Geology of the National Parks

Frequently Asked Questions


Frequently Asked Questions

QUESTIONS ABOUT GEOSC 10? Look here for the answers: This page contains a list of the most frequently asked questions in GEOSC 10. If your question and answer are not here visit the "General Questions and Comments Discussion Forum" in Canvas. There you can see if your question has already been asked and answered or post a question so the rest of the class can benefit from the answer.

How should I ask questions in this course?

Please send an email through Canvas Conversations to ALL of the teachers and teaching assistants. Doing so will ensure that you receive the quickest response. Failure to email everyone will result in a response being delayed for up to a week. See the directions on our Course Communications page in the Orientation.

I missed an assignment due to a Canvas problem

Unfortunately, the quizzes and RockOns are set for specific time-periods (refer to the Calendar tab). We can not re-open them after they close. In the future, if you have an 'urgent' problem you should contact Canvas Help using the Help Icon in the left-hand navigation menu.

With online courses, there can sometimes be technical difficulties. That is why we urge you all to attempt each 'task' well ahead of the deadline, just in case something comes up.

I am having problems with Canvas. What should I do?

If you are a World Campus student and experience technology problems in Canvas please contact the World Campus Help Desk(link is external). If you are a University Park or Commonwealth Campus student, please contact the IT Service Desk. See the Get Help page for more details. 

Weekly & Biweekly Assignments

Are there things due every week in Geosc10?

Yes! Each week you are responsible for reading the online instructional materials. In addition to learning the instructional materials, you complete a weekly StudentSpeak! survey, a weekly RockOn quiz, and 6 exercises, which are assigned every other week. There are weekly Practice Quizzes available for you. They are not required and are not graded.

When are assignments due?

Due dates are posted on the Canvas calendar and the Canvas Syllabus.

What is a StudentsSpeak?

StudentSpeaks! are the beginning-of-the-unit surveys that help the professor learn what the class already knows about the upcoming unit of study. Since there are 12 units of study, there are a total of 12 surveys, each worth 1% of the total course grade.

What is a RockOn?

RockOns are weekly quizzes that test your understanding of the lesson materials.
Read more specifics about taking your RockOn quiz in the Resource Menu.

How much are the RockOn quizzes worth?

Quizzes are worth 4.5% each or 45% of your total grade.

When are the RockOn quizzes due?

All RockOns are due by 11:59 pm on Sunday evenings. NOTE that all due dates are posted in the Canvas calendar and the course syllabus in Canvas. 

Do I have to take all of the RockOn quizzes?

Ten (10) of the twelve (12) quizzes count towards your grade. This allows you to miss up to two quizzes without losing points. If you take all twelve (12), we will drop the two (2) lowest scores.

Can I make up a missed RockOn?

If you have documentation that you will be on a University authorized trip or another legitimate excuse, you can email us PRIOR to the due date and we will make appropriate arrangements. If, however, you simply miss the due date or have technical problems, you can use your 2 free drops.

How can I study more effectively for the RockOn Quizzes?

I wish I had a simple answer. One possibility is, when you miss a quiz question, look at the feedback, then go back into the course materials and look for how the answer was presented. In learning to recognize the big ideas, where they were, and how they were presented, you might find that you'll do better the next week when you work through the new material. If you just say a bad word and forget about it, you're not really learning from the mistake.

Secondly, be sure to check the "overview of the main topics and ideas" link in the introductory materials; that is a useful guide to many of the key points, in a simple format.

The final idea is harder to explain, but perhaps more important. If you read through the materials for a week and find a HUGE number of unconnected facts, or if you are printing the text and then highlighting it, and it is mostly fire-engine-green at the end, we're not connecting yet. Underlying the numerous "facts" are a much smaller number of simple ideas--pull-apart vs. push-together vs. slide-past, floating vs. sinking, etc.. Once you pull out a few of those big ideas, everything else fits. It is a bit like a jigsaw puzzle; if you don't have the box lid and therefore don't know what the picture is, fitting the first few pieces together is VERY difficult. But once you have an idea of the picture, and what colors go where, the rest is MUCH easier, and you pop the pieces in place rapidly because they all fit. So, when you're working through a unit, ask yourself what the big ideas are, and try to fit the other pieces into that puzzle.

What is a Practice Quiz?

A practice quiz is exactly what it sounds like. An opportunity to see a sample of the types of questions you will see in the actual RockOn Quiz.

Do the practice quizzes count toward your grade?

No, the practice quizzes do not count toward your grade. They are there to help you with the real quiz.

What is an Exercise?

An exercise is an opportunity for you to apply the information you are learning in the class as well as learn some new things.

How much are the Exercises worth?

Exercises are worth 5% each or 25% of your total grade.

Do I have to complete all of the Exercises?

You must complete five (5) exercises out of six (6). If you choose to submit all six (6), we will drop the lowest grade.

What do I do if I accidentally submit the wrong answer on a quiz?

There isn’t anything we can do in this case except offer some good advice on taking online quizzes. Primarily, check your answers before hitting submit.  It might also be helpful to number a piece of paper before you take the quiz and write the answer (letter) down as you take the quiz. This way you can quickly review your answers before submitting without actually having to read through each question if you are in a time crunch.

