NEW MEXICO JUNIOR COLLEGE

MISSION STATEMENT

Astronomy

SYLLABUS

  1. GENERAL COURSE INFORMATION
  2. A. Course Title: Astronomy
    B. Course Number: PH 114A - 10336
    C. Semester: Spring 2018
    D. Days/Time: Online
    E. Credit Hours: 4
    F. Instructor: Keranen, Joel
    G. Office: Heidel Hall (HH) 232
    H. Email Address: JKeranen@nmjc.edu
    I. Office Phone: (575) 492-2820
    J. Office Hours: Monday: 9:00:00 AM-11:00:00 AM (MST);3:00:00 PM-5:00:00 PM (MST);
    Tuesday: 3:30:00 PM-5:30:00 PM (MST);
    Wednesday: 3:30:00 PM-5:30:00 PM (MST);
    Thursday: 3:30:00 PM-5:30:00 PM (MST);
    Other office hours by appointment. I answer email and Canvas messages within 24 hours on weekdays.
    K. Time Zone: Mountain Time
    L. Prerequisite(s):
    M. Corequisite(s): PH 114AL
    N. Class Location: Virtual
  3. COURSE DESCRIPTION

    The observations, theories, and methods of astronomy in relation to the major areas of astronomy (Planetary, Solar, Stellar, and Galactic) will be covered in this course. This is a course intended for non-science majors. Concurrent enrollment in PH 114AL (laboratory) is required. This is a four credit hour course.

  4. COURSE RATIONALE / TRANSFERABILITY

    This course fulfills the requirement for a laboratory science. This is a general education course with wide transferability.

  5. REQUIRED / SUGGESTED COURSE MATERIALS

    Required:

    Textbook: Discovering the Essential Universe, Neil F.Comins, Sixth ed. 2015 Publisher: Freeman ISBN: 978-1464181702


    Laboratory Manual: All self contained online in the Canvas course modules. No lab manual required.



    Laboratory Equipment:
    1) "The Night Sky" For Use in the Range 30 - 40 Degrees by David Chandler 1977



    2) Free Stellarium Download from www.stellarium.org
    This is a planetarium software that will be used for lab.

    Suggested:

    "Astronomy" Magazine; current news stand edition.


    Laboratory Equipment: Inexpensive Binoculars

    You can buy your books online at the NMJC Bookstore.

  6. GRADING POLICY

    Students attending New Mexico Junior College will be evaluated according to the following grading scale:

     

    90 - 100% = A

    80 - 89% = B

    70 - 79% = C

    60 - 69% = D

    0 - 59% = F

     

    Grading Weights:

    Attendance 4%

    Homework, Constellation Project, Discussions, and Quizzes 20% (Homework = 8%; Constellation Project = 4%; Discussions = 4%; and Quizzes = 4%)
    Four Exams @9% ea = 36%

    Laboratory 20%
    Final Exam 20%
    Total Possible 100%




    Attendance: A grade is awarded for attendance in this class. Roll will be taken through your logging in the course. This includes the activities done in the class portion and the lab portion. You will be given a 1 for each attendance session for the class/discussion portion and a 1 for submitting the lab for the session. A complete attendance into the class portion consists of the following: 1) Submitting the required discussion and journal postings, 2) Submitting the homework assignment for the week. A complete attendance into the lab portion consists of submitting the week’s lab assignment. Note: Simply logging in main course or the lab portion of the course will earn you ˝ point for that class or lab portion. Submission of the assignments (homework or lab) will complete the attendance requirement. In the event that you cannot log in to the course and lab to complete the assignments, a legitimate REASON is required: YOU NEED TO SHOW THE INSTRUCTOR AN EXCUSE! Email or phone the instructor with all excuses. School sponsored activities, illness, and emergencies will not count against attendance, if proper notification from Professor/ Coach/ Doctor/ Parent/ Etc. is given. All unexcused absences will cost you points. Students who have zero (unexcused) absences will be allowed to drop their lowest exam score and replace it with their highest exam score!



