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Algebra

Purpose of Course  showclose

This introductory mathematics course is for you if you have a solid foundation in arithmetic (that is, you know how to perform operations with real numbers, including negative numbers, fractions, and decimals).  Numbers and basic arithmetic are used often in everyday life in both simple situations, like estimating how much change you will get when making a purchase in a store, as well as in more complicated ones, like figuring out how much time it would take to pay off a loan under interest.

The subject of algebra focuses on generalizing these procedures.  For example, algebra will enable you to describe how to calculate change without specifying how much money is to be spent on a purchase–it will teach you the basic formulas and steps you need to take no matter what the specific details of the situation are.  Likewise, accountants use algebraic formulas to calculate the monthly loan payments for a loan of any size under any interest rate.  In this course, you will learn how to work with formulas that are already known from science or business to calculate a given quantity, and you will also learn how to set up your own formulas to describe various situations by translating verbal descriptions to mathematical language.  In the later units of this course, you will discover another tool used in mathematics to describe numbers and analyze relationships: graphing.  You will learn that any pair of numbers can be represented by a point on a coordinate plane and that a relationship between two quantities can be represented by a line or a curve.

Units 6, 7, and 8 may seem more abstract than the earlier ones, as you will deal with expressions that contain mostly variables and not too many numbers.  While the procedures you will master in these units might seem to have little practical application, you have to keep in mind that they result in formulas that describe very real situations in business, accounting, and science.  Knowing how to perform various operations with algebraic expressions will eventually enable you to solve quadratic and even more complex equations.  You will explore a variety of real-world scenarios that can be described by these kinds of equations.  For example, if a ball is thrown up in the air, solving a quadratic equation will help you find out when it will hit the ground.  As another example, if you know the area of a rectangular garden, then you can use a quadratic equation to find the length of each side.

Course Information  showclose

Welcome to RWM102. General information on this course and its requirements can be found below.

Course Designer: Inna Shpiro

Primary Resources:  This course comprises a range of different free, online materials. However, the course makes primary use of the following materials: Please note that the CK-12 resources require you to sign in with Google, Facebook, Twitter, or a CK-12 account.  You may set up a CK-12 account for free by clicking on “Create an Account” and following the steps provided.

Also, please note that some webpages might take some time to load, as many of the webpages contain a lot of mathematical symbols.

Requirements for Completion: In order to complete this course, you will need to work through each unit and all of its assigned materials.  You will need to complete the activities in each unit as well as the Final Exam.  You will also need to complete:
  • Sub-subunit 2.2.5 Assessment
  • Sub-subunit 2.3.2 Assessment
  • Subunit 4.4 Assessment
  • Sub-subunit 5.5.2 Assessment
  • Sub-subunit 6.4.2 Assessment
  • Subunit 7.3 Assessment
  • Sub-subunit 8.3.2.3 Assessment
  • Sub-subunit 8.4.2 Assessment
  • Sub-subunit 9.5.2 Assessment
Note that you will only receive an official grade on your Final Exam.  However, in order to adequately prepare for this exam, you will need to work through the resources, activities, and assessments in each unit.

In order to pass this course, you will need to earn a 70% or higher on the Final Exam.  Your score on the exam will be tabulated as soon as you complete it.  If you do not pass the exam, you may take it again.

Time Commitment: This course should take you a total of 131.25 hours to complete.  Each unit includes a time advisory that lists the amount of time you are expected to spend on each subunit.  These should help you plan your time accordingly.  It may be useful to take a look at these time advisories and to determine how much time you have over the next few weeks to complete each unit, and then to set goals for yourself.  For example, Unit 1 should take you 6.75 hours.  Perhaps you can sit down with your calendar and decide to complete subunits 1.1 and 1.2 (a total of 3.5 hours) on Monday night; subunit 1.3 (a total of 3.25 hours) on Tuesday night; etc.

Tips/Suggestions: As noted in the “Course Requirements” section, there is a prerequisite for this course.  It may be helpful to review RWM101: Foundations before you begin this course.

Please make sure to take comprehensive notes as you work through each resource.  Mark down any important equations, formulas, and definitions that stand out to you.  These notes will serve as a useful review as you study for your Final Exam.

Common Core Standards: In addition to listing course-wide and unit-specific learning outcomes, this course also makes note of all Common Core Standards that are covered by the learning material.  Notations of these standards appear next to the learning outcomes with which they are aligned (i.e., A-SSE.1).

Educational standards comprise the set of skills and concepts the students are to master at any given level. They provide goals for the educators and expectations for the students.

Information on Common Core Standards can be found on Common Core Standards Initiative website: http://www.corestandards.org/the-standards.

High School Algebra Standards (with the description of each standard) can be found at http://www.corestandards.org/Math/Content/HSA/.

Khan Academy  
This course features a number of Khan Academy™ videos. Khan Academy™ has a library of over 3,000 videos covering a range of topics (math, physics, chemistry, finance, history and more), plus over 300 practice exercises. All Khan Academy™ materials are available for free at www.khanacademy.org.

Learning Outcomes  showclose

NOTE: Each of the learning outcomes listed below has been aligned with one or more of the Common Core standards in mathematics. This alignment is reflected in the numbered notation listed alongside each outcome below. For more information on Common Core standards, please read here.

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:
  • evaluate and simplify algebraic expressions; (HSA-SSE.A.1)
  • solve linear equations and inequalities in one variable; (HSA-REI.B.3)
  • solve systems of linear equations and inequalities; (HSA-REI.C.5, HSA-REI.C.6, HSA-REI.D.12)
  • solve literal equations for a given variable; (HSA-CED.A.4, HSA-REI.B.3)
  • translate verbal phrases to algebraic (variable) expressions;
  • define percent, and solve basic percent problems;
  • apply simple interest formula to problems involving loans and saving accounts;
  • apply uniform motion formula to problems involving motion of one or two objects;
  • solve word problems by identifying a variable and creating an equation or an inequality; (HSA-CED.A.1)
  • solve word problems by identifying two or more variables and creating a system of equations or inequalities; (HSA-CED.A.3)
  • plot points on the coordinate plane, and determine the coordinates of any point on the coordinate plane;
  • graph linear equations and inequalities in two variables on the coordinate plane; (HSA-CED.A.2, HSA-REI.D.10, HSA-REI.D.12)
  • calculate a slope of a line passing through two given points;
  • write an equation of a straight line in point-slope or slope-intercept form;
  • solve word problems by creating a graph of a straight line and interpreting the meaning of the slope and intercepts of the line in the context of a problem; (HSA-CED.A.2)
  • perform operations with algebraic exponential expressions using the rules of exponents;
  • perform operations with polynomials; (HSA-APR.A.1)
  • identify polynomials that can be factored and determine appropriate factoring strategy; and (HSA-SSE.A.2)
  • solve quadratic equations by factoring. (HSA-SSE.B.3, HSA-REI.B.4)

Course Requirements  showclose

In order to take this course, you must:

√    have access to a computer;

√    have continuous broadband Internet access;

√    have the ability/permission to install plug-ins or software (e.g. Adobe Reader or Flash);

√    have the ability to download and save files and documents to a computer;

√    have the ability to open Microsoft files and documents (.doc, .ppt, .xls, etc.);

√    have competency in the English language;

√    have read the Saylor Student Handbook; and 

√    have completed RWM101: Real World Math I: Foundations.

Unit Outline show close


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