MATH 1314: Online FAQ

Online Learning: College Algebra

Frequently Asked Questions

Here is some basic information for the online version of College Algebra being offered.  If anyone has questions or would like to see a demo of the course, contact Jeff Detrick at 230-3383 or email at

Q: What kind of computer and software will I need?

A:  You will need a computer connected to the Internet.  You also will need a current web browser (Explorer or Firefox).  If you do not have such a browser, they are available for free download on the college web page.  You will also need Adobe Acrobat Reader and Windows Media Player.


Q: I don’t have a fast Internet connection.  Will this be a problem viewing course content.

A:  Not at all.  All the video presentation are available on a USB drive.  Contact me to get a copy of the video files.  The only thing you must do online is participate in discussion, send email, and get assignments and updates.  While a fast Internet connection is desirable, it isn’t a must.


Q:  Are there any class meetings?

A:  No.  Everything, including course orientation, is done online.


Q:  So, does that mean I am on my own if I need help?

A:  No!!!  The instructor will have plenty of office hours available, both online and in person.  Plus, you can also work with the tutors in the Student Success Center.


Q:  Will there be any interaction between myself and the other students in the class?

A:  You bet!  Many people think distance learning is a solo experience.  This will not be the case in this class.  In fact, you might find that you will interact with your classmates more regularly in this course than in some of your face-to-face courses. There will be discussion groups, private chat rooms, and class email available.  You can frequently work with your classmates; you’ll just do this electronically rather that in person.


Q:  How will I be tested in this course?

A: You will complete regular assignments after you finish each lecture and these are submitted for a grade.  These are designed to give you feedback on your proficiency with the material.  Exams will be giving in the Learning Services Testing Center on campus.  You will have a window of time on the calendar to schedule a convenient time to take the exam.


Q:  How will I be graded in this course? 

A:  Your grade will be based on your exam scores, your graded assignment scores, and your participation in online communication.  Again, this is an interactive course, and your participation in discussion is vital for success.  Isolation is not an option.


Q:  What are the advantages to taking College Algebra on the web?

A: You can “go to class” when ever you choose.  This is a real plus for busy people who have a hard time making it to a scheduled class.  Another advantage is that the Windows Media lectures, unlike an instructor, can be paused, rewinded, and replayed as many times as you like.  You will be able to learn from a lecture over and over if it is needed?


Q:  Since there are no class meetings, will an online learning class take less of my time than a face-to-face class?

A:  NO!  It is common for students to think that distance learning courses are less time consuming.  This is a horrible myth.  This course will require just as much time, if not a little more, as a traditional class requires.  The main difference is that you are attending class at home, rather than at the college.  So, it may save you a little gas money, but not time.