt, precession, planets
planets, telescopepowers, EMwaves
astronomers, theory, retrograde
orbits, telescopes, planets
eclipses, diameter, rays
telescopes, eclipses, starwheel
telescopes, planets, orbits, laws
astronomers, telescopes, Earth, geologicalactivity, starwheel
telescopes, retrograde, astronomers
telescopes, EMwaves, chemistry
planetfinding, planetarymotion, laws
EMwaves, radiation, eclipses
prograde, telescopes, astronomers
telescopes, planetfinding, planets
Moon, penumbra, telescopes
constellations, astronomers, Earth, rotation, revolution, tilt, precession
telescopes, moonphases, planets
astronomers, laws, telescopes
telescopes, astronomers, eclipses, penumbra, umbra
planetfinding, astronomers, retrograde
UV, EMwaves, telescopes
telescopes, starwheel, telescopes
waxing waning crescent
prograde, retrograde, telescopes
light, Newtonslaws, starwheel
starwheel, diurnalmotion, planetfinding
greenhousegases, telescopes, planetfinding
starwheel, constellations, moons
blackholes, telescopes, math
planetfinding, retrograde, prograde, seasons
annoying, lame, freaky
volcanoes, prograde, retrograde, corona
moonphases, astronomers, telescopepowers
astronomers, EMwaves, atoms
telescopes, Earth, rotation, astronomers
diagrams, time, Moon
The following are all of the student responses to this question, verbatim and unedited.
retrograde, it was confusing to imagine"
"The magnetic cycle of the sun, specifically the winding and unwinding . . . thing that occurs. I seriously just don't understand."
"Moon phases are especially troublesome because there are so many of them."
"I was really confused about empirical laws. Because they only explain a phenomenon without explaining why it occurs at first it seemed pointless to me. However the more I read over it the more I realized I was looking into it too much and I was asking questions that there are no answers to."
"The most confyusing subject for me so far has been calculating light gathering power and resolving power , i know what affects it but i cannot get a number when asked for one."
"The most confusing subject of mine in this midterm is the subject of the astronomers and which discovered which in the astronomical history. Remembering which astronomer created the model for the elliptical orbits will take some studying as it is clear it is a hazy subject in all of my quizes."
"The most confusing things was learning how to identify the suns location at a specific time because I had trouble conceptualizing the ideas."
"Just being expected to know where the planets are at certain times or if they are evening, morning, or daytime planets. I've never really looked for the planets at night in my life so its all a hard new concept to remember."
"The starwheel, I always assumed there was only one answer to finding the date and time when in reality it could be any one of them depending on where you'll be gazing at (location) so you have to approximate and argue your point. Oh! and the phases of the moon, though that's just memorizing I struggle with."
"Philosophers theories about the universe, because they're its hard for me to memorize them."
"Sometimes I feel like I totally understand how to use it (like in class) but when I try to do problems on my own I feel like I get the wrong answer but I don't know how to check it either."
"P Wave, I just dont understand the process of how it compresses and decompresses"
"How is it that we see light? Electron activity?"
"The ost confusing subject was the astronomers because I would sometimes confuses them, and I wasn't ever too sure about who the movers/disprovers were."
"knowing the planet locations and the different powers in a telescope and what sets them a part from each other because on all of the quizes and in class assignments I havn't been doing so good on them."
"The theories of the different astronomers, just because it's difficult to keep track of them all."
"I just have a problem with the telescopes, probably because I haven't studied them enough."
"Something that I found confusing was telescopes because of all of the factors that need to be considered when picking the right one and exactly how they work. I may just need a short review of this as well as comparison of planets. There are several more subjects that I find confusing."
"the infrared and x ray chart is the most confusing. Knowing where and how to describe where to put a telescope confuses me"
"Star wheels because it was hard to understand how to work it at first but i get it now"
"Probably the telescope part, my fault mainly because I didn't do too much reading for it."
"Mostly the telescopes are confusing because of all the parameters that are a bit weird and difficult for me to remember. Also star wheels are just confusing because I always forget to turn North toward me and looking for the stars/ when the planets would be in the sky gets me confused."
"Telescopes, because I cant figure out what term is what and which part affects which telescope power and how to measure it. Its just all jumbled together."
"I'm not so good with calculating the electromagnetic spectrum in how short or long the waves are..."
"Planet hunting is a confusing subject to me because I find it difficult to know where planets are relative to Earth with an observer at a certain point. I am not sure if I will be able to draw an accurate model of the universe with certain planets relative to the Earth on the midterm."
"radiation information is confusing because i did not have enough time with it to understand it."
"I have trouble drawing diagrams of where a spectator would be. It is confusing because of here the moon phases stand."
"Telescopes, more specifically how lengths of certain parts effect certain abilities. I can never remember which lengths effect resolution or magnification etc."
"The moon and the penumbras were the hardest thing. I'm still confused. Not going over any of the material in class has been incredibly hard for me. I need more explanation in class than we are getting. I feel like I only come to class to do group work and everything else is on me to understand. But I don't understand and am having a hard time keeping up."
"I find remembering what each philosopher did to be a bit difficult. I feel as though some seem to overlap which makes it difficult to notice the difference."
"Telescopes were confusing to me because I didn't understand the different types and how they can be affected. I have a tricky time remembering what the moon is called at a certain time. Planets are hard for me to locate and identify"
"I had trouble the most with remembering what astronomers did what."
"The most difficult concept for me to grasp was learning about the astronomers. I always tend to get them all confused."
"Where the planets are located and drawing them for certain problems. I feel like we did not practice enough, plus when going over the in class activity, there are not answers so I do not know if I am right or not."
"The most confusing subject for me is just memorizing all the charts, without memorizing them it is nearly impossible to know some answers."
"i think the electromagnetic spectrum is the most confusing topic for me."
"telescopes because I don't understand the difference between all of them and what it mean if it has reflectors or reflectors."
"what is waxing in reference to the moon"
"I still find the prograde and retrograde motion of the planets confusing. They can move a certain way most of the times but not over a long period. Confused."
"Learning to use the star wheel is till challenging for me, primarily because it is still such a new idea. Also, because there are so many different components and if you mis-read one part of it then the whole problem is ruined."
"I think the moon phases confused me the most because I still can't fully tell them apart."
"Knowing how to find a planet and why we never see the dark side of the moon."
"The starwheel because i dont know how to use it"
"The telescope part was confusing with the math at first then someone explained it to me and now it's not"
"See above. I get it, but drawing it out I get overwhelmed and overthink it."
"Making sure the star wheel is correct and how to orient it. And how to find/identify plants from earth."
"how much the sun set and sun rise times change throughout a year in SLO"
"I think that the most confusing subject for me is trying to figure out which part of the crust is oldest/ newest. I know that the top layer should be the newest, or should it?"
"Telescope math and what lens does what, with relation to distance and size. All very confusing and mixed up for me."
"Remembering who people were and what they did has always been a struggle for me even through high school. Hopefully it won't screw me on the test."
"Telescopes, because of how the light enters the telescope."
"Drawing the diagrams on what times the moon is rising a setting"
"The telescope confuses me because I'm still not sure how they really work. How do they refract light and use mirrors?"
"Probably the dang star wheel. I would have liked to have asked more questions about it but to be honest I just haven't 'yet' received what I would think of as a complete understating of how to use the thing."