MA 004, Basic Algebra

Summer 2011 (10-wk)

Course Coordinator & Instructor: Ms. Shelley Lenahan

Office: LIB 205 (MLC)

Office Phone: 824-6524

Lab Monitor's Phone: 824-6353 (no voicemail)


Office Hours: MTWR 9-11, 1:30-2:30

Course Objectives

MA 004 is a course in basic algebra for students with a deficiency in high school algebra or who need an algebra review. The goal is to prepare students to take one of the entry, college-level math courses at UAH:

  • MA 107, Algebra with Applications
  • MA 110, Finite Mathematics
  • MA 112, Precalculus Algebra

More specifically, a student who successfully completes MA 004 should

  • have a basic understanding of the real number system, including major classes of numbers (integer, rational, irrational), and the geometric representation of the real number system as a number line
  • understand the basic rules of the arithmetic operations, the rules of precedence and proper notation.
  • be able to perform standard algebraic operations on polynomial and rational expressions, and transform algebraic expressions into various equivalent forms, depending on the purpose intended.
  • understand functions and expressions from contrasting but complementary points of view: algebraic, geometric, procedural.
  • be able to recognize basic functions (linear, quadratic) from both an algebraic and geometric point of view.
  • be able to solve linear and simple quadratic equations
  • understand the function concept and the standard ways of combining functions using the arithmetic operations and composition.
  • be able to translate simple applied problems into algebraic language.
  • recognize common algebraic fallacies, particularly those that involve the improper interchange of operations.
  • make progress towards the general goal of being able to learn, use, and communicate mathematics independently.


MA 004 is taught in a computer-assisted format. Students work in the Mathematics Learning Center for a mandatory four hours per week with the help of instructors and other graduate assistants. Graded homework assignments, quizzes, and tests are computer-based.

Prerequisites: Placement

Credit Hours: No credit (No bearing on GPA.)

Grading System

This course is officially graded S, U. A grade of S and Level 1 placement is needed to advance to the next course.


  • Ms. Shelley Lenahan, Course Coordinator and Instructor for Section 01 & 02

Course Materials

Book (OPTIONAL): Beginning Algebra, 10th edition, by Lial, Hornesby, and McGinnis with the MyMathLab, published by Addison Wesley.

Access Code (MANDATORY):  MyMathLab is part of the CourseCompass course management system and requires an Access Code for each new user.  If you have used CourseCompass before, please alert your instructor.  Access codes are sold separately in the bookstore or online with a credit card during class.  Each new textbook comes with an access code.  If you purchased a used textbook, please be sure an unused access code is included.

E-mail Address:  All correspondence for this course will be through your UAH e-mail account.  Please check your e-mail at least once a week or have it forwarded to an account you check more often.

Graded Items

All homework assignments must be completed with a grade of 100%. All quizzes and tests have a minimum grade requirement of 85%. A grade of S is earned once a student earns 85% on all coursework assigned and places at Level 1 on the final exam provided attendance requirements have been met. A grade of U is earned if a student does not comply with attendance requirements or does not complete sufficient coursework assigned with an 85% or above.

A grade of Incomplete (I) is given when a student has completed sufficient, but not all, coursework and has missed 4 days or less.  Students earning an Incomplete are required to return the first week of the next semester in which they are enrolled to complete the course.  No registration or tuition is required for the subsequent semester – only 1 hour per week in the MLC + 1 quiz or test completed per week until all coursework is finished.   For the Summer 2011 semester, sufficient coursework means earning an 85% or above on Quiz 6.1-6.3 by Tuesday, August 2nd

Attendance Policies

  • Each student enrolled in MA 004 will attend the Math Learning Center during their assigned class time (55 minutes) 4 days per week. The student must swipe his or her UAH Student ID upon entering and leaving the MLC each day in order to be counted present. NO ID = NO ENTRY
  • A student may not have more than four (4) unexcused absences. On the fifth unexcused absence, a student will receive a U for the course and cannot return to class or continue to do work online. An absence with verifiable written documentation will be deemed an excused absence and will not count against the student.
  • Time spent doing assignments at home WILL NOT count towards a student's attendance requirement.
  • Arriving late or leaving early consistently will constitute an absence.

Quiz and Homework Policies

  • Minimum grade on each Homework is 100%. Minimum grade on each Quiz is 85%.
  • Homework assignments and quizzes may be done at the MLC or at home; however, we recommend that students do all assignments at the MLC. The proper plug-ins must be downloaded on the student's computer.
  • Please note that if a malfunction occurs at home while doing an assignment, the MLC is not responsible for assignments that are not successfully received, completed, or graded because of technical problems.
  • Each quiz may be taken four times after the associated homework assignments have been completed. There is a time limit on each attempt, either 45-min or 60-min.
  • If a grade of 85% is not achieved after four attempts, more homework will be assigned. An 85% must be achieved before advancing to the next topic. Permission from the student's instructor is required after the fourth attempt.
  • There will be no help on quizzes or tests except for clarification or computer issues.
  • Each quiz is 20 questions in length and contains material from the sections listed in the quiz title, usually three to four sections of material.
  • Each student must successfully complete at least one quiz (or test) each week. The student's instructor will keep track weekly.

