Course Syllabus for "MA001: Beginning Algebra"
In this course, you will study basic algebraic operations and concepts, as well as the structure and use of algebra. This includes solving algebraic equations, factoring algebraic expressions, working with rational expressions, and graphing linear equations. You will apply these skills to solve real-world problems (word problems). Each unit will have its own application problems, depending on the concepts you have been exposed to. This course is also intended to provide you with a strong foundation for intermediate algebra and beyond. It will begin with a review of some math concepts formed in pre-algebra, such as ordering operations and simplifying simple algebraic expressions, to get your feet wet. You will then build on these concepts by learning more about functions, graphing of functions, evaluation of functions, and factorization. You will spend time on the rules of exponents and their applications in distribution of multiplication over addition/subtraction.
Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:
- simplify and solve linear equations and expressions, including problems with absolute values and applications;
- solve linear inequalities, find equations of lines, and solve application problems;
- add, subtract, multiply, and divide various types of polynomials;
- factor polynomials, and simplify square roots; and
- evaluate, simplify, multiply, divide, add, and subtract rational expressions, and solve basic applications of rational expressions.
In order to take this course, you must:
- have access to a computer;
- have continuous broadband Internet access;
- have the ability/permission to install plug-ins or software (e.g., Adobe Reader or Flash);
- have the ability to download and save files and documents to a computer;
- have the ability to open Microsoft files and documents (.doc, .ppt, .xls, etc.);
- have competency in the English language; and
- have read the Saylor Student Handbook.
Welcome to MA001: Beginning Algebra. General information about this course and its requirements can be found below.
Course Designer: Frank Appiah and Mark Arnold
Primary Resources: This course is composed of a range of different free, online materials. The core of this course makes use of all the materials originally structured by the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges. In particular, this course uses the following:
- Tyler Wallace’s Beginning and Intermediate Algebra, 2nd edition (PDF)
- Tyler Wallace’s Beginning Algebra Lab Notebook (PDF)
Requirements for Completion: In order to complete this course, you will need to work through each unit and all of its assigned materials. Each unit consists of subunits with videos on each topic. Each unit concludes with a homework problem set of varied lengths and a practice test. Also available for each unit is a practice set that you can use to further your understanding of the concepts. You will also need to complete the following:
- Unit 1 Assignments
- Unit 1 Practice Test
- Unit 2 Assignments
- Unit 2 Practice Test
- Unit 3 Assignments
- Unit 3 Practice Test
- Unit 4 Assignments
- Unit 4 Practice Test
- Unit 5 Assignments
- Unit 5 Practice Test
- Final Exam
Note that you will only receive an official grade on your final exam. However, in order to adequately prepare for this exam, you will need to work through the homework, practice exams, and problem sets listed above.
In order to “pass” this course, you will need to earn a 70% or higher on the timed, two-hour final exam. Your score on the exam will be tabulated as soon as you complete it. If you do not pass the exam, you may take it again.
Time Commitment: This course should take you a total of 104 hours to complete. Each unit includes a time advisory that lists the amount of time you are expected to spend on each subunit. These should help you plan your time accordingly. It may be useful to take a look at these time advisories to determine how much time you have over the next few weeks to complete each unit and then set goals for yourself. For example, Unit 1 should take you 13 hours. Perhaps you can sit down with your calendar and decide to complete Subunit 1.1 (a total of 3 hours) on Monday night, Subunit 1.2 (a total of 3 hours) on Tuesday night, Subunit 1.3 (a total of 3 hours) on Wednesday night, and so forth.
Tips/Suggestions: The course has been organized so that you will learn the concepts you need for the succeeding unit in the preceding unit. It is essential that you take notes while watching the videos and completing the readings as you progress through the course. In addition, take the homework, practice test, and practice work seriously.