Physics 231C Announcements

February 18

Dear PHY 231C students,

At the end of this message is your personalized summary of
your scores on the work you have completed through last
week's Correction exam.  In addition, I have used this data,
along with the course syllabus to give you a final grade
projection.  The projection assumes your work in all
categories is represented by what you have done so far.
If you did not take exam 1, this will be your one dropped
exam. However, this does not give me sufficient data to
project a final grade and it will show up as a zero.
Below I am including: your Exam 1 post correction score (in
percent); your projected midterm exam average in percent
(for now this is equal to your midterm 1 score -- it'll
likely change after future midterm exams); your homework
average through set 3 including the bonus questions in
percent; your pre-course concept test bonus to be added to
your final exam score (1 if you chose to participate, 0 if
you did not); your pre-course survey bonus to be added to
your final exam score (1 if you chose to participate, 0 if
you did not); your projected final exam score in percent
(this is the PRE-correction score on exam 1 plus any earned
survey/concept test bonus); your pre-course; your projected
final average in percent; and the corresponding projected
final grade based on the criteria outlined in the syllabus.

These projections assume ALL future homework (both regular
and bonus), exams and corrections exams are represented by
the work you have done thus far.  Clearly, if any future
work in any of these categories changes, your actual
scores/grades in some or all of these projected categories
will change as well.

Thus far, we have had 89 regular homework questions and 16
bonus questions.  So, there were a maximum of 105 homework
points you could have earned through set 3; but your percent
score is based on 89 points as stipulated in the syllabus.
Anyone with homework points earned over 89 points, through
set 3 received a homework percent greater than 100%!

Here is the key to interpret my abbreviations below:
HW%: Homework percent (including bonus questions)
PMTA%: PROJECTED midterm average of all midterm exams in
percent (this is your post-correction midterm 1 score)
FE-CNPBonus Final exam pre-course concept bonus (1 if you
chose to participate, 0 if not)
FE-SRVBonus Final exam pre-course survey bonus (1 if you
chose to participate, 0 if not)
PFE%: PROJECTED final exam score in percent (your
pre-correction score on midterm 1 in percent plus any earned
concept/survey bonuses)
PFA%: PROJECTED final course average in %
Your projected final grade is: PROJECTED final grade

As an *example* of how your projections were calculated,
here is a calculated projection based on the current class
averages in each category (this calculation is based on the
class average, not your personal projection -- the bottom of
the email sent to your Lon-Capa account for your personal

The class average on the homework through set is 103% The
class average on the midterm, pre-correction is 65% The
average on the correction exam is 92%.  The corrected
midterm average is 70%. The average concept bonus is 0.85
and the average on the survey bonus is 0.90. The class
average projected final exam score is 66.75% (including
First, we need to find the post-correction midterm score for
our class average (only your post correction score is shown
MTcorrected =  65% + 0.3*(92%-65%)= 73.1%

Using these averages, we can project a final average and
grade in the course.  In this projection and in your
personalized projection at the end of this message, we'll
make a these assumptions:
1. Assume homework and bonus point performance for the
remainder of the course remains as it has been thus far.
2.  Assume the average final exam percent score is the same
as the average PRE-correction midterm percent score plus any
earned final exam bonus points.
Again, if the actual performance differs from these
assumptions, the actual scores will change too.

Homework is weighted at 25%, the midterms at 40% and final
exam 35% (including concept test and survey participation
bonuses).  So, this average set of scores yields:

Projected final class average: 0.25*103% + 0.4*73.1% +
0.35*(65%+0.85%+0.90%) = 78.4%

Using the grading criteria in the syllabus, we see this
projected final average for this hypothetical average
student is 78.4% and is well above the
cut-off for a 3.0.  It is alos *significantly* above the
historical average for
this class and its traditional equivalent.  Again, the above
are all CLASS AVERAGES -- your personalized scores are at
the bottom of this message.

Lastly, a solution to this exam is now available in
Lon-Capa.  It is in the form of a recorded video solution, a
reference to an online lecture where a substantially similar
example is already available or a reference to the required
text where a substantially similar example is available.