    Homework:
    Assignments will consist of questions assigned from the textbook. The questions will be graded for correctness and completeness.



    Constellation Project:  You will create a map of the constellations.  Instructions will be provided.  Due date:  Wed., Wed., May 2, 2018.

    Discussions: Discussions will be required for course material as assigned.   The discussions will take place in the Canvas shell.  Instructions for the discussions will provided in the discussion assignments. 


    Quizzes:
    Quizzes will also be given for the chapters. These will be in the Canvas Modules. Quizzes will be part of the homework grade.

     

    Examinations: All exams will be given in the course modules. Details of the exams will be given. Tests will be given over a 3 day period (including weekends). The dates will be announced in the announcements. Make-up exams will be given only for excused absences with notice.
    * On test days the students will be allowed to use lecture notes on the exam!

    Make-up Work:
    Make-up work will only be accepted if the student presents an acceptable excuse to the instructor. If late work is accepted, you will submit all of the late problem sets. After missing any class, you are responsible for getting the new assignments and completing the work before the next due date.


    Lab Policies:
    Laboratory attendance is required. You should sign in to the lab portion of the course and complete the experiments as instructed.  Laboratory assignments for the experiments will be given each week in the Canvas Modules.  The assignments will be due with the data sheets, analysis, and any pertinent questions answered.  All experiments are contained in the Canvas Modules      


    It is recommended that you keep your homework, journals, and quizzes organized in a three-ring binder and have them with you each class session, so that you are prepared to ask questions about the homework, and for use in exam preparation.

    Final Exam: The Final Examination will be a comprehensive exam with a greater emphasis on the untested material. Typically, the PH114A final has 40% of the content as already tested material, and 60% of the content is untested material.
    * You will be allowed to use your lecture notes on the Final Exam.

     

     

    Retrieving Grades from T-BirdWeb Portal
    Go to the New Mexico Junior College T-BirdWeb Portal login page. Please enter your User Identification Number (ID), which is your Banner ID, and your Personal Identification Number (PIN). When finished, click Login.

    Tips for Success in Online Courses:
    1. Log in to class regularly.
    2. Pay attention.
    3. Take notes.
    4. Keep up with readings and assignments.
    5. Ask questions when you do not understand something.
    6. Utilize your professor’s office hours and e-mail.
    7. Read the text.
    8. Adhere to the deadlines posted in the course outline.

  7. INSTITUTIONAL STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES

    New Mexico Junior College’s institutional student learning outcomes represent the knowledge and abilities developed by students attending New Mexico Junior College. Upon completion students should achieve the following learning outcomes along with specific curriculum outcomes for respective areas of study:

  8. DEPARTMENTAL STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES

    New Mexico Junior College's broad range of science courses provides students with an opportunity to achieve their academic goals by fostering higher order thinking skills, basic academic success skills, discipline-specific knowledge and skills, and scientific and academic values.
    The course content of astronomy PH 114A supports NMJC’s mission which is “promoting success through learning” by encouraging students to accomplish the following:
    1. Describe the process of scientific inquiry.
    2. Solve problems scientifically.
    3. Communicate scientific information.
    4. Apply quantitative analysis to scientific problems.
    5. Apply scientific thinking to real world problems.

  9. SPECIFIC COURSE STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES

    By the end of this course students should be able to:
    1. Discuss the history of astronomy.
    2. Describe the motions of the sun, moon, and planets in the solar system.
    3. Describe how a telescope works and how it can be used to gather information about the universe.
    4. Discuss the nature of stars and their life cycles.
    5. Discuss the classifications of stars.
    6. Describe the structure and make up of galaxies.
    7. Discuss the possible origins and structure of the universe.
    8. Describe the structure of the solar sytem and describe the
    planets and other objects making it up.
    9. Learn to identify numerous stars and constellations by sight.

  10. REQUIRED TECHNICAL COMPETENCIES AND EQUIPMENT

    Student Requirements
    If you have not already received login information for Canvas/T-BirdWeb Portal/E-mail, you will need to contact the Enrollment Management office at (575) 492-2546.

