In general, homework will be due 3 times a week.  I would estimate that there may be 30 to 40 homework assignments.  In a class this size no late homework will be accepted no matter what the excuse. Although, most of the assigned homework will cover material already presented in class, you may be asked to do homework based on material to that will be covered on the due date; the objective is to get you to read the text before coming to class. You will get much more out of class if you do this!

There are two types of homework that you will be asked to do. The first type is of the type which is not to be handed in, and this will not count towards your grade. But you would need to understand this non-graded homework just as well as the graded homework.  Questions relating to the ungraded homework may also show up on tests. The second type of homework is from an online system called Mastering Physics. 

In MP make sure that you submit answers using 3 significant figures (except for the occasional MP problem that specifically asks for something else).  Otherwise you may be marked wrong even it you do everything else "correct".   I will give you unlimited tries to submit each answer.  However, there will be a modest penalty for each wrong submission (initially 3%).  Bonus points can be earned by not using problem hints (initially 2%).  Do not wait until the last minute to go online and work MP. Computers and Websites experience technical problems. You need to work well in advance of the deadlines so that last minute glitches do not cause your homework to be late. Computer problems and Website problems are not a valid excuse for late homework. If you wait until the last minute to work the MP problems you will not have time to get help with the problems.

I will not tolerate students working homework (especially discussing homework together) during class.  Students who bother me (and other students) by talking during class or by working on homework during class will be asked to leave the class.  I don't like to do this but I have had to ask students to leave class.   
Each and every homework problem is important.  This course emphasizes problem solving; solving the problems will help you learn physics.  I encourage you to work in groups and to talk about the problems (with classmates, with CAPS tutors, with SI, with other tutors, with friends or with me).  But when all is said and done, you must know the concept behind each problem and how it is applied to solve the problem. 

If you wait until the last minute to attempt the problems or if you merely copy someone’s homework, you won’t succeed.   You need to have gone through the sometimes long and frustrating thought processes (correcting many mistakes) in working the problems to really learn the material so you can be successful on the tests.

Class participation (Keypads):  The keypad system should help you learn physics.  Research shows that this system has significant payoff for student learning.  As a side benefit it gives you the opportunity for an easy class participation grade.  Here is the plan:  You will purchase a keypad at the bookstore and then register it online.  The keypad system will allow you to choose answers to questions during class. There may be one or several questions during a typical class.  You will receive credit for participation and for getting the correct answer.  If you don’t participate you will receive a zero for that day’s questions. 


There will be a severe penalty for both parties if someone brings in an absent student's keypad and uses it to give a participation grade to the absent student.