Physics 221, Elements of Physics I, Sections 1-5, 12, 13, and 15, Spring 2021

Physics 221 is a 4 credit-hour, introductory physics course with laboratory.  There are 8 sections.  All sections use the same Canvas site and the same class material.  Students have to adhere to a strict course schedule.  The class material is divided into 12 modules.  For each module students are expected to submit assignments and lab reports online on time.

Students in sections 1 and 2 attend class on Thursdays, 11:30 am - 12:45 pm, and earn class participation credit by answering clicker questions.
Students in sections 3 - 5, 12, 13, and 15 earn class participation credit by participating in the Canvas discussions forum.  They have to make at least one meaningful contribution to the discussion associated with each module.

Students in sections 1 - 5 have hand-on/online labs.  Students in these section are divided into two groups for the hands-on activities.
Students in sections 12, 13, and 15 have online-only labs.
Students must earn a passing grade for the lab to earn a passing grade for the course.

Physics 221 is a general education course.  Please allow enough time in your schedule for this 4 credit-hour course.


Dr. Marianne Breinig (Physics)
Office: 202 Nielsen Physics Bldg.
Office Hours:  online and by appointment
Phone: 974-7842

Studio Session/Lab Instructors

Section 1:
Shaun Vavra

Section 2:
Anuradha Wijesinghe
Chandima Edirisinghe
Section 3:
Rosa Luz Zamora Peinado
Ewa Glimos
Section 4:
Kazi Reaz

Section 5:
Anuradha Wijesinghe
Milinda Randeniya
Teaching Assistant
Nina Hethmon

Section 12:
Jesse Buffaloe

Section 13:
Love Richburg
Debshikha Banerjee
Section 15:
Sohan Costa
Shashi Pandey

All instructors will have office/tutoring hours at many different times during each week.  Students from all sections can attend any instructor's office/tutoring hour.

Class structure:

Students are expected to complete the online class modules on time.  Each module consist of two sets of online class materials that student are required to study, two homework assignments, one laboratory, a class participation discussion forum, and optional extra credit opportunities. 
All assignments (including labs) for each module must be completed by the date shown on the schedule.  Links for the submission of all assignments are on Canvas.  Students should use the online discussion forum to engage with the instructors and each other.

Students are responsible for their own learning.


The textbook for the class is OpenStax Tutor, College Physics.
This is an online textbook with spaced practice problems and feedback.  You find the instructions on how to access this textbook on Canvas under Modules.

The College Physics textbook by itself can be found at
and can also be downloaded as a PDF.

Homework assignments:

Homework assignments are based on the material covered in the on-line modules.  They are found under Assignments on Canvas and must be submitted on time.


Test are 90 minute online exams.  Test 1 questions are about material covered in modules 1 - 6, and test 2 questions are about material covered in modules 7 - 12.  You will take the exam online using the Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor.

Extra credit:

Up to 50 points extra credit will be available.  Students can earn up to 25 extra credit points by answering OpenStax Tutor questions before the class meetings, and they can earn up to 2 points extra credit per module by completing a two-question extra credit assignment.  See Canvas for details.  Extra credit points are added to your total score from tests, homework assignments and laboratories.


Each test is worth up to 125 points.  The lab work is worth a maximum of 100 points.  Homework assignments are worth a maximum of 100 points.  Class participation is worth a maximum of 50 points. Extra credit points are added to your total score from tests, laboratories, assignments, and class participation.

450 and above    90% and above    A
435-449 87% - 89% A-
415-434 83% - 86% B+
400-414 80% - 82% B
385-399 77% - 79% B-
365-384 73% - 76% C+
350-364 70% - 72% C
335-349 67% - 69% C-
315-334 63% - 66% D+
300-314 60% - 62% D
285-299 57% - 59% D-

Excused absences or missed assignments:

Students must notify the instructor promptly and submit documentation if they miss an assignment or lab with a valid excuse and request an extension.  Late notifications will not be accepted.


In Canvas, please go to "Account", "Notifications", and set your notification preferences so that you receive announcements notifications and conversations immediately.  Review the announcements in Canvas regularly.

If you need course adaptations or accommodations please let me know how I can help you.
If you have a documented disability, please contact Student Disability Services (SDS).  This will ensure that you are properly registered for the services provided by SDS.

Student Disability Services
915 Volunteer Blvd/100 Dunford Hall
Knoxville, TN 37996
Tel: 865-974-6087
Fax: 865-974-9552
VRS: 865-622-6566

For important additional information please see the Campus Syllabus.