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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

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

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 x2+bx+c
C. Factoring trinomials ax2+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.