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Other Activities in Astro160

In Astro160, 15% of the grade (90 points out of 600) is allocated for "other activities" (see here for details on the other 85%). Many of these points can be earned by simply showing up and are designed to encourage students to do things we think are important for the course. Please make sure you understand these policies so that you don't lose points unnecessarily. Specifically this portion of the grade is computed as follows:

  • Section Attendance (20 points): Sections are an integral part of the course, and attendance is required. One free absence is allowed - no other excuses are allowed, so use the freebie wisely. The second and subsequent absences loses 2 points each. Students are also permitted to attend a different section once, provided both section leaders are informed in advance. If you need to switch sections more often, please consult the TF for permission to officially change the section you belong to - note that this may be impossible to arrange if the sections are officially full.

  • In-class Questions (20 points): At the end of each lecture, students will be asked to hand in a question about the material. We will simply add up the number of questions each student hands in - students who hand in 20+ questions will get all 20 points. Note that there are 22 classes (not including the first lecture and the tests) so you can skip 2 classes without penalty. The grade will be purely on whether a question was handed in, not on the quality of the question.

  • "Problem Set Zero" (10 points): Students should complete the on-line quiz, which contains ten true-false questions about course policies (1 point for each question answered correctly). A link to the quiz is

  • "QR assessment" (20 points): Beginning and end of semester QR assessment (10 points each). This assessment is designed to gather information about your working knowledge in quantitative areas relevant to introductory astronomy courses at Yale and helps us to evaluate our curriculum.

  • Section Performance (20 points). The TFs will have a limited number of bonus points to give to students who perform well in section, or who have otherwise impressed the teaching staff in ways that might not be reflected by other grades.