This is a comprehensive resource to learn or refresh algebra skills and concepts. It includes step by step explanations as well as problem worksheets and quizzes. It does not demonstrate applications using these algebra techniques.
Type of Material:
Presentation, drill and practice, and quiz/test.
Independent study or supplementary material to textbook and classroom.
Any modern browser.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
To learn elementary and intermediate algebra and to practice problem solving.
Target Student Population:
Students in beginning and intermediate algebra (and possibly college algebra).
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Evaluation and Observation
This site covers algebra described as Introductory (23 topics), Intermediate (72 topics) and Advanced (34 topics). The step by step explanations are excellent and include embedded links to terms used in the explanations as well as other resources such as mathematician biographies. The explanations include the general concept plus several sample problems. Also embedded in the site is the automated problem solver, Mathway that solves most algebra problems. The student types in the algebra problem and the computer provides the solution, the steps to the solution, and the accompanying graph if applicable. The site contains a comprehensive range of algebra material.
The one missing feature is applications or word problems – significant because this is an area where many students need additional resources and practice.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
The visual effect of the graphics with color and occasional animation is effective. An algebra student can use this site to supplement his or her algebra class and use the math problem solver to check or get help with algorithmic oriented problems.
Some embedded links are not entirely effective – for example in adding algebra fractions the links for LCM and equivalent fractions lead to examples that show only numbers.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The site is simple to use with clear organization. The material is indexed both alphabetically and by course. Any student will have no difficulty finding a concept and reading through the explanation and examples. The math problem solver that is embedded in the site includes plenty of explanations on how to type in the problem to be solved and how to read the displayed solution.