Search all MERLOT
Select to go to your profile
Select to go to your workspace
Select to go to your Dashboard Report
Select to go to your Content Builder
Select to log out
Search Terms
Enter username
Enter password
Please give at least one keyword of at least three characters for the search to work with. The more keywords you give, the better the search will work for you.
Select OK to launch help window
Cancel help


Advanced Search


Search > Learning Exercise Results > Newtons's Laws Physlet Problem #1

Learning Exercise: Newtons's Laws Physlet Problem #1

Newtons's Laws Physlet Problem #1
Adaptation of a Physlet problem to work as a calculated question within WebCT.
Course: Introductory Physics


Submitted by:
Chuck Bennett
Date Last Modified:
April 08, 2004


The orgininal problem may be viewed at
A light block slides on top of a heavy block on a frictionless surface. An external force is applied to the light block, and friction causes the heavy block to accelerate.

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

There are two parts to this problem. Part a asks for the coefficient of friction, and part b asks for the external force. Since WebCT does not provide a way to extend a given set of parameters over mulitple questions, the motion in part b is reversed.

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

Send questions to



No audiences defined for this Learning Exercise


Newton's Laws

Technical Notes

This question looks for the java archive files in the webct_install_dirwebctuserclasses subdirectory (i.e.,

Go to MERLOT's page on Facebook
Go to MERLOT's page on Twitter
Go to MERLOT's page on LinkedIn
Go to MERLOT's RSS Feeds
Go to MERLOT's blog on Wordpress
Go to MERLOT's YouTube Page
Get MERLOT's Android App
Get MERLOT's iPhone/iPad App
MERLOT policies and practices