“Try Online!” Series: College Algebra

Don’t let them fool you: online classes can be some of the most engaging, rigorous, and interactive college courses out there. In this short series of posts, “Try Online!”, Parkland faculty briefly introduce you to some of the most popular online courses we teach, available now in our summer/fall 2016 lineup. Below, check out MAT 124 , College Algebra, taught by Erin Wilding-Martin. Erin was named the 2015 Outstanding Full-time Faculty Member by the Illinois Community College Trustees Association.


Anyone planning to go on to take either Calculus or Business Calculus (so, lots of majors) needs to take MAT 124, College Algebra. These students have a lot of math ahead of them, so getting this course out of the way over the summer would really help them move forward on their path, and MAT 124 transfers easily to most schools.

What to Expect
The online format is convenient for summer learning. On-campus classes of MAT 124 meet 2 hours a day, 4 days a week, for 8 weeks. The online class only requires an in-person final exam, and the rest is online. Of course, this does require good time management to stay on top of things. But class sizes are small at Parkland, so you can easily get help from me, the instructor, by email.

MAT 124 is a pretty challenging course, but we use the ALEKS online system to personalize your learning experience. First,  we give you an assessment to see what you already know how to do. Then, you can skip topics you have mastered previously and spend more time on the ones you find challenging. ALEKS will guide you so you work on topics in an order that naturally builds on what you can currently do. You can’t jump to a topic you’re not ready for, so you will feel less overwhelmed as you learn.

About the instructor: Erin Wilding-Martin has taught at Parkland for 15 years. For 13 years she has been developing and teaching online courses in both mathematics, and in community college teaching and learning. Erin received an MS in Mathematics and a PhD in Educational Policy Studies, both from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She was also the 2015 recipient of the Association of Community College Trustees Faculty Member Award for the Central Region.

***MAT 124: Offered June 13 to August 4; August 22 to December 9; and September 12 to December 9. Register online today (these sections fill fast!).***


[Derrick Baker is director of the Professional Development and Instructional Technology unit at Parkland College.]

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