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 the seasons change was really interesting because I never knew how that really happened, nor did I really question how it happened."
"I thought it was interesting to learn about the Zodiac signs and how they relate to astronomy because I never knew the meaning or origin of the symbols/animals."
"The lunar phases and changes were interesting to me. I see them every night, but never knew exactly what to call them until now."
"Precession, because of the fact that it happens at such a slow rate that we won't get to notice anything in our life spans but there is still very slow motion going on constantly."
"That seasons are caused by the revolution of earth around the sun as well as changes in solar energy received."
Describe something you found confusing from the assigned textbook reading or presentation preview, and explain why this was personally confusing for you.
"Something I found personally confusing was how to use the starwheel correctly."
"Precession--how it takes approximately 26,000 years to complete one cycle. It's confusing to me because the wording doesn't make sense to me."
"The cycle of the seasons to be slightly confusing to me just because there's a lot of different factors that go in to causing the seasons to change."
"I didn't quite understand the motion of the moon section. It stated that the moon moves rapidly, but I don't understand what is considered rapid and what wouldn't be. It didn't give a comparison so I could wrap my head on the speed."
"The textbook and presentations both talk about solstices and equinoxes, but neither really explain what they are. Like, what's the difference between the two? What makes those specific days so special that they're equinoxes and solstices?"
"Waxing, waning, and gibbous phases were confusing to me because I never heard of those terms before. after reading the meaning of them though it made sense."
"Something that was confusing for me was the zodiac and how it kind of goes hand in hand with the seasons."
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.   *************  April 25.    July 4.    August 20.   **  (Unsure/guessing/lost/help!)   *** 
Match these cycles with their approximate duration.
(Only correct responses shown.)
Earth's rotation: 24 hours [94%]
Earth's revolution: one year [72%]
Earth's precession: 26,000 years [89%]
The moon's revolution: one month [94%]
Place these moon phases in chronological order in their cycle (starting with new moon).
(Only correct responses shown, in unscrambled order.)
New moon: first [89%]
Waxing crescent: second [67%]
First quarter: third [78%]
Waxing gibbous: fourth [72%]
Full moon: fifth [83%]
Waning gibbous: sixth [78%]
Third quarter: seventh [72%]
Waning crescent: eighth [61%]
Explain what is different about homework in a flipped class.
"The difference about homework in a flipped class is that we get to preview the material before the lecture."
"The homework that is being worked on is what is upcoming in the next class, and will prepare you for what you are about to learn."
"Homework and handouts are given before the next lecture in a flipped class where as in a conventional class it is given after the lecture and taken home."
Describe where/when most student learning occurs in a flipped class.
"Most of the learning is done at home when the material is previewed before going to class, where the teacher/professor will then clarify any confusion."
"Student learning should take place in class after the students have already over-viewed the notes/handouts given before the lecture."
"I believe most student learning comes from working either with a teacher or with another student. I am usually very independent, but it helps when someone else can give you another perspective on what we are learning."
Pick one piece of student advice from the previous semester, and discuss why you agree (or disagree) with it.
"'Don't let yourself get behind! It will only make it worse.' I agree with this piece of advice because I've been in that situation before."
"'Do all the in-class activities, do the practice quizzes, midterms and final, then e-mail your answers to P-dog to get the correct answers and take the lab class for reinforcement.' I agree with this advice. Doing the in-class activities would not only keep your grade from going down, but also helps you understand the material. As for all the practice quizzes and such, it's a great way to study for quizzes and finals and getting the correct answers is a way to be sure you understand the content that you learn and get help if you don't understand something."
"'Be sure you always stay on top of the readings.' I strongly agree with that. This class seams to be the type of course that is self led in a way. We the students have to stay on top of the work since there is so much to be done outside of the classroom."
"'Rule 1 of Astronomy class: DON'T TALK ABOUT ASTRONOMY CLASS.' I like the reference...but talking about the class with people to get a better understanding. "
Ask the instructor an anonymous question, or make a comment. Selected questions/comments may be discussed in class.
"As I was previewing the presentations, I stopped many times because all this is new to me. It is personally confusing because I have never took the time to actually learn anything that has to do with 'astronomy.'"
"The reading in the book was confusing because there was more information in the book that I didn't really know what was good information or not. Thankfully the presentation previews helped with that."
"If due to procession Earth's north pole pointed to an empty part of the sky, what would we do without a northern star?" (Do what the ancient Egyptians might have done during their time, draw a line between two bright stars that would intersect the celestial north pole.)
"I'm really nervous about being able to keep up in this course. Although, I'm hopeful it will be a very engaging class and I will get a lot out of it. As long as I can keep up it should be a fun class."
"I am seeing positive outcomes as far as a flipped class."
"What do you think about Planet Nine?" (#iwanttobelieve.)