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Learning Exercise

Material: Physlets
Submitted by: Chuck Bennett on Oct 07, 2000
Date Last Modified: Apr 08, 2004
Title: 1D Motion Physlet Problem #1
Description: Adaptation of Mario Belloni's physlet problem to work as a calculated question within WebCT.
Time Required 15 minutes
Topics: One dimensional motion.
Course: Introductory physics.
Prerequisites Skills: Knowlege of one-dimensional kinematics.
Technical Notes: This question looks for the java archive files in the webct_install_dirwebctuserclasses subdirectory (i.e.,
Text of Learning Exercise: Mario's orgininal problem may be viewed at
It involves two blocks with different motion parameters. A green block
accelerates from rest, and an orange block moves at constant velocity. 
Both blocks start from the same point at t=0. The questions asks for the
point at which the green block overtakes the orange block. The animation
stops before this event occurs.

The modification utilizes the random parameter feature of the WebCT
calculated question format. The advantage here is that you can allow unlimited
attempts and encourage collaboration. Since the parameters are
re-randomized on each attempt, it is appropriate to report the correct answer after an incorrect submission.

The WebCT version of this question is at
Download and unzip the file, and import into WebCT. A question database
category will be created called physlet_problems (if it does not already

Once you have the problem working, create a quiz that uses it. The quiz
settings that I find most effective for this problem are

  • Unlimited attempts

  • Highest score determines grade

  • Release the score once the quiz has been submitted

  • Show the student's response for each question

  • Show the correct answer for each question

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