Course Redesign Summary – Math 1414 - College Algebra
Instructor: Dr. Said Fariabi
There are three college algebra courses currently being taught at San Antonio College. Math 1414 is the required course for all students seeking a degree in one of the STEM majors. It is important to create a strong foundation in college algebra because it is the prerequisite for such courses as PreCalculus, General Physics, General Chemistry, and Statics.
Since college algebra ultimately prepares the student for other STEM courses, comprehension of material is of the upmost importance. Two new methods of communication were incorporated in my online classes. One, virtual office hours were created in CANVAS using the web-conferencing tool, a head set, and a webcam. Two hours on the weekend were dedicated to answering student’s questions on homework assignments. Secondly, a review for each test was generated in MyMathLab. Once the students had time to practice the problems on the review, I created a detailed key for each review using the tablet. The reviews were then saved as a .pdf and linked in CANVAS so each student had access to them.
The virtual office hours allowed my online students an opportunity to ask questions without having to drive to campus. However, I found that the biggest benefit were the links created with the detailed explanations. Students found these to be extremely beneficial and began asking me to work other problems from their homework assignments. By the end of the course, over 100 links of problems were generated and approximately 75% of the students are expected to pass the course.
Students can be apprehensive of new technology. The biggest challenge was getting students to participate in the virtual office hours. Most of the students who did join the conferences were already familiar with the software and comfortable with the technology.