# Intermediate Algebra Course Outline

**Course Description**

MA 125. Intermediate Algebra. 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: Placement score or
MA

060 or its equivalent with a C or better. This course will enable the student
to interpret

mathematical symbols and notation, simplify expressions, factor
polynomials, solve

equations (including absolute value, quadratic and rational
equations), perform

operations on radical expressions, write equations of lines
and evaluate functions. The

student will begin to conceptualize abstract ideas.

Course Relevance

Discipline, perseverance and the ability to follow directions are necessary for
success in

life. This course will improve the student’s abilities in these
skills as well as their ability

to think analytically. Mathematical literacy
will be increased, leading to informed

choices when making decisions in life.
The concepts learned in this course will improve

the student’s math skills,
leading to success in subsequent courses.

**Required Materials**

Lial, M.L, Hornsby, J., McGinnis,T. (2007). Beginning & Intermediate Algebra
(4th ed.).

Boston, MA: Pearson, Addison Wesley

**Supplemental Materials**

Cole, J. (2008). Student’s Solutions Manual: Beginning and Intermediate Algebra
(4th

ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson, Addison Wesley

Scientific calculator

**Learning Outcomes**

The intention is for the student to be able to

1. Use problem solving to be successful in future learning

2. Gain confidence in personal mathematical ability

3. Use and interpret mathematical symbols and notation

4. Perform mathematical procedures and techniques correctly

5. Conceptualize abstract ideas

**Primary Learning PACT Skills that will be DEVELOPED and/or documented in this
course**

Through the student’s involvement in this course, he/she will develop his/her ability in

the following primary PACT skill areas:

1. Problem Solving

• The student will improve their problem solving skills through the repeated

solution of multi-step problems and word problems.

Secondary skills (developed but not documented):

Self Concept

Time Management

Reading

Listening

**Major Summative Assessment Task(s)**

These learning outcomes and the primary Learning PACT skills will be
demonstrated by

1. Taking a departmental common final exam including three open ended multi-step

questions that require conceptualization of abstract ideas and accurate
performance

of mathematical procedures. Problem solving rubric

2. Completion of a self assessment inventory which measures change in confidence
in personal

mathematical ability.

**Course Content**

I. Themes – Key recurring concepts that run throughout this course:

A. Solving equations

B. Simplifying expressions

C. Following directions

II. Issues – Key areas of conflict that must be understood in order to achieve
the

intended outcome:

A. Recognizing which technique to use

B. Remembering prerequisite material

III. Concepts – Key concepts that must be understood to address the issues:

A. Notation

B. Variables

C. Graphing

D. Functions

IV. Skills/Competencies – Actions that are essential to achieve the course
outcomes:

A. Factoring

B. Simplifying expressions

C. Solving equations

D. Modeling

E. Simplifying radicals and expressions with exponents

F. Simplifying rational expressions

G. Operations with complex numbers

**Learning Units**

I. Factoring and applications

A. The greatest common factor; factoring by grouping

B. Factoring trinomials x^{2}+bx+c

C. Factoring trinomials ax^{2}+bx+c

D. Special factoring rules

E. Solving quadratic equations by factoring

F. Applications of quadratic equations

II. Rational expressions and applications

A. The fundamental property of rational expressions

B. Multiplying and dividing rational expressions

C. Least common denominator

D. Adding and subtracting rational expressions

E. Complex fractions

F. Solving equations with rational expressions

G. Applications of rational expressions

III. Equations of lines; functions

A. Review of graphs and slopes of lines

B. Review of equations of lines; linear models

C. Functions

D. Operations on Functions and Composition (Optional)

E. Variation

IV. Inequalities and absolute value

A. Set operations and compound inequalities

B. Absolute value equations and inequalities

V. Roots, radicals and root functions

A. Radical expressions and graphs

B. Rational exponents

C. Simplifying radical expressions

D. Adding and subtracting radical expressions

E. Multiplying and dividing radical expression

F. Solving equations with radicals

G. Complex numbers

VI. Quadratic equations

A. Solving quadratic equations by the square root property

B. Solving quadratic equations by completing the square

C. Solving quadratic equations by the quadratic formula

**Learning Activities**

Classroom: Independent learning activities will be assigned to assist the
student to

achieve the intended learning outcomes. Activities identified in the
syllabus, such as

class discussion, lecture, reading, group work or projects
will also contribute to learning.

Online: Online teaching/learning activities such as the following will assist
the student to

achieve course outcomes: posted web pages, threaded discussions,
written

assignments, assigned reading, and interaction with instructor through
e-mail and

discussion boards.

**Grade Determination**

Grade determination will be based on assessment tasks and other activities such
as

exams and assignments that the instructor identifies in the syllabus.