Intermediate Algebra Math 111- Syllabus

Western New Mexico University
Course Syllabus
Math 111 Intermediate Algebra (3 credits)
Fall Semester, 2009 – online/WebCT


Stanley P. Thompson

Email: (1)

Course Web Page: (Select the My Online Courses link on
The left-hand side of the browser and use your Mustang Express
e-mail/password to log into the Blackboard tool)

Instructor’s Personal Web Page: Information on your instructor may be found here.

Telephone Number: (575) 894-7485 (9 am to 5 pm MST, M-F)

Preferred Contact: Please contact via e-mail (1).

Class Location and Format

This is an online, Internet-based course using WNMU’s WebCT tool.

Class Hours


Class Web Site

The course website is located at through My Online Courses

Course Description

Basic Algebra for the student of algebra whose background needs strengthening. Prerequisite: Successful completion of DSM 102 (Fundamentals of Algebra) or appropriate CONPASS placement score. Concepts to be covered include basic properties and definitions, equations and inequalities in one and two variables, exponents and polynomials, rational expressions and rational functions, rational exponents and roots and quadratic functions. This on-line course closely parallels the face-to-face classroom course at WNMU.
Uses appropriate technology such as Microsoft Excel (a graphing calculator is not required, although a scientific calculator maybe necessary).

Required Textbook

Intermediate Algebra, A Text/Workbook, 7th Ed., Charles P. McKeague.

Required Software

Since this is an online course, there are some minimum hardware and software requirements to complete the course. For recommended operating system requirements and web browser compatibility, see Online Courses

For all browsers, JavaScript and cookies must be enabled. To use Chat, Java must also be enabled. Please see Online Courses for details on internet browser setups.

To complete this course, you will need the following software:
a. Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel (2000 or newer)
b. Adobe Acrobat Reader® (free download at
c. WinZip® (download at ) or similar product (may not be required).
d. Use of WNMU’s Blackboard tool (

Textbooks and software may be purchased at the WNMU bookstore, in person or online via : Or you may purchase via other online resources such as or

Technical Support

If you are having technical problems with WebCT, you can contact free technical support through one of the following ways:
a. Phone: (575) 538-6046
b. E-Mail:
c. Web: Online Courses

Any course content related questions should be directed to your assigned instructor. Please refer to

Exit Competencies

Upon completion of this course, the student will have proficiency in the following:
a. A background in equations and inequalities in one and two variables.
b. An understanding of exponents and polynomials including the properties of exponents and factoring theory and practice of polynomials.
c. A basic understanding of rational exponents including complex numbers.
d. A working knowledge of quadratic functions, including completing the square, the quadratic formula and graphing parabolas.
e. The use of Microsoft Excel (or similar tool) to solve analytical problems in Algebra.
f. The ability to learn to read and write mathematics effectively.
g. A head start to further courses in Algebra such as College Algebra.

Course Expectations

Students should expect to spend at least 10 hours per week on this course. This includes readings, viewing course content, completing homework assignments, posting to the discussion area, etc.

All announcements/changes/due dates will be posted on Blackboard (hereafter referred to as Bb): It is the student’s responsibility to check their Bb account and course calendar for communications and changes to the course several times a week. A grade of failing (50%) will be given for assignments not completed by their due date. No late assignments or quizzes will be accepted.

Exams: Your instructor will arrange for proctoring any closed-book exams. Common locations include local libraries and Extended University branch centers.

Course Outline

Module 1:

Basic Properties and Definitions.

Objective: Become familiar with how to operate in the online WebCT environment and with course policies. Review fundamental definitions and notation and the real numbers.

Reading: Ch. 1.1 – 1.2

Assignment: Homework problems: Ch. 1.1.1 – 1.1.5; 1.2.1 – 1.2.5.

Module 2:

Basic Properties and Definitions (cont.)

Objective: Be introduced to the properties of real numbers and the arithmetic with real numbers.

Reading: Ch. 1.3 – 1.4

Assignment: Homework problems: Ch. 1.3.1 – 1.3.5; 1.4.1 – 1.4.5.

Module 3:

Equations and Inequalities in One Variable.

Objective: Study linear equations in one variable and formulas.