    Check first-time login page for instructions at www.nmjc.edu/distancelearning/coursescourseschedules/canvasinstructions.aspx.

    Canvas Assistance

    You must have access, on a regular basis, to a computer that supports the Canvas minimum specifications and has an active connection to the Internet. See the minimum computer specification requirements at www.nmjc.edu/distancelearning/coursescourseschedules/Canvasinstructions.aspx.

  11. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

    Assistance:
    If you are having problems you are encouraged to come see me during my office hours, and there are tutors available, free of charge, in Mansur Hall, Rooms 123 & 124. Contact them at 575.492.2624 for the free tutoring. You can get additional help for free online with Brainfuse at http://www.nmjc.edu/distancelearning/currentstudents/onlinetutoringbrainfuse.aspx. See the handout for more details. Also feel free to call me for help or see me for other methods of assistance. It is very important for you to seek help if you are having trouble.

    Conduct:
    1) Cheating will not be tolerated.
    2) All students in this classroom are adults and will act as such. Disruptions in the class will not be tolerated. First Offense: student will be given a verbal warning. Second Offense: student will be asked to leave the room and lose attendance point for that day. Third Offense: a conference with the Dean will be necessary before the student may return to class.
    3) Cell phones and pagers will be turned off while you are in the classroom.



    The last day to drop is before 5 pm, November 21, 2017. Failure to withdraw yourself from a course by this date may result in your receiving an "F" in the course.

  12. GENERAL/MISCELLANEOUS

    Students will be held responsible for the information on these pages.

    Academic Honesty
    Each student is expected to maintain the highest standards of honesty and integrity in online academic and professional matters. The College reserves the right to take disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal, against any student who is found guilty of academic dishonesty or otherwise fails to meet these standards. Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, dishonesty in quizzes, tests, or assignments; claiming credit for work not done or done by others; and nondisclosure or misrepresentation in filling out applications or other College records. Cheating or gaining illegal information for any type of graded work is considered dishonest and will be dealt with accordingly.

    Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Information
    Any student requiring special accommodations should contact the Special Needs Student Services Coordinator at (575) 492-2576 or by e-mail at krueda@nmjc.edu.

    Attendance Policy and Participation Expectations
    It is expected that you regularly log into class at least three times weekly and check your Canvas mail to ensure you have not missed any changes/updates. Students are expected to complete discussions/quizzes/tests/ assignments before deadlines expire.

    Canvas Help
    If you experience difficulty with Canvas you may reach the Canvas Helpdesk at canvashelpdesk@nmjc.edu, or by calling the 24 hour helpdesk phone at (575) 399-2199.

    Netiquette
    The professor is responsible for monitoring and evaluating student conduct and student behavior within the Canvas course. By registering for this class, the student is assumed to have entered into an agreement with New Mexico Junior College and the professor to log into the class regularly and to behave in an appropriate manner at all times. Disruptive behavior may result in the student being removed from the class and dropped for the semester. For comprehensive information on the common rules of netiquette and other online issues, please review the NMJC Online Student Handbook.

    Online Learning Environment
    By participating in an online class, you undertake responsibility for your own progress and time management.

    Plagiarism
    Offering the work of another as one’s own, without proper acknowledgment, is plagiarism; therefore, any student who fails to give credit for quotations or essentially identical expression of material taken from books, encyclopedias, magazines and other reference works, or from the themes, reports, or other writings of a fellow student, is guilty of plagiarism. Plagiarism violates the academic honesty policy and is considered cheating.

    Tutoring Assistance
    Free tutoring services are available to all NMJC students through Brainfuse and the Academic Success Center located in Mansur Hall room 123 and 124.

    Withdrawal Policy
    The instructor has the right to drop any student who has failed to log on to Canvas for two weeks or more, but it is not guaranteed that the instructor will drop you. If the student chooses to stop attending a class, he/she should withdraw from the class by accessing your student account in the T-Bird Web Portal at www.nmjc.edu, or submitting the required paperwork to the Registrar’s Office by TBA. Failure to withdraw yourself from a course by this date may result in your receiving an “F” in the course. All students are encouraged to discuss their class status with the professor prior to withdrawing from the class.

