PHYS 191 Standards

Here is a temporary list of standards for PHYS 191.  The first few should be set, but the later ones are subject to change.

  • Position, velocity, acceleration: I can use the definition of position, velocity and acceleration (as vectors) to solve for an unknown quantity. This includes problems involving motion in different reference frames.
  • Kinematics: Knowing some state of motion for an object with constant acceleration, I can find a later state of motion. This includes motion in 2 dimensions such as the case of projectile motion.
  • Forces: I can identify forces and draw a free body diagram for an object.  I can identify force pairs.  I can find the vector sum of forces.  For objects in equilibrium, I can determine the vector value of an unknown force.
  • Momentum Principle: I can use the momentum principle to either find an unknown force or an unknown change in momentum for objects that are not in equilibrium.
  • Numerical Calculations: I can create a program that will model the motion of an object under the influence of a known force.
  • Forces and Circular Motion: I can solve problems involving forces and motion that includes objects that change directions.
  • Work-Energy: I can calculate the work and change in kinetic energy for an object.  I can use the work-energy principle to solve for some unknown (without potential energy).
  • Potential Energy: I can use the potential energy along with the work-energy principle to solve interesting problems.
  • Momentum Principle: I can use the momentum principle to solve for some unknown in an interaction.
  • Collisions: I can find some unknown quantity in both an elastic and inelastic (or somewhere in between) collision in both one and two dimensions.
  • Rigid Body Equilibrium: I can use torque and forces to find an unknown force for a rigid body object in equilibrium.
  • Angular Momentum Principle: I can use the angular momentum principle to solve for an unknown.
  • Rotational Dynamics: I can solve rotational kinematics problems that involve rotating objects with changing angular velocity.


If you are not happy with your score on an in-class assessment (or you didn’t take it), you can submit a reassessment in the form of a screen cast. Here are the rules:

  • The reassessment MUST be submitted within 1 week after the in-class date of the in-class assessment.
  • You can redo a reassessment if you like. If you have the first reassessment in on time (under 1 week), the next version can be submitted up to July 18.  No reassessments will be accepted after that date.
  • Reassessments must be a screencast of some type and under 5 minutes long. I will give some details below for screencasts.
  • All reassessment screencasts must first be reviewed by two other students.
  • The reassessment should not just be a re-do of the in class question.  You should show that you can solve an interesting problem using that standard.  Picking a problem to solve is part of showing that you understand that standard.
  • When you make a screencast, send me a link to the video.  Do not send me the video.  Also, include your name and the standard in both the email and the video.  Finally, include the text of the question in the email.  If the question includes a diagram or something like that – you don’t have to include the diagram.
  • New rules might be added at any point.


Scores will be assigned as follows (with more details as assessments are submitted):

  • 1: Lack of understanding. The assessment was submitted, but there was a clear lack of understanding.
  • 2: Approaching understanding. The student needs some help in the concept or is missing some parts of the explanation.
  • 3: Meets expectations. The student understands the content. Understands the “what” but not the “how” or “why”.
  • 4: Exceeds expectations. The student understands the content and can explain in detail. The student could teach or explain this concept to another student. The student can create analogies or connections to different areas.


Here is an example that I made for you.

You can use the screen cast with a worked out problem or a vpython program or something like that. How do you make a screen cast? I recommend using something free. There is of course Jing ( This is a program you download to run and make your screencast. You can then upload it and share it.

Another option is to use Screencast-O-Matic ( This is another free screencast recorder, but it runs as a java applet. For the screencast-O-matic option, you would need to also upload your video to youtube. To do that, you will need to create a youtube account (free). When you upload it, you are welcome to set the viewing options to private or better yet “unlisted”.

If you set the video to unlisted, no one will be able to find it unless they have the address. Personally, I would just put it up there as public, but I know how some people are about putting up stuff.

After you upload a video, you need to have another student look at it and give the “thumbs up” to say it is ok. Then send me the link to the video and the name of the student that said it was ok.

Oh. There are other screen cast options out there. You are welcome to use what you like.


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