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COURSE OUTLINE FOR INTERMEDIATE ALGEBRA

Course Description:
MA 120 Intermediate Algebra with Review. 5 hours credit. Prerequisite:
Placement score or MA 060 or its equivalent with a C or better. The student will
be able to interpret mathematical symbols and notation , simplify expressions,
factor polynomials, solve equations (including absolute value, quadratic and
systems of linear equations) perform operations on radical expressions, write
equations of lines and evaluate functions after a review of some topics from basic
algebra. The student will begin to conceptualize abstract ideas.

Course Relevance:
The concepts learned in this course will improve the student’s math skills, leading
to success in subsequent courses. The student’s ability to think analytically will
improve. Discipline, perseverance and the ability to follow directions are
necessary for success, so these skills will also improve. Mathematical literacy
will be increased, leading to informed choices when making decisions in life.

Required Materials:
Text: Kaufmann, Jerome E. (2002) Elementary and Intermediate Algebra: A
Combined Approach. (3rd Edition). Brooks/Cole Publishing Co.

Recommended Materials:
Student Solutions Manual. Graff. (2002). Student Solutions Manual for
Kaufmann’s Elementary and Intermediate Algebra: A Combined Approach (3rd
Edition). Brooks/Cole Publishing Company.

Learning Outcomes: The intention is for the student to be able to
1. Use problem solving to be successful in future learning
2. Gain confidence in personal mathematical ability
3. Use and interpret mathematical symbols and notation
4. Perform mathematical procedures and techniques correctly
5. Conceptualize abstract ideas

Through the student involvement in this course, they will develop and
document their achievement of the following PACT skills:
Primary skill developed and documented:
problem solving
• through the solution of multi- step problems
• through the solution of word problems.

Secondary skills (developed but not documented):
self concept
time management
listening

The learning outcomes and primary Learning PACT skill will be demonstrated by:
1. Common final exam including three open ended multi-step questions
2. Completion of a self assessment inventory

Course Content:
Themes - Key recurring concepts that run throughout this course:
• solving equations
• simplifying expressions
• following directions

Issues - Key issues that will be addressed in this course: areas of conflict that
must be understood in order to achieve the intended outcome:
• recognizing which technique to use
• remembering prerequisite material

Concepts - That must be understood to address the issues:
• notation
variables
• graphing
• functions

Skills - Actions that are essential to achieve the course outcomes:
• factoring
• simplifying expressions
• solving equations
• modeling
• graphing
• simplifying radicals and expressions with exponents
• simplifying rational expressions
• determining equations of lines
• operations with complex numbers

Learning Units:
I. Basic Concepts of Arithmetic and Algebra
A. numerical and algebraic expressions
B. prime and composite numbers
C. adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing integers
D. use of properties

II. The Real Numbers
A. rational numbers: multiplication and division
B. rational numbers: addition and subtraction
C. real numbers and algebraic expressions
D. exponents
E. translating from English to Algebra

III. Equations, Inequalities and Problem Solving
A. solving first-degree equations
B. equations and problem solving
C. equations involving parenthesis and fractions
D. inequalities
E. compound inequalities and problem solving

IV. Formulas and Problem Solving
A. ratio, proportion and percent
B. problem solving
C. formulas
D. more problem solving

V. Coordinate Geometry and Linear Systems
A. cartesian coordinate system
B. graphing linear equations
C. substitution method
E. graphing linear inequalities

VI. Exponents and Polynomials
A. addition and subtraction of polynomials
B. multiplying monomials
C. multiplying polynomials
D. dividing by monomials
E. dividing by binomials
F. zero and negative integers as exponents
G. synthetic division

VII. Factoring, Solving Equations and Problem Solving
A. distributive property
B. difference of squares
C. factoring trinomials
D. solving equations

VIII. Rational expressions
A. simplifying rational expressions
B. operations on radical expressions
C. solving radical equations

IX. Exponents and radicals
A. scientific notation
B. roots and radicals
D. products and quotients of radicals
F. merging of exponents and roots

X. Quadratic Equations and Inequalities
A. complex numbers
C. completing the square

XI. Coordinate geometry
A. rectangular coordinate system
B. distance and slope
C. writing equations of lines
D. graphing parabolas

XII. Functions
A. relations
B. graphs and applications
C. transformations
D. composition
E. variation

Learning Activities:
Classroom: Independent learning activities will be assigned to assist the student
to achieve the intended learning outcomes. Activities identified in the syllabus,
such as class discussion, lecture, reading, group work or projects will also
contribute to learning.

Online: Online teaching/learning activities such as the following will assist the
student to achieve course outcomes: posted web pages, threaded discussions,
written assignments, assigned reading, and interaction with instructor through
email and discussion boards.