Quick Guide for Using Mastering Astronomy--and getting credit for your work!

by Eric W. Harpell, Las Positas College

please read this carefully ....It will save hours of time!  ..anyway here is what you need to know

First of all log into mastering astronomy using the registration code provided in your text. If you don't have one, or bought a used text with an invalid code you can buy it on-line when you click on the link above. Make sure you use the class ID given in the course info page for your class. If that still doesn't work, please ask your instructor or a classmate. Once you can register and join the class using the correct class ID, you will see several tabs at the left side of the page. One of which is called the Assignmet list. If you are in an on-line class, please see the discussion board for Mastering Astronomy if you are having trouble.

1.  Click on the Assignment in the assignment list from the left hand menu and see what is listed there.  For example, you might see the following (from tutorial assignment #1)

assignment list

2.Before you work on any of the assignments listed above, go to the "study area" (located on the left frame).study area An identical version of each tutorial and each quiz, as listed in the assignment list, can be found in the "study area". Therefore, you should do the relevant quizzes and tutorials in the study area until you understand them and know the answers fairly well....nothing you do in the study area is graded..I'll never know what you do there, but you will learn the answers!  once you feel prepared, go back into the assignment and click on the tutorial or quiz and begin working through it. Remember, you have only one shot at the tutorial or quizzes listed in the assignment list...once you submit them, that's it ...however you can work on the practice quizzes and tutorials as many times as you like.

3. in the assignment list, you will find Tutorials, tasks, basic skills quizzes and concenptual quizzes. Many students report having difficulty getting credit for the tutorials, so here are step by step directions for getting credit for your work! If you follow them, you should have no problem...In particular, pay close attention to step 6 below...this is the step that is most frequently missed!

When you are ready to begin the Tutorial in the Assignment list, click on it. You will two frames..a left frame with an image and a right frame with instructions on the available options. One of the options on the right is "launch tutorial". Click on that when you are ready to begin.

launch tutorial

4. Once you are done with a tutorial, you will see the congraulations menu, telling you what you have learned. Now you are finished, look for a little letter "S" at lower right one the the page. On some computer screens the S is far to the right and you have to scrool to the right and down to see it. Click it to Submit your score. Note that you aren't done yet, so please read on! .

submit button

Note the S button at bottom Right..you will have to click this to quit!

5. Now you should see a menu with the option of Submit . You will also see how you did...Click on the Submit button if you are satisfied with your work. If not you can usually retake or complete part of the tutorial.

submit the tutorial

7. optional: there is a submit item button on the right hand frame.

submit item

It really to provide feedback on the assignment. It is not really a problem! Click on it onlyif you wish to complete a breif survey about your experiences with the activity.

8. For Ranking Tasks and Quizzes, simply click the "submit" button when you have answered a question. This will record your score in the grade book. You do not need to do anything else!

8. Click on the My scores link in the far left frame and see if your grade shows up. If not, you will need to redo all or some of the Assignment.

9. if you have already tried enter your score a few times, to no avail, please send an email to both the instructor and mastering astronomy support.

10. if you get 80% and over you will get 10 points, if you get less, then your score will be "weighted"....just multiply by a fraction...for example if you get 7 points out of ten possible i'll give you 7/8 x 10 or 8.75  so no-one really needs to worry too much about being slightly under 80%..the real point is to learn the material.  If you are working on a portion of the assignment after the due date, ten percent of the points will be deducted from the late portion only. This is designed to discourage you from doing too many assignments late, but not to discourage you from doing it altogether!

.... if you are confused about which quizzes and tutorials are which, then go ahead an open the tutorial or quiz in assignment list, but don;'t answer any questions...then go into the study area and practice working there...then come back to the assignment list and work on the tutorial or quiz listed there for credit.  

Finally, if you are having problems registering, or have followed the steps above and its just not working for you can contact Mastering Astronomy directly using their contact info on the site. Also inform your instructor about the problems you are having...