Course Syllabus

 Physics 2 Laboratory (Class 15776, 19159)

Instructor Information

Course Overview
Instructor Dr. Shawn Weatherford (he/him/his) TA: Xiao Zhou
Grader: (A - K)
TA: Thalya Paleologu
Grader: (L-Z)
Office Location NPB 2142 NPB 2242 NPB 2109
Office Phone Number (352) 392-8747 401 854 6517 352 392 0521
Office Hours Tues 9-10am;
Fri 11:30-12:30pm 
Thurs 5-6pm Fri 5-6pm
Email contact policy

Contact using Canvas email (Conversations). You may expect a response within 24 hours during weekdays and 48 hrs during weekends.

Your instructor will post an announcement during times when they are out of reach.

Course Description

The Physics 2 Lab online course offers students the experience to complete individual investigations remotely, using the same data acquisition techniques and data analysis as students in campus-based sections. Each student will build the experimental apparatus from materials shipped to them from the physics department (no cost to you), and utilize a sensor cart to collect data for further analysis (rental or purchase option for cart, see below). Collaboration with lab partners is required during the sense-making stage of the analysis. Some labs will differ from the campus-based sections due to cost of apparatus, although care is taken to match the learning outcomes between alternate investigations.

Prerequisite Knowledge and Skills: Basic algebra and trigonometry; manual dexterity for performing experimental procedures; using a spreadsheet software like Microsoft Excel; reading and interpreting graphs of data. 

Modality: This course is online asynchronous. All videos are prerecorded. No synchronous requirements exist. Live office hours are available according to the schedule above for on-demand assistance. Attendance to office hours is optional and the office hours are not recorded.

Credits: 1 credit

Purpose of Course

The purpose of this lab course is to provide students with hands-on experiments that give them the opportunity to:

  • Construct an experimental apparatus to investigate an observable physical phenomena.
  • Record voltage measurements on simple electrical systems and magnetic field measurements produced by magnetic materials.
  • Practice performing quantitative analysis of those measurements in order to discover or confirm relationships among the variables involved.
  • Make predictions about similar systems and make measurements to check those predictions.

Course Objectives

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  1. Identify quantitative and qualitative variables in an experimental investigation,
  2. Follow procedures to measure quantitative variables systematically,
  3. Graph and analyze those measurements via linearization and regression analysis techniques, and
  4. Justify analysis utilizing theoretical principles of electricity and magnetism,
  5. Predict how altering the experimental apparatus will lead to different measurable results as informed by theoretical principles.

These course objectives align with the UF General Education student learning outcomes and physical science area learning outcomes Links to an external site..

General Education SLO Physical Science SLO Course Objective Alignment Assessment
Content Identify, describe, and explain the basic concepts, theories and terminology of natural science and the scientific method; the major scientific discoveries and the impacts on society and the environment; and the relevant processes that govern physical systems. Objectives 1-5 All assessments and student practice assignments offer opportunities for students to demonstrate learning about the physics content covered in this course.
Critical Thinking Formulate empirically-testable hypotheses derived from the study of physical processes or living things; apply logical reasoning skills effectively through scientific criticism and argument; and apply techniques of discovery and critical thinking effectively to solve scientific problems and to evaluate outcomes Objectives 1-5

Lab Reports

Communication Communicate scientific knowledge, thoughts, and reasoning clearly and effectively. Objective 4

Lab Reports and Discussion Board postings

Student Expectations

This is a listing of the expectations and standards we have for students enrolled in this course:

  • Pay attention to course announcements and email.
  • Post weekly to the discussion board and offer assistance on the boards in addition to answering the questions posed each week.
  • Have access to the required material below and work diligently to securing these materials before the first lab starts.
  • Read the lab manual and supporting lab module pages, which offer tips and videos for completing each lab as appropriate.
  • Seek assistance from your instructor when you need help.
  • Follow the student code of conduct, including the Honor Code, and bear witness to incidents of academic misconduct and report accordingly.
  • Physics is practiced and advanced by a scientific community of individuals with diverse backgrounds and identities and is open and welcoming to everyone. The instructional team recognizes the value in diversity, equity and inclusion in all aspects of this course. This includes, but is not limited to differences in race, ethnicity, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, socioeconomic status, religion and disability. Students may have opportunities to work together in this course. We expect respectful student collaborations such as attentive listening and responding to the contributions of all teammates. 
    Physics, like all human endeavors, is something that is learned.  Our aim is to foster an atmosphere of learning that is based on inclusion, transparency and respect for all participants.  We acknowledge the different needs and perspectives we bring to our common learning space and strive to provide everyone with equal access. All students meeting the course prerequisites  belong here and are well positioned for success.

