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Online · College of Arts & Sciences · General Math & Sciences

Introduction to Astronomy
PHSC-121

  • CG
  • Section 8WK
  • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020
  • Modified 09/27/2022

Course Description

An overview of the principles of astronomy as related to the Solar System for non-science majors. An optional weekly lab will be offered coincident with this course.

Requisites

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.

Rationale

This course provides an introduction to the science of astronomy and the vastness of creation beyond our planet’s atmosphere. The course will include discussion of the planets and their environments, including the crucial issues which make human life impossible on each. Some emphasis will be placed on the special environmental conditions and balances extant on Earth which make it unique in its support of human life. PHSC 121 is an approved general education science course for non-technical (science, math, and engineering) majors.

Course Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Recognize and apply fundamental concepts of astronomy.
  2. Describe the basic mechanics and make-up of the Solar System and its constituents.
  3. Recognize order in nature and consistency and operation of natural laws related to astronomy.
  4. Identify how a basic understanding of astronomy relates to everyday life.
  5. Identify the relationship between general and special revelation as it relates to creation.

General Education Foundational Skill Learning Outcomes

Social and Scientific Inquiry: The ability to employ established methods of exploring the social and natural sciences in order to understand the human experience of various social structures and the natural world.

SSI 1: Demonstrate an understanding of the impact of science on the world in which we live.

SSI 2: Demonstrate a biblical understanding of humankind’s role in scientific inquiry and discovery.

SSI 3: Apply solutions for a social and/or scientific question experienced in nature or society.

Course Resources

Click on the following link to view the required resource(s) for the term in which you are registered: Liberty University Online Bookstore.

 Additional Materials for Learning

    1. Computer with basic audio/video output equipment
    2. Internet access (broadband recommended)
    3. Canvas recommended browsers
    4. Microsoft Word

Course Assignments

Textbook and required readings, videos, and class presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Discussion

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to create a thread in response to the provided prompt for the Discussion. Each thread must be at least 300 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to at least 1 classmate’s thread. Each reply must be at least 150 words (CLO: A, B, C, D;  FSLO: SSI 1, 3).

Quiz: Homework (8)

These homework assignments will reinforce the content of the course textbook readings. The student will have multiple attempts on each assignment in order to earn points toward the total (CLO: A, B, C; FSLO: SSI 1, 3).

Quizzes (8)

Each quiz will cover the Learn material for the assigned Module: Week. Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes and contain multiple-choice and true/false questions.  There is a penalty of one point per minute for exceeding the 90-minute time limit. (CLO: A, B, C, D, E; FSLO: SSI 1, 2, 3).

Short Response Assignments (4)

Students will provide written responses to provided prompts relating to course material. (CLO: A, B, D; FSLO: SSI 1, 3)

Course Grading

Course Requirements Checklist

10

Discussion 

80

Quiz: Homework (8 at 15 pts ea)

120

Quizzes (8 at 85 pts ea)

680

Short Response Assignments (4 at 30 pts ea)

120

Total

1010

Policies

Mathematical Late Assignment Policy

Mathematical assignments that are submitted after the due date without prior approval from the instructor will receive the following deductions

  1. Late mathematical assignments submitted within one week after the due date will receive a 10% deduction.
  2. Mathematical assignments submitted more than one week late or after the final date of the course will not be accepted.
  3. Discussion board assignments submitted within one week after the due date will receive a 10% deduction.
  4. Discussion board submitted more than one week and less than 2 weeks late will receive a 20% deduction.
  5. Discussion board submitted more than 2 weeks late will not be accepted.
  6. Group projects, including group discussion board threads and/or replies, and assignments will not be accepted after the due date.

Special circumstances (e.g. death in the family, personal health issues) will be reviewed by the instructor on a case-by-case basis.

For other assignments, please refer to the standard Late Assignment Policy, below. 

Late Assignment Policy

Course Assignments, including discussions, exams, and other graded assignments, should be submitted on time.

If the student is unable to complete an assignment on time, then he or she must contact the instructor immediately by email.

Assignments that are submitted after the due date without prior approval from the instructor will receive the following deductions:

  1. Late assignments submitted within one week after the due date will receive up to a 10% deduction.
  2. Assignments submitted more than one week and less than 2 weeks late will receive up to a 20% deduction.
  3. Assignments submitted two weeks late or after the final date of the course will not be accepted outside of special circumstances (e.g. death in the family, significant personal health issues), which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the instructor.
  4. Group projects, including group discussion threads and/or replies, and assignments will not be accepted after the due date outside of special circumstances (e.g. death in the family, significant personal health issues), which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the instructor.

Disability Assistance

Students with a disability and those with medical conditions associated with pregnancy may contact Liberty University’s Online Office of Disability Accommodation Support (ODAS) at [email protected] for accommodations.  Such accommodations require appropriate documentation of your condition.   For more information about ODAS and the accommodations process, including how to request an accommodation, please visit https://www.liberty.edu/online/online-disability-accommodation-support/. Requests for accommodations not related to disabilities or pregnancy must be directed to the Registrar’s Office, which generally handles medical needs support.

If you have a complaint related to disability discrimination or an accommodation that was not provided, you may contact ODAS or the Office of Equity and Compliance by phone at (434) 592-4999 or by email at [email protected].  Click to see a full copy of Liberty’s Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct Policy or the Student Disability Grievance Policy and Procedures.

Course Attendance

In an effort to comply with U.S. Department of Education policies, attendance is measured by physical class attendance or any submission of a required assignment within the enrollment dates of the course (such as examinations, written papers or projects, any discussion posts, etc.) or initiating any communication with one’s professor regarding an academic subject. More information regarding the attendance policy can be found in the Academic Course Catalogs. Regular attendance in online courses is expected throughout the length of the term. Students who do not attend within the first week of a sub-term by submitting a required academic assignment (such as the Course Requirements Checklist, an examination, written paper or project, discussion post, or other academic activity) will be dropped from the course. Students who wish to re-engage in the course are encouraged to contact Academic Advising to discuss their enrollment options. Students who begin an online course, but at some point in the semester cease attending, and do not provide official notification to withdraw, will be assigned a grade of “FN” (Failure for Non-Attendance). Students wishing to withdraw from courses after the official start date should familiarize themselves with the withdrawal policy.

Grading Scale

A B C D F
900-1010 800-899 700-799 600-699 0-599

For courses with a Pass/NP final grade, please refer to the Course Grading section of this syllabus for the assignment requirements and/or point value required to earn a Passing final grade.

Add/Drop Policy

The full policy statement and procedures are published in the Policy Directory.

Honor Code

Liberty University comprises a network of students, Alumni, faculty, staff and supporters that together form a Christian community based upon the truth of the Bible. This truth defines our foundational principles, from our Doctrinal Statement to the Code of Honor. These principles irrevocably align Liberty University’s operational procedures with the long tradition of university culture, which remains distinctively Christian, designed to preserve and advance truth. Our desire is to create a safe, comfortable environment within our community of learning, and we extend our academic and spiritual resources to all of our students with the goal of fostering academic maturity, spiritual growth and character development.

Communities are predicated on shared values and goals. The Code of Honor, an expression of the values from which our Doctrinal Statement was born, defines the fundamental principles by which our community exists. At the core of this code lie two essential concepts: a belief in the significance of all individuals, and a reliance on the existence of objective truth.

While we acknowledge that some may disagree with various elements of the Code of Honor, we maintain the expectation that our students will commit to respect and uphold the Code while enrolled at Liberty University.

Adherence to the principles and concepts established within facilitates the success of our students and strengthens the Liberty community.

The Code of Honor can be viewed in its entirety at http://www.liberty.edu/index.cfm?PID=19155.

Schedule

Course calendar and related activities
When Topic Notes
Course Overview
Student Acknowledgements

Course Requirements Checklist

Module 1: Week 1
Learn

Read: 2 items

Watch: 4 items

Apply

Quiz: Homework – Getting Started

Quiz: Getting Started

Module 2: Week 2
Learn

Read: 1 item

Watch: 4 items

Apply

Discussion Thread: Naked Eye Observations

Quiz: Homework — Sky Basics

Quiz: Sky Basics

Module 3: Week 3
Learn

Read: 1 item

Watch: 5 items

Apply

Discussion Replies: Naked Eye Observations

Quiz: Homework — Historical Background

Quiz: Historical Background

Module 4: Week 4
Learn

Read: 1 item

Watch: 4 items

Apply

Short Response: Observations Assignment

Quiz: Homework - Light and Telescopes

Quiz: Light and Telescopes

Module 5: Week 5
Learn

Read: 1 item

Watch: 5 items

Apply

Short Response: Solar Nebula Assignment

Quiz: Homework Solar System Part 1

Quiz: Solar System Part 1

Module 6: Week 6
Learn

Read: 1 item

Watch: 5 items

Apply

Short Response: Extra-terrestrial Assignment

Quiz: Homework — Solar System Part 2

Quiz: Solar System Part 2

Module 7: Week 7
Learn

Read: 1 item

Watch: 7 items

Apply

Short Response: Solar System Assignment

Quiz: Homework — Solar System: Part 3

Quiz: Solar System: Part 3

Module 8: Week 8
Learn

Read: 1 item

Watch: 4 items

Apply

Quiz: Homework — Sun and Stars

Quiz: Sun and Stars