Basic Algebra With Applications
Fall Semester 1997
Alan H. Stein
Basic Algebra is designed to prepare students for college level
mathematics. Although the course carries college credit, it is not itself
considered a college level course and the credit does not count towards
graduation from The University of Connecticut.
You should not be registered for this course unless you have taken and
failed the Q-Course Readiness Test. If you have not taken that test, you
should immediately make arrangements to take it; it is quite possible that
there are other courses far more appropriate to your needs.
Section 31: 8:00-8:50 AM on Monday, Wednesday and Friday
Section 32: 12:30-1:20 PM on Monday, Wednesday and Friday
Intermediate Algebra, 2nd edition, by Tobey and Slater.
It is also highly recommended that you check
out other algebra books in the Kirschbaum Library.
Listserv Mailing List
The class has a listserv mailing list set up. The name of the list is
WMA101-L and it is hosted on uconnvm.uconn.edu. Every member of
the class is expected to sign on to the list and to participate.
Subscribing to the Mailing List
To sign on to the mailing list, send the message
sub WMA101-L John Doe
addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org, replacing John
Doe with your own name. That single line should comprise the entire
body of your message. No subject is needed. Note that you may subscribe
from any Internet address; you do not need to be in the UConn domain. If
you have any difficulty, contact your instructor.
Posting a Message to the Mailing List
To post a message to the mailing list, simply address it to
WMA101-L@uconnvm.uconn.edu. Other than that, it may be handled the same as
any other email message.
Course Structure and Grading
Note: The structure described below is not the standard
course structure being used by other instructors.
This course will be structured differently from most other courses. Thus,
some of the policies below conflict with the general policies listed
elsewhere in your instructor's virtual classroom. In such cases, the
policies here override the general policies. There will be very little
lecture, under the philosophy that all the material in the course has
already been explained to students in previous courses in middle and high
school and each student needs to work on different items.
By the end of the semester, students will be expected to be proficient in
most of the material in the first nine chapters of the textbook. Students
will work at their own pace, with assistance from the instructor where
needed, although the instructor will spend a short time approximately once
per week explaining key algebraic ideas.
As students become proficient in the material in each chapter in the
textbook, they will take examinations on those chapters. Course grades, as
outlined below, will depend almost totally on their performance on those
Tests will be available for each chapter, with a combined test for chapters
8 and 9. Tests may be taken at any time during either Mathematics 101
class, during your instructor's office hours, or any other time you can
arrange with your instructor.
Tests for each chapter may be retaken as many times as necessary (although
not more than once during any class) until a passing grade of 80% is earned
for that chapter. Note that no partial credit will be given. Note also
that students who take examinations for the same chapter more than once
will have different examinations each time.
The course grade will be determined as follows:
|Number of Chapter|
Several other factors as detailed below may be used to either raise or
lower your course grade up to one full letter grade.
Bonuses for Outstanding Performance on Examinations
A grade of 90 or above on at least half the exams passed will increase your
course grade by one +/-. A grade of 90 or above on all the exams passed
will increase your course grade by two +/-s. For example, someone who
passes 6 exams gets a C. If that person earns 90s on at least three of
them, the grade increases to C+. If that person earns 90s on all six, the
grade increases to B-. The bonus given for a perfect grade is double the
bonus given for a grade of 90 or above.
A student who earns a grade of 80 on a chapter
examination may attempt to raise his or her grade to 90, but risks losing credit
for the chapter by doing worse on the second try.
Adjustments Based on Appropriate Preparation
It is expected that students will properly prepare for each chapter
examination before taking it. In order to encourage students to properly
prepare, a student's course grade will be raised by one +/- each time her
or she passes a chapter examination on the first try; on the other hand, it
will be decreased by one +/- each time he or she takes examinations twice
for the same chapter without meeting the required standard.
Penalties for Poor Attendance
Since it is important for students to put in a consistent effort throughout
the semester, including studying in class when they are not ready to take
an examination, attendance will be taken and will count. Missing three
classes will result in a penalty of one +/- in the course grade, missing
six classes will result in a penalty of two +/-s in the course grade, and
so on. Students are expected to stay for the entire class session. Thus,
students who come late to class or leave early will be considered to be
Students who have successfully passed all eight chapter examinations will
be excused from further attendance.
The Grading Algorithm
The grade will actually be calculated by a computer program as follows:
The Mid-Semester grades will be calculated the same way except that the
adjustment factor will be added to six times the number of exams passed
rather than to three times the number of exams passed and if the student's
point total is less than 15 the student will need to have passed only two
chapter exams rather than five to have the point total reset to 15.
- A point total will be calculated as follows:
A preliminary adjustment factor will be computed as follows. Double the
number of perfect exam scores will be added to the number of scores of at
least 80%. The preliminary adjustment factor will be set to 4 if this
number is at least double the number of exams passed, 3 if this number is
at least 1 1/2 times the number of exams passed, 2 if this number is
at least equal to the number of exams passed, 1 if this number is
at least half the number of exams passed, 0 otherwise.
- 1 point will be added to the adjustment factor for each exam the
student passed on the first try.
- For each exam, the number of unsuccessful attempts will be divided by
2 and the integer part of the quotient will be subtracted from the
- The number of absences will be divided by 3 and the integer part of the
quotient will be subtracted from the adjustment factor.
- If the adjustment factor comes out greater than 1, it will be reset to 1; if the
adjustment factor comes out less than -1, it will be reset to -1.
- The adjustment factor will be added to three times the number of exams
passed to get the point total.
- If the point total is less than 15 but the student passed at least five
chapter exams, the point total will be reset to 15.
- If the student failed to fill out the student Information
Form or failed to provide an Email Address, the point total
will be reset to 0.
- Once the point total is calculated, the grade will be calculated
according to the following table:
|Point Total||Course Grade
The final examination for Mathematics 101 will be held on December 12, 1997
between 11:00 AM-1:00 PM. At this time, students will have one last
opportunity, without penalty, to retake examinations for any chapters they
have not yet passed or for which they wish to try to raise their grades.