The subject matter of this learning object is Algebra. In particular, it explains the various ways of writing multiplication and provides examples of the use of some multiplication symbols. It is targeted to the audience of learners that are transitioning from basic arithmetic to beginning algebra. The learning object is a video explaining the related concepts.
Type of Material:
The material would be considered to be a tutorial. The medium is in video format.
Recommended uses for this material would be in class, review for any homework/assessments, supplemental to lectures.
Any browser that runs YouTube videos.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
To familiarize the student with the various ways of writing multiplication and when each is appropriate. The student will also learn to apply the multiplication symbol in examples from algebra that involve both numbers and variables.
Target Student Population:
It is targeted to the audience of learners that are transitioning from basic arithmetic to beginning algebra.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Learners will need to have some prerequisite knowledge of arithmetic and basic algebra. Learners will also need to be familiar with navigating around social sites such as YouTube.
This video is an excellent resource to help progress the skills of learner that is taking development math and moving on to the more fundamental concepts of Algebra. The speaker uses a clear voice and easy to follow pace.
The main problem with the quality of this video is that it is titled “Why aren’t we using the multiplication sign – Why we avoid using the traditional multiplication sign in Algebra”. However, while the instructor accurately explains this concept, he goes on a tangent within the last minute of the video. He goes on to explain relative topics such as evaluating algebraic expressions given different variables other than “x”. Also when he mentions using the “dot” for multiplication, he could have further explained that dot is also not commonly used in Algebra for the sake of decimals and the readability factor. There are several places that could be improved with some basic video editing. The speaker sometimes stumbles over words and at one point erases a mistake and rewrites it again.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
The video was timed correctly. There was just enough information within the time frame. Learners tend to tune out after about 5 min. An instructor can easily recommend this video to students who are confused about symbols for multiplication. Students can view this on their own and not become confused. An instructor can embed this video directly into an instructional website where it will become one part of a full module on algebraic expressions.
Prerequisite knowledge was not identified. Suggesting previous or subsequent videos or other resources would add value.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
Learners in this technological era will have no problem understanding how to play the video. The black screen with white background and colored text draws the focal points. Writing with the pointer is fluid and continuous. Easy to follow and easy to read. Learners have the ability to rewind, fast forward, pause, etc.
If there is a student that does not have experience with using some of the social media, there were no instructions on how to get the video started.
Other Issues and Comments:
Overall, the video would be very helpful for the average Beginning Algebra student. I currently use many of the Khan videos and this is one that I would recommend (at least the first three minutes) to stress the importance of using star * or parentheses () to denote multiplication in the discussions of Algebra in an online environment.
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