ASTRONOMY 101/102


LABORATORY: GRADING OF ASTRONOMY LABS

HOW GRADES ARE REPORTED
Lab grades are part of your total grade for Astronomy 101/102. The lab does not appear as a separate grade on your transcript. For Astronomy 101/102 the lab will make up 20% of your course grade. However, no matter how well you do in the 80% of the class grade that accrues from the lecture portion of the course, you MUST pass the laboratory portion of the class in order to earn a passing grade.
Lab Reports
For some of the labs, you will have lab reports to turn in. Each lab specifically informs you as to what, if anything, must be turned in. The TA will assume that you have and are able to answer the questions and do the calculations that you are asked to do in the lab descriptions. TAs may give quizzes based on work already finished. Most reports will be worth 25 points.
TELESCOPE PRACTICAL (50 points)
A major goal of the Astronomy 101/102 Laboratory is to learn to use a portable telescope. To ensure that each and every student can set up and use the laboratory telescopes, the lab includes a Telescope Practical Exam .

After, a few weeks of using the telescopes, each student will be tested on how to set up and use a telescope. Each person will be tested individually so you cannot depend on your partner to always set up the telescope. Not all students necessarily will be tested on the same night. You may volunteer to be tested anytime after you feel ready. Unless we have a streak of very bad weather, all students should expect to be tested by the fourth week in which the telescopes are used.

If you do poorly enough on your practical, you will receive a checklist enumerating the particular problems you had and you will be asked to retake the practical once you have had more experience.

CONSTELLATIONS PRACTICAL (50 points)
The Tour of the Sky includes names of stars and constellations you should learn to identify, with the help of your TA, classmates and stardial (provided to you by us at the beginning of the semester). See, also, the "Alpha" list in the Star Hopping lab for names of the brightest stars in the sky, and their constellations.

After, a few weeks of observing, each student will be asked to identify six (6) constellations and five (5) stars by name. These tests will be done one-on-one by the TA, with students selected in a random order. Not all students will necessarily be tested on the same night. See the Naked Eye lab Constellation and Star Names for our recommendations on how to prepare for this practical.

LAB QUIZZES
TAs may give quizzes at the beginning of lab sessions. Quizzes will be short (5-10 minutes) and, when given, usually will be given promptly at 7:00 PM. Quizzes will not be given to students arriving after the quiz nor will make-up quizzes be given. Excused absences will be dealt with on an individual basis. Quizzes usually will be based on work done in carrying out previous work with your telescopes or on work that should have been accomplished, as of that date, in the Naked Eye labs.
LAB REPORTS
You will have several labs for which you will need to turn in a lab report. You may choose any appropriate medium for producing your lab reports (i.e., fancy lab notebooks are not necessary). Each lab report will be graded on a simple 5 level scale (A,B,C,D,F). Lab report grades will be converted to numerical grades as follows: A=25, B=19, C=13 D=7, F = 0. Late penalties apply, as specified for each lab assignment.
DUE DATES
Certain materials will have due dates, starting dates or completion dates. In most cases, these dates reflect times after which the TAs may quiz you on the material and late penalties apply.
Quizzes and Practical Exams are to be done individually, without assistance from classmates or other students. On the other hand, we expect you to converse with, share ideas and help and assist your partners and classmates during laboratory exercises, in learning to identify stars and constellations, and in carrying out all labs. Most labs will be done with partners; some may be done in larger teams.

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