Welcome to an example of 21st century lifelong learning. If you have a need or desire to master algebra-based physics, you have found the right place—provided you are willing to work for it.

Here is a short FAQ to get you started:

  • What is the academic level of this course? The course outline looks much like a typical college-level course in general physics. A good understanding of algebra, but no calculus, is a prerequisite.
  • How long does take to complete this course?  This is an example of 21st-century lifelong learning. Among other things, this means your work with it does not necessarily end. As far as the study program is concerned, time is not an issue. Only you can determine how much time you can devote to it. It could be anywhere between 6 months and forever. That is up to you.
  • Do I get a diploma for completing this course? No. There are no diplomas or certificates of completion for several good reasons, both philosophical and practical. The real proof of your participation is the influence the work has on your life and career.
  • Do I have a teacher or mentor to help me? No, but you have access to the best possible source of help: others who are doing the same thing as you. Be sure to join the Live Help group.
  • Do I need a textbook? No. Textbooks are certainly helpful, but they aren't required for this course. You already have access to the sum of human knowledge by way of the Internet. In fact, one of the objectives of this course is to help direct your online learning experiences.
  • Where do I send my quizzes and exams for grading? Many of the quizzes offered in this course use a form that allows you to e-mail your results to a teacher. Feel free to send your test results to yourself or a study buddy, but not to the publisher or Free-Ed.Net.


Using the List of Terms and Concepts

Every lesson in this course opens with a list of terms and concepts. Their purpose is to help guide the direction and depth of your online studies. It can be very instructive to cut-and-paste each of the items into the search box; but be aware of the temptation to follow undirected search paths that lead only to confusion.

The lists of terms and concepts for this course are taken almost verbatim from Giambattista's College Physics,4/e; published by McGraw-Hill Higher Education.  We certainly appreciate the use of this material in the spirit of fair use and exposure of the text in a new marketplace.


Management of Equations

One of the vital keys to success with this course depends on how you manage the equations. College-level physics courses rely heavily upon mathematical equations, and your perspective on those equations and how you use them determines how much real physics you learn. Ideally, math equations in physics courses provide a way to describe a physical phenomenon. Too often in today's physics classrooms, the equations are viewed as recipes for solving specific problem. When that happens, the students get plenty of exercise solving equations, but learn little about the fundamental concepts they are supposed to portray.

In this particular course, the primary learning resource shows all the necessary equations, but does not define the terms. This is where you have an opportunity to do some research, and use the Web to uncover the definitions for the terms in the equations. You should maintain a list of these equations, complete with the definitions you find, in your Learning Journal.


Forever a Work in Progress

Finally, just as your education is always a work in progress, so is this program of study. The Web is a dynamic place where new learning features can appear and old ones disappear at any time.  When we uncover compelling new resources on the Web, we will integrate them into your study guide. Likewise, when resource we have been supporting suddenly disappear from the Web (and that does happen occasionally) we will strive to replace them for you as soon as we can. And there may be instances where we find a learning resource on the Web that is far better than the one we are using here. In that case, we will add the better resource and archive the older.

The form and much of the content of this course refer to a specific textbook: Giambattista's College Physics,4/e.  The author and publisher, McGraw-Hill Higher Education, had no part in the production of this course, nor is any endorsement or affiliation implied.

David L. Heiserman, Editor

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All Rights Reserved

Revised: June 06, 2015