Online reading assignment: flipped classroom, motions and cycles (NC campus)

Astronomy 210, fall semester 2016
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 Earth's rotation/precession/revolution/tilt, the moon's motions and cycles, and watching two video presentations on the flipped class: "What Is the Flipped Class?" and "How the Flipped Classroom Works."

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.
"How you can tell where the stars are at any given date or time in the sky by using the starwheel."

"That Earth slowly tilted over 26,000 years, and that for the majority of the 26,000 year cycle there isn't a 'north star.'"

"The flipped classroom--this is the first time I've been in a class that has used this method and from what I see, I'm a big fan and I'm interested in how I'll do in it."

"That stars are present in the sky even in daytime not just nighttime."

"That Earth is revolving, rotating and precessing all at the same time. I never really think about Earth as actively moving because it does not feel like it is."

Describe something you found confusing from the assigned textbook reading or presentation preview, and explain why this was personally confusing for you.
"How the seasons change based on the solar energy received from the sun, not on Earth's distance away from the sun."

"I'm still confused about the starwheel. I am still having issues locating the stars when given the date and time."

"Precession--why does Earth do it? Did an asteroid hit the earth at a critical time for this to happen?"

"The names of the phases of the moon. And putting them in order."

What date would Virgo be just above the east horizon, as seen by an observer at 11 PM in San Luis Obispo, CA? (Ignore daylight saving time.)
February 20.  **************** [16]
April 25.  [0]
July 4.  [0]
August 20.  * [1]
(Unsure/guessing/lost/help!)  *********** [11]

Match these cycles with their approximate duration.
(Only correct responses shown.)
Earth's rotation: 24 hours [96%]
Earth's revolution: one year [89%]
Earth's precession: 26,000 years [93%]
The moon's revolution: one month [89%]

Place these moon phases in chronological order in their cycle (starting with new moon).
(Only correct responses shown, in unscrambled order.)
New moon: first [93%]
Waxing crescent: second [64%]
First quarter: third [17%]
Waxing gibbous: fourth [17%]
Full moon: fifth [75%]
Waning gibbous: sixth [64%]
Third quarter: seventh [57%]
Waning crescent: eighth [46%]

Explain what is different about homework in a flipped class.
"The main difference is that it allows students to go over the material as many times as needed before the class period and allows students to check their understanding and extend learning after class."

"In a flipped class, one should complete the assignments before the class period to participate effectively in the classroom assignments."

"The homework includes presentations which would normally be showed and lectured upon in class."

Describe where/when most student learning occurs in a flipped class.
"Some people learn by either doing or seeing so it's effective for students to watch the videos without any anxiety issues and can rewind the videos as many times as they want to fully understand it."

"Most student learning should occur at home or in their personal time so then the teacher can provide help in class during a flipped-class setting."

"In class because they can get one on one time with the instructor and get clarification from questions they might have from presentations ahead of time making it easier to keep up with the class."

"Students learn more when they are able to ask questions on difficult material."

Pick one piece of student advice from the previous semester, and discuss why you agree (or disagree) with it.
"I completely agree that reading the book before class can maximize the learning potential of the next class period because the information is fresh in your mind."

"I liked, 'for the love of God, read the textbook.' You never know if the reading is actually necessary for a class or if it's just assigned to prove that the teacher gives homework and you can get away without doing it. I appreciate the warning."

"'Study, study , study...' Repetition is key to remembering. I agree with this because I have a hard time remembering anything."

"The advice you I got is that I have to put a lot of effort if I want to succeed."

Ask the instructor an anonymous question, or make a comment. Selected questions/comments may be discussed in class.
"What you can recommend for me in order to understand the material in a better way?" (Practice with the additional questions on the flashcard question packets, which includes many questions from actual past quizzes.)

Are we going to have to memorize the names of certain constellations and what they look like? Also, are the flashcard question packets homework that we print out and turn in?" (You don't need to memorize the constellation shapes and names, but you should be familiar enough with them to locate them on your starwheel. The flashcard question packet is just a resource we'll use to ask questions in class; and many of these questions are from quizzes from previous semesters, so going over the questions we don't cover in class is good practice.)

"Will we still be doing all of our learning in the class, or will all of the learning be done at home? I only ask for people that aren't that good at learning from reading a textbook." (I would say half-and-half; the purpose of the flipped-class is to make sure that the time in class and at home is best spent for the specific type of learning you need.)

"What, in your opinion, is the most interesting part of astronomy?" (How stars are born, live, and die. Especially how stars die.)

"Do you believe astrology is able to make accurate predictions about your future?" (My horoscope said that you would ask that.)

"Flipped classes are not my favorite because I like to have a instructor on front of me." (Don't worry, I'll still be there in front of the class to clarify whichever concepts you're having problems with. Even if that's everything. As long as before class you provide me feedback on specifically what you had problems with.)

"Aren't you a some sort of secret side DJ?" (Yes, for Monday swing dancing at the Madonna Inn. Shh, it's a secret.)

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