Richard Hallstein

February 11

Dear PHY 231C student,
You can now view your midterm exam and your score in Lon-Capa. To see your
score, select: "View current problem status and grading information" from the
main menu. Next to MIDTERM 1 you will see your total points out of 50.

To review your version of the exam in Lon-Capa, click on Course Contents. Then
open the folder labeled EXAMS. The midterm is inside a second folder labeled
MIDTERM 1. You can view an individual problem on the exam, including your
response and the correct response by clicking on the problem (some problems you
can only see your response by clicking on the "Previous Tries" link at the
bottom of the problem's page).

You can prepare a printout of your version of the exam using the "print" option
in the upper right-hand corner of your screen; this option is visible when one
of the problems on the exam is opened/visible on your screen and selecting this
will allow you to create a pdf of your version of the exam. This will show you
how many points each problem was worth. On the original exam, you receive credit
for every correct response.

I encourage you to complete the correction exam available now as a homework
assignment.  Doing so can improve your score on this exam; details are in the
message sent to you last week and in the syllabus.

It is your overall score on both the correction exam and original exam which
determines your bonus added to your original score; so complete all problems on
the correction exam (not just the ones you answered incorrectly on the exam you
took with me or a proctor)!

If a correction exam score is higher than your original score, then 30% of the
difference between the correction exam score and your original exam score will
be added to your original score as a bonus. For example, if your score on
today's exam is 40/50 and the correction exam score is 50/50, then 0.3*(50-40)=3
points will be added to today's score for an exam total of 43 points. So, 43/50
will be used as the midterm exam score for final grade calculation purposes. If
the correction exam is equal to or lower than your original score, then the
original score will be used for final grade calculation.

The correction exam is a different randomization than the original exam. So,
just like everyone receives different given values on homework problems, your
correction exam and your original exam will differ slightly.

The correction exam is due tomorrow, TUESDAY, Feb. 12 at 11:59 PM.

If your exam correction exam or your exam score are not showing up, try exiting
Lon-Capa, shutting down all windows of your internet browser and then re-logging
into Lon-Capa.

Richard Hallstein


February 7

Dear PHY 231C student,
The correction exam/bonus point opportunity associated with exam 1 is now open
and available for you to complete.   The Correction Exam is optional. If you
don't touch it, you will NOT lose any points from your in-class exam. If your
performance is better on the Correction Exam than on the in-class exam, then 30
percent of this positive difference will be added to your in-class exam score as
a bonus.
As an example, say your score on this evening's exam is 60% and you complete the
entire correction assignment with a score of 100%, then 0.30*(100-60)=12% would
be added to tonight's score for an exam 1 score of 72%.  

The best strategy is to solve the Correction Exam perfectly to maximize your
gain. It is due next Tuesday, February 12 at 11:59 PM.

Richard Hallstein

January 31

Exam 1 courtesy notice 3 of 3

Dear PHY 231C student,

I'm sending this as a separate message for emphasis.  Your note sheet for this
(and all) exam(s) must be handwritten and original (no copies or printouts).
This is stated both in the syllabus and in the exam announcement.  The use of
any other type of notes (i.e. not handwritten) is cheating.   Any student using
any notes on an exam that are not handwritten will receive a penalty grade of
zero on the exam.
 Penalty grades cannot be used as a dropped exam.

Your note sheet will be checked at least once during the exam.

Richard Hallstein


Exam 1 courtesy notice 2 of 3

Dear PHY 231C students,

In preparation for next Thursday's exam, I wanted to give you some additional
information.   First, if you have not done so, you should review the study
suggestions in the syllabus:

I'll reiterate one point in this forum.  In general, all of our exams will be
organized in the order the material is covered in class.  This will help you in
both organizing a good set of handwritten notes and with recall when taking the
exam.  One caveat to this organization style, sometimes the most challenging
question on an exam is early on the exam.  If you're stuck on such a question,
make an educated guess and move on (don't use all your time on one question).

The practice exam problems for the first exam are now available.   You can find
details in the syllabus here:

For next week's exam, here is how points are distributed:

Question on exam cover: Students may use one and only one sheet of original
handwritten notes on each of our MIDTERM exams. This single sheet must be
8.5inches by 11inches or smaller. Students may use both sides of this sheet. No
other notes are permitted. Is this true? The answer is YES and it is the only
available response:  1 point

1D motion: 15 points

2D motion: 16 points

Force: 18 points

On this and all exams, you are also responsible for units and common metric
conversions for all topics.

