Syllabus | Grading | Learning Outcomes

Course Catalog Description

ASTRONOMY 201 - Descriptive Astronomy
Descriptive survey of major astronomical facts, concepts, and relationships, starting with the solar system and extending to stars, galaxies, and cosmogonies. Writing assignments, as appropriate to the discipline, are part of the course. Prerequisite: eligibility for English 101, or English 100 with a grade of C or better, or Consent of Department Chairperson. 3 credit hours, 3 lecture hours per week based on sixteen weeks.


Astronomy, A Beginner's Guide to the Universe by Chaisson & McMillan, 7th. Edition, Pearson with Mastering Astronomy Online Supplement

Instructions for registering in Mastering Astronomy

Statement of Course Goal

The goal of this course is to awakening your curiosity about our universe and to introduce you to the wonders therein.

Course Introduction

This course counts as a general education couse for the Physical Sciences. It is a lecture course so it does not fulfill any requirements for laboratory work. This course is for beginners and therefore does not presume any knowledge of Astronomy. It is primarily a descriptive course but will introduce some mathematical concepts with explanations suitable for those with only a basic understanding of mathematics. You will learn through lectures, class discussions, projects, online activities and homework assignments. You will be assessed through quizzes and tests, homework assignments, class participation and projects.


Joy WalkerProf Joy Walker
Office: 3834
Phone: (773) 907-4698
Website: JustOnly.com

This photograph was taken in Alaska during a course about glaciers.

Office Hours - Room 3834

Monday and Wednesday12:30 to 4:00
Tuesday and Thursday3:30 to 4:00
Also by appointment


Welcome to my website. Here you will find materials from all of my classes and many other resources to help you learn. My experience includes the teaching of many subjects: astronomy, chemistry, geology, meteorology, conceptual physics, web development and design, programming, electronics, urban gardening, and food chemistry.

Education is a difficult field to belong to these days. On one hand information is easy to access. If you want to learn something new you can probably find excellent instructions via videos and other media on the Internet - so why come to a classroom? It is an important question to ask. Enrolling in college classes involves you with a community of learners. Note the word community. Please ask yourself: what does it mean to belong to a class - and to participate in a shared experience of learning?

My approach to teaching is multi-faceted. It seems to me that authentic experiences, tactile and immediate, are critical to building a connection between the learner and the subject. Certainly a love of the subject helps! Sometimes learners need structure and goals set externally to keep them moving through material. Sometimes learners need to be inspired and motivated.

Based on my years as an educator, my own intense curiosity about the world, my passion for learning and a commitment to your success I hope to provide you with an exceptional learning experience.

Truman College Mission Statement

"Our Mission dedicates us to deliver high-quality, innovative, affordable and accessible educational opportunities and services that prepare students for a rapidly changing and diverse global economy."


FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) is a federal law that protects the privacy of student educational records: http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/index.html. Faculty cannot reveal information about students, or discuss student records over the phone or unsecure e-mail. CCC student e-mail meets FERPA requirements.

Student Services

The Student Services Department provides a broad range of services to assist students in achieving their academic and life goals.

Students with Disabilities

The Truman College Disability Access Center (DAC) verifies needs pursuant to the American Disabilities Act (ADA), determines student academic accommodations, and issues accommodation letters. Phone number: (773) 907-4725. The DAC is located in Room 1435, Main Bldg.

Tutoring Center

The tutoring center is located in room 177, Larry McKeon Student Services Building, (773) 907-4785 or (773) 907-4790.

TRIO Student Support Services

TRIO is for low-income students, first generation college students, or students with disabilities who need academic support: (773) 907-4797, Room 1435, Main Bldg. Registration is required at the start of each semester.

Student Success and Leadership Institute (SSLI)

SSLI is for students who need various other support services to achieve their educational goals: (773) 907-4737, Room 1435, Main Bldg.

Wellness Center

The Wellness Center provides a variety of services at no cost for students including counseling, crisis intervention, support groups and more. (773) 907-4786, Room 1946, Main Bldg.