EME 812
Utility Solar Power and Concentration

The Learning Environment


This course will be conducted entirely on the World Wide Web. There are no set class meeting times, but you will be required to complete weekly assignments. Registered students in this course will need to navigate between several environments in the World Wide Web. These include:

This Site

The instructional materials in this site include syllabus, 11 weekly lessons, course orientation, and other supporting info. Each lesson contains an introduction, followed by several pages of reading materials, commentary on reading and questions to consider, and directions on the homework activities. The final weeks of the course are reserved for completing the individual course project, with some directions given at the bottom of the lessons list. 

When working through the pages on this course website, you will notice some information put in color boxes. These boxes are meant to give you a visual cue to some action items (readings or activities) or important or helpful material that supplement your learning. These are some of the items you will see presented in boxes:

Reading Assignments

Any references or links presented as Reading Assignments are required reading items. These items are also listed in the front page of each lesson and also appear throughout your lesson topics. All of the required reading materials in this course are available online either through links or via Penn State library system. 

Supplemental Reading

Any items listed as supplemental reading materials are recommended, but not required for the completion of this course. These items typically will give you more in-depth knowledge on specific topics. Some of the listed materials are not freely available online, so you may need to search other libraries or purchase those books if you are specifically interested in them. 

Check Your Understanding or Self-check questions

The items marked as "self-check questions" or "check your understanding" provide you with a quick and simple way to test your knowledge on the topic and give you an opportunity to reflect on your learning. These questions are ungraded, and the solutions are usually provided to you so you can compare your answers. While these questions are ungraded, completing these before checking the answers will help you learn.


Some examples and additional explanations and comments related to lesson content are also placed in boxes sometimes. These materials will give you a chance to take a step aside and contemplate on the concepts presented in the lesson.

Emphasis points

Notes placed in yellow boxes re-iterate important take-aways from the lesson materials, conclusions, or punchlines. 

Canvas (https://psu.instructure.com/)

In Canvas, Penn State's learning management system, registered students can access the course calendar, communicate with instructor and fellow students, submit assignments, receive feedback from the instructor, take online quizzes and surveys, and check assignment rubrics and grades. Also some additional lesson materials, such as activity worksheets, addendums, PDF documents, etc., may be also posted on Canvas. Note that a link to Canvas appears as a tab on your menu. In Canvas, you will also find links back to this site from corresponding modules.