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 pre -algebra 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

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 real-world problems using equations and inequalities.
•Graph lines and linear inequalities in the Cartesian Plane.
•Find the equation of a line in both slope-intercept 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 land-based or on-line 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.

On-Line Participation

This course is offered on-line, over the Internet, using the Internet and the World Wide Web, using publishing
technology provided by Desire2Learn, Prentice Hall, and Columbia College. Participation on-line is expected and
continuous throughout the course. Failure to turn in assignments by the date due, or lack of participation in on-line
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 On-line
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 On-line 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 on-line discussions, as well as with other appropriate on-line 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
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 Mid- Term Examination in week 4 and a proctored comprehensive Final
Examination in week 8.

VI. Graded Assignments

Weekly On-Line (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.
Mid-Term 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 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 1-8, 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 non-CC 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: 0-13-147894-X

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 1-800-325-3252 ISBN: 0-32-156391-3

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: 0-13-235679-1

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 TI-83, TI-83+, TI-84 or TI-84+ 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. On-line Discussion Assignment: This week, your
on-line 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.
On-line 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
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, Slope-Intercept & Point-Slope 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

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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