ASTR 1010L (Lab) Sample Syllabus





ASTR 1010L


INSTRUCTOR: William Koch


OFFICE PHONE: (913) 469-8500 Ext. 3725

GOOGLE VOICE PHONE: (913) 735-6247 (Use only in dire emergencies, call or text)


I teach full-time at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kansas, so I don’t have an office at Georgia Perimeter College.  My on-campus office hours at JCCC, in case you want to call my office phone, are

  • T 8am – 9am, 12pm – 1pm (central time)
  • R 8am – 9am, 11am – 1pm (central time)
  • MW 5pm – 6pm (central time)

EMAIL: All email to me should be sent through the iCollege system.

  • I insist on using iCollege email for security reasons.  If iCollege is down, and it is urgent, you can email me at  Make sure to send it from your JCCC student email account (not from Yahoo!, Gmail, etc).  Please make sure your subject line contains information about your email (not simply replying to an old irrelevant message).
  • Discussion boards are set up in iCollege for students to post general questions and possible errors.  Please make use of those boards so that others might benefit from any ensuing discussion.  Questions of a personal nature, such as a student’s grades, should be sent by email for privacy.

COURSE TITLE: Astronomy of the Solar System Lab




This laboratory course supplements ASTR 1010 by giving the student practical experience in studies of the movements of solar system’s bodies and analysis of images of planetary surfaces. It also provides the student with tools and techniques to observe the night sky . Among other things, students examine the properties night sky charts, the moon, Mars, Jupiter, Jupiter’s moons, and the asteroids in our solar system. One goal of this course is to demonstrate that even with simple tools a meaningful observation of the night sky can be made. The other goal of this course is to show the uniformity of the laws of nature throughout the solar system. Some of the laboratory procedures will involve simple algebra and the use of a scientific calculator.  This is NOT a self-paced course and some materials will be due or made available at the appropriate time in order to keep the class in sync.  Except for the proctored final exam, this course is delivered entirely online.


The student must be currently enrolled in the ASTR 1010 lecture or must have completed ASTR 1401 or 1411 or 1010 with a passing grade.

REQUIRED TEXTBOOKS: Laboratory Textbook for Elementary Astronomy, 11th edition, Lahaise, Lahaise & Dittmann, CPC of Raleigh, Inc.; ISBN: 0-89892-388-


  • Access to computer with Internet service (broadband is desirable, but not necessary)
  • metric ruler
  • scientific calculator (look for buttons like LOG, SIN, COS.  You DON’T need an expensive graphing calculator.)
  • To take the departmental final exam, you will need to buy red Scantron forms from the bookstore.  They are packaged with 5 forms per packet.

Web Browsers:

  • Windows users should use eitherFirefox or Internet Explorer 7 (Firefox is HIGHLY recommended).
  • Mac users should useFirefox or Safari.
  • Do not try to use browsers other than these (e.g. Opera or Chrome).

Warning: iCollege may appear to work okay with other browsers, but serious issues may arise during critical times (like submitting labs)!  I grade what I get, so make sure you are using the recommended browser.

Time and Personal Committment

While online classes offer flexibility in when and where one completes course material, the fact is that they require more time than an on-campus class.  It is a myth that online course are easier and require less time.  Though the lab course is only 1 credit hour, most on-campus labs require 2 or 3 hours per session.  Expect to spend as much time doing work for this class each week as you would, doing the pre-lab exercises, driving to and from class, doing a lab and doing the write-up for an on-campus class each week.

Students need to be:

  • self-motivated so that assignments are submitted on time.
  • self-sufficient and be able to explore, read and follow written instructions
  • organized so that  due dates aren’t missed and adequate time is spent on assignments.

Technical Issues

It is your responsibility to ensure the proper functioning of iCollege on the computer of your choice.  No late work or exam will be accepted due to a technical issue with your computer.  I have provided links to technical help in the Help!!! folder in iCollege.


The FINAL GRADES use the grading system is as stated in the GPC catalog:

above 90


80 – 90


70 – 80


60 – 70


below 60


Grades will be evaluated as follows:

Labs 60%
Lab Exams 30%
Lab Final Exam 10%
Total: 100%


Laboratory Procedures

Labs are generally due once per week(except for accelerated sessions).  Labs are due by midnight of the due date. The due dates are listed in the Class Schedule and also appear below the icons for each lab module.  NO LATE LABS ARE ACCEPTED so re-check frequently to make sure you don’t miss a due date.  Students can work as far in advance in the labs as he/she likes, so if you know you are going to be unavailable for a week, get any lab finished in advance.  Do not ask for extra time.