Richard Hallstein


Exam 1 Courtesy notice 1 of 3

Dear PHY 231C students,

The first exam will be on Thursday, February 7 from 7:45PM until 8:35PM in
Chemistry (CEM) room 138. The exam will be handed out promptly at 7:45PM;
students arriving after 7:45PM will not be permitted to enter the room until
after the students who arrived promptly have started the exam.

The exam will cover everything through and including online lecture 4 (homework
set 3). It will be based on the readings, the online lectures, and the homework.
Some of the problems will be conceptual in nature and some will have numerical
answers.  There are a total of 17 separate responses on the exam.  There are 50
possible points on the exam.

The exam is closed book, but you may use one 8-1/2 inch x 11 inch or smaller
sheet of original HAND-WRITTEN notes and equations. You may use both sides of
your note sheet.  Your note sheet will be checked at least once during the exam.
 Any notes other than described in the syllabus and restated here will be
considered a violation of the university's policy on academic integrity.  As
such, a non-droppable penalty grade of zero for the exam will be given and an
official report of academic dishonesty will be filed with the university.
You should bring a few sharpened number 2 pencils, your student ID (or driver's
license) and a calculator (graphing calculators are OK). However, the use of
cell phones, PDAs or computers for any reason is NOT permitted. Pencils and
calculators will NOT be provided. Also as a courtesy to your fellow students,
you should turn off all cell phones and pagers before entering the room. When
taking the exam, all baseball caps or brimmed hats must be removed or turned
backward. Furthermore, all caps or hats covering the ears must be removed.
When you enter the room, sit in the row assigned to you based on your last name
(seating assignments will be displayed on the screen at the front of the room).
DO NOT open the exam until you are told to do so by an instructor. However, once
the answer sheets are handed out complete the student information section of
your answer sheet. Make sure you include your student ID number and your name on
the answer sheet. Make certain that your exam has your name and picture on the
cover sheet -- if it does not, you have the wrong exam!  When you are finished
with the exam return both your answer sheet and your exam to an instructor or a TA.

You will have fifty minutes to complete the exam.

The whole exam will be assigned again in the same form as a homework assignment
as a Correction Exam. The Correction Exam is optional. If you don't touch it,
you will NOT lose any points from your in-class exam. If your performance is
better on the Correction Exam than on the in-class exam, then 30 percent of this
positive difference will be added to your in-class exam score as a bonus.
The best strategy is to solve the Correction Exam perfectly to maximize your
gain. The Correction Exam will be available in the morning on Friday,
February 8 and will be due on Tuesday, February 12 at 11:59 PM.
Some useful information is included on the cover page. The cover page for the
exam will contain the same information as is displayed on the practice exam's
cover page. The two sets of practice exams were outlined in an email sent
earlier today.

Note: the exam cover page is for all of the mid-term exams and not all of the
useful information listed on it is applicable to this exam.

The due date for Homework set 4 is Tuesday, February 19 at 11:59PM. This set is
a long set, so you should get started on it early.

Richard Hallstein



January 15

Modified help room hours

Dear PHY 231C student,

The help room hours for the course have changed slightly from yesterday's
announcement.  Here are the new hours effective immediately:

Mondays: 10AM-1PM AND 2:45PM-7PM
Tuesdays: 11AM - 7PM
Thursdays: noon-5PM
Fridays: 2:45PM-4:45PM

Richard Hallstein


Courtesy reminder of first bonus point opportunity

Dear PHY 231C student,

The first bonus point opportunities are due tonight, Tuesday, January 15 at
11:59 PM.  The two items are the concept test and survey.  The availability of
these items and the details were sent to you in the start of the semester
messages and in the syllabus, here:

These items will not be extended for any reason, including choosing not to read
class messages or the syllabus.

