Astro100 -- W 6:30-9:30 pm, M10

(on-line version of syllabus subject to change -- always check for updates)


Instructor: Steve Kliewer


Phone: 237-3315 x5922 (office)

ASTRONOMY 100 (3 units): A survey course introducing the general principles and fundamental facts of astronomy. Will cover the history of astronomy, motions of the earth and moon, the planets, stars, stellar evolution (white dwarfs, neutron stars, and black holes), galaxies, relativity, and cosmology.


TEXT: Astronomy: A Beginners Guide to the Universe, 5th ed. by Chaisson & McMillan.

You must also purchase:

Text and materials are available in the bookstore.


GRADING: Grading is based on consistent performance. No single test will determine your grade. Please note that all assignments are required components of your grade. You must complete all assignments to pass this course regardless of your cumulative percentage.

15 pts each Multiple Choice Quizzes (approx 12)

10 pts each Web-Based Quizzes (approx 4)

5-10 pts each Assignments and projects (approx 5)

3-5 pts each Attendance/Study Quizzes (approx 15)

50 pts each Tests (about 4)

100 pts FINAL (Cumulative)



Grading Scale: The grading scale (subject to revision) will be as follows:


90% -- 100% (of total possible points) A

80% -- 90% (of total possible points) B

70% -- 80% (of total possible points) C

60% -- 70% (of total possible points) D

00% -- 60% (of total possible points) F




This class moves fast. We will typically cover a new chapter each week.

        Check Blackboard for new assignments the day after class and again a day or two before the next class .

        Read the outline for the chapter (first page of each chapter). Ask yourself questions for which you expect to find answers in the reading.

        Read assigned chapter before coming to class. This will make the lecture much more meaningful.

        Write down questions you want to ask as you read and think of them. I will ask for questions at the beginning of class.

        Check your understanding at the end of the chapter with Key Words and Key Ideas.

        Go to the Textbook Companion Website (or CD) and take the practice quiz, use the Flash Cards, do the interactive simulations, or other aids.

        Read your notes from last class just prior to class.

        Take good notes during class.

        Rewrite and reorganize your notes within a day of class.


ATTENDANCE: It is my experience that students who do not attend -- do not succeed. This is because the nature of the discipline is such that the lecture presentations, physical demonstrations, and class work are all vital and integral components of a solid foundation in this discipline. I look forward to seeing all of you in class regularly. Attendance quizzes will be given daily and cannot be made up. You do not need to notify the instructor if you expect to be absent. You should check Blackboard for missed assignments and arrive 30 minutes early to the next class in order to make up the regular quiz or test.


MAKEUP: I am only on campus Wednesday evenings. Missed regular quizzes and tests will only be available by meeting with the instructor 30 minutes prior to the very next class meeting. After that they cannot be made up. Late projects or homework are worth half credit if one week late and worth no credit if later.


STUDENT EMAIL ACCOUNTS: All students are required to have an active Email account for participation in classroom activities and assignments and so that the instructor (and other students in your class) may contact you. It is required that you check your Email account at least once per week. If you do not presently have an Email account, meet with the instructor after class so that we can help you set up an account and show you how to use it.


TESTS: Regular tests, quizzes and the final will be multiple-choice. The scored scantron will be returned to you by the next class meeting. Answer keys will be provided to allow you to check your answers. However, test forms and answer keys are NEVER to leave the room.


POLICY: Adding and dropping courses is a student responsibility, do not expect the instructor to do it for you. In general though, students may be dropped after missing 2 classes in a row, or 3 classes in total. If there are extenuating circumstances, be sure to let the instructor know. Students who do not show for the first day of class will be dropped to allow those on the waiting list to add.



GET AHEAD: If you consistently keep up with the material you will do well. It is easy to get ahead but very difficult to catch up should you fall behind! Material at the end of the course can be challenging. Do not let this catch you by surprise. For those who keep up, the class will be fun and rewarding!


TURNING IN PAPERS: All papers are to be turned in at the front of the room before or after class, but not during class. It is best to hold on to your homework until after class so that we may refer to this material during lecture. For all papers submitted, in the upper right corner, give your name, the date, the class, and the assignment.


RETURNING PAPERS: All student-work will be placed in the returned-work folder. You should retrieve your papers from the folder each week, or they may be tossed. To correct any grading errors, you must have the returned paper to validate your claim. You should keep all papers related to this course until after grades have been registered on your transcript.


WWW / CD-ROM / SOFTWARE: Numerous text specific resources exist via the World Wide Web, CD-ROM, and interactive simulation software. Check the course web site or see your instructor for help in accessing these resources or in running the CD-ROM or Interactive Simulation Software. Information may also be provided in your text and in class.


NO FOOD OR DRINK IN CLASS (Water Bottles OK): Health and Safety Code Regulations dictate that there is to be no food or drink in the classroom. Please no eating during class.


CELL PHONES ARE TO BE TURNED OFF: It is very distractive to other students and for the instructor to have cell phones ring during lecture. Please turn your cell phones off before coming to class.


DO NOT ENTER OR LEAVE CLASS ONCE CLASS SESSION HAS BEGUN: This is disruptive to students and staff. Please take care of your needs before class begins.


PLEASE BE SURE TO READ THE FOLLOWING (click on each hyperlink):











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