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MATH 104 Beginning Algebra
I. Course Description
Beginning Algebra is an introductory course to review the fundamental concepts
of arithmetic and algebra. This
course is the first in a sequence of two prealgebra math courses leading up to
College Algebra, MATH 150, and can
be used as a prerequisite for Finite Math, MATH 170. There are no prerequisites
for this course.
II. Overview and Course Goals
Welcome to Beginning Algebra (MATH 104), on line!
Week 1, we discuss fractions, real numbers, basic graphing concepts, and
learn some algebraic terminology and
properties.
Week 2, we continue the discussion of real numbers
and variables. This includes addition/subtraction/multiplication
of positive and negative numbers , the order of arithmetic operations, and the
meaning of exponents.
Week 3, we learn how to solve linear equations
using the Addition and Multiplication Principles of Equality. We’ll
cover solving equations with fractions and percents , and solving formulas for a
particular variable . We’ll learn how
to set up application problems, and then solve them using these techniques.
Week 4, we apply the techniques to solving linear
inequalities. We’ll look again at graphing, and learn how to graph
linear and non linear equations in two variables, both by hand and using a
graphing calculator . You will take a two
hour proctored midterm exam sometime on Wednesday – Saturday of this week.
Week 5, we’ll take a closer look at graphing. We’ll
cover the calculation and meaning of slope, various ways in
which the equation of a line can be written, and look at graphing linear
inequalities in two variables.
Week 6, we cover exponents and polynomials in more
detail. We’ll discuss polynomial operations including
addition, subtraction , multiplication, and division of polynomial expressions.
Week 7, we’ll finish the discussion of exponents by
looking at rules governing negative exponents, and learn how to
use scientific notation when working with very large/small numbers. We’ll then
learn several methods used to
determine the factors of a polynomial.
Week 8, we’ll practice the factoring skills learned
in Week 7, and then use factoring to solve quadratic equations.
You will also take a two hour proctored final exam on Wednesday  Saturday of
this week.
III. Course Objectives
After you have completed this course, you will be able to:
•Manipulate algebraic and numerical expressions including fractions, decimals,
and signed numbers .
•Solve linear equations and inequalities both graphically and algebraically.
• Evaluate formulas .
•Translate English phrases into algebraic expressions.
•Solve realworld problems using equations and inequalities.
•Graph lines and linear inequalities in the Cartesian Plane.
•Find the equation of a line in both slopeintercept and point slope form .
•Interpret the meaning of the slope and the intercepts of a line
•Apply the rules of exponents to simplify algebraic expressions.
•Add, subtract, multiply, and divide polynomials.
•Use scientific notation.
•Factor polynomials.
•Solve quadratic equations by factoring.
IV. Course Policies
There will be no discrimination on the basis of sex, race,
color, national
origin, sexual orientation, religion, ideology, political affiliation, veteran
status, age, physical handicap, or marital
status. Students with documented disabilities who may need academic services for
this course are required to
register with the ADA coordinator of Columbia College at (573) 875  7626.
Student Conduct
The instructor reserves the right to manage a positive learning environment and
thus will not tolerate inappropriate
conduct in the course. All Columbia College students, whether enrolled in a
landbased or online course, are
responsible for behaving in a manner consistent with Columbia College's Code of
Student Conduct and Ethics Code
for Computer Users. Students violating these codes will be referred to the
Campus Life Office for possible
disciplinary action. The Code for Student Conduct and the Ethics Code for
Computer Users can be found in
the Columbia College Student Handbook, a copy of which can be obtained by
calling the Campus Life office at (573)
875  7425.
OnLine Participation
This course is offered online, over the Internet, using the Internet and the
World Wide Web, using publishing
technology provided by Desire2Learn, Prentice Hall, and Columbia College.
Participation online is expected and
continuous throughout the course. Failure to turn in assignments by the date
due, or lack of participation in online
discussions may result in the student being withdrawn from the course.
Emergencies should be communicated and
documented to the instructor as soon as possible. Students are expected to watch
the assigned videos, do the online
homework, and log in to the class conferencing each week. In addition, students
will take a quiz each week. Active
participation in the course will prepare and guide students in studying for the
exams. The instructor will facilitate on
line discussions in the conference room by responding to posted messages. See
"Ground Rules for Online
Participation" for additional information.
