course expectations  |  teacher information  |  evaluation  |  course prerequisites

What can I expect from this course?

In Consumer Math there are 16 lessons to work through. Each lesson consists of three parts: Teacher, Student/Teacher, and Student. You will start with the Teacher part of a lesson, advance to the Student/Teacher one, and finish with the Student part. Each part will increase your understanding of the concepts and information presented.

This course is designed to give you experience solving a wide variety of open-ended math problems that involve real-life situations. For example, you will be asked to imagine that you are taking a trip to a foreign country. While you are there, you will have to exchange your United States dollars for a different kind of money and using this during your visit. When you return home, you will have to exchange what money you have left for U.S. money. Your assignment will be to figure out how much money you end up with.

During another lesson, you will imagine you have bought plane tickets for a vacation. Your tickets give the arrival and departure times, but some of them are in Pacific Standard Time and some in Mountain Time. You will have to figure out exactly how long you will spend in the airplane.

There are a total of 10 lessons. Each lesson involves a specific type of problem and is divided into three sections:

1. Teacher: This section is designed to look like a regular classroom. The computer presents you with a problem and then takes you through the steps to solve it.  

2. Teacher/Student: In this section, you are presented with a problem that looks similar to the one the computer just showed you haw to solve. This time though, however, you are going to have to do half of the work. The computer might give you hints, or fill in some of the steps, but a lot of the work will be yours.

3. Student: Now it is your turn to show what you can do. You will be presented with a problem that looks like the other two. It will be your job to solve it. If you need help, you can go back a see how the computer solved a similar problem or how you helped the computer solve a problem like this. When you are finished you will email (or regular mail, or fax) your solution to the human teacher for feedback, and go on to the next lesson

Tell me about the teacher

The teacher for Consumer Math will be certified from an accredited institution of higher education.  He/she will also have a confirmed license from the Teaching Standards and Practices Committee

How can I expect to be evaluated?

Evaluation is embedded into each math lesson.  As you work through the three sections of each lesson you will see that the format does not change. Each section has five parts.

1. In part 1 you are presented with a problem similar to the ones described above.

2. The problem is broken apart into smaller pieces. We keep the important stuff and get rid of the rest.

3. In Part 3 you will take a short quiz covering the import concepts that are needed to solve the problem. The computer will give you immediate feedback of your results.

4. This section covers possible strategies that might be used to solve the problem.

5. In this section the problem is solved step-by-step.

6. There is usually more than one way to solve a problem. In Part 6 the problem is solved using a different method.

7. In the last part you will go through a checklist to help make sure that you have clearly communicated all of your responses.

What do I need to take this course?

Because of the dynamic nature of this course, minimum academic skills are needed to complete the course.  Lessons are tailored to the individual student's mathematical abilities.  Each of lesson will appear in three sections. The big difference will be in how much help you will get form the computer. In the Teacher section the computer will do most of the work. In the middle section you will split the work with the computer. Finally, in the Student section, you will do almost all of the problem solving yourself.  The only material required to take this course is access to and familiarity with a computer that is connected to the Internet.

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