Welcome to PH201-203 Online
This is the webpage for online General Physics at Chemeketa Community College. These courses might be referred to as "College Physics" or "Algebra-based Physics" at other institutions. This is a sequence of three introductory physics courses that are entirely online, including the labs which you will do with purchased kits.
We will use College Physics; 1st edition; Knight, Jones, and Field (ISBN 0805390626 or 080530634X). The text is out of print, so it is only available from resellers such as Amazon.
You can take these courses from anywhere in the world with a reliable internet connection. You can register for these courses through Chemeketa Online, a division of Chemeketa Community College, in Salem, Oregon, USA. If a class is full when you attempt to register, then use the wait list. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me through e-mail.
Once you enroll, please download the syllabus from the following table:
||Math review, kinematics, Newton's laws, energy, momentum, and rotation
||Fluids, waves, thermodynamics, and electricity
||Circuits, magnetism, induction, and light
||1 to 10
||11 to 16, 20, 21
||22-26, 17, 18
||A ($100) and B ($53)
||B ($53) and C ($80)
||Summer (8 weeks), Fall
Comparison to Traditional Format
Class average grade is 3.0, which is higher than that of my campus-based classes, 2.5. But the number of hours spent on task is higher, the cost is higher, the average incoming GPA is higher (explaining the higher grades), and the dropout rate is higher. If you have a choice, you may be better off taking a traditional physics course.
Though the courses generally fulfill lab science graduation requirements for two and four year degrees, most students take this sequence of courses because it is required for their major or graduate school. These commonly include pharmacy, medicine, veterinary medicine, physical therapy, and environmental science. About 30% of the students are from Chemeketa and 50% are from other colleges in Oregon. About 10% take the courses while abroad.
Students have taken these courses while in Afghanistan, Argentina, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Dominican Republic, England, Germany, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Mexico, Panama, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Ukraine. One issue to consider when taking these courses abroad is that shipping lab kits directly can take significant time and might have difficulty in customs. It is generally easier to ship to an American address and then put the kits in luggage.
Transferring credit depends on decisions made by the registrar at your home institution, but there has never been a serious problem for any of my students. Chemeketa is regionally accredited (the most prestigious accreditation) and the course is mainstream in content. We use a quarter system, so transferring credit to an institution on a semester system can be awkward if you don't take the entire sequence. I suggest you download the course syllabi above and present them to appropriate people at your home institution before enrolling. The course is placed on your Chemeketa transcript the same as the campus-based course.
PH201 was certified in 2011 by Quality Matters, a research-based peer review program for online courses. This means that the course is structured in a manner consistent with best practices.
We will use three different websites in this course.
The primary website we will use is eLearn. Use your user name and password from My Chemeketa to access this site. Consult eLearn support (503-399-7399) if you have difficulty accessing it.
You will use MasteringPhysics for homework. Consult your syllabus for the course ID.
This open website will be used as a supplement to the course. Proctors and prospective students can also get information here.
This is a difficult class made more challenging by the delivery method. The necessary mental, temporal, and physical resources are significant.
The prerequisite for the courses are listed above. You should have a
strong grasp of algebra, trigonometry, and vectors before beginning
PH201. You do not need any experience in physics to begin PH201. You
should be competent at using a web browser, word processor, and
You will need to commit a significant amount of time each week to
complete the work necessary to master the physics topics. You will
read the text, participate in discussion, observe video lectures, do
homework, perform labs, write lab reports, take exams, and do other
activities as posted in the course calendar. All told, you should
expect to spend from 10 to 25 hours per week on this class.
In addition to paying for the required tuition and fees (about $500 for all US students), you will need to procure a variety of physical resources to complete this class. I make every effort to keep costs down, but this class is likely to be more expensive than most others at Chemeketa. Please consult the following list and acquire the necessary resources as soon as possible:
1) You will need a PC (not a Mac) with good
internet access, administrator privileges (to install software), and
MS Office 2007, 2010, or equivalent (cost varies).
2) The textbook (see above) is available used from online sources such as Amazon for about $10. It is also available free in the Chemeketa library for one-term check out. This will be the text for all three courses in the sequence. You should not solely use an e-book as you will not be allowed to use it during exams. .
3) Lab kits must be purchased separately from the Chemeketa Bookstore for about $130 a term. Other options are to purchase them from former students or build your own.
4) You will need to procure additional lab equipment including a digital camera (low resolution such as a cell phone is fine), metric tape measure, stopwatch (a phone stopwatch is fine), string, and scissors (total cost varies).
5) You will need a scientific (not necessarily
graphing) calculator that does not have cell phone or internet capabilities
(approximately $10). This will be necessary for the exams.
6) You will need to purchase a subscription to MasteringPhysics. This subscription will be valid for all three terms and costs approximately $60.
7) You may need to pay for the services of a proctor, depending upon where you take your exams. No Chemeketa branches charge for this service. Please see the webpage for exams for more information.