Astronomy 1110 Survey, Spring 2002


Question 1: Students who have a lap top – why they bring it to class, why they don’t, why they only sometimes bring to class


44 students responded to the initial question.  39 students responded to open-ended section (88.6% response rate for open-ended’s on this questions).


Of the17 students (38.6% of the class) who have laptops:

·      6 students brought their laptops at least some of the time to Friday sessions

1.    some students preferred using a machine they know and others just felt is was useful


27 students or 61.4% of the class, do not have laptops.   22 of those 27 responded to the open-ended question – a 81.4% response rate


Of those 22 students who do not have a laptop:




Have laptop and bring to class (5 responses out of 5)

I like to use my own computer because I know how to work it (didn’t answer questions

      about labs)

Because I like using my own (did every lab in class on laptop)


We only use them on Fridays (did every lab in class on laptop)

It helps for Fridays.  Very good learning tool (did 6 labs in class on laptop)

Was useful to have when I attended the Friday sessions (completed only 3 labs; 2 at




Have laptop and sometimes bring to class (1 response out of 1)

I live off campus and it’s a hassle to carry around (did 4 labs in class – 3 on laptops; 1 lab

       at home)



Have laptop; do not bring to class  (11 responses out of 11)

Because it’s such a hassle to carry around to other classes; it’s heavy too (did every lab in

       class on laptop)

I figure it’s easier to use the computer lab or the laptops the teacher brings (did 7 labs – 4

       on laptop; 3 in lab)

Because I’m so busy in the mornings it is just another hassle to have to carry it around all

       day because I have class from 9-1 straight (did every lab in the lab)

I ride my bike to school so it is difficult to bring laptop (did 5 labs – 3 on laptop; 2 in lab)

I’m lazy (did every lab – 5 on laptop; 3 in lab)

Because it’s a pain to drag it and all the cords to class and then hook it back up when I get

       home (did 6 labs – 1 on laptop; 5 in lab


It cannot plug into the slots (did every lab – 7 on laptop; 1 in lab)

Because it’s old and slow (did 6 labs – 5 on laptop; 1 in lab)

No ethernet connection (did 6 labs – all on laptop)

I brought it once, but I was unable to connect to the internet.  It is a huge pain to carry it

       around all day long (did 5 labs – 3 on laptop; 2 in lab ---- one other done at home)


Fran provides a good amount of them (did every lab – 5 on laptop; 3 in lab)


Do NOT have laptop; would bring to class (13 responses out of 17)

Why not bring it (did 4 labs on laptop)

It would be nice not to have to worry about breaking [?…] laptop (did every lab – 7 on

          laptop; 1 in lab)

Because we use them (did every lab – 1 on laptop; 7 in lab)

Because it would be easy and I like working with my own computer.  I wish I had a

          powerbook G4 (did 5 labs – all in lab)

It’d be easier to use (did 7 labs – 1 on laptop; 6 in lab)

Taking notes would be much easier (did 6 labs – all in lab)

It’s easier to use my own computer (did every lab – all in lab)

Easy (no response on lab questions)

Can work in class (did 1 lab in lab; did one at home)

Because we need more laptops in the classroom (did 6 labs – 3 on laptop; 3 in lab)

It’s accessible (did 4 labs – all in lab)

Convenience (did 4 labs – all in lab; did 4 at home)

Because it would be convenient (did 4 labs – 1 on laptop; 3 in lab)


Do NOT have laptop; would NOT bring to class   (9 responses out of 9)

Too much trouble when the computer lab is just next door.  If I bring it, it means that I

          have to carry it around the campus all day long! (did 5 labs – 2 on laptop; 3 in lab)

There are plenty of computers in the lab and no reason to bring one to class (did every lab

          – in lab)

Too bulky to carry to all classes; not useful enough to justify it (did 3 labs – in lab)

I’d have to carry it around all day and we have a computer lab nearby (did 3 labs – 2 on

          laptop; 1 in lab)

Because I would have to carry it around all day and I really don’t mind using the

          computers in the computer lab (did 5 labs – 1 on laptop; 4 in lab)

Wouldn’t want to carry around all day (did every lab – 7 on laptop; 1 in lab)


The computers in the lab are better (i.e. faster and bigger monitors)  (did every lab – in



Too much risk of loss or theft when I carry it around for the rest of the day (did 3 labs – 2

          on laptop; 1 in lab)


I would rather use paper to take notes (did 2 labs – both in lab)


Question 2: If you could choose between a laptop and a PDA (a personal digital assistant like a Palm) for working on computer activities in a classroom, which would you choose?  Please explain your answer.