Test Schedule

Chapter tests may be taken at any time during the semester, and a student may take the final exam once all assigned coursework has been successfully completed and attendance requirements have been fulfilled. Any student who has been absent more than 4 days will not be allowed to take the final exam regardless of coursework achievements.

Test Policies

  • Each chapter test (Chapters 1,2,3,5,6,7) is comprehensive and has a 120-minute time limit. The Final Exam is comprehensive and has a 150-minute time limit. (Ch. 8 Comp. Test is for practice only and optional.)
  • The tests and the final exam must be taken in the MLC. No textbooks or notes will be allowed.
  • Each chapter test may be taken twice, and a minimum score of 85% must be achieved on each test. If a grade of 85% is not met, the student must work more problems and take the chapter test again.
  • Each chapter has a Pretest that is optional. If a student scores 85% or above on the Pretest after one attempt, no assignments from that chapter need to be completed. All pretests may be attempted at the beginning of the semester but will not be available after Wednesday, June 8th.
  • Students wishing to review problems before taking a Pretest may use the Study Plan in CourseCompass, not Homework. If problems from a homework assignment have been worked, then a student cannot not go back to take the pretest for that chapter.
  • Bring your UAH Student ID and pencils. Place all belongings on the floor.
  • You will be allowed to review your test before you leave the MLC. You may not share test information with anyone else. A violation of this policy is considered academic misconduct.
  • Only the calculator on the computer is allowed. Paper will be provided for you.
  • Students who reach the final exam before the semester ends may take the final exam early. Attendance afterwards will be waived.

General Policies

  • The MLC is a mathematics classroom. Please be quiet during your visit to the MLC.
  • You must show your UAH Student ID to the lab monitor upon entering the MLC. You will not be allowed to enter without a valid UAH ID.
  • Please bring your own paper and pencil to work on assignments. The MLC does not provide paper or pencils except for tests.
  • Eating, drinking and sleeping are not allowed in the MLC.
  • No work other than mathematics is allowed in the MLC. In particular, talking, sleeping, surfing the web, reading and sending e-mail (except e-mail related to MA 004), playing computer games, and working on non-mathematical courses are prohibited.
  • The use of the computers in the MLC is on a first-come, first-served basis outside of class time. No reservations can be made for ordinary course work, homework, or quizzes.
  • Please do not hesitate to ask questions in the MLC. The staff members are there to help you!

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities

The University of Alabama in Huntsville will make reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities. If you need support or assistance because of a disability, you may be eligible for academic accommodations. Students should identify themselves to the Disability Support Office (824-6203, MDH 136) and to their instructor as soon as possible to coordinate accommodations.

Grievance Procedure

Any problems that you encounter should be brought to the attention of your instructor. If you are not satisfied with the decision of the instructor, you may appeal through the administrative chain given below:

  1. Course Coordinator: Ms. Shelley Lenahan, 205 Salmon Library, 824-6524
  2. Math Department Chair: Dr. Jia Li, 258B Shelby Center, 824-6470
  3. Associate Dean of the College of Science: Dr. Rochowiak, 206 Materials Science Building, 824-6605

Academic Misconduct

All acts of dishonesty in any work constitute academic misconduct. This includes, but is not limited to cheating, plagiarism, fabrication of information, misrepresentation, and abetting any of the above. Academic misconduct will not be tolerated and might result in a failing grade in the course. Consult the Student Handbook for further description of Academic misconduct and penalties.

Important Dates

  • Last day to drop with refund: Monday, June 13
  • Last day to change from credit to audit: Monday, June 20
  • Last day to drop a class: Tuesday, July 19
  • Holiday: Independence Day, Monday, July 4
  • MA 004 Last Class Day: Thursday, July 28
  • MLC CLOSED: Wed. August 3 – Tues. August 16

MINIMUM Weekly Schedule*

Date Assignment Special Notes
Week 1 5/31-6/2 Syllabus, Orientation, Computer Set-Up
Must have Access Code! 
Enrollment Due by
Friday 6/3
Week 2 6/6-6/9 Quiz 1.1-1.4
Week 3 6/13-6/16 Ch. 1 Test
Week 4 6/20-6/23 Quiz 2.1-2.5
Week 5 6/27-6/30 Ch. 2 Test
Week 6 7/5-7/7 Quiz 3.1-3.3 Midterm 7/5
Week 7 7/11-7/14 Ch. 3 Test
Week 8 7/18-7/21 Quiz 5.1-5.2,5.4
Week 9 7/25-7/28 Ch. 5 Test Last Class Day
Thursday 7/28
Week 10 8/1-8/2 Quiz 6.1-6.3 (last assignment necessary to receive an I) MLC Open
Mon 8/1 - Tues 8/2


*As you can see above, the minimum weekly schedule will only take you to the beginning of Chapter 6 (about halfway) by semester's end! You are guaranteed to be in the course for two semesters if you only do the minimum. If you want to finish the course by the end of the Summer 2011 semester, you must complete almost a chapter per week. Please see the handout entitled "Suggested One-Semester Completion Schedule".