Students speak about online math courses

Online math courses at ULM give students flexibility in their schedules.

They allow students control over when to complete their work, but sometimes students find success difficult.

“I wouldn’t recommend an online math course instead of a lecture unless there is no choice or the student is really good at the subject,” said Associate Professor of Mathematics David Hare.

“Working out a problem is much more important than getting a right answer.”

Introductory Algebra and College Algebra online courses are taught with a software program called Hawkes.

It is divided into instruct, practice and certify modes.

Students must direct their own learning and get 80% of questions correct on homework problems to get credit.

There are also two tests, a midterm and a final.

These count for 60-70% of the final grade, which is the same as in a standard lecture course.

However, even after completing the homework, students sometimes do not pass the course.

Although the majority of the online courses are done at home, the midterm and final tests must be proctored at a testing center.

Students can go to the Mathematics Resource Center (MRC) or another testing center if away from campus to take their exams, but must have valid identification to take the test.

“Some people take courses for the right reason and some for the wrong,” Hare said.

“Some do it because they think they can cheat. =We do what we can to prevent cheating, but most students that get through do it fairly.”

If an online class proves to be too difficult, students may seek help at the MRC.

However, student’s best bet is to schedule an appointment with their instructor.

“Office hours are available, and almost every instructor will meet with a student that needs help,” said Hare.

“It’s not that much different between online and lecture courses. I will help online stulectures. Some students say they can’t do it on their own, but that is the downside of taking an online math course.”