45 students circled a response.  Of those 45, 35 students responded to the open-ended question.


Of the students who chose laptop and responded to the open-ended portion (n=28):

·  71.4% (20 students) cited size and capacity as their reason for preferring laptops to PDA’s

·  25% (7 students) did not know what a PDA was and/or were less familiar with them than  they are with laptops


Of the other students:

·  2 of those who circled that they prefer PDA’s cited size and compactness as their reason

·  There was no consistent reason cited among those who chose “no preference”


Those who circled laptop   (28 out of 33)

It’s bigger

Bigger screen would make things easier to see and understand

Bigger screen – was better for using the software.  Also easier to share

It is easier to see and to use

I don’t like PDA’s.  Laptops are easier to work with

Because a Palm is small and no room for partner work

You can see more

Faster, bigger, more options

Laptops can display pictures on a layer screen and it has color, besides PDA’s are

          expensive and most of use can’t afford one

I think they would be easier to use and more people have laptops

Interface is quicker, easier

I am not big on PDA’s, sure they can do a lot, but bringing in a laptop would be easier

          than transferring files, at least to a lazy kid like me

PDA is too small

I fell more comfortable using a laptop – bigger screen

It’s easier to type on

Bigger, funner, easier

They are easier to see and easier to work with

Bigger and less strenuous to look at and hold

Easier to look at and use

PDA are small, more for taking notes.  Laptops are just bigger and better to use


Never used a PDA before

I don’t know how to use a PDA

I am more familiar with laptops

I’ve never used a PDA

Don’t know what a PDA is

I am unfamiliar with PDA

I’ve never used a PDA


More convenient



Those who circled PDA   (3 out of 4)

More compact

Would be easier to bring to class.  But a laptop would be better for sharing in class

Smaller – work by yourself – which would allow you to understand better  [this person

          did not like working in groups – felt Uncomfortable when s/he didn’t know the




Those who circled no preference   (4 out of 8)

Although I like PDA’s most of them don’t have the same capabilities a laptop has


You are achieving the same goal in the end


I don’t really care, I think the difficulty exists in the focus I maintain


I have no idea what a “Palm” is



Those who circled neither (0)


Question 3: Do you like to work in groups on computer activities for this class?  Please explain your response.



44 students responded to this question.  28 of 44 (63.6%) circled ‘yes’; 5 of 44 (11.4%) circled ‘no’; and 11 of 44 (25%) circled ‘sometimes’.  Out of those 44, 39 students or 88.6%, responded to the open-ended portion of the question.


Of those who answered, ‘yes’:

·    15 cited improved learning as their reason (53.6%)

·    4 cited fun as the reason (14.3%)

·    3 cited extending classroom knowledge as the reason (10.7%)

·    3 students gave reasons that seem to contradict the “yes” response


Of those who answered, ‘no’:

·  3 preferred to go at their own pace

·  No real patterns or areas of overlap on these responses


Of those who answered, ‘sometimes’:

·  There was no patterns or areas of overlap to their responses



Those who answered YES   (25 responses out of 28)

Quite easy to understand, plus other people to help explain

It was helpful to work through things with other people

It helps me learn more

It is easier to understand the concepts and is more sociable

It’s more fun, and you can help each other out when answering questions

Explain different topics to each other

If you screw up, someone else is there to help

Helps me out

Because you can discuss and talk about the answers

It makes it easier to understand the material

Because if you get stuck you have help and overall it just makes it more fun

Fun to work together.  Faster to get through all the questions. Also good to hear others’


It’s more fun and plus you get different viewpoints and interpretations

Two head[s] are better than one

Working in groups can be more efficient


It gives individuals a chance to go beyond the textbook/class

It’s a good way to get out of routine and learn in a different way

It supplements the classroom knowledge greatly


It’s actually fun sometimes because you get to interact with the other students that you

          don’t get to in class regularly

People are fun, it is much better to work in a group than alone

It is more fun to work with at least one other person than by yourself

It is a good way to meet new people


I think it helps to understand what we’ve talked about in class.  Generally I like working

          alone though on the computer

I learn more from other people but I get more done when I’m alone

It’s easier and there is less complications in having enough computers



Those who answered NO  (5 responses out of 5)

I’d rather go through the lab at my own pace

I prefer working alone.  It is more efficient for me and I learn more.

