Because of the importance that I attach to attendance, and the clarity of the data that shows this
strong correlation between attendance and performance in the course, I have structured the
bonus participation points in an attempt to do two things: encourage your attendance, AND
encourage your preparation for the lectures.
Specifically, the participation points will be awarded based on two factors, as explained above. The
quizzes that are mentioned there will be short (typically a half-dozen questions or fewer) multiple
choice or short-answer quizzes, done through myCourses, and will be time-restricted: they will
open the night before a specific lecture, and will close shortly before the lecture starts. In principle,
they will be based on material that will be discussed in that lecture. That is, it will be material
we have not yet seen in class. And that’s exactly the point: to fully understand the quiz material
you will need to read ahead. The attendance will be based on clicker information. Specifically,
the attendance percentage will be the number of responses from your device divided by the total
number of clicker questions asked during the term. It doesn’t matter if your clicker response was
“correct” or not – just that you responded.
In the lectures, we will be using a personal response system (“clickers”). Use of the clickers
will be monitored (that is, I record the answers), but will not be graded. For details on the clicker
app, and to register, go to mcgill.ca/polling . The clicker app (called “ResponseWare”) can be
downloaded from the Apple Store or iTunes© (for iOS) or the Google PlayStore© (for android), or
you can respond through a weblink, again by going to the McGill “polling” URL above. In all cases,
you will eventually need a Session ID, which I will provide in class (you cannot provide a Session
ID until I ‘open’ the polling in class).
In order for you to receive bonus points, I must be able to identify your data in my clicker records
– which means you must register your clicker. At the time I’m writing this, the exact procedure
is unclear, but the link “Polling @McGill” (or similar) in the upper navigation bar on your mycourses
entry page (NOT the page for PHYS 101) will walk you through the process. If you want to be
eligible for the bonus points, I must know what your clicker ID is – and so you must register
your clicker! Again, more information on clickers is available at mcgill.ca/polling.
The assignments, done on the web through the CAPA system (link available through
myCourses), will be available for one week each, with the first assignment starting by
approximately Thursday September 13. After the one-week time period for each assignment,
results will be posted and there will be no further credit granted. The one-week period will close
(ie, assignments will be due) at noon Montreal time on Fridays, starting Friday, September 21.
There will be a gap in October for the week of your midterm. The final (10th) assignment will be
due in the last week of classes.
The CAPA system allows us to create individual assignments for each student, generally by
randomizing the numbers in the problems. It also allows you to respond multiple times (usually 6
for problems requiring computation) until the correct response is given. You will not be docked
points for using the multiple chances (that is, you get full marks if you finally get the question
right, even if it takes you 6 tries to do so). The heart of doing physics is problem-solving; used
correctly, the assignments allow you to hone your problem-solving skills. CAPA does have some
idiosyncracies that take some getting used to, though – there is a “CAPA Help and Hints” file
posted on myCourses that you should refer to before you start.
Laboratory sessions are in room 0070 in the basement of the Wong Building (across from the
Rutherford Physics Building), and reports are to be uploaded at the end of the lab session (more
details on the labs will be posted on myCourses). Labs start during the week of September 24 –
for other lab weeks, see the course calendar I referred to above, or the schedule posted in
myCourses. Please do not attend other lab sections than the one for which you are
registered. If you must miss a lab for a valid reason, contact the instructor or the head lab TA (an