Richard Hallstein


January 14

Dear PHY 231C student,

Starting today, Monday, January 14th the help room(BPS 1248) will be staffed
with PHY 231/231C specific staff during the following hours:

Mondays 10AM-7PM
Tuesdays 11AM-7PM
Thursdays noon-5PM
Fridays 12:45PM-2:45PM

The office hours for the course instructions will also be held in the help
room(BPS 1248) and are as follows:

Richard Hallstein
Mondays 11AM-noon (or by appointment in BPS 1253)
Corey Musolff
Tuesdays 1PM-2PM

Richard Hallstein

January 7

PHY 231C course contact info, discussion board and help room (message 6 of 6)

Dear PHY 231C student,

If you have an administrative question about the course, please send it to: Under no circumstances should requests for assistance on
homework and/or explanations of the online lectures be sent via email. Such
requests will likely go unanswered. With over five hundred students in the
course and the second semester course, it is simply impossible to answer all
potential homework questions individually via email. Instead, use the post
discussion option available on all lectures and on all regular homework
problems. This option also allows all to benefit from all such questions and
subsequent responses. These response could come from course staff or other

You are encouraged to use the discussion board inside LON-CAPA. If you don't
understand a problem or you need help, just click on the "Post discussion" link
and post your question. Try to make your post as well articulated as possible;
be specific in your request. Statements like "help" or "I don't understand" do
not give us any idea about what is giving you difficulty. Again, do not use
email for help on the homework questions. More likely than not, others
will have the same question and unlike email, everyone can then benefit from
your question and the subsequent response(s). If you know the answer to a
fellow student's question, just post your answer. Please refrain from simply
posting a formula without any context or discussion. Quite often, the person
posting such a formula understands where it came from and would be able to find
a similar relationship when encountered on say, an exam. Whereas, those using
such a formula without understanding where it came from are quite often lost
when encountering the similar question on an exam.

You are encouraged to come to the Strosacker help room with your questions. Our
Teaching Assistants will be more than happy to assist you in finding your way to
the answers to our homework questions. However, they are instructed not to
simply solve these problems for you. Starting Monday, 1/14 the Strosacker help
room is in 1248 BPS and is usually open from 9:00AM to 9:00PM Monday through
Thursday and 9:00AM-6:00PM on Fridays. You are welcome to go to the help room
during any of its open hours, but there will be designated times when TAs
specifically assigned to PHY231/231C will be available. We will send you an
email when regular help room hours begin and when we have 231/231C specific
hours set.

Richard Hallstein (Lead Instructor)
BPS 1253, (517) 884-5509
Corey Musolff



PHY 231C Extra credit and not for credit items (message 5 of 6)

Dear PHY 231C student,

The practice exam problems provided are to help you in preparing for our exams
and are not for credit. Details are outlined in message 4 of 6 on exams and
practice exams.

The only bonus or extra credit opportunities offered in this course are as follows:

There are two optional pre-course extra credit/bonus point opportunities
currently available for completion. They are a timed pre-course concept test
and an untimed pre-course survey. These should be completed by 11:59PM on
Tuesday, January 15. A similar post course concept test and survey will be
offered over the weekend preceding our final exam (these also include a
participation bonus). We encourage you to complete them, as in addition to the
bonus outlined below, they will be used to help make future versions of this
course and its traditional equivalent.

Bonuses for concept tests and surveys:
Concept tests:
Do neither: no bonus
Do only 1(pre or post): 1 point added to final exam score
Do both (pre and post): 3 points bonus added to final exam score

Do neither: no bonus
Do only 1 (pre or post): 1 point added to final exam score
Do both (pre and post): 3 points bonus added to final exam score

The final exam has 100 points and is weighted at 35% of the final grade. Doing
all of these items will add 6 points for a maximum possible score of 106 (out of

The extra credit for the surveys and concept tests are for participation only
and not for correctness. However, however in the case of the concept tests a
serious effort must be given to get the credit. As such, simple submission
patterns (like AAA..., or BBB...) or rapidly clicking on any response throughout
the concept test are not considered serious efforts and no bonus will be given.

There are bonus questions in the online lecture folders. You should be able to
answer these after completing the assigned reading from the required text and
watching the online lectures. These bonus questions are programmed to look like
exam questions, as such, they are all multiple choice. In addition, some of
these bonus questions are questions used on previous exams for this course and
its traditional equivalent. Lon-Capa's feedback option is disabled, so unlike
regular homework problems, Lon-Capa will not tell you if you have the correct
answer until after the due date. In addition, the discussion board on these
questions has been disabled. These questions are meant for you to work out
yourself after having read the assigned reading and watched the online lectures.
All points earned here will be added to your total homework points as a homework
bonus (so, homework scores over 100% are possible). Hints and/or solutions to
the bonus questions will not be provided.