Reading: Ch. 2.1 – 2.2

Assignment: Homework problems: Ch. 2.1.1 – 2.1.5; 2.2.1 – 2.2.5.

Module 4:

Equations and Inequalities in One Variable (cont.)

Objective: Introduce applications of equations in one variable. Learn what linear inequalities in one variable are.

Reading: Ch. 2.3 – 2.4

Assignment: Homework problems: Ch. 2.3.1 – 2.3.5; 2.4.1. – 2.4.5.

Module 5:

Equations and Inequalities in One Variable (cont.)

Objective: Introduce equations with absolute value and inequalities involving absolute value.

Reading: Ch. 2.5 – 2.6

Assignment: Homework problems: Ch. 2.5.1 – 2.5.5; 2.6.1 – 2.6.5.

Module 6:

Equations and Inequalities in Two Variables.

Objective: Introduce paired data and the rectangular coordinate system. Learn the slope and equations of a line.

Reading: Ch. 3.1 – 3.3

Assignment: Homework problems: Ch. 3.1.1 – 3.1.5; 3.2.1 – 3.2.5; 3.3.1 – 3.3.5.

Module 7:

Equations and Inequalities in Two Variables (cont.)

Objective: To present linear inequalities in two variables. Introduce functions and function notation.

Reading: Ch. 3.4 – 3.6

Assignment: Homework problems: Ch. 3.4.1 – 3.4.5; 3.5.1 – 3.5.5; 3.6.1 – 3.6.5.

Module 8:

Mid-term Examination

Objective: Test competency of understanding of Chapters 1, 2 and 3.

Reading: None

Assignment: Mid-Term Examination. Details to be announced.

Module 9:

Exponents and Polynomials

Objective: To discuss and apply properties of exponents. Study polynomials, sums, and differences and the multiplication of polynomials.

Reading: Ch. 5.1 – 5.3

Assignment: Homework problems: Ch. 5.1.1 – 5.1.5; 5.2.1 – 5.2.5; 5.3.1 – 5.3.5.

Module 10:

Exponents and Polynomials (cont.)

Objective: Introduce the greatest common factor and factoring by grouping. Study the factoring of trinomials and special factoring.

Reading. Ch. 5.4 – 5.6

Assignment. Homework problems: Ch. 5.4.1 – 5.4.5; 5.5.1 – 5.5.5; 5.6.1 – 5.6.5.

Module 11:

Exponents and Polynomials (cont.).

Objective: Review factoring and introduce solving equations by factoring.

Reading: Ch. 5.7 – 5.8:

Assignment: Homework problems: Ch. 5.7.1 – 5.7.5; 5.8.1 – 5.8.5.

Module 12

Rational Expressions and Rational Functions. Rational Exponents and Roots

Objective: Introduce the basic properties of rational expressions and reducing to lowest terms. Introduce rational exponents.

Reading: Ch. 6.1; Ch. 7.1

Assignment: Homework problems: Ch. 6.1.1 – 6.1.5; 7.1.1 – 7.1.5.

Module 13

Rational Exponents and Roots (cont.)

Objective: To introduce the simplified form for radicals and learn about complex numbers.
Reading: Ch. 7.3, 7.7

Assignment: Homework problems: Ch. 7.3.1 – 7.3.5; 7.7.1 – 7.7.5.

Module 14

Quadratic Functions

Objective: To study how to solve quadratic functions by completing the square. Introduce the quadratic formula.

Reading: Ch. 8.1 – 8.2

Assignment: Homework problems: Ch. 8.1.1 – 8.1.5; 8.2.1 – 8.2.5.

Module 15

Thanksgiving Break – No Class.

Module 16

Quadratic Functions (cont.)

Objective: Introduce additional items involving solutions to equations. Learn how to graph parabolas.

Reading: Ch. 8.3. 8.5

Assignment: Homework problems: Ch. 8.3.1 – 8.3.5; 8.5.1 – 8.5.5.

Module 17

Final Examination

Objective: Test competency of understanding of Chapters 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7 and 8 .

Reading: None

Assignment: Final examination. Details to be announced.

Assessment and Grading Criteria

This is an intensive, undergraduate-level course with regular and firm deadlines.