In the math classes, a class week begins on
Saturday and ends on Friday at midnight. The first week begins
the first day of the session (Monday, 1/12/09) and ends at midnight on Friday.
The first week’s deadlines will
be lengthened due to the week starting on Monday rather than on Saturday.
Assignments scheduled for completion
during a class week should be submitted by the weekly due dates stated on the
grading schedule below. Late
assignments will not be accepted.
Ground Rules for Online Participation
Students should use email for private messages to the
instructor and other students.
The class Discussion area is for public messages so we can see what others have
to say about any given topic, and
respond to these.
Students are expected to participate in online
discussions, as well as with other appropriate online activities
including homework assignments and quizzes.
Academic Honesty
All Columbia College policies are in effect as described in the Academic
Dishonesty/Misconduct section of the
current college catalog. All your work must be your own unless collaboration has
been authorized. If collaboration
is authorized you must acknowledge the collaboration in writing. Your grade will
be based in large part on the
originality of your ideas and your written presentation of these ideas.
Presenting as one's own the words, ideas, or
expression of another in any form is cheating though plagiarism. The content of
these plagiarism sites would, if you
were lucky, get you a "D": in a course if you were not caught. It is substandard
work indeed, but you will almost always
be caught if you try to cheat, due to the plagiarism prevention tools available
to instructors. Plagiarism will not be tolerated
and the claim of ignorance is no excuse. Anyone found cheating will
automatically fail the course.
Levels of Communication
We will be using a minimum of two levels of communication in this course, one
formal, and the other informal. All
email assignments are formal. They should be written as if you are communicating
with a client. The formal rules
of proper English and grammar apply for these submissions, and points will be
deducted for misspellings, incomplete
sentences, poor sentence structure, etc.
Conference postings are informal. You do not have to use
capitalization to begin sentences; there are no penalties for
misspellings, incomplete sentences, or other violations of grammatical rules.
The criteria that have to be met in
conference postings are that your messages must be original and
intelligible. You must communicate effectively.
In addition, you must meet the weekly requirements for full credit on conference
room assignments.
V. Grading Policy
You will be able to track your average in the grade book exactly throughout the
course. The grading scale is as
follows:
A = 90%  100%; B = 80%  89%; C = 70%  79%; D = 60%  69%; F = 0%  59%.
You will know in advance the standards for each assignment. My goal is to give
prompt, clear, and useful feedback
to help you. Each student is responsible for:
• Completing weekly Reading/Video assignments and doing textbook homework as
needed.
• Completing Weekly Homework/Discussion assignments by the due dates.
• Completing Weekly Quizzes by the due date.
• Completing a proctored MidTerm Examination in week 4 and a proctored
comprehensive Final
Examination in week 8.
VI. Graded Assignments
Weekly OnLine (COURSECOMPASS) Homework (due Saturday at midnight): 10%
of course grade,
60 total points.
Weekly Discussion and Calculator Assignments (due Saturday at midnight):
5% of course grade, 30
total points.
Weekly Quizzes (due Saturday at midnight): 10% of course grade. Each quiz
counts 10 points, 60 total
points for session. The two lowest quiz grades will be dropped from the grade
calculation.
MidTerm Exam (end of week 4): 35% of course grade, 210 points.
Final Exam (end of week 8): 40% of course grade, 240 points.
VII. Course Schedule
WEEK  ASSIGNMENT  POINTS  DUE DATE (ALL TIMES IN CST /CDT ) 
Week 1  Introductory Posting  2  Within 2 days of joining the class. 
