Course Syllabus

Text F18 PHY 2053 - Physics 1

Shawn Weatherford

Shawn Weatherford

(352) 392-8747


Office Hours: M 1-2pm

Course Description

PHY2053 - Physics 1. This course is a first semester of algebra-based introductory physics. The topics covered include kinematics, Newton’s laws, circular and rotational motion, equilibrium, elasticity, energy, momentum, fluids, oscillations, waves, and sound. 4 credits

Prerequisite Knowledge and Skills: Basic algebra, geometry, and trigonometry

Course Objectives

By the end of this course, students will have improved their existing foundation in the concepts, principles, terminology, and methodologies used to describe motion (translational, rotational and combined) of simple objects, the basic properties of matter, harmonic oscillations, and wave motion. Specifically, students will be able to:

  1. Analyze particular physical situations, and thus identify the fundamental principles pertinent to those situations to make successful predictions of system behavior,
  2. Apply fundamental principles to formulate mathematical equations describing the relation between physical quantities in these particular situations,
  3. Solve mathematical equations to find the values of physical quantities, and
  4. Communicate unambiguously both the principles that apply to a situation and the results of specific calculations resulting from the steps above.

Student Expectations

To achieve the learning outcomes, students are expected to:

  • Visit the weekly module page at the beginning of the week to understand the module learning objectives and to plan your engagement with course content for the week ahead.
  • Read the assigned chapters in the textbook and to view the corresponding lecture videos.
  • Work through the examples presented in the text and in the practice problem videos in order to learn the physics concepts, principles, and problem-solving techniques of introductory physics.
  • Complete reading quizzes and homework assignments to self–assess your understanding of the module’s concepts and problem solving strategies on a weekly basis.
  • To seek help from your instructors and other students when specific content does not make sense, and to seek out additional practice when needed to gain mastery before moving on to future modules. These additional materials are provided on each module page and in Mastering Physics to help diagnose, and offer remediation, until you feel comfortable and confident in the physics you have learned.

This course requires an extensive amount of time to do all of the above, and students should plan accordingly to spend 12 hours per week on course preparation and practice.

Required Materials

The required text is College Physics, a strategic approach, by Knight, Jones and Field, 4thed, published by Pearson. The course is set up for an All-Access opt-in to purchase the text online for students who have registered in the course. The opt-in procedure begins with this link:, which is also listed on the course Canvas website with further instructions.

The required online homework system is MasteringPhysics, access to which is included in the purchase of the online textbook described above. Access Mastering Physics using the link provided in the Canvas website.

In addition, you need access to a computer with a video camera, a microphone, and a good internet connection. In order to take exams under the supervision of HonorLock, these technology resources must be available in a quiet room where you can take the exams in privacy.

Canvas Information

Canvas is the where course content, grades, and communication will reside for this course.

  • For Canvas, Passwords, or any other computer-related technical support contact the IT Service Desk.
    • 123 123-1234
    • 877 878-8325

Course Policies

ATTENDANCE POLICY:  You are expected to watch the lecture and problem-solving videos and to attempt the online reading quizzes, homework, and exams by their assigned deadlines. You are also expected to interact with the instructor and with your fellow students through discussions of the material through the Canvas discussion forum.

ASSIGNMENT POLICY: Homework, reading quiz, and exam windows are announced in the course calendar and appear at the bottom of this page.

HOMEWORK POLICY:Homework sets are completed online through Mastering Physicsat any time between the opening of the assignment and the deadline announced in the course calendar. These assignments are not timed or proctored, but they are subject to the UF Policy on Academic Misconduct (see below).

It is permissible to seek assistance or collaborate on homework with your instructor or your assigned study group partners only. This assistance may include help with interpreting the problem, identifying relevant information in the textbook or course videos, or identifying one’s errors.  No credit is available for late assignments. (See “Getting Help” below for what to do in the event of technical problems with the Canvas e-Learning system.)

