MATH 001: Introductory Algebra
Spring Semester 2007
Section : 001 Room: MRC 316
Times: MTWR 10:00 – 10:50 am Final Exam: Friday, 5/11, 7:40 – 9:40 a.m.
Instructor: Elizabeth Gaedy (Math Specialist –Learning Center)
Contact Information: Office: MRC 332, Phone: 796-3192, Email: email@example.com, Office Hours: By Appointment
Course Description: Real number system, order of operations; Algebraic problem solving, solving linear equations; Cartesian coordinate system, graphs of equations; Exponents and radicals; Factoring polynomials, solving equations by factoring.
Four Credits. (Credits not applicable toward graduation.)
Note: This course serves as a pre-requisite for MATH 110 (College Algebra), MATH 130 (Introductory Statistics), or MATH 155 (Mathematics, A Way of Thinking). You must earn at least a “C” grade to qualify for the next course in your sequence.
ALEKS Student Access Code: Purchased from the Viterbo Bookstore.
You will also need the appropriate Course Code for your specific section, which is provided later in this document.
Text: Introductory Algebra: A Real-World Approach. 2nd Edition. By Ignacio Bello. (McGraw-Hill, 2006)
This textbook is published by McGraw-Hill, who also handles ALEKS for institutions of higher education. Our text has been precisely integrated with ALEKS, so that you can use your book for explanations, worked examples and practice problems as we move our way through the course material.
Course Goals and Student Outcomes:
1. Students will demonstrate their readiness for learning algebra.
(a) Students will take ALEKS assessment.
(b) Students will work through pre-algebra ALEKS modules indicated as necessary.
2. Students will improve their mastery of algebraic skills.
(a) Students will take ALEKS assessment of algebra knowledge and skills.
(b) Students will work through the ALEKS modules indicated as necessary.
(c) Students will take indicated exams to demonstrate their learning.
3. Students will develop their ability to apply algebraic thinking and procedures to problem solving.
(a) Students will work through the ALEKS modules that focus on problem solving.
Course Procedures and Policies:
MATH 001: Math 001, “Introductory Algebra”, is a not-for-graduation-credit course intended to prepare students for the various courses for which 001 is a pre-requisite, namely MATH 110 (College Algebra), MATH 130 (Introductory Statistics), and MATH 155 (Mathematics, A Way of Thinking). The material is essentially the first year of algebra, which would typically be taken in high school, which explains why this course is numbered 001, and why the 4 credits you will earn here do not count toward graduation, even though they do count toward full-time status.
Your placement score indicated that you have not mastered this content, whatever the reason. To make the best of the situation, your goal here must be to learn this material and master the necessary skills so that you can be successful in the courses you eventually need to take as part of your college program.
ALEKS: ALEKS (Assessment and LEarning in Knowledge Spaces) is a web-based program designed to carefully assess what students know and what they are ready to learn, and then to methodically tutor them in the given material, in this case Introductory Algebra. After registering, you will begin by going through a brief tutorial on the use of the ALEKS input tool, also called the “Answer Editor.” On the second day you will do the Initial Assessment in class.
Probably the best thing about ALEKS is that it allows each student to take a course specifically designed for his/her individual needs – students will be working at their own pace and working on material they are ready to learn. The implication of this is that I will not be “lecturing” on textbook sections in the customary way. My role as instructor here is to monitor your learning and to engage in individual tutoring as the need arises.
Another advantage to using ALEKS is that since it is web-based you can work on your course anywhere you have internet access. ALEKS will remember where you left off and will always make sure that you have shown readiness before presenting new material. However, the Initial Assessment and all Quizzes/Exams must be taken during class.
Be sure to do your own work! Your best preparation for online in-class quizzes is when you have been working with ALEKS yourself. By allowing someone else to do your work for you, the only person you are cheating is yourself.