Discussion Assignment  2  Noon, Sunday, January 18, 2009  
Week 1 Quiz  2  Noon, Sunday, January 18, 2009  
Week 1 Homework  Noon, Sunday, January 18, 2009  
Week 2  Discussion Assignment  4  Midnight, Saturday, January 24, 2009 
Week 2 Quiz  10  Midnight Saturday, January 24, 2009  
Week 2 Homework  Midnight Saturday, January 24, 2009  
Week 3  Discussion Assignment  4  Midnight, Saturday, January 31, 2009 
Week 3 Quiz  10  Midnight Saturday, January 31, 2009  
Week 3 Homework  Midnight Saturday, January 31, 2009  
Week 4  Discussion Assignment  4  Midnight, Saturday, February 7, 2009 
Week 4 Quiz  10  Midnight, Saturday, February 7, 2009  
Week 4 Homework  Midnight, Saturday, February 7, 2009  
Proctored Midterm Exam  210  Midterm can be taken any time between February 4 – February 7, 2009  
Week 5  Discussion Assignment  4  Midnight, Saturday, February 14, 2009 
Week 5 Quiz  10  Midnight, Saturday, February 14, 2009  
Week 5 Homework  Midnight, Saturday, February 14, 2009  
Week 6  Discussion Assignment  4  Midnight, Saturday, February 21, 2009 
Week 6 Quiz  10  Midnight, Saturday, February 21, 2009  
Week 6 Homework  Midnight, Saturday, February 21, 2009  
Week 7  Discussion Assignment  4  Midnight, Saturday, February 28, 2009 
Week 7 Quiz  10  Midnight, Saturday, February 28, 2009  
Week 7 Homework  Midnight, Saturday, February 28, 2009  
Week 8  Discussion Assignment  2  Midnight, Saturday, March 7, 2009 
Week 8 Quiz  10  Midnight, Saturday, March 7, 2009  
Week 8 Homework  Midnight, Saturday, March 7, 2009  
2 hour Proctored Final Exam  240  Final exam may be taken any time March 4 – March 7, 2009 
VIII. Course Activities
Homework: Each week, you will be assigned problems to complete in the
MyMathLab computer program
(within CourseCompass). Each week’s homework is due by Saturday night at
midnight (see schedule, above).
There will also be homework that is not turned in or graded, but that most
students will need to do in order to prepare
for the tests and quizzes.
Discussion/Calculator: In Weeks 18, there will be assignments that
involve the use of a graphing
calculator and/or require Discussion postings. These assignments will be due by
Saturday at midnight, except in
Week 1, when the due date is Sunday at noon.
Quizzes: Each week, a quiz will be posted by noon on Wednesday and is due
by midnight on Saturday,
central time, except in Week 1, when the deadline will be extended until noon on
Sunday. The quizzes will be
closely related to the suggested homework problems assigned for the week. The
two lowest quiz grades will not be
included in the calculation of your final grade. Late quizzes will not receive
credit.
Reading/Video: Each week, you are expected to read the textbook sections
for the week. You should also
watch video lessons associated with the material that we are covering.
Proctored Midterm/Comprehensive Final Exam: These will be online exams
and you can use your
calculator. Your proctor must be a Columbia College site, public school, or
testing center unless that is clearly impossible – no exceptions.
If you must use a nonCC site to take your exams, email me as soon as possible
so that we can discuss suitable proctors.
IX. Course Materials
Required Text
You have three options for purchasing the textbook, Introductory Algebra,
5th Edition, by Robert Blitzer and the
required CourseCompass/MyMathLab access. Choose one of the three options.
Option 1: CourseCompass/MyMathLab access.
CourseCompass/MyMathLab is an electronic platform that
includes the entire electronic version of the textbook, the electronic version
of the Student Solutions Manual , and
video lectures online. ISBN: 013147894X
Option 2: Textbook package which includes a
physical or hardcopy textbook, Students Solutions Manual, and CD
copies of the video lectures, as well as the basic required CourseCompass/MyMathLab
access noted above. If you
select this option you do NOT need to also purchase option 1. You can purchase
this textbook package from Barnes
Noble's MBS Direct program. The MBS Direct phone number is 18003253252 ISBN:
0321563913
Some students like online books and some like a physical
textbook. Note that you’ll have access to all of the
materials whether you choose Option 1 or Option 2 – the difference between the
two options is that with Option 2,
you get everything included in Option 1 PLUS a physical copy of the textbook and
Student Solutions Manual, and
CD copies of the video lectures.
