Talk:College Algebra

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Direction for this course[edit source]

I'm still going to have to spend some time trying to set this up, but the idea here is that I would like to set up some on-line discussion forum, perhaps some lessons and going over the concepts, and try to exchange ideas between one another.

My intention is to try and set up an IRC channel specific for this Wikiversity project where we could discuss the concepts in detail, as more of a teacher and student relationship, but there will be a chance for everybody to share their ideas. The job of the "instructors" is to keep the discussion on topic and to keep the class moving along.

While there isn't going to be "credit" for this class, I am going to be asking that participants work with given homework examples, and that weekly assignments will be completed. Scheduling for this will be done "by concensus" of the students (for breaks in the teaching cycles).

My intention is to turn this into a roughly 10-14 week course covering the basic concepts of this topic. I hope that this will cycle over and over again, depending on the number of participants and people willing to "moderate" the learning cycles.

A Help Desk specific to this class will be available to try and go over the algebra problems.

Because we are going to be Wiki-based, it might be useful to try and get familiar with the TeX markup for mathmatical equations. While not necessary for completing homework, it will help when trying to communicate ideas using mathmatical symbols. That will likely be one of the first lessons of this course, or perhaps even a prerequisite eventually.

Also, this is an early example of Wikiversity teaching, there is going to be some experimentation and some mistakes we will be making here. I hope that your experience in learning this material will be productive. This is but one way that I hope that Wikiversity can deliver knowledge, but I'm sure there will be other ideas. --Robert Horning 19:41, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

Random notes on College Algebra[edit source]

Here are things that I learning teaching Algebra I at UoP

1) I had to avoid the temptation of covering too much material. One of the functions of a basic algebra one course is to remove math anxiety, and covering too much material just makes students much more nervous and reinforces their fears of math. For algebra one, I've found it useful to limit myself to a few key concepts and make sure that the students know those concepts cold.

2) The big problem that I had was that I'm interesting in physics whereas most of my students were interested in business, and I got scathing mid-term reviews for my first class for irrelevance. Part of making the class useful was to come up with real world business examples of using algebra one.

Also I'm making some noises at the Chronicle of Higher Education forums to try to get people over here.

Roadrunner 09:52, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

I appreciate this. I feel very much overwhelmed with the possibility of getting this going, especially as I know I'm starting out with inferior textbooks on top of all of the other problems you are mentioning. And this topic isn't exactly my strongest subject, but I do think it is something that needs to be done. I hope that we can get it going, and in part "learn together". --Robert Horning 13:16, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

Getting academic credit for this course[edit source]

Someone who knows this better than I do should probably write a page on how to get academic credit for this course. I know that there are ways of converting these knowledge into academic credit through examinations, but I don't know the details, which is why someone who does should write them down.

It's really, really, really important to figure out ways to convert Wikiversity learning into academic credit, which translates into degrees, which translates into higher salaries, which translates into funding back to Wikiversity.

One mistake in a lot of online learning projects is to trying to separate oneself from traditional academia, whereas I think that Wikiversity and and should challenge the system head on.

Roadrunner 09:58, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

Some numbers to make you mad.....[edit source]

A student at the University of Phoenix pays $1500 course for a three unit Algebra I course. There are 10-15 students per course, which means that the Apollo Group makes about US$15000 per course. The instructor gets about US$1000 of that.

I think we can figure out a better way....... (The preceding unsigned comment was added by Roadrunner (talkcontribs) -- sebmol ? 10:25, 18 August 2006 (UTC))

Algebra courses are usually money makers for most schools.... even public universities. One way that larger universities fill in to make piles of money is to have the classic "pit class" where you sit in an auditorium with 400 students. They try to make up for it by hiring upper classmen in the "study center", whey they hire a bunch of hard core math/science geeks at minimum wage to be the real instructors. Surprisingly it seems to work out (sometimes). Of course it is obvious when you go through a class like that you are in a meat grinder and not some institution that really cares about you. --Robert Horning 13:13, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

Merge Topic and Main page?[edit source]

Just would like some thoughts about moving most of the content from the topic page to the main page.