Weekly Homework Assignments: You will be assigned homework each week, except for the week of Thanksgiving recess, the mid-term and the final. Details on the homework can be found under the assignments icon. Homework format will normally utilize Microsoft Excel workbooks (sheets). Examples will be posted on the Bb course for you to study. You must submit your module (week) assignments by the end of each module (week) period to be considered for grading. Solutions will be posted in Bb following the submission deadline. Normally, this will be in the following module (week). Homework is worth 320 total points or 32% of the final grade.

Weekly Discussion Topics: Discussions are, in essence, the equivalent of ‘class participation’ in an online course. The instructor will begin facilitation of these class discussions. Each discussion topic will last for one-week. Discussions start on Mondays and will end on the following Sunday.

Please log into the class and participate in the discussion at least four times during the one-week window. You are expected to participate in all of the discussion topics presented during the semester.

Please take care in composing your discussion postings; the idea is to have a conversation with the instructor and other students in the class, much as you would in a face-to-face class. (The discussion area should not be a series of unrelated postings.) You are encouraged to share your ideas, ask questions, and comment/respond appropriately to other students’ comments. The instructor will evaluate your discussion postings in terms of both quality and quantity as part of the course grade. The discussion postings are worth 140 points or 14% of the final grade.

During the first two weeks of the course you will have an opportunity to interact casually with other students in the class to form virtual study groups. Students in this class often find it is essential to pair up with other students in the class to discuss homework assignments. However, submitted homework assignments are expected to by your own work.

Please use the discussion area as your primary way of asking questions regarding the class. Often other students will have the same questions, so it is a quicker and more efficient way for you to get your questions answered.

Mid-Term Examination: You will have an open-book mid-term examination for this course. No collaboration is allowed. Please see the course schedule for the module (week) of this exam. Further details will be announced prior to this period using our Bb course. The mid-term examination is worth 200 points or 20% of the final grade.

Final Examination: The final examination will also be an open-book examination and will encompass the whole course. As with the mid-term examination, no collaboration is allowed. Further details will be announced prior to this period using our Bb course. The weight of the final examination is 340 points or 34% of the final grade.

Letter grading: There are 1000 points available. Generally, scores equal to or above 90% -A, 80% - B, 70% - C, 60% - D and below 60% – F.

Course Evaluation

You will be asked to complete a mid-term and final course evaluation survey online for this course. These surveys are completely anonymous and provide useful information to improve this course for next semester’s students. These surveys will be listed on the Bb home page. If you have any questions or concerns about the survey, please ask the instructor.

Course Policies

Academic Integrity: Each student is expected to maintain the highest standards of honesty and integrity in academic and professional manners. The University reserves the right to take disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal, against any student who is found guilty of academic dishonesty or otherwise fails to meet these standards.

Access to Education: Qualified students with disabilities needing appropriate academic adjustments should contact the instructor as soon as possible to ensure your needs are met in a timely manner. For information on assistive technology available for student use and additional information on services available through Student Accessibility Services, see

Audit: A student may register for a course as an auditor, providing permission of the instructor is obtained. A student has the first four weeks of the semester to change a course to audit status. No changes in audit status will be processed after the fourth week of class. Students are charged the normal tuition rate for auditing a course.

Collaboration: Collaborate work, such as studying or discussing course assignments and materials, (but not graded homework and exams) with other class members, is highly encouraged. Students are encouraged to collaborate with each other using the Bb e-mail discussion area tools.

Copyright: All materials in this course fall under copyright laws and should not be downloaded, distributed, or used by students for any purposes outside of this course.

Privacy and Bb Tracking Notice: Bb or the course web site automatically records all students activities, including, your first and last access to the course, the pages you have accessed, the number of discussion messages you have read and sent, chat room discussion text, and posted discussion topics. This data is accessed by the instructor to evaluate class participation and to identify students having difficulty using Bb features.

Incompletes, Withdrawals, and Drops: I give out incompletes only under extreme circumstances. If you are running into problems with the course, please contact me as early ass possible so you do not fall behind.

This course falls under all WNMU policies for last day to drop courses, etc. Please see or the WNMU Course Catalog for information on WNMU services and policies. Please see the WNMU academic calendar for course dates, the last day to drop courses without penalty, and for financial disenrollment dates.

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| Stan Thompson | | 575-894-7485 |


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