Most of the labs are submitted in form of “assessments” that are directly linked to the content module and calendar. The assessment labs are not assessments in the sense of the word, they merely present the most convenient form of submitting the answers to the questions in the lab manual. Some labs require you to write a word document, to make sketches, or write out the steps of calculations. These types of documents can be sent as an attachment (preferred) to an iCollege e-mail or as a fax (see fax number above in instructor information).

You must turn in your OWN work.  You are encouraged to discuss problems with your classmates and discussion boards have been set up for each lab to do just this.  Some of you may even want to meet in small groups to work on labs. However, do NOT copy from a classmate or from the textbook. You should be sure to understand “what you write down”.  Exams will cover material that you should be learning, so you need to know it.

Spelling and grammar as well as clear and concise writing will be considered in the grading of homework.  It is an important skill to be able to express oneself in a precise and unambiguous way.  Questions MUST BE answered in grammatically correct sentences and paragraphs with correct spelling in order to be eligible for full points.  Do not submit discussion posts, emails or other work in a text-message style.

Laboratory Exams

There will be two 90-minute exams, each covering a particular lab set.  Exams are multiple-choice and will cover the main ideas in the labs covered.

  • They will be available for a fixed window of time, so you need to check the schedule to see not only when an exam is due, but also when it is open.
  • Students may NOT collaborate on exams.
  • Scores will not be made available until all the exams are graded.

Make-up Exams

If you miss an exam, you can take one and only one make-up exam, for any reason.  You may not use a make-up exam for a “re-take”.  Make-up exams are in the Make-up Exams folder in iCollege.  Check the Class Schedule to see when these are available.  Since you had more time to prepare for the exam, you will only have 60-minutes to complete it.

Final Exam

All math and science students are required to take a standardized departmental final exam on campus.  Final Exam Registration Instructions It consists of about 30 mostly conceptual multiple choice questions and students will be given about 30 minutes to take it.  Non-local students can arrange for a proctor at their local college and fill out the appropriate form.  There is no make-up for the Final Exam, so DON’T MISS IT!  You will need to purchase the red Scantron forms mentioned above in the bookstore.

There may be reference to this being “Part 1” of the final, but this is going to be your only final exam.

Extended Time Exams

These exams are for students who have a documented disability that requires extra time to finish the exams.  I need to be contacted by the student or the Office for Students with Disabilities before any student will be able to take these exams.  You will need a password to open these exams.  If you qualify, and you haven’t received your password, email me.

Withdrawal Policy

I do not withdraw students.  Its the student’s responsibility.  The college will assign a grade of “W” if the student officially withdraws by mid-semester (the last day to receive a “W”). After mid-semester, withdrawal will result in an “F” course grade unless a hardship waiver is granted by the Academic Dean. It is the student’s responsibility to withdraw through the Enrollment and Registration office in the event that becomes necessary. You will not be withdrawn from class at the midpoint if you have attended class a minimum of one time but did not attend the remaining classes and you will receive an F for the course if you do not withdraw at the midpoint of the semester.  Withdrawal from lecture will result in automatic withdrawal from the co-requisite lab class. Check theacademic calendar for relevant dates.


An incomplete grade will be given only when you are prevented from taking the final exam by circumstances beyond your control; e.g., hospitalization, death in the family, or other similar cause.  If such cases occur, you must notify the instructor before the final exam and complete a form that has to be approved by the department head. Since I am not on campus, you will need to ask the department head of science.


As stated in the Georgia Perimeter College Catalog, “Cheating is contrary to the policy of Georgia Perimeter College. Cheating includes any attempt to defraud, deceive, or mislead the instructor in arriving at an honest grade assessment.”  Plagiarism is a form of cheating that involves presenting as one’s own the ideas or work of another. Any student found by the instructor to have engaged in academic misconduct on a graded test, assignment, or project will be assigned a grade of “F” for the course and may be dismissed from the class or recommended to the Student Court for expulsion from the college.

Americans with Diabilities Act Statement

If you are a student who is disabled as defined under theAmericans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and require assistance or support services, please seek assistance through theCenter for Disability Services (CDS). A CDS counselor will coordinate those services. The office for these services is located on Central Campus.

Equal Opportunity Statment

No person shall, on the grounds of race, color, sex, religion, creed, national origin, age or disability, be excluded from employment or participation in, be denied the benefits of, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity conducted by Georgia Perimeter College.

Affirmative Action Statement

Georgia Perimeter College adheres to affirmative action policies designed to promote diversity and equal opportunity for all faculty, staff, and students.