Course Syllabus

F21\ PHY2053: Physics 1 (UFO)

Shawn Weatherford

Shawn Weatherford

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T,R: 1pm - 2pm ET and by appointment

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 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.
  • Seek help from your instructor and other students when specific content does not make sense, and 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 MasteringPhysics to help diagnose, and offer remediation, until you feel comfortable and confident in the physics you have learned.
  • To seek help from university resources to support student success, which include use of peer tutoring (UF Teaching Center and Knack), peer mentoring, and wellness resources found at

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 is documented here, and it begins at You MUST participate in the UF All Access program. There is no other way to gain access to the homework system.

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

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 private.

Canvas and Computing Information

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

Course Policies

ATTENDANCE POLICY:  You are expected to watch the lecture and problem-solving videos and to complete 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. Computer failure and breakage and other technology issues associated with the operation of the computer are in the hands of students. Accommodations will not be made for absences due to technology issues.

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 MasteringPhysics at 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 peers. 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 "Canvas Information" above and “Getting Help” below for what to do in the event of technical problems with the Canvas e-Learning system or Honorlock, the proctoring system.)

EXAM POLICY:  Three mid-term exams and a 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. These are graded assignments, not extra credit.

Discussions are moderated to ensure posts remain on topic. Any harassment or inappropriate posts will be removed. After a warning, subsequent inappropriate posts will be deleted and the individual will lose access to discussion boards.

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. Documentation is required with your make-up request. If you have a planned absence during the exam window, please notify your instructor so that he may evaluate if your request meets the excused absence policy and if a make-up exam is allowed.

Assessments and Grade Calculation

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



  Exam 1

  (Modules 1-4)


  Exam 2

  (Modules 5-8)


  Exam 3

  (Modules 9-11)


  Exam 4

  (Modules 12-14)




  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. There are 15 questions per exam. Each exam is weighted 18% of the overall course grade.

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. The lowest homework score is dropped. MasteringPhysics assignment scores are manually synced to Canvas Grades weekly following the assignment deadline. 

Reading Quizzes: Reading is critical for your conceptual understanding! You will take conceptual reading quizzes weekly on the assigned readings. These are generally multiple choice questions with one attempt at each question. The answers are withheld until after the quiz is due. Although you will get an immediate score after submitting each question. The lowest quiz score is dropped.

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. Please make use of this space to help out your fellow classmates and answer their questions as well.

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%
E < 30.0 % to 0.0%                        

Academic Honesty Policy and Honor Code

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. Honorlock is an online proctoring service that allows you to take your exam from the comfort of your home. You DO NOT need to create an account, download software or schedule an appointment in advance. 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 computer, working 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. You can download the extension at

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.

When you are ready to test, log into Canvas, go to your course, and click on your exam. Clicking "Launch Proctoring" will begin the Honorlock authentication process, where you will take a picture of yourself, show your ID, and complete a scan of your room. Honorlock will be recording your exam session by webcam as well as recording your screen. Honorlock also has an integrity algorithm that can detect search-engine use, so please do not attempt to search for answers, even if it's on a secondary device (which are not permitted anyways). 

Getting Help

Honorlock support is available 24/7/365. If you encounter any issues, you may contact them by live chat, phone (855-828-4004), and/or email (

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 answer 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 following Wednesday (at 11:59pm EST). Exam 4 is offered on Sunday, December 12th – Monday, December 13th.  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: 1.1-1.3, 1.5, 1.6, 3.1, 3.2



Motion Along a Straight Line
Reading: 2.1 –2.7



Motion in a Plane
Reading: 3.1-3.6, 3.8



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: 9/21(Tuesday) - 9/22 (Wednesday)

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: 3.7, 6.1-6.6



Rotational Motion
Reading: 7.1-7.7

EXAM 2: Unit 2, Modules 5-7 with Honorlock
Availability Dates: 10/12 - 10/13

Unit 3: Equilibrium, Energy, and Momentum



Equilibrium and Elasticity
Reading: 8.1-8.4



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: 11/2 - 11/3

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

(November 23 - November 27th)

EXAM 4: Unit 4, Modules 11-14, with Honorlock
Availability Dates: 12/12 (Sunday) - 12/13 (Monday)


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: Students are expected to provide professional and respectful feedback on the quality of instruction in this course by completing course evaluations online via GatorEvals. Guidance on how to give feedback in a professional and respectful manner is available at Students will be notified when the evaluation period opens, and can complete evaluations through the email they receive from GatorEvals, in their Canvas course menu under GatorEvals, or via Summaries of course evaluation results 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.


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.


Course Summary:

Date Details Due