I prefer to work at my own pace


When you don’t know the person you are working with – you feel UNCOMFORTABLE. 

          I found that I learned more when I was working by myself.  I could work at my own

          pace.  And explore areas I wanted to look into more.


Rather work alone



Those who answered SOMETIMES  (9 responses out of 11)

Note: I like the Friday activities, they help strengthen the info I learn in book and in class


I like group activities, but not all the time

Sometimes people are helpful, others don’t contribute at all


It’s nice to have discussions with people, but some people work at a different rates

You move at a different pace so sometimes it’s better to work on your own


If assignment is difficult; if easy, then no


Groups of two are good – but if I didn’t know anyone in this class I would probably work

          by myself


I like working by myself better


Don’t care either way



Question 5: Of the computer activities listed above (the underlined and italicized text), pleas circle the name of the one that was your most favorite and explain why you liked it.  (8 students who circled, did not explain)


Note: Several labs have low response rates to questions about how they worked and where.


37 students selected a favorite lab and 29 of them explained why that lab was their favorite.


Outlying responses

·  2 students had no preference

·  2 students liked all of the labs

·  2 students didn’t like any of the labs



Light and Spectroscopy  (7 students selected it as their favorite and 31 students responded to the other questions about the lab)

I liked the light one because it clearly explained ideas and prepared me for the exam

The light and spectroscopy because it was easier to understand

Light and spectroscopy because the animations were really helpful

I liked it because the activities were fun and the info was very helpful

Light and spectroscopy, most interaction

I learned the most from this one.  It had good information

Very interactive and informative!



Sky Gazer – star chart program  (6 students selected this as their favorite lab and 40 students responded to the other questions about this lab)

Sky Gazer – Good graphics – really liked being able to select a location and see the sky

          (i.e., places I’d never been/seen the sky from there)

I like the skygazer software.  It’s like having a planetarium on your computer

I liked sky Gazer because it definitely helped understand concepts more.  I particularly

          liked the star/planetarium discussion as well

Sky Gazer because it was fun to play with

Star Gazer – star chart program because it was cool to see where the stars are in different

          time periods

Stargazer: it was the most fun




Surface Temperature and Greenhouse Effect  (5 students selected this as their favorite lab and 24 students responded to the other questions about it)

I thought it helped me understand it better.  I really like the astronomy place website. 

          The animations helped explain things better

I liked the Surface Temp and Greenhouse Effect lab because it really put a clear picture

          into my head of how and why certain planets temps and atmospheres are the way

          that they are.  I like how you can adjust the sizes and everything.

Surface Temp and Greenhouse effect.  My group was very interesting

It was really fun working with my group so it made that activities more enjoyable and I

          actually learned something useful for the exam from that activity

I found it the best because it really explained in detail what causes surface temp. using

          diagrams and interaction



Giant Planets and Their Moons  (4 students selected this as their favorite lab and 28 students responded to the other questions about the lab)

Giant Planets and their moons

Only because most of the other ones were off of the CD and they were dull

Giant Planets – good movies

Giant Planets and their moons – I learned a lot from this particular activity and the

          material was very interesting




Terrestrial Planet Geology  (3 students selected this as their favorite lab and 35 students responded to the other questions about the lab)

Terrestrial Planet Geology, because I learned more about what the planets were made out


Terrestrial Planet Geology – I liked geology and it was fun to learn about the geology of

          different planets

Very interactive.  Not just click and read or watch



Solar System Overview  (4 students selected this as their favorite lab and 31 students responded to other questions about it)

Solar System Overview

Solar System Overview because it had cool pics.




Kepler’s Laws  (1 student selected this as their favorite lab and 42 students responded to other questions about it)

Kepler’s Laws.  I was confused on them already and the pictures helped a lot




Newton’s Version of Kepler’s 3rd Law and Planets Around other Stars  (1 student selected this as their favorite lab and 26 students responded to questions about it)

NVK3L and Planets around stars because it was cool to play with the animation and change the factors



No Preference

No preference

I didn’t have a favorite



Liked all

I liked them all

I truly think they were all helpful



Didn’t like any

I did not really like any of them

Didn’t really like any


Open-ended Question 6: Where they would prefer to work on the computer activities for this class – laptop, lab, at home.  WHY?


