Course Syllabus for PreAlgebra

Required Text and Material (this is a little complicated; please read carefully!):

This course requires a Textbook and a MyMathLab Student Access Kit, both published by
Prentice Hall. Unless you already have the text for this course (perhaps because you bought
one or both for the course Foundations of Mathematics), you will probably save money by
buying a package from the Northeastern University bookstore containing both the textbook
and a MyMathLab Student Access Kit. The ISBN for this package is 0132416328. If you buy
the kit designated for this course and CRN number 10441, you’ll get the right materials.

The complete description of the textbook, which is included in the package mentioned above,
is: Martin-Gay, Elayn; Prealgebra and Introductory Algebra; Second Edition; Prentice-
Hall; ISBN 0131577050.

The MyMathLab Student Access Kit you need is also included in the package. If you have
both the text and the Student Access Kit that you bought for the course Foundations of
Mathematics, you do not need to buy anything new. If you have the text, but not the Student
Access Kit, you can buy the MyMathLab kit alone as: MyMathLab Standalone Student Access
Kit. At the Northeastern Bookstore, the kit alone has the ISBN 032119991X.

However you acquire these materials, make sure that (1) you get the second edition of the
textbook and, (2) you purchase an unused copy of the MyMathLab Student Access Kit
(Exception: If you bought the MyMathLab Student Access Kit and registered it, under your
own name, for Foundations of Mathematics, you can re-use it for Prealgebra). A new kit needs
to be registered with the publisher before use and the registration process will not work if it
has been used before, except as noted above.

Course Prerequisites

Students enrolled in PreAlgebra need to have a strong basis in the arithmetic of real numbers . If your
background in this area is weak you should consider taking the Foundations of Mathematics course
prior to taking PreAlgebra.

If you have any question about your ability to do the work in this course, look at the textbook, which is
also used in the more basic course Foundations of Mathematics. PreAlgebra begins with chapter 9 and
continues through chapter 15 of this text. Therefore, to take PreAlgebra, you should be comfortable
with the material in chapters 1 through 8.

Course Description

The course is an introduction to algebra, including the simplifying of algebraic expressions; solving and
graphing linear equations and inequalities; radicals, exponents, factoring polynomials , rational
expressions, systems of equations , and quadratic equations.

Course Outcomes

Students will have the opportunity to:

  simplify algebraic expressions
develop competency in solving linear equations and linear inequalities
apply their knowledge of linear equations to solve problems
develop competency in graphing linear functions and linear inequalities
learn how the slope of a line is used in linear equations
develop competency in solving systems of linear equations
apply their knowledge of linear systems to problems
apply the rules for exponents to problems
develop competency in representing numbers in scientific notation
develop competency in adding, subtracting, multiplying, and factoring polynomials
develop competency in working with rational expressions

Course Methodology

Because this is an online section, there are no physical meetings. You will view lectures online, read
material in the textbook, do homework exercises, and complete quizzes and exams on your own, but
you are never without a source of help. Your instructor is available, by telephone or email, to explain
the material and to answer your questions. Tutorial services are also available via Blackboard and
myMathLab (see below).

This course uses the Blackboard software system, accessed through the College of Professional
Studies Blackboard site, to guide you through assignments, week by week. Quizzes, a mid- term exam ,
and a final exam are all taken online. You must have access to a computer with a web browser and a
high-speed internet connection to take this course.

You will do homework and take quizzes and exams using MyMathLab, an interactive system that
analyses any errors you may make and guides you to understanding topics where you may be having
difficulty. After completing a quiz or exam you receive immediate feedback.

Each week, you will be expected to:

1. Review the week's learning objectives.
2. Complete assigned readings in our textbook.
3. Review the online lectures for each section.
4. Using MyMathLab, complete all homework for the week
5. Participate in the Discussion Board
6. Using MyMathLab, complete and submit all quizzes and exams by the due dates.

Please Note: You should be prepared to devote sufficient time to do the required work. Students in
prior sections of this course have reported needing from 6 to 12 hours per week; you may need more or
less, depending on your ability and level of preparation.
Online Tutoring

Online tutoring is available 24/7 from within Blackboard via a link to a tutoring service called
SMARTHINKING. Look in the left hand navigation bar within the Blackboard system and click on “Free
online tutoring”. No login is required when entering this service area from within blackboard.

MyMathLab also has its own tutors, available to you by telephone at no extra cost, Sunday through
Thursday evenings. Details are provided with the MyMathLab Student Access Kit.