Extra Credit

What is the instructors’ philosophy on Extra Credit?

Extra credit is not designed as an excuse to avoid doing other things - it is a way for you to complement the grades you receive for completing the standard course requirements. This is why extra credit can raise your grade in only one step, but for many, one step is quite worthwhile, and we are more than happy to provide opportunities for people to earn that step.

How is Extra Credit graded?

Extra credit is basically graded on two things - 1) has it been completed? 2) is there evidence of effort and quality? Essentially, what this means is that if you've put in an honest effort and you’ve done a reasonable job with it, it counts.

How much is Extra Credit worth?

Up to a maximum of 6 extra credit points can be earned through the extra credit options, which will be added to your grade after the curve has been calculated. The personal introduction will be worth 1 point, the vTrip will be worth up to 2 points, the mid-semester survey worth up to 1 point and the quiz questions are worth up to 2 points.
"Thus, if you have a 79% for a C+ before the extra credit, earning 3 extra-credit points will raise you to 82% for a B-, and all 5 extra-credit points will raise you all the way to 84% for a B. You just add the extra credit points to your final percentage for the course.

Can I do all of the Extra Credits?

Absolutely. Having your final grade bumped up a notch at the end of the semester is most likely to happen if you've done all three Extra Credit activities. Think of it this way - we've provided you with some opportunities to contribute to the course experience - so, the more you contribute, the greater the incentive we have to acknowledge those contributions at the end of the semester.

When is Extra Credit due?

There are 4 extra credit opportunities that become available at different times throughout the semester. The open and close dates are available on the class calendar and will be noted in the weekly announcements. Be alert for these opportunities.

When is Extra Credit added to my final grade?

Extra Credit will be added to your final grade after the final closes for the entire class.


Are the final grades curved?

Grades for this course will be assigned using a straight scale grade as specified in the Syllabus. If warranted, grades will be raised (but not lowered) by curving. If a curve is applied to raise your grades, we will do so at the end of the course and to your total grade before adding extra credit. We will not curve an individual item or group of items, such as a single quiz or all quizzes; instead, the entire course grade will be curved if needed, after we see your final exam scores.

When will I get my grades for the final exam and for the class?

The final course grade will be published after the final exam closes and after a possible curve has been calculated. We will notify you by e-mail once the final grades are published.

Final Exam

What will the final look like?

The final exam will be comprehensive, multiple-choice, and online. The exam will contain approximately 60 questions and be very similar in format to the RockOn quizzes you have taken each week. NOTE: They will be very similar to but NOT identical to the quiz questions you've already seen.

How many questions will be on the final?

There are 60 questions on the final.

Is the final comprehensive?

Yes, the final is comprehensive and will include everything covered in the course instructional materials, the StudentSpeaks, the Exercises and everything within Canvas that is not marked as optional.

How much is the final worth?

The final exam is worth 20% of your total course grade.

When do I take the final?

You can take the exam during any two-hour time period that falls completely within the 7-day window (Fall and Spring) or within the 4-day window (Summer) we have scheduled for the final. Refer to the course calendar in Canvas for the specific dates and times. Once you open the exam you will only have two hours to complete it and it must be completed in its ENTIRETY by the due date/time. In addition, you will NOT be able to save it and come back to it later so look at your Final Exam schedule early and set aside a two-hour block of undisturbed time to take and complete the exam.

Where do I take the final?

You can take this exam from any computer that is configured to run this course. If you plan to go home early or take the final from a computer that you have not used regularly for this course, please make sure it is configured properly. As with all of the other quizzes, we are not responsible for computer glitches and problems. If your computer freezes up, there is nothing we can do for you. To avoid this issue, feel free to utilize one of the many University Computer Labs available throughout the Commonwealth.

What do I do if I have computer problems during the final?

As with all of the other quizzes, we are not responsible for computer glitches and problems. If your computer freezes up, there is nothing we can do for you.

How should I prepare for the final?

Please note that anything we have covered this semester is fair game and that every unit may be included on the exam. That said, there are many ways to prepare for a comprehensive final.

Start by reviewing the lesson materials and the RockOn feedback that you saved and/or printed off after each quiz. Please do NOT ask the faculty or other students for this feedback in the event you did NOT save it. This will be considered a breach of academic integrity.

Try to allocate equal time to each unit when you are preparing for an is better to cover all of the units a little bit, than half of them 'really' well and half not at all. Especially if you tend to concentrate on the units that you find most interesting :-)

So, when reviewing, try going through each unit, and pick out what you think the key concept(s) are that you think the professors want you to get out of it. Chances are that there will be questions on those concepts...there may be other ones you can't predict, but this will give you a solid base.

Review all of the material in the “Final Exam Study Aids” folder under the Lessons tab. This folder contains:

  • “Course Review” document
  • “GEOSC 10 Review Session” lecture via Mediasite live
Finally, remember to review your exercises.

Will I receive feedback on my final?

No, there is no feedback following the final exam.

When will I get my grades for the final exam and for the class?

The final exam grade and the final course grade will be published at the same time after extra credit and a possible curve has been calculated. Please do not email us for your grades as this will hold up the process.