43 students responded to the circled portion of this question.  21 of 43 (48.8%) preferred working on the laptop in class; 15 of 43 (34.8%) preferred working in the lab; and 5 (11.6%) students cited a combination of preferences.  Of these students, 37 responded to the open-ended question asking them to explained why.


Of the 21 students who preferred working on the laptop in class:

·    7 thought it was more convenient

·    4 felt it improved learning

·    5 felt that working in groups was better in this environment

·    There was no consensus among reasons given by the other 5


Of the 15 students who preferred working in the lab (1 did not respond to the open-ended portion):

·    There was no real consensus among the responses given


5 students cited a combination of preferences


Prefer laptop in class  (21 responses out of 21)

More convenient and easier to do; don’t have to go anywhere.  It’s also easier for YOU to


Don’t need to move

The computers are nicer and I’d rather stay in the classroom

You don’t have to move around as often

More spacey and more of a classroom setting than the computer lab

No hassle; it’s right there

Convenience and space


It keeps a better learning environment

Helps out with problems and questions

Both [laptop and home], one to see if I have questions, and then at home to review

I love my ibook, I feel like working a laptop in classroom environment fosters the

          learning aspect


Forces me to do the activity and I get to work with my buddies

Because you can work in groups and it’s more enjoyable

Interactivity with others is better than working alone; makes it kind of boring working by

          yourself; I’m a people person

More opportunity to work in groups; also probably not likely to do it at home

Working in groups is more efficient


It’s my own computer; yet I’m not distracted by things in my room


Because I will do it at that time, learn something and get it done


Less problems, computer lab is TOO small, not enough hours sometimes


Because it is usually easier for me on a laptop


More access to TA’s


Prefer Lab  (14 responses out of 15)

Get to learn on your own

I like working alone at my own pace


I can get it done faster


Because I like having class time allotted for the activities otherwise I probably wouldn’t

          do them

I am already up because I have a class before this.  If we could do this in our rooms I

          probably wouldn’t do it.


They’re better than laptops


3 people on 1 laptop is way too much.  When looking at laptop from side, can barely see



More quiet in the computer lab


Easier to navigate


Either one [lab or at home] because computer in lab can fit more people to 1 screen

          (readable) and at home because you can spend more time on it


It’s easier; I’m not too fond of laptops

I’m not a laptop fan; in particular, Mac laptops


I know how to use those computers


Because I don’t like bringing my laptop


Prefer to work at home  (2 responses out of 2)

Work at my own pace when I want (this person did only 4 labs – all in lab; NONE at



I feel class time could be better used doing other things and computer time could be

          assigned as homework.  We could also not go to class and still get the assignment

          done (this person did 5 labs – 2 on laptop; 1 in lab; 2 at home)


Combination preferences

2 lab or at home

2 labtop or lab                                       1 laptop or home
Open-ended Question 7: Why they agree or disagree (likert scale responses) to the statement, “I think that working on a laptop in a smart classroom is a lot of trouble”  (1 = strongly agree; 7 = strongly disagree)


39 students responded to the circled portion of this question.  18 of 39 (46.1%) disagree (answered in the 5-7 range) and 9 of the 39 (23.1%) agreed that it was a lot of trouble working with the laptop in the smart classroom (answered in the 1-3 range).  10 students (25.6%) were neutral in their response and there were two false scores (their response to the open-ended portion contradicted the number they circled).  21 students responded to the question of why


Of the 18 students who answered the open-ended portion of this question in the 5-7 range (disagree), there was no real consensus on why


Only 1 student (out of 9) in the 1-3 range (agree), responded to the open-ended portion


There was one “false’ 2 and one ‘false’ 6 --- open-ended responses contradicted the numbered response


7 – 5  (18 responses out of 25)

It’s the same as using a computer in the lab except more convenient

They’re related to class material and give you different online sources that you can use in the future

Because it really is no trouble at all

How can you put a label on a “smart” classroom

Just do

Because it’s just the opposite

Good way to learn

Because I haven’t run into any problems

Not really, it’s pretty easy because everything’s hooked up and the ITS people are very helpful with the set up to make things easier to us

It really helps with learning.  I almost learn more in the computer than in lecture

I think laptops are helpful especially when in a group because the other persons help you

The activities are not hard, and those who you would consider to be “that smart” would be fewer and farther between than you think

Because we are already in class we will not lose time moving

Smart classroom?  Come on

Because it’s a good way to learnt works – just takes a while to set up, because we don’t do it often

Sometimes due to technical problems, but for the most part, there is no problem

I have had quite a bit of success, even though I am completely computer challenged!

