Last modified: 8/12/10
Instructor: Eric W. Harpell
hours: no official hours in Fall —email works best!
read this entire document carefully!
Spiral Galaxy NGC 4911 in the Coma Cluster
Welcome! If you are new to Astronomy 10, take a few
minutes to read the course description and information below. The timeline
for everything you need to do in the class is contained in the Weekly
Schedule at the end of this
Succeeding in Astronomy 20
In a nutshell, you need to
do six things to succeed in this class.
Blackboard quizzes (from quizzes and exams area in blackboard)
25 pts each x 5 = 125 pts
homework assignments from “smartwork” website
20 pts each x 5 = 125 pts
= 100 pts
One astro survey assignment
= 20 pts
Board postings in Blackboard = 105 pts
final Exam = 50 pts
= 400 pts
Grades (out of 400 possible points)
***Schedule of Exams and
Assignments***** Click here or See “Class Schedule ” in the
Blackboard Course menu. This is your lifeline to the class, so don't ingore it! Print it up and post it where you will see it often!
Required text: available at the LPC
21st Century Astronomy: Stars and Galaxies + E-book Folder
**make sure you get the book says "stars and galaxies" ***
and is listed for Astro 20 DE1 and instructor Harpell.
there are a few packages available on cyberspace, but the recomended
You can also purchase the recommended package through
21st Century Astronomy: Stars and Galaxies + E-book
You can also purchase the “complete” book simply
called 21st Century Astronomy 3e.
Note that you absolutely do need to purchase access to the Smartwork
course assistant website. This comes free with new books,
so please check if you wish to purchase a used book online,
or try to make due with another astronomy textbook.
Also check out the Study Space—an online Student Study Guide for 21st Century Astronomy:
| The "Study Space" is not required for the class, but may help you on blackboard quizzes.
In addition to Blackboard, The Smartwork Website is
another portal to learning astronomy over the Internet. This site
includes animated tutorials, ranking tasks, diagnostic questions, and
other learning activities. In effect, this is your homework for the
course, and worth 1/4 of the possible points, so please don't ingnore
You will need to create a
SmartWork account and self-enroll into the proper
class by following the
"First Time User" instructions at
You will need:
1. a valid email address
The enrollment key for your course: BLUMEN893 (case-sensitive)!
3. a registration code from W.W.
Norton. This proof-of-purchase allows
students to access your course
after their free two-week trial period.
This Key comes free with your text, or can be purchased by following
the instructions at http://smartwork.wwnorton.com
Blackboard Unit Quizzes There will be 5 Unit
quizzes in the quizzes and exams area of Blackboard. The dates and content of the quizzes can be
found in the course schedule below.
These are open book, open notes, and open internet quizzes. You are encouraged to collaborate with
fellow students in completing these quizzes—however, not all questions will
be the same! These quizzes are not
timed, but they must be submitted prior to the due date, or a 10% late
penalty will be applied. These
quizzes are generally 25 multiple choice questions drawing on all content
listed in the class schedule (look for all the information in the same row as the Quiz).
There is one final exam. It will be a mixture of essay and multiple choice,
which will be based on Blackboard quizzes, and Smart Work Assignments. In general, the goal of the final exam is
to ensure that you have understood and mastered material you have already
seen on quizzes and homework assignments.
Note that you will be provided with a set of 6 - 10 essay Questions a few weeks before the final. Three of these will be selected at random and placed on the final exam.
Astro Survey Assignment :
assignment will require you to take a basic knowledge survey quiz, and then
administer a similar but more detailed quiz to three or four other
people. You will then be asked to
summarize the results of this survey and put the results into
perspective. You will receive 5 points
simply for taking the survey quiz yourself, and up to 15 points for doing a
through job on the survey. More
details on this survey will be found in Blackboard in the "
Astro Survey ” link.
There will be four questions of the month for you to answer this summer in the
blackboard discussion area, well as current interest , Quiz tips and tricks, and class help forums . The
four questions of the month will require you to do some research on or
off line, and present the results of your research in a the form of a
"mini paper". Each of these questions of the Month will be graded on a
scale of 0 - 20 points each. Specific directions for completing these
Questions will be found in Question itself in the Blackboard discussion
In addition to the Question of the Month, there will also
be a section for you to post general questions realted to the five
quizzes in blackboard, or even better, to help your classmates by
replying to a post. There will also be a current itnerest section where
you can post information, websites, and comments related to material
you have found online, on TV, in print, at a Planetarium, Observatory,
or simply in the sky while taking this course. Finally, there will be a
"general class help" section where you can post questions, or respond
to classmates post regarding smartwork, test taking strageies,
deadlines, or anything else that comes up. Points for disucssion board
items will be awarded as follows:
Questions of the Month -- 4 x 20 points each = 80 points
blackboard Quizzes, current interest, Genral help = 20 points
Note that you do not have to post in all three areas (Quizzes, current
interest, General Help) to receive all of the 20 points possible. The
20 points available here are awarded at at the instructors discression.
More specifically, if you post quite a bit in one forum, it can
compensate for lack of posts in other forum. This will not be the case
for the questions of the month, however!
Class conduct and Academic Dishonesty:
You are encouraged to collaborate on quizzes and assignments. You may not
collaborate on the final exam.
Also, it is absolutely considered cheating if you get feedback from a
student who has already taken a quiz.
Any students caught cheating on a quiz or exam will be given an F for
the assessment and referred to the Dean of Student services for disciplinary
action, which may include expulsion from Las Positas college. Such incidents are rare, but do occur
are also expected to use common courtesy in their discussion board
posts and replies. Profane, or high negative comments may result in
expulsion from the class.
Click Here for the Class Schedule