Assignments and Evaluation - PH426
Review the Time Management and Penalties for Late Assignment section carefully, as there are significant changes from the PH424 Assignments and Evaluation policies.
Note: The letter codes given below correspond to those used in assignment descriptions.
Online Exercises (coded E or V): You'll typically have a daily assignment that covers readings and video demonstrations or provides practice in problem-solving methods. Even if you're doing your best, you'll make some mistakes on these assignments. Rather than taking such mistakes to be failures on your part, you should consider them to be part of the learning process (as long you learn from your mistakes, of course). In order that any particular mistake has only a minor effect on your overall evaluation, this category is weighted 15% of the total grade.
Formal Problems (coded P): During most weeks, you'll write several problem solutions in a formal style according to the course problem-solving guidelines. Writing problem solutions completely is one way that you demonstrate critical thinking and communication skills in physics. You'll be expected to show your work in similar ways on the free response portion of the AP exam.
Lab Assignments (coded L): Some assignments involve taking and analyzing data and reporting on the results. Most of the equipment you'll need is provided to you in a lab kit. Labs can be done at home. While you may occasionally work with other students in taking data, you'll analyze your data and write reports on your own.
Commitment (coded C or D): This category is based primarily on your commitment to completing the homework assignments as well as on your participation in the required web conferencing sessions and communication-related activities such as required discussion boards and communications with your test proctor. This category is evaluated in a different fashion than the other categories in that for Commitment, you start out with 100 Commitment Points. Here are some possible reasons that your points could be reduced during the semester:
You'll receive a Commitment score for each quarter of the course. This provides an indicator of whether your commitment is increasing, decreasing, or remaining steady.
Quizzes and Tests (T):
You'll take quizzes and tests under the supervision of a proctor.
Quizzes will be given to evaluate your problem-solving skills in a particular content area. Such quizzes are generally announced a week in advance, cover 1 chapter or part of a chapter, and are limited to 45 minutes. The quiz questions are typically multiple choice, numeric response, and other objective question types in addition to a few free response questions.
Tests will typically be on paper, will cover 2-3 chapters at a time, and will be 90 minutes long. Keep in mind that all tests are cumulative in the sense that you're responsible for major problem-solving methods taught from the beginning of the course. (Note that there are three major problem-solving methods taught in introductory physics.) There will be 4 tests, including the final exam, in the semester. The schedule for the cumulative tests can be found in the Course Outline.
In line with the College Board policy of allowing graphing calculators on the AP exams, you're allowed to use a graphing calculator and the constants and equations found here on quizzes and tests in this course.
All your grades are kept in the WebAssign gradebook, whereas the BrainHoney gradebook only includes for grades submitted through BrainHoney. Therefore, ignore the BrainHoney gradebook for comprehensive assessments.
Weighting. Your averages in the 5 evaluation categories are weighted as follows. Note the names used by WebAssign for the 5 categories. Sometimes you'll see an assignment with the WebAssign name, Practice. Such assignments receive a score, but the score isn't added to the WebAssign gradebook. Examples include participation in discussion boards. Satisfactory completion of such assignments preserves your Commitment score.
Grading scale. The grading scale for the course is given below. Numerical averages are not rounded up. For example, in order to receive an A-, you must earn between 83.00 and 87.99. If the grading scale seems liberal to you, keep in mind that the scale reflects the fact that the assignments are challenging, and you're evaluated on showing your work in detail.
Scale conversion. When your final numerical grade is reported to your school, the number will be scaled to your school's grading scale. For most public schools, this is a standard 7-point scale.
Now it's time for you to get better acquainted with discussion boards in BrainHoney. Go to the next item in the Orientation.
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