Success Codes - Questions and Answers

Success Codes! It's all about Success Codes. But what exactly is a success code? And how do you earn them? And what do you do when you earn them? Find out everything you need to know about Success Codes with our Questions and Answers page.

  1. What are Success Codes?

    When a student completes a Minds On Physics mission, a Success Codes is created and displayed on the screen. A Success Code is an 8-character code that include encrypted information about the user's identity, the teacher's identity, and the mission that was completed. Success Codes are unique to the student and to the mission. Two students who complete the same mission can never have the same Success Code. And the Success Codes for two different missions completed by the same student will always be different.

  2. Why does a student need Success Codes?

    When a teacher assigns a student a Minds On Physics mission, that teacher needs some means of validating that the student completed the mission. Success Codes are that means. The 8-character Success Codes includes encrypted information about the student, the teacher, and the mission that was completed. A teacher can run the student's Success Code through a special decrypter to determine who completed which missions of Minds On Physics.

  3. How is a Success Code created?

    When a student completes a Minds On Physics mission, a Success Code is created. The creation process includes a lengthy computer algorithm that combines information about the student (the ID number), the teacher (the Teacher Code), and the mission in order to create an 8-character code. The algorithm is essentially mathematical in nature with the final step of the process involving the conversion of numbers to letters.

  4. What should a student do with a Success Code?

    Students should clarify with their teacher exactly what they should do with the Success Codes that they earn. Most teachers will require that students write the Success Codes down and hand them in. The Physics Classroom provides specialized forms - known as Record Keeping Forms - that make the process of recording the Success Codes much easier. These forms are available as PDF documents and as Microsoft Word documents. The documents can be downloaded, edited, printed, and distributed by teachers for use by students. They are convenient forms for legibly recording Success Codes.

    The App version of Minds On Physics records Success Codes on the app itself. These Success Codes can be retrieved by tapping on the Medals icon on the Main Menu, tapping the button titled Manage Success Codes, and then selecting a topic area. While the App keeps a record of Success Codes, we still recommend that students keep a written record of their hard-earned Success Codes in the unlikely event of an app failure.

  5. What is the difference between a Gold Success Code, a Silver Success Code, and a Bronze Success Code?

    Teachers and students quickly recognize that they can earn a Gold medal, a Silver medal, and a Bronze medal when completing a Minds On Physics mission. As in athletic competitions, the ordering of these medals from least- to most-esteemed is Bronze, Silver, and Gold. A Bronze Medal is earned when students complete a Minds On Physics mission in Marathon Mode (available only in the App version, and not in the browser version). A Bronze Medal is accompanied by a Bronze Success Code. Silver and Gold Medals are earned when doing Minds On Physics in Sudden Death mode (the online version refers to it as For Credit mode). To earn a Gold Medal (and a Gold Success Code), a student must complete a Minds On Physics mission in Sudden Death mode. "Completion" involves having the Progress Bar reach 100% before the Health Bar drops to 0%. Silver medals are earned when students display a pattern of nearly completing the mission. (The formula is rather complex and includes several factors such as the number of attempts at the mission and the average of the most recent attempts.)

  6. How does a teacher know that my Success Code is valid?

    It doesn't take long for a student to recognize that a Success Code is an 8-character code. And the cryptic nature of the Success Code may tempt a student to use a little creativity of their own and submit a fictitious Success Code. But how will a teacher every know the difference between a valid Success Code and a fictitious one? That's quite an easy task if the teacher uses their Teacher Account. Since Success Codes are created using mathematical formulas, there's no randomness to it at all. Every time the same student completes the same mission - say mission KC1 - they will always receive the same Success Code. After all, if it's based on mathematics, it would have to be the same. As you know, 2 + 2 is always equal to 4 and 6 / 2 is always equal to 3. So if the encryption program starts with the same information - student with ID#123456 from teacher with Teacher Code of PHYSX and mission 1 of module 1 - then the encryption functions always output the same result. So a teacher simply uses a Decryption program that includes the same mathematical formulas in the encryption program and is able to validate a student's Success Codes.

  7. I submitted a success code to my teacher but my teacher said it was not valid. Why? What's that mean?

    There are several reasons for why a student-submitted Success Code is judged to be invalid. But the bottom line is that the teacher is indicating to the student that there was no match between what the student was supposed to get as a success code and what the student submitted. Teachers who have a Teacher Account are able to check on every character in the 8-character Success Code to see if there is a match. It is the lack of a match that leads to this Invalid verdict. But what could have happened? Here's a list of possible issues and corresponding solutions:

    First, there could be a mismatch between information associated with the student's account. The student's ID# and the teacher's Teacher Code are used to create an encrypted Success Code. If a student reports an ID# of 192560 to the teacher but does a Minds On Physics mission with an ID# of 123456, then there will most certainly be a mismatch between submitted code and expected code. If using the App version of MOP, then check the profile information to view the ID# and Teacher Code. If what is listed there is different than the ID# and Teacher Code used by the teacher when checking validity, then we know the cause of the invalid verdict.

    Second, make sure that you have written the correct Success Code down for the indicated mission. You can easily re-check by visiting the Success Code portion of the App. Tap on the Medals icon from the Main Menu, then tap on the Manage Success Codes button, and pick the topic area. 

    Other reasons for the invalid verdict are of a less noble nature and indicate that a student became is stretching the truth regarding what missions were and were not completed. In the end, if there ever is any dispute, always remember that the App version of Minds On Physics stores the Success Codes and thus the App can be used as a validation tool.

  8. I'm a teacher. Why do I need to check student success codes?

    If you are a teacher that assigns Minds On Physics missions as assigned work with the intent of generating a grade based on its completion, then you will need to have some sort of plan to validate that the work was completed. If you're students use the App version of the program, you can either collect Success Codes and validate them with the Teacher App or you check for Success Codes directly on the students' Apps. If one or more of your students use the browser version of the program, then you have no choice but to use the Teacher App to check the validity of Success Codes.

    For many students, the task of completing a Minds On Physics mission is a challenging task. Out of a frustration and a fear of a grade reduction, students who have difficulty with the program will on occasion submit a fictitious Success Code. If word gets out that the method works, it is almost a guarantee that the frequency at which fictitious Success Codes are submitted will increase. The only guard against such unethical strategies for success is to check on Success Code validity.

  9. I am a teacher and a student submitted and entire module's worth of success codes. I checked them and none of them were valid?

    While it is an uncommon occurrence, a teacher may observe an entire unit's worth of Success Codes not matching the expected Success Codes found in the Teacher App. The cause is usually a mis-match between the Student ID# and/or the Teacher Code as listed in the Student App and in the Teacher App. These two bits of information identify the student who completed the work and earned the Success Code. Since Success Codes are unique to the individual student, a mismatch of these two identifying pieces of information will cause an entire units worth of Success Codes to be invalid. Fortunately, the fix is easy. Check the student's app to determine what was used as the Student ID# and the Teacher Code. Then enter this same information on the Teacher App for that student. Once done, re-check the validity of the Success Codes.


Navigation for MOPs for Teachers:

Teacher Use || Teacher Accounts  || MOP Teacher App

Teacher App Manual || Submitting Success Codes || Success Code Q&As

MS Word Templates (coming soon) || Google Doc Templates (coming soon)


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