PHY 231-232 with Prof. Stantcheva in a Remote Format

(Last Revised November 16, 2020)
Too many students are asking what and how I teach in a remote format. Here is a list of FAQs that I prepared to help students with their enrollment decisions as it has become clear that  Spring 2020 will be another entirely remotely taught semester.

Do students need to be present during class?

The short answer is yes. While I allow some flexibility for emergencies, students who do not attend class regularly and do not keep up with the weekly work fall behind and eventually withdraw.

What do we need to purchase for the class?

I lecture and use videos – so you are not required to purchase a textbook. Instead of third-party homework, I use free google quizzes.

I do use basic lab tools, however, which you will need to purchase. For Physics 231, that amounts to about $20. For Physics 232 – it is close to $50. I will give you a detailed list on the first day of the semester. Students usually have 2-3 weeks to purchase the necessary items.

Do we use the lab periods?

I use all the class periods – both lab and lecture. If you have an occasional appointment and have to miss a class – it is ok on rare occasions but not recommended as it is easy to get confused and fall behind. During lab, I guide students through the lab activity, and then the class breaks out in separate zoom rooms while students work on their labs. I circle through the zoom rooms and help the lab groups.

What do we do during lecture time?

For lectures, I lecture via Zoom for about an hour, and we use the remaining time for students to practice. I set up basic practice quizzes via Socrative.com and answer students while they work on the questions. I remain in the zoom session during the entire duration of the lecture and the lab. Students can access the zoom recordings from within Canvas. I also have my own youtube videos and google quizzes, which I use for homework.

Why do we need to use the Google Suite?

One important thing in my class is that we work a lot with the Google Suite – spreadsheets, forms, docs, slides, etc. The Google Suite is unique for allowing us to collaborate easily – between you and me and between you and your classmates. If you send me a link to a Google file with the correct editing permissions, I will give you feedback directly in your file and point out what needs to be corrected or modified.

What are the tests like?

I don’t use the Respondus lockdown browser. Neither do I use Zoom to monitor tests. I do not require students to turn on their cameras. I do require, however, that everyone learn to use the Google Suite for which I help them.

We have several tests in Canvas of approximately ten problems each. We also do one or more class projects – in the form of quick Canvas quizzes. Students may search the Internet as long as they don’t ask someone else for the solutions.

What are all the tech tools used in our class?

  • Zoom for class time and recordings
  • Canvas for tests, assignments, and grades keeping
  • Google Tools
    • The Drive to store and share class notes and other class materials
    • The Suite for easy sharing and collaboration and for quick feedback from me on classwork
    • The Forms as quizzes for free online homework
  • Socrative.com – for class practice and participation
  • Slack – as a backup means for communication (for when the College system is down) and as a chat platform for students to get in touch with me and with each other.

What kind of textbooks do we use?

I do not require a textbook. I recommend that students have one, but many choose to stick to their class notes, the class recordings, and the available youtube videos.