The midterm exam will have a correction exam assigned as a homework assignment
in Lon-Capa. 30% of the positive difference between the correction exam and the
in-class exam will be added to your in-class exam score as bonus. As such, the
correction exam homework assignment can only add points to your midterm exam
score. Only students taking the original exam will have access to the correction
exam. The correction exam will be available at noon on the day after the
scheduled exam and will be due at the regular homework due date/time the
following week.

No other bonus or extra credit opportunities will be offered.

Richard Hallstein (Lead Instructor)
BPS 1253, (517) 884-5509
Corey Musolff




PHY 231C exams and practice exam problems (message 4 of 6)

Dear PHY 231C student,

There will be three midterm exams and one final exam for this course. The
midterm exams are scheduled as follows:

Midterm 1: Thursday, February 7 at 7:45PM Location: Chemistry(CEM) 138
Midterm 2: Thursday, March 14 at 7:45PM Location: Chemistry(CEM) 138
Midterm 3: Thursday, April 4 at 7:45PM Location: Chemistry(CEM) 138
Final exam: Monday, April 29 at 8PM Location: TBA

An alternate exam time will be provided for University approved reasons only and
prior to our scheduled exam. An alternate session will be offered for class
conflicts only. If you have a class scheduling conflict, you will need to
provide documentation of the conflict (a screenshot of your official class
schedule not the bar graph version, rather the version showing actual start
and end times) and I will arrange an alternate time for the exam earlier in the
day (possibly as early as 6:30AM). If the conflict is work related, you have
plenty of notice and you should make arrangements with your employer to get this
time off. If you have a class conflict with any of our midterm exams, you will
need to provide documentation of your schedule well in advance of the exam so
alternate accommodations can be made. In order to make arrangements for the
semester, we will need this information no later than Monday, January 21 . If,
you have a University approved conflict for the final exam (three FINAL exams on
the same day or another exam at the same time), you will need to provide
documentation of the conflict no later than Friday, March 15. Since the dates
and times of *all* final exams for *all* classes are currently available,
requests and conflict documentation received after this date will not be
honored. The alternate final exam will be at 7:45AM on Tuesday, April 30.
Again, you should know the times and dates of all your exams now, so there is no
reason to delay notifying us of conflicts.

There are no makeup midterm exams. However, if you miss a midterm exam for any
reason, you will be allowed to drop this exam and the midterm portion of your
final grade will be based on the other two midterm exams. Only one midterm exam
will be dropped. If you take all three midterms, your lowest midterm exam score
will be dropped when calculating your final grade. The dropped midterm exam
accounts for *all* unforeseen occurrences such as, illnesses, accidents, family
emergencies, etc.

In the case of missing the final exam, the MSU policy is: "A student absent from
a final examination without a satisfactory explanation will receive a grade of
0.0 on the numerical system, NC on the CR-NC system, or N in the case of a
course authorized for grading on the P-N system. Students unable to take a final
examination because of illness or other reason over which they have no control
should notify the associate deans of their colleges immediately."

If you are living or traveling far from the MSU campus at the time of an exam,
beyond a reasonable commuting distance, or if you are traveling with an
MSU-sponsored program, you may be able to arrange a proctored off-campus exam.
Arrangements must be made well in advance of the exam -- requests made after the
deadline posted in the syllabus will not be accommodated and you will have to
take the exam at MSU. For arrangement details and arrangement deadlines, see the
link in the exam section of the syllabus.

In Lon-Capa, there is a folder with practice exam problems. There are three sets
of practice problems these contain exam problems given in this course in each of
the two preceding academic years. The first includes every single problem from
midterm exams given in Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 in this course; the second
includes every single problem given on midterm exams in Fall 2017 and Spring
2018 in this course; and the third includes every problem given in the Fall of 2018 in this course. These problems are coded in Lon-Capa and appear in exam
mode for zero credit (no due date is set and correct/incorrect feedback is
disabled to allow you to return to the problem later). A second set of the same
problems is included with feedback enabled, so you can see if you answer these
questions correctly. The solutions to these problems take on one of three forms:

1. A reference to a very similar problem in the required text.
2. A reference to a similar problem worked out in the online lectures.
3. A new video solution.