Labs will vary in length and difficulty. Since the labs are done asynchronously and you are building your own apparatus, they will take more time to complete. It will be helpful to have a workspace where you can move the apparatus for periods of time when you are focused on other tasks.

Required Course Materials

This course consists of hands-on lab experiments that complement Physics 2 lecture. The kit consists of disposable materials you will need to complete the course objectives. The kit DOES NOT INCLUDE the iOLab mentioned below. Students are responsible for obtaining an iOLab cart as well.  Students are required to:

  1. Purchase or rent an IOLab cart. See details below about options
  2. Submit a valid shipping address to receive a UF Physics 2 laboratory kit.

The kit will be shipped January 20 (if not sooner) via FedEx. Kits returned due to incorrect or undeliverable addresses submitted to the shipping information form linked above will cause delay and added costs to students for re-sending at current rates. Please check that the address entered can receive packages delivered by FedEx. The UF Physics 2 lab kit does not need to be returned to UF at the end of the semester. It is yours to keep.

Students utilizing financial aid: It typically takes a week or more into the beginning of the semester for financial aid to be disbursed to student accounts. DO NOT WAIT until the disbursement to order materials. You may utilize the UF BOOKSTORE DEFERRED PAYMENT PROGRAM to order your IOLab

  • PURCHASE or RENT an iOLab cart

Purchase IOLab from the Bookstore

The IOLab is a mobile cart with sensors and probes used to collect data that you will analyze in this course. The bookstore may have these in stock. If not, see below for the next option:

Purchase or Rent the IOLab from MacMillan Student Store

  1. Go to the vendor website.
  2. Select the triangle (underneath "Format")  to reveal a drop down of rental and purchase options.



If you need assistance
If you need assistance regarding then contact the following (contact info above)
Specific labs, feedback, grading TA grading your assignments (see above)
Shipment/issues with your lab materials kit Dr. Weatherford (see Inventory Check Assignment)
Troubleshooting the IOLab cart TA grading your assignments
Shipment or returns of IOLab cart MacMillan Student Store

Canvas Information

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

For help with technical issues or difficulties with Canvas, please contact the UF Help Desk at:

Any requests for make-ups due to technical issues should be accompanied by the ticket number received from the Help Desk when the problem was reported to them. The ticket number will document the time and date of the problem. You should email your instructor within 24 hours of the technical difficulty if you wish to request a make-up.

For help with technical issues or difficulties with IOLab, please contact a TA through Canvas. It would be best to first review the self-help diagnosis resources which detail technical issues students may face due to their computer setup first. The self-help diagnosis resource is located on the Module 3 page of the course.

Course Policies

Attendance Policy: This course is completely remote, but your “attendance” is still important! Because this course is an application course, collaboration with your peers and instructor is integral to your success. Timely and engaged responses to discussions and lab work will make the experience easier for everyone.  If you wait to the last minute, you may find that help is harder to find.

Make-up Policy:  Generally, all lab work including IOLab data collection and discussion, and completed lab questions are due on Sundays at 11:59PM. Acceptance of late work is consistent with university policies that can be found at

For a foreseeable absence, it is your responsibility to identify yourself as requiring an accommodation at least one week prior to the absence.

Course Technology and Minimum Technical Requirements:  This course will be offered through the University of Florida’s LMS, Canvas. Students will also be required to install the IOLab software and run this on a computer. Chromebooks are not compatible with the software. Students will be required to use Microsoft Excel to record and analyze data. 

