ASTRON-101L - Observational Astronomy Lab - Dr. Peregrine McGehee
|Course:||Observational Astronomy Lab|
|Professor:||Dr. Peregrine McGehee|
Welcome to Astronomy 101L - Observational Astronomy Lab!
My name is Dr. Peregrine McGehee, and I will be your instructor in this semester’s exploration of the universe. For historical reasons my last name is pronounced “McGee”, and if you want to be formal you can address me as “Dr. McGehee”, or even “Dr. Peregrine” (it’s like the falcon).
We may not have planned for an online science class, and may prefer being together in a classroom, and I imagine that you may have some anxiety, concerns, and uncertainty about taking a science class online.
To try to help you all feel more comfortable and prepared for class, and so you hopefully know exactly what to expect, I wanted to get in touch with you early, to explain our plan for the fall. Our canvas shell will be open about 1 week prior to the start of the semester, and your course canvas shell will have many resources available to you and information detailing expectations and our plan for the semester. Astronomy is a beautiful science that is both challenging and fun, and I will be here for you, at every step, to help you succeed.
While I am often on-line, there is no guarantee of an immediate response although I will generally get back to you within a day – except for holidays. So, please plan your work time accordingly and be aware of assignment deadlines!
For you to succeed in this class you must log in to Canvas daily during the week (M-F), and manage your time accordingly. I recommend that you review each week’s assignments as soon as they are posted so that you have an idea of how much time they may take. There is no need to be surprised close to a deadline.
Astronomy 101L is a 1.0 unit CSU, UC transferable course! This is a one semester course that introduces you to first year topics in physics and chemistry, emphasizing the science that is observable in our daily lives. We will discuss and practice lecture content together, and laboratory investigations will provide you with first hand observational evidence for the concepts we will explore.
Student Learning Outcomes and Goals:
In this class the main learning outcome is to utilize the tools of astronomy to observe and analyze objects in the sky.
The goals for this class are to:
- Apply physical laws to observed phenomena in space.
- Examine characteristics and behavior of light, and how light is used to detect objects/motions in space.
- Classify and compare tools and techniques used by astronomers to observe objects in the universe.
- Locate and characterize constellations and other common objects in the night sky.
- Predict moon phases based on observations,
- Determine level of solar activity
- Analyze exoplanet data
- Utilize various telescopes and detectors for night sky and solar observations.
- Classify and categorize objects and phenomena is astronomy.
What to Expect in this Course
Are we going to have scheduled lecture and labs?
Normally we would be in the lab for all of the sessions. Since we are handling the entire course in Distance Education mode (for everyone’s safety), the schedule will be as follows:
- I will host a live class via Zoom during which I will preview the lab for the week and then allow you to work in self-selected breakout rooms.
- Our labs are all going to be done virtually, so you may complete them after our Zoom session or anytime that day. We will complete online simulations together during our live class time to ensure that everyone has access to this data.
How will we use Zoom?
Thankfully for us, Zoom is completely integrated within Canvas and so you will access our class meetings through your Canvas course shell. There is a link on the left-hand side of your screen, in canvas, that says ConferZOOM and you will access our live meetings through that link. There will be a much more detailed explanation of this for you in our Intro Module in Canvas, closer to the start of our Fall 2021 class.
How are we going to do labs?
Many of the labs will utilize materials that you may be able to find where you live. Alternate options will be available as well, to ensure that everyone may complete the general investigation in some way. Some lab investigations utilize free online simulations, and we will do these together to make sure everyone has access to the experience. Some simulations will require that you either make sketches of systems or capture screen shots.
How will the course be organized?
The course will be organized into modules in canvas. Modules will include Google slides presentations, lab investigations, and other resources to help you master the content.
How will we submit our assignments?
All assignments will be submitted in Canvas. You may submit text files, word documents, pdf files, or JPEG images. For some activities (like labs) it may be easiest to submit documents to me using a free app on your phone, AdobeScan or CamScan or any other app you may already have (iPhone has their own). Make sure you follow the directions for free versions!
Do I need any special materials because we are online?
- You will need regular access to a reliable computer with stable, high-speed internet connection
- Access and familiarity with Canvas (for technical support using Canvas, visit the Canvas Tech Support page for students
- Access to your canyons student email address (check frequently!)
- You will need the following software on your computer: Internet browser (Chrome works best with Canvas), and Microsoft Word (you can download the Microsoft Office Suite for FREE as part of your my.canyons email account)
Types of Assessments
Your grade will be entirely based on your completed lab work. There are no separate homework assignments or exams.
Other Relevant Course Information
What do I need to do to be successful in this class?
You are going to be personally responsible for keeping up with the work load, which may feel very different than your traditional Fall/Spring semester experiences. It is extremely important that you keep up with all of your work, and attend all class meetings.
- Come to class! Participate and collaborate with others during our live Zoom class so that you may learn from each other
- Ask questions, and don’t be afraid to be wrong about something
- Plan time each day to complete work and study for this class
- Pay attention to Announcements in canvas, that is how I will communicate important information to everyone in the class
What should I do next?
As soon as I open our canvas shell, I will send an email to you. Find the course syllabus and write down any questions you may have so we may talk about them on the first day. Look through the canvas course with the goal of simply exploring what is there.
At any point please email me with any questions you have at email@example.com. I look forward to meeting you all very soon!
This course can be accessed on the first day of class via Canvas at https://coc.instructure.com. Log into Canvas using your CanyonsID single sign-on:
- CanyonsID Username is your COC student email address (Ex: firstname.lastname@example.org)
- CanyonsID Password is your COC student email password
Check out the Online Education website for more information on a variety of topics that can help you be a successful online student such as: exam proctoring, learning styles, computer skills, and tips for student success. If this is your first online course, feel free to take our online learning readiness assessment to assess your skills.
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Last updated: 06/01/2021 Sub#: 138