You are encouraged to use these to help prepare for the exams. Try solving the
problems first before watching the solutions. Even if you answer the questions
correctly, you may find some additional useful information in the solution.

Richard Hallstein (Lead Instructor)
BPS 1253, (517) 884-5509
Corey Musolff



PHY 232C regular homework problems (message 3 of 6)

Dear PHY 231C student,

There are weekly homework sets that are due on Tuesdays at 11:59PM. The first
homework set is due Tuesday, January 22 at 11:59PM. Since all homework
questions for the course are currently available, you can work ahead if you know
you'll have a busy week. You should not wait until the last minute to do the
assigned homework -- extensions on homework will not be granted.

Richard Hallstein (Lead Instructor)
BPS 1253, (517) 884-5509
Corey Musolff


PHY 231C Readings, online lectures and bonus homework problems (message 2 of 6)

Dear PHY 231C student,
The assigned readings from our required text are outlined in the calendar
section of the syllabus. All of the online lectures and the associated homework
sets are now available in Lon-Capa. The Online Lectures folder contains the
lectures specifically designed for this online course; they are in the form of
narrated PowerPoint presentations with example problems and demonstrations.
Embedded within the online lecture folders are extra credit bonus homework
questions. These questions are optional and can only help your score in the
course. Most of these questions relate, at least in part to the assigned
reading and/or the online lecture immediately preceding the question. These
questions are programmed in exam mode (multiple choice) with correct/incorrect
feedback disabled; the correct answer will be available after the due date. The
discussion board on these bonus questions is disabled. No hints or solutions
will be provided for these extra credit bonus problems.

A reliable high speed internet connection is required, as is a computer with the
ability to view flash video. The computer will need a current, supported
operating system and a browser running HTML5 to use all the options available in
the online lectures.

Richard Hallstein (Lead Instructor)
BPS 1253, (517) 884-5509
Corey Musolff


PHY 231C is now available (message 1 of 6)

Dear PHY 231C student,
Welcome to the fall semester of PHY 232C – the course is now open and available.
You are receiving this message because you are enrolled in PHY 231C section 730 or section 731.  Please read this message and the five subsequent messages carefully; they contain a significant amount of important information about the course.  A copy of each is posted in the announcement section of the syllabus.  We are sending these as separate messages to make it a bit easier for you to find specific information within an otherwise very long single message.  The topics of these other five messages are: readings, online lectures and bonus homework questions; regular homework questions; exams, alternate exams and practice exam problems; extra credit and optional not for credit times; course contact information, discussion board and the physics help room.
The required text book is Rex & Wolfson: Essential College Physics, Volume 1.  It is sold at the MSU bookstore, at SBS on Grand River and at many online retailers. This class will use LON-CAPA. LON-CAPA is a computerized homework and exam management system developed right here at MSU. We will NOT use d2L whatsoever in this course.  Since this is an online class, you are not required to purchase an i-clicker.
Please visit and log in using your MSU Net ID and password. Select the "PHY 231C, Spring 2019 " class. The first item on the top is the syllabus.  You can also review the syllabus without logging in to Lon-Capa here:
Read *all* sections of it carefully. This is the official syllabus of the class and contains information like important dates (exams & homework), bonus point opportunities, homework information, exam information, grading, etc.
This is the only message(1 of 6) you will receive from us via the Registrar’s office mail system for this course.  A copy of this message, as well as all future course messages will be sent to you via Lon-Capa’s mail system as critical messages.
To make certain you see these critical course messages, they will continue to pop up while you are in Lon-Capa until you move them to your Lon-Capa inbox.   So, after reading the message, simply click the move to inbox button at the bottom of the message.
We hope you have a great semester both here and in your other courses,
Richard Hallstein (Lead Instructor)
BPS 1253, (517) 884-5509
Corey Musolff


Physics 231C HOME

Last updated: January 7, 2018