Sometimes the computers didn’t connect which was a pain


3-1  (1 response out of 9)

Systems are not down yet.  Ethernet cables suck, classrooms should be wireless.


False 2:  Computers/laptops relate to a lot of people – especially “our generation” Definitely a good tool for classes


False 6:  Had trouble getting computers up and working

Open-ended Question 8: What they like about the computer activities in this class

This question is only open-ended.



37 students responded


·    20 or 54.1% of the students felt that the labs were good because they assisted with learning; allowed visualization; allowed ‘hands on’ experience with concepts


·    9 students or 24.3% of the students felt that the labs were good because they provided a change of pace; were fun; were interesting


·    4 students felt that the labs were good because of the mode of work they provided (opportunities to work in groups or alone as they chose)


·    4 responses fell into the ‘other’ category



Change of pace, fun, interesting

They’re fun and they get the points across

It was a nice break from lecture and it gives you a hands on look about a lot of material


Different way of learning besides reading and taking notes

Interaction, break from lecture!


They are relaxing and enjoying sometimes

Get out of routine

They are fun, different and mix things up

Fun and interactive


Assists with learning/allows visualization/”hands on”

It really helps with learning.  I almost learn more in the computer than in lecture. 

          They’re easy to understand and almost fun to do

Good way to learn

It’s a good Friday thing – low key and a good demo of the information we’ve been


They clearly explain the info we go over in class

The explanation – are just easier to understand what’s going on

Helpful and informative

They’re related to class material and give you different online sources that you can use in

          the future

They clearly explain the concepts that we cover in the class

It doesn’t require much thinking, while teaching you

It’s more hands on and helps you learn easier

They supplement my knowledge with “hands on” demonstrations

Help me learn, a little more interactive and visual

It is “hands on” learning = good

The pictures and visuals always help

Animation – visuals

It was a neat approach to learning – making things more visible (which really helps me

          learn) and can use them to see things we normally might not see

The cool pictures on the websites that you don’t get to see often, see something new and

          learn something different from it

I really like it because it’s more of a visible understanding of what’s happening

It helps to see pictures and answer questions


Mode of work – groups or alone

We get to work in groups – it’s not boring

That we have the choice to work alone or in groups.  We are not forced to work with


Definitely a good tool for classes [computers] – ability to explore astronomy on your own

          and on the web

I get to do them on my own and it’s my responsibility to learn something from it



Having class time to do them


They are optional


Some of them are helpful, others don’t help much


The interactive demos

Open-ended Question 9: What they disliked about the computer activities in this class  (this is an open-ended only question)


30 students responded to this question


·    13 students or 43.3%, felt that there was a lack of consistency in the labs (in terms of content, visuals, instructions)


·    3 students cited technical difficulties as the main problem


·    3 students felt that group work was problematic


·    4 students felt there was nothing that they disliked about the labs


·    6 responses couldn’t be categorized



Doesn’t really respond to the question

I actually prefer them to the class lectures.  I learn more from the computer activities


Need to improve consistency in quality of the exercises/programs/visuals (a tendency to have some dull, uninteresting or simply too basic exercises) – 13 students

Some exercises were rather elementary.  Maybe some more developed complicated

          activities to help learn and keep our attention

Sometimes they are not very interesting

Graphics are at times cheesy, it could be made more fun/interactive/informative.  Website

          could use more Flash

Some of the activities aren’t put together too well

Sometimes the activities are bad and it feels like a waste (to me at least)

Too much reading and not enough interplay

They’re [some] dull and sometimes repetitive

Some are incredibly dull

Sometimes they are really boring and some of the pictures need to be updated to the

          current date

If they’re not helpful, it seems like a waste of time

Sometimes hard to follow instructions given

There aren’t very good directions for it.  It doesn’t say if we have to turn it on

Having a set of directions; I’d rather just explore



Too many people in groups

Group work

Can tune out and let group do everything


Technical problems

I dislike that sometimes it’s hard to login to the computers in the computer lab

Sometimes the laptops don’t work in the classroom

How sometimes they don’t work


Nothing they disliked


Nothing, except that I wish that I hadn’t missed the 4 sessions that I did

Nothing really

Not really anything




I feel like it’s a waste of time to come to class if that’s all we’re doing and I can do that in

          my room (this person worked on only 2 labs at home; didn’t do 3; did 1 in lab; did

          2 on laptop)


Need to do it very quickly


Writing up notes under “take notes”


Reading through Fran’s boring notes.  It would be nice if we had more organized online

          notes, rather than just paragraphs and paragraphs


Brining laptops (if I had to)


Exercises were too long to get through in one class

Open-ended Question 10: Do you feel like you learned anything by working through the computer activities in class?  (YES; NO; WHY)


41 students responded to the circled portion of this question.  38 of 41 (92.7%) responded ‘yes’ and 3 of 41 (7.3%) responded ‘no’.  32 students responded to the open-ended portion of the question.


·    25 students or 83.3%, felt that the activities improved their learning in some fashion

·    There was no other strong pattern among the remaining 5 ‘yes’ responses


·    Only 1 student who circled ‘no’ explained why


·    One student who was unsure, explained that s/he didn’t work on enough of the labs to decide


Of the other “NO’s” without a response to the opened portion:

·  1 didn’t answer any questions about labs; prefers to work on laptop because it gives more access to TA’s

·  1 did 4 labs in the lab and 4 labs at home; prefers to work in lab

·  1 did only 3 labs in the lab; prefers to work in the lab (no reason given)




YES (30 responses out of 38)

It’s helpful to work with other people


The activities improved learning in some way (25 students)

Activities are comprehensive and easy to follow

I have learned more about the class in general

Because it’s easier to learn with hands on activities and pictures

The info is clear and I like the demonstrations and questions

I’m a big hands on learner and I thought it was great to have that in class

On a few of the activities [yes].  Helps my comprehension – gives  examples

I know more now than I did in the beginning

Because it clears up some confusion that might occur in class

I got more detailed information

It strengthens what was taught in class

Some of the tutorials helped to learn the concepts

Some of the actions you can watch help me better understand the material

Most of what I remember about class comes from the CPU activities

It’s interactive so I learn more from it than a lecture

I’m a visual learner

It helped me to understand things I was previously confused on

Visuals/animation helped and questions it asks

Because the activities make it more interesting

As I said before, it clearly explains the concepts that we cover in this class.  Allowing

          you to apply these concepts and know them for future reference TESTS

It is easier to learn that way

Sometimes the activities explain ideas more clearly than in class and it was interactive

A better understanding if not able to understand from class

Topics got explained differently by using visuals

Explanation have helped more than reading

Good opportunity to view things from other locations without actually going there.  Also,

          more visual and hands on


The demos are fun but need more explanation of concepts

We usually have to feel out questions that have to do with the activity, so by feeling them

          out I learned a little bit


Because I did

Just did


NO (1 student)

Just not motivating


Unsure (in between)

Didn’t do enough to decide






Open-ended Question 11: Do you think that laptops should be required for courses? (YES; NO; SOMETIMES) WHY?


41 students responded to the circled portion of this question.  3 of 41 (7.3%) responded ‘yes’; 30 of 41 (73.1%) responded ‘no’; and 8 of 41 (19.5%) responded ‘sometimes’.  38 students responded to the open-ended portion of the question.


·    19, or 63.3%, of the “no’s” are economic objections

·    Students are pretty vehemently opposed to requiring them to buy laptops and bring them to class


·    Of those who answered, ‘sometimes’ the consensus seems to be that a blanket requirement doesn’t make sense



NO   (30 responses out of 30)

They shouldn’t be “required” – but maybe encouraged


I don’t think it should be required because some people might not be able to afford it

Some students may not want/nor have the funds for a laptop – making them mandatory is

          not fair

It may not be economically feasible and even if it is it may not be the preferred method of

          notetaking and studying of all students

For financial reasons!

Because some can’t afford computers or don’t have laptops but it could be like this class. 

