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Introductory Algebra

CATALOG DESCRIPTION: Basic concepts and techniques of algebra for students without recent experience in
algebra. Integers, algebraic expressions , first-degree equations, simple rational expressions and proportions ,
integer exponents , scientific notation, polynomials and factoring, solving equations by factoring, graphing and
systems of linear equations .

STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES: By the end of this course, the successful student will be able to do the following:
• Rewrite algebraic expressions in useful forms.
Solve basic algebra problems.
• Begin studying intermediate-level algebra topics.

TEXTBOOK: The “textbook” for this class is ALEKS, an internet-based learning system. Once you have obtained
your personal access code and manual from the book store, you may log in to the system from any computer with
internet access at . If you have previously worked with the ALEKS system for another
class, please register as a new student – do not continue using your old account. Your course code for introductory
algebra is GWLLU-TWD6M.

GENERAL COURSE POLICIES: I expect you to work at least 10 hours per week learning new topics in ALEKS.
You may work in the CSMP computer lab or anywhere that you have internet access. I will be available at class
time and during office hours to help you with any questions you may have.

Since you are not obligated to be in class every day, it is very important that you regularly check your
puc.edu email account for announcements that may affect your grade for the course.
These announcements will
include times for recommended class meetings, scheduled assessments, progress notices, extra credit
opportunities, and more.

Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated. If you are involved in cheating (or assisting other students in
cheating), you should expect severe penalties including possible dismissal from the class with a failing grade.
(For more information, refer to the school-wide policy in the catalog.)

If you finish all portions of the ALEKS pie before finals week, and verify the completion with a
proctored final assessment, you will receive an A for the course. If you do not finish all portions of the ALEKS pie,
your grade will be determined by what percentage you have completed from each portion, as well as the total
number of hours you’ve spent in the program. The details of the grading policy are on the next page of this

AVAILABLE HELP: There are many sources for help in this class in addition to the ALEKS program. My office is
in Chan Shun Hall, room 238E. Feel free to drop by during any of the office hours that are posted by the door, or
make an appointment for a more convenient time. I will usually be available in the CSMP computer lab to give
individualized help during the 1:00 hour on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. In addition, you may get
help from the free tutoring provided by the Teaching and Learning Center (TLC), or from any of your classmates.
ALEKS has the capability of telling you which of your classmates are experts on any topic with which you may be
struggling. You also may be amazed at how much understanding you gain for yourself when you work at helping
a classmate. Try it!


Your grade will be determined by taking a weighted average of the time you spend in ALEKS and the number of
items you master. You already know that you are expected to put in 10 hours per week (a couple of hours each day)
and can get a rough idea of the number of topics you should master from the following table.

Week: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Hours: 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
Topics: 47 79 105 127 146 163 178 192 205 217

You may check your hours in ALEKS at any time by clicking on the report menu. While you’re there you can also see
how many topics you mastered on your last assessment. I will also update your grades every week at D2L.puc.edu to
indicate where you stand in relation to these targets.

In figuring your overall percentage, the time spent will be weighted at 20% of your grade and the topics mastered
will be weighted at 80%. Once your overall percentage has been calculated , your letter grade will be determined
from the following table.

    B+ 84% C+ 70% D+ 56%
A 92% B 80% C 65% D 53%
A– 88% B– 75% C– 60% D– 50%

Please note that the number of topics mastered will be taken from your most recent assessment that appears to be
valid. The first assessment for which you receive credit must be a proctered one. After that, you may do assessments
wherever you like as long as you do them on your own.
If you have an assessment that radically differs from the
work you’ve been doing up to that point, I will ask you to come to the lab to verify the results. Assessments are only
considered valid if you do them on your own (with your notes and a calculator ). Getting other people or sources to
help you with an assessment could result in your being dropped from the course with a failing grade. Please see the
college catalog policy on Academic Integrity for more details. Also, I can only give you credit for hours in which you
are actually learning new material. If you seem to have put in several hours without adding any topics to your pie,
then we will need to talk about what is going on.

You should also note that your cumulative time totals from each week will factor into your grade (with progressively
greater weights as the quarter progresses); hence, you must begin putting in regular hours every day from the
beginning of the quarter.

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