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

Astronomy 210, spring semester 2015
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.
"That the North Star is not always the same star as probably most people think. The North Star changes due to precession, because I like watching movies with plots dated far back in time where the people back then would have looked to the stars, mainly the North Star, for navigation."

"What I found was most interesting was that the reason why it is cold in the winter and hot in the summer, is because of the angle at which the sun is pointed towards us. I thought it was interesting because you can always see the sun during the day, I just didn't know what exactly makes the days hot, and other days cold."

Learning about moon phases--I didn't know about all the different names crescent, gibbous, waning , waxing. I only new about new moon and half moon or full moon."

"It is crazy to think we are always moving even though it might not feel like it."

"I had no idea that there was such a thing as a 'moonth' which is where we get the 'month' from. I also found it interesting that the direction that Earth's axis tilt changes through 26,000 year cycles. I had no idea it changed at all. I did know it was tilted though."

Describe something you found confusing from the assigned textbook reading or presentation preview, and explain why this was personally confusing for you.
"I don't really get why zodiac signs have to do with anything in astronomy."

"I had trouble with the moon phases. It's probably more of a memorization issue,but I couldn't get a grasp on which came first and how the moon is supposed to look when its waning, waxing, or first or third quarter."

"Not sure exactly what the celestial sphere looks like. I know it's a scientific model but I didn't see any pictures of what it is."

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.  *********************** [23]
April 25.  * [1]
July 4.  [0]
August 20.  *** [3]
(Unsure/guessing/lost/help!)  ******* [7]

Match these cycles with their approximate duration.
(Only correct responses shown.)
Earth's rotation: 24 hours [94%]
Earth's revolution: one year [91%]
Earth's precession: 26,000 years [97%]
The moon's revolution: one month [88%]

Place these moon phases in chronological order in their cycle (starting with new moon).
(Only correct responses shown, in unscrambled order.)
New moon: first [97%]
Waxing crescent: second [65%]
First quarter: third [82%]
Waxing gibbous: fourth [65%]
Full moon: fifth [88%]
Waning gibbous: sixth [65%]
Third quarter: seventh [77%]
Waning crescent: eighth [65%]

Explain what is different about homework in a flipped class.
"Homework contains the material and/or lecture that would have been presented within a normal class period."

"You are able to access slides and videos that were in class. Therefore, you can go back and see them as many times as you'd like."

"We basically teach ourselves at home, and then in class you clarify things we couldn't figure out and teach us based on our responses to the questions you give us."

"Homework in a flipped classroom is assigned after a class in preparation for the next class time. During class you go over any questions."

Describe where/when most student learning occurs in a flipped class.
"In the class."

"I would think at home."

"It seems as though it occurs in the classrooms where the instructor can individually tend to the needs of the students. Also it can occur at home where the students have time to watch the videos or the assigned lesson in a way that is more productive and beneficial towards their academic success."

"The student goes over lecture material at home and then preforms 'homework' in class. Therefore the student first attains this knowledge at home but then applies it in the classroom, the application of knowledge is when it becomes solidified in the students mind."

"Most of the learning in a flipped classroom happens at home anytime before class. The classroom is where the knowledge is applied in activities and questions are answered."

Ask the instructor an anonymous question, or make a comment. Selected questions/comments may be discussed in class.
"I like the flipped classroom's approach to homework. It allows me to find where I need help, but with the added bonus of knowing I can get the clarification I need in the next class."

"The flipped class method is different, however, I'm excited to see if I can learn better with the flipped class method rather then the normal teaching method."

"I really like your teaching style and how you left it to the class to make policy." (Thanks. And now it's on you guys to enforce the technology policy (or cut others slack.)

"The textbook stated that people in Australia are not be able to see the same stars and constellations that we do here at home. Does this mean that star charts vary and are dependent on your location to be used accurately?" (Yes. Even if you got a little north or south of SLO just in the northern hemisphere, you would need a slightly different starwheel for those locations.)

"Do these questions have to be about the assignment or are they about any random question we can think of (that is appropriate)?" (You just did.)

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