Lab Group Policy: Students will not have specific lab partner assignments. Students may collaborate in the experimental setup by offering tips and suggestions, but each student must collect his or her own data using the materials found in the lab kit. The process of analyzing and making sense of the gathered data and the experiment are expected to be collaborative using the discussion board forum. Students will turn in individual assignments and use the discussion boards for all communication about labs. Communication is expected to be frequent throughout each week and will be evaluated based on the quality of your substantive contributions to the discussion.

University Policies

University Policy on Accommodating Students with Disabilities: Students with disabilities who experience learning barriers and would like to request academic accommodations should connect with the disability Resource Center by visiting is important for students to share their accommodation letter with their instructor and discuss their access needs, as early as possible in the semester.

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.

Materials/Supply Fee. This course includes a fee of $10.31 associated with the costs of your physics 2 lab kit. See the information under required course materials for how to submit your shipping address to receive your kit. As mentioned above, the IOLab, a required device, is NOT included  in this kit and is the student's responsibility to obtain prior to the start of the lab that requires it.


Your overall course grade will be determined by your performance on each of the labs and on your participation on discussion boards. There are no exams in this course.


You will complete 9 labs, each worth a total of 11 points. These points may be divided among submissions of data, excel workbooks, and postings to the discussion board. You will submit evidence of completing the lab in order to earn these points according to your performance and success on presenting the following laboratory elements:

Setup and data acquisition: Showing diligence in setting up apparatus, carrying out suggested procedures and measurements, and collecting raw data.  This will be evaluated by the quality and completeness of raw data sets collected and by the display of this data in tables including their physical units, or plots displaying data collected with the IOLab cart. All data submitted must come from your investigations alone. Students may not use data from other classmates or sources without the explicit approval from your instructor.

Data analysis:Showing how data is related to theory and its predictions. This will be evaluated from student’s construction of properly-labeled spreadsheet tables of theoretically-motivated derived quantities based on raw data and including units, making graphs and doing regression analysis, or other tools as instructed.

Conclusions: Showing an understanding of the physical laws involved and how they are applied.  This will be evaluated from interpretations of graphing and regression, from answers to comprehension questions and by making predictions and measurements to check those predictions. Practice academic honesty and attribute contributions of others (using names) when conclusions are informed by discussions involving other individuals.


High quality scientific discovery is often completed with colleagues, most of whom are located at different research labs across the world. This remote lab course provides students an authentic experience to collect their own data following a common procedure and use these data sets as a framework for making sense of the data and discussing scientific practice with colleagues.

Weekly discussion questions will accompany each lab to mediate this desired outcome of thoughtful discourse based on your experience completing laboratory exercises. 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.

To begin discussions, each student is required to post certain data sets as described in the lab instructions or indicated in weekly announcements to the discussion board. This posting of data is due no later than 11:59PM Friday before the lab is due, however it is to your benefit to post to the discussion board earlier in the week so you can discuss it with other class members. A few discussion board tasks require two postings with the first post deadline of Friday and the second post deadline of Sunday. These are noted in the instructions of the applicable discussion boards.


Letter grades are assigned based on the total points awarded in the course. These points are indications of your achievement of the course-level learning objectives and are from the following experiences:

Submission of 9 lab reports                                                 11 points per lab
Timely submission of mailing address                                   1 point

TOTAL                                                                               100 points

Your course grade will not be assigned based on a curve, but based on a percentage of the earned points to the maximum points available. This 100-point fixed scale rounded to the nearest point:

Grade Scale

























A minimum grade of C is required for general education credit.

The university policy for assigning grade points is found at



Wk #

Release Date

Lab #

Lab Name





Orientation and Inventory Check




Electrostatics: Magic Tape




Electrostatics: Pie Plate Demonstrator




Equipotential Line Mapping




Resistance and Resistivity




RC Circuits




Magnetic Field Mapping




Spring Break




Distance Dependence of Magnetic Field due to a Bar Magnet




Induced EMF and Lenz's Law




Image Formation from Lens

A listing of course assignments are below. The dates may be adjusted to match the guidance in each weekly module. Please see the modules for days of the week when these assignments are due.

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.  These changes will be communicated clearly via announcements on Canvas.


Privacy and Accessibility Policies

For information about the privacy policies of the tools used in this course, see the links below: 

 (Links to an external site.

Course Summary:

Date Details Due