SCIE102: Astronomy
Section: E51     (eLearning)

About This Course

Semester and YearSummer III 2011 / (6 weeks): Jul 5, 2011 to Aug 11, 2011
(See "Getting Started" below for details about orientation)


Lynn McCarty   Email:
Phone: 215-504-8500x6781
Campus Location: Founders room F221

Course Credits

3 credits

Time Requirements

Plan a minimum of 15 - 22 hours per week for your coursework. While online learning courses provide flexibility in time, geography, and travel, the work required for successful completion is identical to that for the face-to-face course.   Your instructor may specify additional time requirements in the "Other information" field below or during your orientation.

Delivery Mode

Web-based course

Official College Course Description

The complete college course description can be viewed at:

Student Characteristics

Open to self-motivated, self-disciplined students who can handle college-level work and study independently.

Instructor Provided Course Syllabus

A sample Course Syllabus is typically available in WebAdvisor's "Search for Sections" results. A Course Syllabus explains how the instructor will conduct the class and may include: course policies, grading guidelines, assignment due dates, etc.

Student Requirements

This course has the following requirements for students:
  • Read the important instructor supplied information located at the end of this document
  • Other special requirements may apply. Consult "Other Information about the Section" for details.

Getting Started With This Course


This information has expired. If you are looking for current course information you must go to the current semester course information page.

Accessing Your Course

Publisher's Website

This course will use a website developed by a textbook publisher. Specific details for accessing this website will be provided by your instructor.

Blackboard Vista (Bb Vista)

Your course is using Blackboard Vista (Bb Vista)! Your student account in Bb Vista will be created about 2 weeks prior to the start of your class and you can log into the system at that time. Please use the time before the start of your class to become familiar with Bb Vista by using the tutorials provided for you.

You will be able to access your course as of 1 AM on the official course start date.

Logging In

Log in to your Bucks Bb Vista course space at:

  • Username: Your new user account will consist of your last name and first initial, and if necessary, followed by a random number. For example, John Smith's user account will be smithj4567
  • Password: Your initial password for all systems will be reset to "bd" followed by your birthdate in mmddyy format. (Example: bd042372 for 4/23/72). You will need to establish your new password immediately, which is 6-9 characters in length, using letters & numbers. You should also establish a password hint at this time.
  • To obtain your new user account go to and select WebAdvisor. Select Account information (upper right hand corner of the screen) then select What's My User ID? and follow the prompts. You will need to provide your last name AND your 7 digit student ID number OR your social security #. Your new user account name will display on the screen

Note: If you registered late, there may be a short delay in activating your Bb Vista login.

Computer Requirements and Settings

Your computer must be correctly configured to work with Bb Vista. Before you login do the Check Browser located on the Bb Vista login page. This will ensure your browser is configured so the complete functionality of this application is available to you. If errors are detected, mandatory or recommended changes will be indicated.

Access Codes

Some Bb Vista courses that use content provided by textbook publishers require an access code. If your course requires one, you will be prompted to enter it the first time you access the course. This access code may be included with the purchase of a new textbook, or may be purchased separately from the textbook publisher through

If you purchased a used textbook and do not yet have an access code, you can obtain a 15-day temporary code the first time you log in by clicking the "get temporary code" link. You will then have 15 days to purchase your access code.


Detailed troubleshooting information is available by clicking on Help on the Bb Vista login page or on any page within the system after you have logged in.

Learning To Use Bb Vista

  • Face-To-Face Workshops! are offered at the beginning of each full semester at the Newtown campus.
  • LIVE Online Sessions! are offered via web conferencing before the start of each modular session and full semester.

Check for dates and times.

We also encourage you to use the various "Learning Bb Vista" courses provided online when you log in to your Bb Vista account.

Purchasing Your Books and Other Course Materials

While you may purchase your books and other course materials from the provider of your choice (using the ISBN number available through the course's academic department where applicable to ensure the correct version), both the campus bookstore and our online bookstore, guarantee that they stock the correct version for your course.

Approximately 3 weeks prior to the start of the session you can use the link below to see the list of books that have been selected by your instructor. If you have any questions about the course materials listed, please contact your instructor or the academic department directly.

Click this link to see the book list for your course.

Other Information about the Course

Requirements for enrollment:
  • Students must have regular, reliable access to the internet with a computer that is properly configured to use BbVista.
  • Students must have access to a scanner so work such as graphs and calculations can be submitted electronically.
  • Students must have met the following prerequisites before enrolling in this course:
    1. Reading Placement test score of 42 or higher or Level 3, or READ110 (C or better)
    2. Math Placement test score of 5 or higher, or MATH095 (C or better)

Challenges of E-Learning:

  • Students utilizing the E-Learning mode require strong independent learning skills to be successful. Although there is flexibility about when and where you do your studying, you will find that it takes slightly more time than is typical for a face-to-face course.

  • For a successful summer session, you must be a self-disciplined, highly motivated learner who can spend about 20 hours each week during our 5-and-a-half week course. We will be covering material that is normally taught over 15 weeks, so it will feel like three courses rolled into one.
Course Activities - students will:
  • Complete the orientation to the course.
  • Share information and interests with classmates.
  • Complete a math skills review quiz.
  • Read information and study figures, illustrations, and captions in the textbook.
  • View the instructor's presentations on each chapter.
  • Discuss questions on each chapter.
  • Complete chapter worksheets to prepare for chapter quizzes.
  • Take timed chapter quizzes.
  • Review quiz results.
  • Complete exercises to develop critical thinking and mathematical problem solving skills.
  • Discuss questions on the exercises.
  • Complete investigations that explore and apply the scientific method and assess scientific information.
  • Discuss questions on the investigations.
  • Collaborate in small groups to complete team investigations.
  • Complete a simple observational/experimental assignment as a citizen scientist.
  • Prepare for unit tests.
  • Take timed unit tests.
  • Reflect on what was learned in the course.

Astronomy: A Beginner’s Guide to the Universe 6th Ed. (with Mastering Astronomy) , Chaisson & McMillan, 2010, Pearson Addison-Wesley

Note: Use of the Mastering Astronomy website is required for this course. If you choose to purchase a used textbook without the student access kit, you will need to purchase access from the publisher. Instructions are provided inside the front cover.

For further information about the course or to learn more about the instructor, please contact the instructor directly: