PHYS 2212L Summer 2022 Syllabus

Principles of Physics II Lab — PHYS 2212L

Course Syllabus for Summer 2022

University of North Georgia’s College of Science & Mathematics

Department of Physics & Astronomy

Course Instructor

Dr. Sarah Formica

Office: Rogers Hall 116A

Virtual office: Zoom link


Hours: N/A

Hours: TBD

Course Catalog Description

Laboratory to accompany PHYS 2212. This course is a laboratory investigation of the fundamental laws of electricity, magnetism, optics, and modern physics.

Prerequisite: PHYS 2211L. Corequisite: PHYS 2212. (1 credit hour)

Learning Goals

Students will develop a basic working knowledge of Excel calculation, graphing, and fitting in order to analyze data. Students will explore ideas in electricity, magnetism, and optics and learn to take measurements, collect and analyze data, and communicate scientifically.

Respect for Diversity

I recognize that there is a vast untapped intellectual resource in all groups underrepresented in physics. For this reason, I am committed to making physics more accessible to everyone. It is my intent that students from all diverse backgrounds and perspectives be well served by this course, that students’ learning needs be addressed both in and out of class, and that the diversity that students bring to this class be viewed as a resource, strength and benefit. It is my intent to present materials and activities that are respectful of diversity: gender, sexuality, ability, age, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, race, and culture. Your suggestions are encouraged and appreciated. Please let me know ways to improve the effectiveness of the course for you personally or for other students or student groups.

Required Texts and Materials

All course materials will be accessed through UNG’s eLearning system, also known as D2L (Desire 2 Learn).

This course is taught primarily online using D2L. If you have any technical difficulties or maybe want to take a tutorial on using some of the technology, please go to, which is UNG’s source of remote learning resources.

Instructional Modality

Fully at a distance — All or nearly all sessions will be online. Students will not be required to travel to a classroom for instruction, but they may have an orientation event or exam in person.

Lab Assignments

There will be 8 lab experiments that will use computer simulations to model hands-on labs.

  1. Electric charge and Coulomb’s Law
  2. Electric fields and equipotentials
  3. Capacitor design and testing
  4. Ohm’s law and circuits
  5. Magnets and electromagnets
  6. Electromagnetic induction
  7. Reflection, refraction, and Snell’s law
  8. Thin lenses


The grading system used in this course is probably vastly different from that of any other course you have taken. The grading system is actually not grading at all; it is even called ungrading or going gradeless by educators who implement it.

Research has informed us that descriptive feedback, rather than letter grades or scores, leads to higher learning gains and that using grades in an attempt to improve performance is not effective. There is evidence that grades encourage competition over cooperation, suppress creativity, foster a fear of failure, and reduce interest in learning. If you are curious, this review article discusses research related to grades: Teaching More by Grading Less (or Differently).

Much of this is confirmed by other researchers like Carol Dweck, whose book Mindset introduced the world to the concept of growth mindset, and Daniel Pink, whose book Drive argued that extrinsic rewards and punishments actually stifle creativity, higher-order thinking, and intrinsic motivation.

It is my hope to engender the dispositions of growth mindset and intrinsic motivation in my students,

so I want to eliminate any practices that work against students developing them.

In this lab, after you turn in work for an assignment, you will receive written and/or verbal feedback about what you did well and what you can do to improve. You will also reflect on your work and your learning goals each week. Throughout the lab course, you will have opportunities to assess your own work, to make improvements in response to feedback, and to elicit and receive new feedback — all of which has been shown to aid students in becoming more engaged and effective learners.

Evidence Portfolio

To help you keep track of your progress and learning in this course, you will use an evidence portfolio. Your evidence portfolio will have a folder for each lab experiment, 8 in total. In each folder of your evidence portfolio, you will provide evidence of your learning. You can discuss what you did for that experiment and how it connects to your learning goals.

At the end of the course, you will have an organized body of work that you will use to determine your final grade for the course.

Final Course Grade

Your final grade in this lab course will be determined based on the skills you learn, the learning goals you achieve, and the competencies that you demonstrate. Throughout the course, you will develop a body of work that will help you to self-assess your learning and make an honest appraisal of your effort and progress in the course.

You will be afforded the agency to evaluate and examine your own learning and suggest your grade in the course.

At the end of the lab course you will propose your final grade in a paper that provides evidence from your body of work throughout the course for why you believe your suggested grade is fair. This paper has a page limit of 3 pages, single spaced, 12 point font, 1 inch margins. This paper will be submitted to D2L. I reserve the right to veto a suggested grade.

Activities and Assignments

This online lab course is comprised of 8 virtual lab experiments, available in D2L.

Labs will be due each week on Friday at midnight. To keep up with the assignments in this short summer session, you should plan on completing at least two labs per week. Completed lab assignments must be uploaded to the Assignments folder in D2L by the due date of Friday at midnight.

You may work with a lab partner if you wish, or you may work on your own. If you work with a partner, you are allowed to collaborate on the lab assignments that you turn in each week. Just be sure to list the authors of the assignment to inform me of the collaboration. You may also submit your own work without collaborating on the writing. It is up to you.

I will provide you with written feedback about what you did well and what you can do to improve. You will reflect on this feedback, make changes to your assignment when necessary, and maybe redo part of the experiment if suggested. Then you will upload evidence of your learning to the evidence portfolio folder for that lab assignment.

July 8July 15July 22July 29August 5
Lab 1 dueLabs 2 & 3 dueLabs 4 & 5 dueLabs 6 & 7 dueLab 8 due

Lab Assignment Submission Format

While you work through the online lab experiments, you will keep notes in a lab notebook. This can be handwritten on paper, or typed in a word processor like Word or Google Docs. You will also tabulate data in Excel (or other graphing program) and plot the data in graphs. What you turn in for credit is a polished version of this lab notebook. The following is a guide for what you need to include in the lab notebook that you will upload to the Assignments folder:

Objectives & Concepts: “Why are you doing this?”

Here you should include basic information about what you hope to accomplish during the lab. What physics concepts will you be investigating, what must you know in order to perform the experiments, and what do you hope to learn from your experimentation? Be specific enough such that you fully convey the motivation behind what experiments you will perform during the day’s activities. This section should address the question of “Why are you doing this?”.

Creative Section 1: “What are you doing?”

Here you can begin jotting down thoughts and ideas that the group has about specifically what you plan to do during the lab. This can be written in a stream-of-consciousness style, so don’t worry too much about formatting (bullet points are fine). What experiments will you perform? How will you be collecting data? What kind of difficulties do you expect to encounter during the experiments? This section should begin to specifically address the question of “What are you doing?”.

Experimental Methods & Data Analysis

This is where you should be very specific about the techniques used during your lab experiments. Your group should include detailed explanations of your experimental procedures, what kind of data you are collecting, and how you are analyzing that data. In general, a good rule of thumb is to write your experimental and data analysis procedures with enough detail such that an outside group could reproduce your experiment exactly as you performed it. This section should be written more carefully and more organized than the stream-of-consciousness style of the Creative Sections.

Creative Section 2: “What Worked & What Didn’t?”

Once you have gone through the process of collecting and analyzing data, identifying and resolving experimental issues, and extending your data collection and analysis to remedy those issues, you should reflect on that process here. What kind of issues did you encounter, which were expected/unexpected, what did you do to resolve them, and what ended up working well during your experimentation? This section can be written in a stream-of-consciousness type of style as your group converses throughout the experiment.

Results & Conclusions: “What might you do next?”

After you have finished with the experimentation and data analysis, you should have come to a conclusion or found some result regarding what you intended to investigate. Write down the result(s) of what your experimental data showed, and what conclusions you can draw from your analysis. Make sure to explain and justify all of your conclusions by using your experimental data as evidence. Each lab should not only culminate in a discussion about what you learned from the experiments you performed, but you should also think about how you may do things differently in the future based on your experience today. You can think of it as addressing the question “What might I do next to continue/extend the investigation?”

UNG’s Supplemental Syllabus