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Old 01-21-07, 11:43 AM   #1
phantomcow2
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Is it unreasonable to ask for a sample report?

The rest of my physics class and I are having a difficult time pleasing my Physics teacher when it comes to these damn lab reports. These things take a good 12 hours to do, and it the grades are generally pretty low. His rubric is not at all clear. He will not answer questions clearly either. I was always under the impression that a summary was:
"a comprehensive and usually brief abstract, recapitulation, or compendium of previously stated facts or statements."

Apparently not...
So I asked him for a sample lab report earlier. A lab report which earned at least a B+. He said "absolutely not". I think this is pretty dumb...
So basically I am supposed to just keep guessing where he wants different things in the lab. I guess I am only supposed to discuss error in the conclusion. Apparently I am supposed to have my abstract littered with mathematical equations, but have a separate section for sample calculations. Should I pursue seeking a sample lab report some more?
I asked him a question about how I should write out the variable "v" for velocity last night via email. In class his v always looks like upsilon, the Greek letter. I asked him if this is something significant, and got a
"What do you think?"
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Old 01-21-07, 11:45 AM   #2
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Sounds like a fun class. Is this AP?
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Old 01-21-07, 11:51 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phantomcow2
The rest of my physics class and I are having a difficult time pleasing my Physics teacher
I was just reading a thread about Freud on a different forum...this caught me by surprise

On a serious note can you find someone who's taken his class before? Is there another period that he teaches, maybe someone in there 'gets it'? I remember an atonal analysis class I took in college, there was only one person who got it and even after reading his (A+ three paragraph) paper I still didn't get it.
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Old 01-21-07, 11:53 AM   #4
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Instead of asking for a sample report, it is reasonable to ask him to clearly explain his expectations. Make it clear that you aren't looking for a free ride, but would like to be able to hit the ground running to master the subject rather than floundering around wasting his time as much as yours learning what he expects as far as structure and content of the lab report. Make sure you use the wording "Mastering the subject" and you might even throw in some reference to Lev Vygotsky and his educational theories as to how a student can maximize his or her potential through a better understanding of teacher expectations. (If you do use Vygotsky, be sure to read some of his stuff to be able to discuss more than just the surface though, since your teacher will likely have some exposure to his ideas himself!)
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Old 01-21-07, 11:54 AM   #5
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It's an honors class, AP physics is not offered at this school .

Well all of last years students are graduated and are away. I just remember them telling me "DO NOT JOIN THIS HELL OF A CLASS". Even the top student last year, who got a full scholarship to MIT, got a 60% on his final exam. And a C for an final average grade.
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Old 01-21-07, 06:08 PM   #6
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PC2, my late husband was a physics professor, and used to hand out a sample lab report, explaining the parts of it and what kind of information should be present and how it should be presented for clarity. If I can find such sample, I'll send it to you. Unfortunately, when his office was moved to a new building, the department trashed (without letting us know first! ) all the files in his filing cabinet! So it may be gone.

I'll root around a bit in the files I have here at the house, though, and get back to you as soon as I can.
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Old 01-21-07, 06:42 PM   #7
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That is really obnoxious when teachers expect you to meet their standards without telling you what they are. I'm getting mad just thinking about it.
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Old 01-22-07, 06:05 AM   #8
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This guy has a reputation for being obnoxious. His email replies to my questions (we are allowed you meial him) include sarcastic remarks. FOr example I ask what he means by "address" in the following:
"In the summary, all issues in the abstract should be addressed" He tells me to use a dictionary.
I can't wait to get out of this guys class
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Old 01-22-07, 08:06 AM   #9
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What I would do were I in your situation:

I'd ask him in class to specifically state what his expectations are for a lab report. If I don't receive a satisfactory answer, I'd go to the Principal's office and explain the situation and ask if s/he'd mind sitting in on an upcoming class. Once the Principal was in attendance, I'd ask the question again.

Alternatively, I'd email the teacher the same question: What exactly are his expectations for a lab report. I'd list my reasoning, that he hasn't made it clear to the class what he expects us to produce, and that we're spending too much time trying to figure out how to report the material rather than actually learning the material. I'd CC the Principal. If the response wasn't satisfactory, and wasn't CC'd to the Principal, I'd forward it to the Principal.
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