EXAM POLICY:  Three mid-term exams and a cumulative final exam will be taken online, each under the supervision of HonorLock during a time window announced in the course calendar. Exams are not collaborative and are completed alone. Details are in the introductory material.

CLASS DISCUSSION: Each week will introduce a new module (chapter) on physics. Please post your observations or questions on the material, or help answer your fellow classmates’ questions, using the Canvas discussion forum. Your discussion postings are graded based on the quality of the questions posed about course content, the quality of the feedback offered to other students, and the amount of interaction you offer to the course. Discussion postings are evaluated four times throughout the semester, coinciding with each exam.

MAKE-UP POLICY:Requirements for class attendance and make-up exams, assignments, and other work are consistent with university policies that can be found here. For a foreseeable absence, it is your responsibility to identify yourself as requiring an accommodation at least one week prior to the absence.

Assessments and Grade Calculation

Grades in the course are awarded based on an overall course score made up as follows:


Max Points

Exam 1

(Modules 1-4)


Exam 2

(Modules 5-8)


Exam 3

(Modules 9-11)


Exam 4

(Modules 12-14; cumulative)




Reading Quizzes


Discussion Postings


Total Course Points


Exams: Each exam covers content primarily from each of the four units. However, physics is cumulative, and you will see many physics concepts utilized throughout the semester. Exam guidance and practice is provided in Modules 4, 7, 11, and 14.

Homework: The best way to learn physics is by doing physics. These weekly curated collection of practice problems allow you to learn physics by attempting physics problems in a low-stakes environment, where you are offered multiple attempts for each question part until you get the problem correct. Occasionally, hints will guide you along the correct solution path.

Reading Quizzes: Reading is critical for your conceptual understanding! You will take conceptual reading quizzes weekly on the assigned readings.

Discussion Postings: This is where you ask questions about confusing parts of physics every week. It's the best way to raise your hand and ask a question and everyone else will be thankful that you did! If you don't have questions, then discuss how the current module's topics applies to your life.

Grade Scheme

The following grading standards will be used in this class:

Grade Range
A 100 % to 80.0%
A- < 80.0 % to 75.0%
B+ < 75.0 % to 70.0%
B < 70.0 % to 65.0%
B- < 65.0 % to 60.0%
C+ < 60.0 % to 55.0%
C < 55.0 % to 50.0%
C- < 50.0 % to 45.0%
D+ < 45.0 % to 40.0%
D < 40.0 % to 35.0%
D- < 35.0 % to 30.0%
F < 30.0 % to 0.0%                        

Online Proctoring and Exam Conduct

In order to maintain a high standard of academic integrity and assure that the value of your University of Florida degree is not compromised, course exams will be proctored.

  • You are not permitted to utilize any resources in addition to what is provided during the exam.
  • You are not permitted to discuss the contents of the exam following its administration.
  • You are not permitted to receive any information prior to taking the exam about the exam contents.

Violation of any of these conditions is academic misconduct and will be dealt with according to the protocols for reporting Honor Code violations. This is your only warning and if you have questions about whether an action constitutes a violation, you should consult your instructor prior to following the course of action in question. 


You will take your exam electronically using the course website and these exams will be proctored with Honorlock. With Honorlock, there is no scheduling required with a testing proctor, and you can complete the exam anytime during the 48 hour testing window. Please make sure you complete and submit the exam before the end of the testing window. You will need a webcam, speakers, microphone and reliable Internet connection to be able to take your exams. Wireless internet is not recommended. You may also need a mirror or other reflective surface. Google Chrome is the only supported browser for taking exams in Canvas.

Important: Prior to each exam, visit the Honorlock system check to evaluate your equipment and software. Also, take the practice quiz, worth 0 points, to get familiar with the Honorlock procedure for beginning and taking proctored exams.

Download and read through the HONORLOCK-StudentPreparationLinks.pdf handout for an overview of test taking tips and requirements. There will be questions answerable from information presented on this handout on your syllabus quiz.

