Cuesta College :: Astronomy 210 :: Fall 2017
Calendar Policies Goals Grades

Section 70160     TuTh     11:00 AM-12:20 PM     Room N2401 (NCC)

Course Policies
      This one-semester course is a survey of the concepts of astronomy.   The prerequisite for this course is either Math 123, Math 123SI, or the equivalent.   Student learning outcomes are organized into five general topics:
  • Understand cycles and motions of the sun, moon, stars, and planets.
  • Describe and explain how light is collected and analyzed in astronomy.
  • Compare and contrast features of planets and other solar system objects.
  • Describe and explain properties and lives of stars and galaxies.
  • Discuss and evaluate astronomy content and value of statements from literature, media, and popular culture.

      Required materials:
  • ASTRO3, by Michael A. Seeds and Dana Backman (ISBN 9781133950134).  
  • Edmund Scientific Star and Planet Locator "starwheel" (*.html).

      Announcements, updates, assignments and worksheets are posted at:

Contact Information
Dr. Patrick M. Len
office: Room 2308 (SLO campus), Room N2434 (NC campus)
phone: (805) 546-3100, x2693
e-mail: P M L @ w a i f e r x . c o m
Twitter: #CuestaAstr210
office hours:    W (SLO campus 2308) 1:00-4:00 PM
Th (NC campus N2434) 1:00-3:00 PM
(Appointments and drop-ins are welcome.)

Course Grading
      There is no curve for this course, performance is strictly determined by a 700-point scale.   There are no +/- grades.   A worksheet (*.pdf) is available to keep track of scores.
          0-299 points  F
      300-399 points  D
      400-499 points  C
      500-599 points  B
      600-700 points  A

Quizzes [200 points maximum]
      Each quiz will take up 20 minutes of class.   Late arrivals are only given the time remaining to complete a quiz.   No make-up quizzes are allowed.
      All quizzes are closed-book and closed-notes.   Each quiz has ten multiple-choice questions (each worth 4.0 points).   No scantron form is required, as answers are circled on the quiz itself.   Partial credit (0.5 points) may be given for an incorrectly circled answer to a multiple-choice question if a single "x" is also made on one incorrect response to that question.
      Only the five highest quiz scores are included in your course point total, your lowest quiz scores are dropped.   The last quiz of the semester is credit for taking educational research surveys.

Exams [300 points maximum]
      There are two midterms, and each midterm will take up 80 minutes of class.   The Final Exam is comprehensive, and will take up 120 minutes of class.   Late arrivals are only given the time remaining to complete an exam.  
      All exams are closed-book and closed-notes.   Each exam (midterms and Final Exam) is a maximum of 100 points, and is comprised of ten multiple-choice questions (each worth 4.0 points), and three short-answer questions (each worth 20 points).   For the short-answer questions, partial credit is possible.
      No make-up exams are allowed.   For documented extenuating circumstances, a "replacement" exam grade may be calculated relative to the class mean on a missing exam.   A replacement grade for a missing exam cannot be given for an unexcused or inexcusable absence.

In-Class Activities [100 points maximum]
      Activities are completed in-class by assigned student groups.   Each activity is worth 5 points.

Reading Assignments [100 points maximum]
      Reading assignments are completed weekly online.   Each reading assignment is worth 8 points.  

Extra-Credit Points [15 points maximum]
      Extra-credit points allow for circumstances when the total course points are near a letter grade cut-off, which in effect will be "rounded up" with the inclusion of these extra-credit points.

Academic Responsibilities
      Be informed of and to abide by all student policies outlined in the Cuesta College Catalog, and to enroll and/or drop a class by the appropriate deadlines in the Cuesta College Class Schedule (*.html).   Contact Disabled Student Program & Services in a timely manner (San Luis Obispo campus: 546-3148; North County campus: 591-6215) regarding arrangements for disability accommodations.