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 Kirchhoff's laws.
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 thought the different spectra were interesting. I thought there was only one type of spectrum, the continuous spectrum."
"That astronomers literally taste rainbows ;)"
"That the dark lines in the absorption spectrum of a star are like the barcodes. Every barcode is unique. How amazing is that?"
"I think it's interesting how the sound can get "squished" or "stretched" depending on which way the source is moving."
"'If light did not interact with matter, there would be no cheeseburgers (p. 80).' Interesting. If more people realized this, the interaction between light and matter would get the respect it deserves."
"It was like a light went off in my head after reading about the Doppler effect because I was able to associate it with real life."
"I did like the reference to 'neeeeowwww' on the Big Bang Theory--love that show--also happy to pick a hot character from The Lord of the Rings, but aside from that I am extremely confused even having read the text as well."
"I happen to be a big fan of the Big Bang Theory, so it was exciting to see a familiar clip at the beginning of the online presentation. I found it interesting to learn how the doppler effect works and why we hear the sound that we do."
"I am constantly surprised by astronomy. It is crazy how our world works and all the factors that make it possible for all of us to survive and for our universe to survive."
"The Doppler effect was interesting because I had never thought why cars make that 'neeoooooooowwww' sound as they pass."
Describe something you found confusing from the assigned textbook reading or presentation preview, and explain why this was personally confusing for you.
"I found some of the different spectras to be confusing. I understand the continuous spectrum fine, but was a bit confused with distinguishing between the others."
"Well I skimmed the reading so I don't think anything really registered beyond surface level understanding."
"The spectra section about temperature and density. I just want a little more instruction on how these relate and I feel like this reading assignment was mostly a quiz, but i didn't find it helpful since I didn't understand the initial concepts."
"The Doppler effect is confusing to me. I do not understand red shift and blue shift. Why is light color seen differently when an object is moving away from you than when it is moving towards you?"
"All of the different spectra are a little confusing."
"When I read the different types of spectra in the presentation, I thought I understood them, but when I went to apply the knowledge I got a little confused."
"Though the Doppler effect seems interesting, I still don't completely understand how it works."
"The Doppler affect and light speed! Why doesn't light move any faster when the object is moving with it."
I believe Pluto should be a planet.
Strongly disagree.   ****  Disagree.   ************  Neutral.   *************  Agree.   ******  Strongly Agree.   * 
Briefly explain your answer to the previous question (whether Pluto should be a planet).
"We already gave Pluto planetary status. Now taking it away is just bullying."
"Perhaps it has a right to be a planet, since it has been known as one for so long. But if scientists have demoted it, then they must have for a reason."
"It doesn't meet the requirements of a planet so why would it be considered a planet?"
"I think we're overthinking it. Just let it be whatever it is."
"I can see why it's not considered a planet anymore, but I was raised with it being a planet--so, the child in me wants to say YES, it should! But, I also completely see why it is not."
"IT IS A DWARF PLANET SUCK IT UP."
"I cannot remember the three requirements to be a planet but I believe that it did not meet those requirements."
"Pluto does not pass the IAU's criteria but I'm learning to think out of the box."
"If Pluto gets to be a planet, I think Eris and all the others should be a planet too."
"I understand the logic behind why pluto is not a planet, but in the end, Pluto has not changed because of the reclassification which is why I don't strongly disagree. A dwarf planet by any other name is just as small and cold."
"Pluto does not pass the IAU's criteria but I'm learning to think out of the box."
"I understand why it is not a planet and I don't feel like I need to fight for it to be a planet because I understand the reasoning."
"The last time you asked me this question I agreed that Pluto should be a planet, but after our discussion about 'what makes a planet' I realize that Pluto does not deserve to be one after all."
"It's a dwarf planet. I get it, now I agree because it has all the characteristics of a dwarf planet rather than an actual planet. Plus, so many other planets have been downgraded, what makes it the exception?"
"It doesn't bother me if it is or not."
"If they allowed Pluto to be a planet there would be other dwarf planets they would also have to add and it's easier to just not call it a planet at all."
"Even after going over what we talked about in class I still believe we should let the Pluto get its shot at being a planet."
"Pluto just doesn't have the right qualifications to be a planet. Still the funniest dog in the world though."
Match the spectrum type with their appearance.
(Only correct responses shown.)
Rainbow containing all colors: continuous [92%]
Rainbow with thin black lines: absorption [83%]
Colored lines on a black background: emission [86%]
Given off by hot, dense object: continuous [80%]
Given off by hot, diffuse gas atoms: emission [77%]
Passing through cool, diffuse gas atoms: [74%]
continuous; rainbow.   ************  emission; series of bright lines on a dark background.   ****************  absorption; series of dark lines on a rainbow background.   ******  (Unsure/guessing/lost/help!)   ** 
continuous; rainbow.   ****************  emission; series of bright lines on a dark background.   *****  absorption; series of dark lines on a rainbow background.   **************  (Unsure/guessing/lost/help!)   * 
continuous; rainbow.   *********  emission; series of bright lines on a dark background.   *************************  absorption; series of dark lines on a rainbow background.   *  (Unsure/guessing/lost/help!)   * 
continuous; rainbow.   ************  emission; series of bright lines on a dark background.   **********  absorption; series of dark lines on a rainbow background.   *********  (Unsure/guessing/lost/help!)   ***** 
continuous; rainbow.   *******  emission; series of bright lines on a dark background.   ****************  absorption; series of dark lines on a rainbow background.   *********  (Unsure/guessing/lost/help!)   **** 
starts loud, then gets quieter.   ******  starts quiet, then gets louder.   *  starts quiet, gets louder, then goes back down to quiet.   ***************************  starts loud, gets quieter, then goes back up to loud.   *  (Unsure/guessing/lost/help!)   
Suppose you are standing on the sidewalk as a car, with its horn continuously on, passes by (video link, same as above). The pitch (high note/low note) of the car horn:
starts high, then drops lower.   ************  starts low, then goes higher.   **  starts low, goes higher, then drops back down to low.   ***************  starts high, goes lower, then goes back up to high.   ******  (Unsure/guessing/lost/help!)   * 
Ask the instructor an anonymous question, or make a comment. Selected questions/comments may be discussed in class.
"It would help to have some more clarification/explaination of the Doppler effect and the different spectra types."
"Um so I don't feel confident about my answers for the what spectrum is it part, so please excuse me if I got them all wrong, I tried though! :D"
"I like when you do drawings on the board and make lists with definitions/explanations. It helps a lot."
"Can we find out what our current grade in the class is?" (The in-progress point totals are now posted under the Grades >> Summary" tab on the course website; this will be updated again after the second midterm, and then just before finals week.)
"Will we have more opportunities to do extra-credit in this class?" (Tonight we'll watch a short movie on infrared telescopes, and you'll write-up an in-class group report for extra-credit. Also there is an online extra-credit assignment this week.)
"Can we skip the break and get out of class early instead?" (I really need that 10 minute mid-class break!)
"So I really like SPAM® musubi too, and sushi. But I just tried the ramen bowl at Kuma in Los Osos and they have a spicy miso broth that is to die for. Definitely try it."
"Who do you think is the hottest LOTR character?" (Gandalf apparently is hotter than the balrog. When Gandalf reappears in The Two Towers, he's glowing white-hot, which is hotter than red-hot.)
"I'm not that salty about the whole 'now I'm a cancer in astrology because of precession' anymore. It actually makes hellaaaa sense."
"How long have you had your goatee?" (Since the early 90's, so probably longer that some of you have been alive.)