Getting Help

If you experience any difficulties with the proctoring system, contact Honorlock's free 24/7 LiveChat and phone support. The LiveChat is available by clicking on the chat window at the bottom right of the exam. Of course, the support team can't answer questions to help you on answering questions about the contents of the exam, but they will be willing to diagnose and offer solutions for technical difficulties with the proctoring system.

Course Schedule and Calendar

On Sunday of each week, a new module will become available providing access to lecture videos, worked example videos, and a homework assignment (due eight days later on the following Monday at 11:59pm EST), and a reading quiz. Further, an adaptive homework assignment may be offered for additional practice based on your total homework assignment score. 

An exam window opens for 48 hours during an exam week beginning on the Tuesday of the exam week (at 12:00am EST) and closing on the next Wednesday (at 11:59pm EST). Exam 4 is offered on Monday April 29th– Tuesday April 30th. Please note that Florida observes Daylight Savings Time.



Week Starting


Unit 1: Kinematics and Newton's Laws



Orientation, Introductions, and Math Review



Units, Scientific Notation, and Standards
Reading: 1.1, 1.2, 1.4, 1.5, 3.1, 3.3



Motion Along a Straight Line
Reading: 2.1 –2.7



Motion in a Plane
Reading: 3.1-3.2, 3.5-3.7



Force and Newton's Laws of Motion
Reading: 4.1-4.7, 5.3

EXAM 1: Unit 1, Modules 1-4 with Honorlock
Availability Dates: 2/05 - 2/06

Unit 2: Applied Newtons' Laws, Circular and Rotational Motion



Application of Newton's Laws
Reading: 5.1-5.3, 5.5-5.8



Circular Motion and Gravity
Reading: 3.8, 6.1-6.6



Rotational Motion
Reading: 7.1-7.7

EXAM 2: Unit 2, Modules 5-7 with Honorlock
Availability Dates: 2/26 - 2/27

Unit 3: Equilibrium, Energy, and Momentum



Equilibrium and Elasticity
Reading: 8.1-8.8




Energy and Work
Reading: 10.1-10.6, 10.10



Reading: 9.1-9.7, 10.9

EXAM 3: Unit 3, Modules 8-10 with Honorlock
Availability Dates: 3/26 - 3/27

Unit 4: Fluids, Oscillations, and Waves



Reading: Chapter 13



Reading 14.1-14.7



Traveling Waves and Sound

Reading: 15.1-15.7



Superposition and Standing Waves

Reading: 16.1-16.7

EXAM 4: Unit 4, Modules 11-14; Cumulative, with Honorlock
Availability Dates: 4/29 - 4/30


Disclaimer:This syllabus represents my current plans and objectives.  As we go through the semester, those plans may need to change to enhance the class learning opportunity or to react to weather related closures.  Such changes, communicated clearly, are not unusual and should be expected.

Institutional Policies and Procedures

UNIVERSITY POLICY ON ACCOMMODATING STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES: Students requesting accommodation for disabilities must first register with the Disability Resource Center (352-392-8565, by providing appropriate documentation. The Dean of Students Office will provide documentation to the student who must then provide this documentation to the instructor when requesting accommodation. You must submit this documentation prior to submitting assignments or taking the quizzes or exams. Accommodations are not retroactive, therefore, students should contact the office as soon as possible in the term for which they are seeking accommodations.

UNIVERSITY POLICY ON ACADEMIC MISCONDUCT:  Academic honesty and integrity are fundamental values of the University community. Students should be sure that they understand the UF Student Honor Code at

**NETIQUETTE: COMMUNICATION COURTESY:  All members of the class are expected to follow rules of common courtesy in all email messages, threaded discussions and chats.

COURSE EVALUATION:course by completing online evaluations at Evaluations are typically open during the last two or three weeks of the semester, but students will be given specific times when they are open. Summary results of these assessments are available to students at

ATTENDANCE AND MAKE-UP POLICY: Excused absences and allowances for make-up work are consistent with university policies in the undergraduate catalog ( and require appropriate documentation.


Course Summary:

Date Details