ASTR 2313 Astronomy

                                                      Fall 2009

Instructor:      Dr. Julie Talbot

Office:            Boyd Building 215                                        

Office Hours: MW 3:30—4:30, TR 1—4:30, F 1—2 and by appointment

Phone:             (678) 839-4093                                              



Textbook:       Discovering the Universe, Eighth Edition, by Comins and Kaufmann

                        You are also required to purchase and bring to class an i>clicker.


Course Description and Objectives:


Students who take Astronomy should expect an introduction to sky awareness, historical developments of astronomy, the solar system, star formation and galaxy formation.  Furthermore, students will be introduced to the foundations of science and the scientific method.  The course will cover the entire book; some sections of some chapters may be omitted and some chapters will be summarized in class discussions without reading assignments.  No information on horoscopes will be covered.


Course Policy and Evaluation:


      Attendance:  The class will meet three days a week.  Regular attendance at all class meetings is expected.  Not all of the material that will be on the tests is necessarily contained in the book.  Students will be held responsible for informing themselves of all announcements and assignments made in the classroom.  Students must advise the instructor in writing during the first week of class of any scheduled athletic, music, or other college activities that will require their absence during the semester.  Such written notice does not imply a waiver of course requirements.  Permission to make up a missed exam after the fact will be at the discretion of the instructor.


      Email:  You are welcome to email me at any time; however, all official class correspondence will be done using the University’s MyUWG accounts.  You are encouraged to check your account regularly.


      Academic Honesty:  While students are encouraged to cooperate as they learn, study, and do homework, the final product—be it a test, lab report, or homework assignment—is expected to be the individual work of the student.  Cheating (False representation of another’s work as one’s own) will not be tolerated, and the repercussions of cheating will range from receiving a zero on that assignment or test, to receiving a failing grade in the course.


      Class Participation Grade:  Every class period, there will be several i>clicker questions.  You are required to purchase an i>clicker and bring it to class every day (except test days).  Several of the questions will be on the assigned reading for that day.  Students who leave the room during class may miss questions.  Excused absences will not count against the class participation grade.


      Extra Credit:  At the end of most lecture periods, the professor will discuss a Northern Hemisphere constellation.  On the exams, there will be several bonus questions based on identifying those constellations.  In addition, there will be regular class observatory sessions.  Each class observation will count as a bonus of 3 percentage points on your test average, up to a maximum of one observation per month.  The dates and times of the observations will be listed at  Please take note of the observatory policies listed there.  In particular, you must be on time, and the starting times will get earlier as the semester progresses and the sky gets darker earlier.  Also, the observatory is occasionally made open to the public, but students will not receive credit for attending these sessions.


      Disruptive Behaviors:  Disrupting class with cell phones, late arrivals, or other behaviors is rude and strongly discouraged.  On the first day of class, the class decided that anyone who comes in late, has a cell phone ring during class, or is otherwise disruptive, will be asked to apologize to the class.  Cell phones must be off and put away during all exams.


      Exams:  There will be four one-hour exams and a two-hour final exam.  The tests will be given on Sept. 14th, Oct. 7th, Nov. 4th, and Nov. 30th Students must bring a Scantron sheet (Form 229633) to the tests and a number 2 pencil.  Additionally, students should be sure to bring their student ID number to the test with them.  Students who have a documentable excused absence on a test day will not be given a make-up test, but their final exam grade will be used to replace the missed test grade.  Students who miss a test without an excuse will receive a zero for that test. 


Final Exam:  A comprehensive final exam will be given on Dec.7th, at 2 p.m.  Students must bring a Scantron sheet (Form 229633) to the final and a number 2 pencil.  Students who have not missed any tests may exempt the final if they are satisfied with their grade based upon the four tests and the class participation grade. 


      Incompletes:  A grade of incomplete will only be given when course require­ments are not completed due to circumstances beyond the control of the student.


      Students with Special Needs:  If you need special accommodations, you are encouraged to meet with me as soon as possible to discuss them.




                Hour Exams:                   60%             OR:             Hour Exams:                   75%

                Class Participation:         20%                                 Class Participation:         25%

                Final Exam:                     20%                      


      Final grades will be assigned according to the following scale:


      A       90 – 100                                   

      B       80 – 89                           

      C       70 – 79

      D       60 – 69

      F        59 or below