1) Course Operation:
The courses are integrated lecture/lab courses, so you must sign up and attend the same section of both the lab and the lecture. Not attending "lab" harms both your and your classmate's learning, thus is not allowed.
The goal of the course is to learn physics, so the course is structured to make that happen. The basis of our learning is an interactive classroom with no lecture. You will do projects/labs/exercises in class, work in groups, present your results to the class, and answer questions from other students and the instructors. It's a supportive environment, so the questions will help you understand. You will learn by discovering the physics laws from the class activities.
We expect everyone to be engaged during class, so you can learn and help others learn. Scientists work in groups, so we will constantly work in groups. You'll come to rely on the group and the group will rely upon you. Attendance is therefore required, and you must attend all classes (excused absences are acceptable). Outside of the class, the work is roughly equal to what you should do in a normal class (homework, reading, etc). The burden of learning is yours, but the class will facilitate your learning.