          “If you have one bring it and use it” otherwise, no biggy

I do not want to pay for a laptop

It is just another thing that students would have to buy

I think they should be an option, but not required because some people couldn’t afford it

It would just be another way to make us spend more of our money; where does our

          money go anyway?

Because many students (after paying tuition) cannot afford a laptop

Not everyone can afford one

More expense and too much to lug around

At no point should students who do not want or can’t afford a laptop; be excluded from


[No] unless the university wants to give me one for free

Making people have to have laptops is unfair.  Many people still have, like me, a desktop

          and do not have the financial means to invest in one

Tuition is already too expensive and there is no way you can get everyone to purchase

          one (horrible idea!)

Depends on content of the class and sometimes not every student can afford one

Limits the class to the economically priviledged.  Requiring laptops is a stupid idea,

          especially with a computer lab next door

Not everyone has the $ to get them



They should not be required, however the amount of tuition we pay, university should be

          able to provide them for teachers who want to use them in class


Different people learn different ways, some visually and some just by reading/hearing. 

          Laptops are nice to have in some classes, but are also a pain if you can’t type faster

          than you can write.  And not everyone can afford to purchase their own laptop

I didn’t bring a laptop to school; I brought a PC and would never be able to bring it to


No, but it should be the choice of the instructor


I wish they were [required], but that could be very tough to do, maybe in about 4 years

          …. Maybe sooner

Laptops are not a necessity to learn in class and requiring people to have one doesn’t

          mean the students will be more effective.  It gives students another reason to

          complain or to not pay attention in class

If you don’t use laptops, you shouldn’t be forced to buy one for a course

Because there is a computer lab available.  It’s unfair for people interested in the class but

          don’t have access to a laptop

It should be optional

Doesn’t need to be required



SOMETIMES  (6 responses out of 8)

If there is a lot of online resources that would be useful in the class

It would be costly for every student to own one and for the university to buy the rest.  Not

          all courses would need them either

They’re nice, but not everyone likes laptops

Teachers are still valuable and can do things that computers can’t

Certain classes need them, others they really don’t

I think it depends on the course.  For astronomy, I think it’s good



YES  (2 responses out of 3)

It’s faster than write



Yes, but only if they are subsidized


Question 12: Do any of your other courses include regular computer activities?  If yes, how many; subjects; sorts of activities.


42 students answered this question.


·    Of those 42, 5 (11.9%) students have experience with computer activities in other courses


·    88.1% of the students have no other courses that employ regular computer activities


·    None of the computer activities described below fit in the same category as those employed in this course



Those who answered yes (5 students)

1 course in geology

          Checking HW [homework] (not actual activities, I guess)


1 course in business

          Projects, certain problems that require software to solve them


1 course in physics

          home work, notes; etc.


1 course in economics

          modeling, online tests, games, etc.


2 courses – one in Computer Science and the other in Info[rmation] Systems

          Learn about computers and what and how to use them



37 Students answered no

Open-ended Question 13:  Is there anything else you would like to share with us about this course? 16 “real” responses


I think it would be good to have computer classes in more classes


Overall good and laptop exercises were useful

I have learned a lot through visuals.  I like Fridays!!


Hated the teacher, started at beginning, couldn’t shake it


I like this class a lot more after the first test, but I feel the tests don’t really cover

          information that we really cover or is on the review sheet so I feel my test scores

          don’t really reflect my understanding of the information covered in class.  I like the




50% of the responses are in this category

Fran is one of the most inspired and one of the best teachers I’ve ever had!!!!

Fran does a great job with this course ….. model others after it

Fran is a great teacher

One of the most interesting classes that I’ve taken this year

It’s a fun course

Fran and Amy rock!!!

Seems like Ms. Bagenal puts a lot of effort into class and computer activities – which is

          definitely advantageous to class

Make the computer activities more challenging – BUT I thought it was a great idea to do. 

          None of my other classes have anything hands on.  For a subject as astronomy it’s

          nice to actually see how things work, instead of being lectured at for the semester



I feel that I learn way more from the book than from class lectures, because you don’t

          really lecture, we just talk in class; but then, on the other hand, the class is more

          interesting.  I guess that what I am trying to say is the class is sometimes

          entertaining, but I don’t feel like I learn anything by going to class


I wish there were more observations and class time in the planetarium.  I learned a lot

          during those sessions and was better able to see what’s happening


The required laptop idea is horrible!