Option 3: Physical textbook only. If you wish to purchase a physical
textbook (you will still need to purchase the
basic required CourseCompass/MyMathLab access), without the additional Student
Solutions Manual and video
lecture CDs, you may purchase the MML access code (ISBN given in Option 1 above)
and purchase a physical
textbook separately. ISBN: 0132356791
NOTE: All 3 options include CourseCompass/MyMathLab
access, as this is required for the course. I will send you
the CourseID that you need in order to register your access code about a week
before school starts.
Required Graphing Calculator A TI83, TI83+, TI84 or TI84+ is required
for all of the Columbia
College math courses. I would suggest shopping around – prices for these
calculators vary. It is possible to rent this
calculator through online sites, or to buy a used one using an online search for
information, going through auction
sites, checking the classified ads in the newspaper, etc.
X. Course Assignment Schedule
Week 1: Fractions, Real Numbers , Ordered Pairs and Graphs, Basic Rules of
Algebra
Reading: Sections 1.1 – 1.4 Homework: Each week there will be one online
homework assignment in the MyMathLab program. Online Discussion
Assignment: This week, your
online discussion This week, your online discussion assignment is to do
an introductory post
and one math discussion post by Sunday at noon.
Week 1 Quiz
Week 2: Working with Real Numbers, Exponents, Order of
Operation, and Mathematical Models
Reading: Sections 1.5 – 1.8
Proctor Information: The midterm can be taken Wednesday, Thursday,
Friday, or Saturday of week 4. It may
NOT be taken later than Saturday of week 4. Please take care of conflicts now.
You should submit your
proctor information by the end of this week if you haven’t done so already.
Weekly Homework Assignment – due on Saturday night at midnight for
remainder of session.
Online Discussion Assignment: Each week, post one mathematics discussion
problem. Each post is worth
4 points. Each post should contain a thoughtful reply to the posted question.
Completion of these posts is
required to receive the full weekly discussion points – due on Saturday night at
midnight for remainder of
session.
Week 2 Quiz – due on Saturday night at midnight for remainder of session.
Week 3: Solving Linear Equations
Reading: Sections 2.1 – 2.5
Weekly Homework, Discussion and Quiz Assignments
Week 4: Solving Linear Inequalities, Graphing Equations in Two Variables
Reading: Sections 2.6. 4.1, 4.2
Weekly Homework, Discussion and Quiz Assignments Midterm exam is this week –
can be taken any time Wednesday  Saturday
Week 5: Slope of a Line, SlopeIntercept & PointSlope Equations of a Line,
Linear Inequalities in
Two Variables
Reading: Sections4.3 – 4.6
Weekly Homework, Discussion and Quiz Assignments
Week 6: Working with Exponents and Polynomials
Reading: Sections 6.1 – 6.5
Weekly Homework, Discussion and Quiz Assignments
Week 7: Negative Exponents, Factoring Polynomials
Reading: Sections 6.7, 7.1  7.4
Weekly Homework, Discussion and Quiz Assignments
Week 8: Review of Factoring, Solving Quadratic
Equations by Factoring
Reading: Sections 7.5, 7.6
Weekly Homework, Discussion and Quiz Assignments
Final exam is this week – can be taken any time Wednesday  Saturday
XI. Instructor Information – Phyllis (Jill) Whealon
I graduated from the University of California at San Diego with undergraduate
degrees in Computer Science and
Electrical Engineering. I have two graduate degrees in Electrical Engineering
and a third one in Business
Administration. I’ve taught college for some time, teaching electrical
engineering (not a surprise), computer science
(also not a surprise), and math (maybe a surprise!), but also worked in the
defense industry for maaaaaany years in
the field of airborne military radar design and analysis. I’ve been teaching
math for Columbia College since 2005 –
first in the classroom and now online.
As you can see by my instructor information, my nickname
is Jill and I’d prefer you use that – Columbia College
sets everything up with legal names and there is absolutely no way to convince
their software to use a nickname. I’ve
tried.
I’m currently in Seattle, Washington and look forward to ‘meeting’ you online.
Telephone: (253) 854  0431 (evenings and remember it’s
Pacific time) – emergency only, please. I’m
frequently away, so email is a much quicker and more reliable way to reach me.
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