Grading System: Your grade will be determined by the following five factors:
(1) Check-Offs: 60 points possible (5 points each)
(2) ALEKS Quizzes: 200 points possible (10 exams x 20 points each)
(3) ALEKS modules completed: 100 points possible (percentage of modules completed based on final assessment)
(4) Mid-term and final: 200 points possible (100 for mid-term, 100 for final)
(5) Attendance/ALEKS time outside of class: Important determination for borderline grades
This makes for a total of 560 points. Grades will be assigned according to the scale:
A 93% or above
AB 88 – 92%
B 82 – 87%
BC 77 – 81%
C 70 – 76%
CD 65 – 69%
D 60 – 64%
F < 60%
**NOTE** You also need to complete at least or 80% of the ALEKS topics to pass the course. You need at least a “C” grade to be allowed to advance to the next course in your sequence.
(1) Check-Offs: You will all receive a packet containing Check-Offs which are basically practice problems for questions covered throughout the course. Think of these as homework problems that need to be turned-in. As you master the topics covered on each Check-Off, complete the questions and submit your packet for review. Each section (A – L) is worth 5 points. The Check-Offs need to be completed during class in order to receive credit.
(2) ALEKS Quizzes: In addition to automatic assessments produced by ALEKS based on your completion, ALEKS has the ability to construct exams at points indicated by the instructor. I tell ALEKS what material I want covered and the program constructs problems that test understanding of that material. You will need to complete a Quiz for each chapter of ALEKS, which should correspond to a chapter in your text. Each quiz will be worth 20 points. You can take the quizzes when you complete a chapter, however, there will be a due date at which point you must have the quiz completed whether or not you have finished the material on ALEKS. You can use your handwritten notes on the quizzes. DO NOT use the text.
Think of quizzes as a way to keep yourself on schedule for completing the course by the end of the semester.
* For each Quiz, although it will be taken online, you need to turn-in a paper/pencil copy of the questions with your work and answers at the end of the class period during which each Quiz is taken. At the completion of the Quiz, you will receive your score. If you do not pass a Quiz or plan to retake it, do not turn in your work. Study from it - - you are allowed one chance to re-take each quiz.
**REMINDER** These quizzes, even the re-takes, must be taken in the classroom!
A calculator is allowed for all in-class assessments EXCEPT for Quiz #1 .
_______________ __Quiz Schedule: _____________________
Review & Chapter 1 January 24, 2007
Chapter 2 February 7
Chapter 3 February 14
Chapter 4 February 21
Chapter 5 March 14
Chapter 6 March 21
Chapter 7 March 28
Chapter 8 April 11
Chapter 9 April 18
Chapter 10 May 1
(3) ALEKS Modules Completed: On the last two days of class you will take a final assessment, triggered by me. The percentage you score on that assessment is the number of points you receive, based out of 100. This assessment must be completed in the classroom. If you do not finish in one class period, you MUST NOT log on to ALEKS again until you return the next day for class, at which time you can complete your assessment. You must leave record with me as to which problem you were on when you leave, and if you are not on that same problem when you return, you must take the assessment again in the Learning Center. You can use your handwritten notes. DO NOT use the text.
(4) Midterm and Final: The Mid-Term and Final will be a traditional hard-copy test. It will not be an online assessment. Some of you may not be on schedule for the assessments, and this will no doubt affect your performance and, in turn, your Mid-Term and final course grade. The lesson learned here is that part of success in a course is learning the material within a designated amount of time. You will be allowed one instructor-provided note card for notes to use with each test.
(5) Attendance: A major factor in learning mathematics is a regular and focused schedule of practice. You need to practice virtually every day, and for a considerable amount of time each day in order to establish a solid foundation in algebra. To help you work on ALEKS, classroom attendance is REQUIRED every day. I will be keeping track, and will contact you if you miss too many classes. Your attendance will become a factor if your grade falls on a border between two grading categories.
ALEKS Time: ALEKS keeps track of how much time you have put in as well as how much progress you have made. It is almost impossible to pass the class if you do not spend additional time outside of class on ALEKS. It is suggested that you spend an additional 2 to3 hours outside of class for each hour in class. This commitment will help ensure successful progress through ALEKS. I will be keeping track of your hours spent on ALEKS, and I will contact you if it appears you are not putting in enough time outside of class. Your total number of hours on ALEKS will become a factor if your grade falls on a border between two grading categories.