Contact the Instructor When You Have Problems

You should contact your instructor when you are unable to complete an example or you encounter
frustration with the assignments. The time when you encounter difficulty is the best time to resolve it.

Participation in the Discussion Board

The instructor will post questions on the discussion board weekly. Students are required to check the
discussion board frequently, and to post an initial response to the instructor’s questions by Wednesday
of each week.

Students are also encouraged to post their own questions about material in the course, including
descriptions of trouble they has with the material, and how they handled it.

Communication/Submission of Work

You will do homework and take quizzes and exams using MyMathLab, an interactive system that
analyses any errors you may make and guides you to understanding topics where you may be having
difficulty. MyMathLab guides you when you have difficulty, and in the case of quizzes and exams,
provides you with an immediate grade and helpful feedback.

Grading/Evaluation Standards

Grading will be based on the following weights:

Discussion Board participation 5 %
Homework 10 %
8 Quizzes 35 %
Mid-term exam 20 %
Final Exam 30 %

Class Schedule / Topical Outline

Here’s what we’ll cover in the course. The numbers refer to chapters and sections in the textbook
Prealgebra & Introductory Algebra. Note that the weeks in this online course run from Monday morning
through Sunday midnight, Eastern Standard Time. When there is a quiz or exam, the deadline for
submission is Sunday midnight.

Begins on
Events in week New sections covered
1 09-13-09 Intro to this course 9.2, 9.3. 9.4, 9.5
9.6, ch 9 review, 10.1, 10.2,
10.4, 10.5, 10.6, 10.7, ch 10
4 10-04-09 Quiz 11.1, 11.2, (skip 11.3), 11.4
11.5, 11.6, 11.7, ch 11
review, 12.1
6 10-18-09 Mid-term exam No new material
  12.2, 12.3, 12.4, 12.5, ch 12
8 11-01-09 Quiz 13.1, 13.2. 13.3. 13.4
13.5, 13.6. ch 13 review,
14.1, 14.2


14.3, integrated review of
solving systems of equations,
14.4, ch 14 review, 15.1, 15.2
  11-22-09 Thanksgiving break No new material
11 11-29-09 Quiz 15.3, 15.4
12 12-06-09 Final Exam  

Topical outline by section:

9.2 Properties of Real Numbers
9.3 Further Solving Linear Equations
9.4 Further Problem Solving
9.5 Formulas and Problem Solving
9.6 Linear Inequalities and Problem Solving
10.1 Exponents
10.2 Negative Exponents and Scientific Notation
10.3 Introduction to Polynomials
10.4 Adding and Subtracting Polynomials
10.5 Multiplying Polynomials
10.6 Special Products
10.7 Dividing Polynomials
11.1 The greatest Common Factor
11.2 Factoring Trinomials of the Form x2+ bx + c
(skip 11.3; a better way to factor trinomials is in section 11.4)
11.4 Factoring Trinomials of the form ax2 + bx + c by Grouping
11.5 Factoring By Special Products
11.6 Solving Quadratic Equations by Factoring
11.7 Quadratic Equations and Problem Solving
12.1 Simplifying Rational Expressions
12.2 Multiplying and Dividing Rational Expressions
12.3 Adding and Subtracting Rational Expressions with the Same Denominator and Least Common
12.4 Adding and Subtracting Rational Expressions with Different Denominators
12.5 Solving Equations Containing Rational Expressions
13.1 The Rectangular Coordinate System
13.2 Graphing Linear Equations
13.3 Intercepts
13.4 Slope and Rate of Change
13.5 Equations of Lines
13.6 Introduction to Functions
14.1 Solving systems of Linear Equations by Graphing
14.2 Solving Systems of Linear Equations by Substitution
14.3 Solving Systems of Linear Equations by Addition
Integrated Review — Systems of Linear Equations
14.4 Systems of Linear Equations and Problem Solving
15.1 Introduction to Radicals
15.2 Simplifying Radicals
15.3 Adding and Subtracting Radicals
15.4 Multiplying and Dividing Radicals

Academic Honesty and Integrity Statement

The University views academic dishonesty as one of the most serious offenses that a student can
commit while in college and imposes appropriate punitive sanctions on violators. Here are some
examples of academic dishonesty. While this is not an all-inclusive list, we hope this will help you to
understand some of the things instructors look for. The following is excerpted from the University’s
policy on academic honesty and integrity;

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