Roadrunner 18:03, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

Set a time[edit source]

Someone should list a time when this class will be heald on IRC, like thursday @ 28 o'clock on the 32 of Smarch.--Rayc | (Talk) 17:58, 9 September 2006 (UTC)


Revamping[edit source]

Since this page is abandoned, I'm going to start working on it. Being bold. please feel free to revert me if anyone is actually using the page the original authors envision it as. --Rayc 20:59, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

Ok, so it looks like the first topic in many of the source I looked at is the real number system. The book I've got is algebra for college students by bBrnard Kolman and Arnold Shapiro. The University of Kentucky Math 110 Textbook has it as Chapter 1: Numbers and Points and MIT calls it points vs. vectors [1]--Rayc 02:48, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

University of Kentucky Math 110 Textbook[edit source]

Look what I found in this "additional resource": [2]:


By repeatedly combining numbers via addition and multiplication, one can make complicated expressions such as "3x + 4y +12(x + 2)y" . By substituting various values of x and y into this expression, one gets numerical values for the expression. One finds that regardless of which values of x and y you use, the numerical value is the same as that obtained by the expression "15x + 28y" .

This is a Fall 2003 course which should not contain this error, or shall we call it a typing-error? I would suggest that the writer of the page, possibly/probably also the writer of MA110, correct his text. Or be made aware of it. I think that "3x + 4y +12(x+2y)" would correctly reduce to "15x + 28y"?

Andre anckaert 17:29, 14 January 2010 (UTC)

Trying to help out, sketch[edit source]

Ok, I'd like to help out with this, since it seems to be in trouble. Specifically, I'd like to fill in sections and maybe have my students fill in sections for extra credit as well. There are numerous sections spread out in need of polishing and that can be brought together.

I'd like the book to help adult learners returning to college. Math anxiety, low confidence levels, low perceived relevance, disorganization, poor time management and extrinsically motivated to pass their class are common characteristics. Age varies wildly from 20's to 60's. The learners have a highly varied context to transfer these skills to, beyond class, including: investments, business decisions, statistics, grade computations, or teaching.

Prerequisites would be arithmetic, we should explicitly link to Arithmetic as a prerequisite, maybe link to study skills as well.

Start with: Rough sketch of objectives for College Algebra I:

  • Variables:
Expressions involving variables, 
Simplifying expressions involving variables using real number properties, include FOIL
Set up expressions, equations, and inequalities given a word problem

  • Expressions, validity of equations and inequalities:
Evaluate expressions
Determine validity of equations
Determine validity of inequalities

  • Solving linear equations and inequalities:
Solve linear equations
Solve linear inequalities
Solve word problems involving linear equations or linear inequalities
  • Graphing lines and linear inequalities:
Graph linear equations
Graph linear inequalities
Graph linear equations or linear inequalities arising from word problems
  • Arguably a section on simultaneous linear equations
Solution of two simultaneous linear equations through graphing, 
Set up and solve word problems using two simultaneous linear equations or inequalities.


To address

  • Math anxiety, low confidence levels - Formative assessments and confidence building exercises. Link to multimedia resources such as the mini-movies at [3].
  • low perceived relevance - Can provide some examples of relevance
  • disorganization - study skill prerequisite and checks through book
  • extrinsically motivated - foster intrinsic motivation through confidence building exercises and segmenting sections
  • time management - prerequisite and checks through book. Provide time estimates and progress bars.

Sketched revisions[edit source]

Here is a sketch of a proposed revision https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=explorer&chrome=true&srcid=0B9kxj73gN1WdNzFhMGVkZWMtYmYwNy00N2JjLTg5MTktYmNiYjAwOTU5ZTQ2&hl=en&authkey=CLW36-ML . As the file is PDF, changes due to clicking or answering are shown on a following page.

Bastetswarrior 18:45, 23 December 2010 (UTC)