Physics 1112 Welcome Letter

Welcome Letter

Georgia Perimeter College
Physics 1112, Introductory Physics II

Please read carefully!

Introductory Comments

Hello and welcome to Physics 1112!  This purpose of this page is to help get you started in the class.  There are lots of components to the class and several types of assignments to submit.  Hopefully, you will find that it all comes together logically and clearly.

Now that you are in iCollege, be sure to write your id and pin down and keep it handy. You can’t get it again after the first time, and you will have to go to iCollege help – a real pain.

You should take the on-line orientation, even if this is not your first on-line or augmented class.

Before you can begin the course you have to read the syllabus and agree to the terms of this course. Please read the entire thing.  If you have questions on course appeals, withdrawal, etc., you can find it here.  This is comparable to the sheet you had to sign the first day in a face-to face (f-t-f) class. It is in quiz format and you will get a “grade” for this (quiz format requires it), but it doesn’t count towards your course grade. Course Contents Organizer has all the information you will need for course requirements such as the research paper(s), etc. Note: the assessment tool is NOT used in this class.  Use of it may take you to the wrong test and you will have to retake the right test.  Do NOT use it!

There are NO REQUIRED MEETINGS at any time during the semester in order to maximize the convenience and potential of this online course and to meet the needs of students with varying schedules and geographic locations (like myself).

Online classes aren’t for everyone.  They require students to be self-motivated, able to work independently, able to carefully read and follow written instructions, and if needed, experiment and figure things out without much hand-holding.  This is not to say that no help will be offered during this course.  There are forums available to get help.  Students simply need to keep up and be able to solve most of their own problems.  This link takes you to more information that might help you decide if it is right for you.

Procrastinator Beware!

As you may have experience from PHYS 1111, physics will be one of the most challenging courses that most of you will take.  It takes time and persistence to learn.  Many students wait until the last day or so to begin the assignments.  This is a very bad idea.  Some may have a technical issue, won’t be able to contact technical support, and will risk not completing the assignments on time.  Others will realize just how much there is to do with only a small amount of remaining time to finish!  Procrastination has been the undoing of many students in my online classes.  Start the work early so that you can have questions answered, technical problems worked out and have enough time to finish the work.

Learning Physics

Recall from Introductory Physics I that physics is about learning general principles, the necessary vocabulary and techniques that go along with them, and applying those principles to a variety of situations.  Don’t expect a class where the exact answers to every homework question is something that can be simply looked up like some kind of scavanger hunt.  To learn physics, you have to DO physics, meaning working problems and demonstrating the ability to analyze a situation and break it down to fundamental physics concepts.  You will be given many examples and resources to help you learn how to approach a problem, set up the math and solve it.  However, you won’t be given examples for EVERY possible situation.  The better the grasp you have of the definitions, vocabulary and concepts involved, the better you will be able to apply them to any given situation.  It takes time and practice!

Syllabus and Calendar

After reading the syllabus and checking the calendar (discussed below), you should know what is the requirements and expectations are for the course and when assignments and exams are due.  Before you can begin work, you must submit the Agreement to Terms of the Class AND submit the No Show Quiz (which is an agreement to GPC network policies), both found under the Support Material heading on the Lessons page.

Syllabus

Be sure to read the syllabus.  It is in the Getting Started folder.  There are If you do not agree to the terms of the course through the quiz submission on the START HERE folder, you will NOT be able to begin work in this course.

Calendar and Due Dates

The second item, one that will be critical to continually consult during the semester, is the Calendar.  By selecting on the “Calendar” tab, you will be taken to a calendar that shows the due dates for all assignments, labs, exams, etc. for the entire semester.  If I make changes, I announce them well in advance.  Check the calendar frequently!  Due dates for all assignments (or units) and exams are clearly posted on the calendar and I need to enforce those deadlines, without mercy.

  • The bulk of the assignments are in four homework-set folders.  Each folder displays a due date for all items inside the folder.  Assignments outside those folders will also have their due dates clearly indicated.  Due dates are generally on a Sunday evening.
  • Exams are only available for limited windows of time and their assignment dates as well as their due dates are also shown.
  • Assignments and exams are due by 11:55 pm on the due date.  That means that homework and Exam, etc need to be completed by then, not started by then.

Please do not email me, asking to turn in late work.  If there are extreme and verifiable circumstances (which are very rare), arrangements can be made by contacting me, preferably before a due date.  Late work will not be accepted due to technical problems unless there is a large-scale iCollege outage that lasts more than a day and continues through the due date.  It is up to each student to do the work on a reliable computer and to start work early enough to get any needed technical help well in advance of the deadline.

Keep in mind that by taking this course you are committing to the schedule for the course.  Each term students tend to have issues with summer and spring vacations, family trips during the fall holidays, business trips, etc.  Since the class is entirely online, travel usually isn’t a problem.  Unfortunately, due to the pace and number of students I teach, absolutely no exceptions to due dates will be allowed (other than make-up exams) because of trips.  Check the course calendar before you arrange trips.  Most material can be submitted in advance.

Course Organization

All course work is found using the Assignments, Resources and Exams icon on the start-up page (shown below).

Until you submit the Agreement to Terms of the Class and the No Show Quiz before assignments in this section won’t be visible to you.

The course is divided into four homework & exam modules, with each module having its own icon.  The due dates are shown below the icons title as shown.  Everything in that module is due on that date.  An example is shown below.

There are also folders for you to find additional physics material and tutorials as well as help on course content and technical support (shown below).

Communication

Check your iCollege email and announcements often for important information.  The iCollege system is the only way I will be communicating with students unless there is a major iCollege outage.  You may miss important announcements if you do not log in and check them.  Both can be accessed from the course start page.  Although you might use another personal email or campus email system as well, this is the required email for this course.  All emails sent to me should be sent through the iCollege system. 

  • Instructions on how to send email through iCollege is here.
  • My answers to emails are sometimes brief and can sometimes come across as cold or unconcerned.  This is far from the case.  I just don’t like wasting a student’s valuable time reading through a lot of extra verbiage.  I am always happy to communicate with students, and look forward to it, but I find students appreciate quick and to-the-point answers.

Help!

Technical Help and Angel Tutorials

The delivery for the entire content of the course will be through Angel.

  • Angel instruction and video tutorials can be found here.
  • The Angel Student Handout can be found here.
  • Technical support information can obtained by emailing technical support at angelsupport@brevardcc.edu.

I am the student’s first point of contact for technical issues, but unless it is something obvious or simple, students will be directed to contact technical support.  They have the resources and updated information needed to help students with these issues.

Posting Questions and Problems

Students sometimes won’t post questions for fear of looking stupid.  However, it has been my experience that written instructions will always have some ambiguity.  This cannot be helped.  It is often the more-intelligent students who can see those ambiguities, become confused and need more clarification.  Don’t feel stupid asking questions!  If you don’t know, ask!  There may be several others wondering the same thing.

  • There is a “General Questions” discussion board to post questions and comments regarding class procedure, computer or software related issues, etc.
  • There is also an “Error Found” discussion board in case you find an error in the text or a question that really cannot be answered by using the text.  Please keep in mind that every wrong answer you get isn’t the result of an error in the text.
  • Posting homework questions is a required part of the course and is discussed in the syllabus.
  • Personal questions need to be emailed to me.
  • Questions that would be more-appropriately posted on a discussion board will be returned with instructions to do so.  Once posted, they will be answered there.
  • Check for announcements and previous posts for answers to your questions before you post.
  • Instructions for posting discussions can be found here.