Welcome to Week One

Principles of Algebra (MAT0099)

Getting Oriented

The online environment with all its links and buttons can be a little confusing at first, so let me make some suggestions to help get you started. Reading this announcement is the right place to start! Once you've finished, your next step should be to go to the Week 1 area (on the left side of this page) and click on the "W1 Assignment 1" link. That will take you to a discussion board where you can post a brief autobiography of yourself and get to know your classmates by reading theirs.

Once you've done that, you're ready to get started on the material. If you click on the Readings and Assignments link in the Course Home area (also on the left side of this page), you'll be taken to a page that has links to all of the weekly readings. Once you've read this week's material, you're ready to start doing some problems. I strongly recommend that you spend as much time as possible doing problems from the textbook and the MML website. (More on that in a minute.) The key to getting good at math is practice, practice, practice.

Once you've gone through the written material, you're ready to get started on your first assignment. If you click on the W1 Assignment 3 link in the Week 1 area (still on the left side of this page) you'll be taken to the MyMathLab (MML) website where you can start working on the weekly homework that's due on Saturday. If you aren't happy with your grade the first time through the assignment, you can retake it as many times as you need to to get your grade up to the maximum points.

Each week has a discussion board where you're expected to participate by posting the solutions to your assigned questions and responding to the solutions of your fellow students and to my feedback. You can find this discussion board by clicking on the "W1 Assignment 2" link in the Week 1 area. The assigned questions are in a file in my first post in the discussion board.

Finally, at the end of each week, you have to complete the week's quiz. In week one, you can access it through the "W1 Assignment 4" link in the Week 1 area. The quiz doesn't have a time limit although, to avoid a late penalty, you do have to submit it by the end of the day on Wednesday. This assignment can only be attempted once so be sure you're happy with all of your answers before you click the Submit button.

Getting Help

The University and I offer a wide variety of methods for you to get help when you need it.


  1. Ask Me a Question If there's material that you don't understand, the first thing you should do is post your questions in the What's Puzzling Me forum for whatever week we're in. I usually check the discussion boards at least twice a day: once in the morning and once in the evening. I do, however, take the occasional day off - usually on Day 5 and Day 7. I'm also available via Skype at the address below. I'm usually online working in the afternoon and early evening so those are great times to get a hold of me if you have a quick question on a problem or assignment.

  2. SmartThinking You have access to an online service called SmartThinking that provides support for math, science and English classes. You can access this through the Student Common twenty-four hours a day.

  3. Supplemental Material Every week I'll post notes and supplemental materials for a variety of learning styles in the weekly discussion forum. This week's post has links to videos on the White Crane Education website, additional written materials and notes on creating graphs for the discussion board using a variety of tools and methods.

  4. Learning Environments I've designed a number of dynamic learning environments that are hosted on the White Crane Education website at www.whitecraneeducation.com/classrooms. A number of these are relevant to the material that we'll be covering in this course. Each week I'll post a note in the Problems and Solutions forum pointing you to any of these resources that are relevant to what we're discussing that week.