  13. ACADEMIC CALENDAR
  14. FINALS SCHEDULE
  15. COURSE OUTLINE

     

    Week

    Text Chapters

    Laboratory

    Assignments

    Week 1

    Chapter 1 Discovering the night sky

    Introduction and Safety. Scientific Method.

    Quiz 0

    Introduction Discussion

    Student Intro. Dis.

    Chapter 1 Hw

     

    Week 2

    Chapter 2 Gravitation

    Observing the Sun’s Position and Motion

    Scientific Inquiry Quiz

    Chapter 2 Hw

    Newton & Galileo Journal

     

     

    Week 3

    Chapter 3 Light and Telescopes

    Monitoring the Moving Constellations

    Chapter 3 Hw

    Discussion on Telescopes

    Quiz 1 on Chap. 1 - 3   

    Week 4

    Exam 1 Chap. 1 – 3

    Exam 1 Chap. 1 – 3

    Week 4

    Chapter 4 Solar System, Earth, and Moon

    Observing the Sun’s Position and Motion

    Chapter 4 Hw

    Discussion on Pluto

    Week 5

    Chapter 5 & 6 Exoplanets, Other Planets and Their Moons

    Characterizing the Moon Through a Telescope:  Moon Mapping (Subject to Change)

     Kepler’s Laws of Planetary Motion

    Chapter 5 & 6 Hw

    Quiz 2 on Chapters 4, 5, & 6

    Week 6

    Exam 2 Chap. 4 – 6

     Exam 2 Chap. 4 – 6

    Week 6

    Chapter 7 & Chapter 8 Dwarf Planets and Other Objects of the Solar System

    Naked Eye Astronomy and Using Telescopes. 

    Exam 2 on Chapters 4, 5,  & 6

    Chapter 7 Hw

    Exoplanet Discussion

     

    Week 7

    Chapter 9 The Sun: Our Extraordinary Star

    Characterizing Atomic Spectra of Elements

    Chapter 9 Hw

    Discussion on about the Sun

    Week 8

    Chapter 10 Characterizing Stars

    Using the Telescope to Observe Planets

    Quiz 3 on Chapters 7, 8, & 9

    Week 9

    Chapter 10 Characterizing Stars & Fusion,

    Lab: Studying Planets Through a Telescope

    Chapter 9 Hw

    Discussion on Fusion

    Week 10

    Exam 3 Chap. 7 – 9

    Exam 3 Chap. 7 – 9

    Week 10

    Chapter 11 Lives of Stars

    Lab: Measuring Distances to Stars

    Chapter 11 Hw

    Week 11

    Chapter 11 Lives of Stars

    Lab: Observing Solar Features

    Chapter 11 Hw

    Week 12

    Chapter 12 Death of Stars

    Telescope Lab to Observe Night Objects (Subject to Change)

    Studying the Sun Through a Telescope

    Quiz 4 on Chapters 10 & 11

    Chapter 12 Hw

     

    Week 13

    Chapter 12 Death of Stars & Chapter 13 The Galaxies

    Telescope Lab to Observe Night Objects (Subject to Change)

    HR Diagram Lab

    Chapter 12 Hw

    Discussion on We are Stardust

    Week 14

    Chapter 13 The Galaxies & Chapter 14 Cosmology

    Characterizing Exoplanets

    Chapter 13 Hw

    Discussion on Galaxies

    Week 15

    Chapter 14 Cosmology

    Lab: Studying Astronomical Objects with Stellarium

    Quiz 5 on Chapters 12 & 13

    Chapter 14 Hw

    Discussion on Cosmology

    Week 15

    Exam 4 Chap. 10 – 13

    Exam 4 Chap. 10 – 13

    Week 15

    Chapter 15 Astrobiology

    Characterizing Galaxies

    Chapter 15 Hw

     

    Week 16

    Final Exams

    Mon., May 7 Online All Day

     

     

    The instructor has the right to modify the course outline above as course conditions or college circumstances require.