Schedule: Your starting point and rate of progress are based on your initial assessment and learning rate. Because ALEKS allows students to work at their individual pace, students will be at a variety of places in the material throughout the semester. Still, in order to pass the course and move into the subsequent course you will need to demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the material within the semester’s time constraints.
It is possible that some of you will actually complete the ALEKS course before the calendar indicates the semester is over, and that’s fine. I will still have you take the final exam with the rest of the class on the scheduled date. And it is possible that some of you may reach December without completing the material. ALEKS offers a guarantee that if you do not pass the course despite having put in at least 80 hours, your license to use ALEKS can be renewed for a semester at no cost. In this case, you will be given a grade of “I” (Incomplete), allowing you to work towards completion of the course during the next semester. Of course, this is far from ideal since it means you could not yet enroll in the course you need to take for your major. Use the Quiz dates as a goal for completion!
Americans with Disabilities Act: If you are a person with a disability and require any auxiliary aids, services, or other accommodations for this class, please see me and/or Wayne Wojciechowski, the campus ADA coordinator (MC 335, 796-3085), within ten days to discuss your needs.
Academic Honesty: Per University policy (handbook page 131), you are expected to do your own work for this class. This includes and is not limited to the completion of all ALEKS work, including practice within ALEKS, and assessments. One example of dishonest behavior would be allowing another student to work problems for you in ALEKS. A second example would be having another student take all or part of an online assessment for you. If it is suspected that you violated this policy, you will need to retake the assessment under supervision.
Tuesday, May 1: Check-Offs Due
Wednesday, May 2 & Thursday, May 3: Completion Assessment on ALEKS
Friday, May 11: Course Final
No Class Meetings:
Monday, March 5 – Thursday, March 8: Spring Break
Monday, April 9: Easter Break
The policies and outline of this course are subject to change at the discretion of the instructor.
You will need the ALEKS Student Access Code on the back of your ALEKS Users’ Guide, purchased from the Bookstore. You will also need the Course Code for your section, which is listed below.
1st Type www.aleks.comin the URL line of your browser. Then add the site to Your Favorites.
ALEKS will lead you through the process of creating an account. Above the Registered Users box you should click:
New User? Sign Up Now!
2nd To enroll in your specific section, you will need the appropriate course code:
WVT63-HTFFX Section 001 MRC 316
On the first day of class, each of you will log in and we will examine the basics of using ALEKS. I will ask you to work your way through the “Answer Editor” tutorial so that you become familiar with how to enter mathematical expressions for assessments, on-line work and quizzes. Then on the second day of class I will have you take the initial ALEKS assessment to get a baseline rating of your skills and readiness for the material in this course. It is important that you always put forth your best effort when taking assessments, because this is how ALEKS determines whether or not you have mastered the material already learned.
ALEKS keeps track of (and lets your instructor see) how much you have mastered and what you are ready to learn. Below are the topics covered in this course.
Our basic course content à 1. Arithmetic Readiness [Text: Chapter R]
Proportions and percents
2. Real Numbers [Text: Chapter 1]
Real Number operations
Order of Operations
Substitution and evaluation
Properties of real numbers
3. Solving Linear Equations [Text: Chapter 2]
Properties of Equality
One occurrence of the variable
Several occurrences of the variable
Applications: Geometry & Problem Solving
4. Graphing and Functions [Text: Chapter 3, 7]
5. Exponents and Polynomials [Text: Chapter 4, 5]
Properties of exponents
- Quadratic polynomials
- Special formulas
- Multivariable polynomials
6. Rational Expressions [Text: Chapter 6]
Ratio, Proportion, and Applications
7. Systems of Linear Equations [Text: Chapter 8]
System of Linear Inequalities
8. Radicals and Quadratic Equations [Text: Chapter 9, 10]
Simplifying radical expressions
Solving radical and quadratic equations
Pythagorean Theorem and other Applications