Host for the semester: Assistant Professor Thomas McFarland
(email (Website address:
Office Number: McCutchan Hall 317 Office Phone: (262) 472-4925

About this
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Grades Homework text Cheating UWW

About this course

This course, or more specifically, this website has two objectives:

  1. To allow all learners to gain college credit on-line for ALGEBRA!
  2. To supply all learners with a free on-line ALGEBRA practice resource.

Taking Algebra for College Credit

The algebra contained in this course is equivalent to the algebra taught in most Wisconsin high schools. To develop algebra skills requires regular daily practice for 6-12 months, backed up by frequent checks of your work. Algebra does not require unusual "smarts" or intelligence; if you are reading these words, you are smart enough to do algebra. If you have taken an algebra course earlier, and if you have done poorly there, please consider yourself just as smart as your neighbors and friends! However, this earlier difficulty is an omen or warning that (for you) regular daily practice together with frequent checks of your work in algebra are not functioning properly, and that you must supplement this internet format with classroom discipline for your algebra experience.

This course has a publically accessible website for use by anyone. Currently, the Algebra website also enables a password-secured chat room for enrolled students to exchange comments: experience has been that few students use this feature.

Currently (in 2014), this algebra website is used primarily to allow students at UW-Whitewater (in southeast Wiscoinsin, USA) to up-date high-school level algebra skills they need to do Calculus, and this algebra website is periodically up-dated to serve these needs. There will be additional interactive help pages and a new generation of self-grading practice tests. These new practice tests will be graded and returned in seconds by new software. Ultimately, perhaps well after 2014, exams contributing to a class grade will be generated by software, allowing the student multiple chances to demonstrate skills.

The author of the algebra website treats it as a fun and cool experience, and hopes you feel the same as we link ourselves to practice ALGEBRA SKILLS. During the Spring 2000 semester, the algebra website was barely adequate to support internet learning; furthermore, a large fraction of Spring 2000 students failed tests in this internet-based class, probably because the internet format attacted less diligent students who expected the internet would somehow make difficult topics easy. Many studies are finding that in 2014, most students enrolling in on-line MOOCs do poorly on related tests and do not complete these courses. Nevertheless, a small fraction of independently motivated students are served well by MOOCs ..

Email Contact

The University of Wisconsin maintains email addresses for each of its students. Many students additionally maintain separate private email accounts with hotmail, gmail, or other providers. Since Prof McFarland will not be able to keep track of all your separate accounts, you should organise that all UWW email accounts will automatically forward your official mail to your private accounts. This is not difficult: call 472-4357 (HELP desk) from local phones.

Office Hours

Monday 1 PM --to-- 2:00 PM (often arriving earlier)
9 PM --to-- 11:00 PM (phone first and/or come over)
Tuesday 10 AM --to-- 2:00 PM (dept meetings may conflict)
Wednesday 1 PM --to-- 2:00 PM (often arriving earlier)
6:15 PM --to-- 11:00 PM (phone first and/or come over)
Thursday 10 AM --to-- 2:00 PM
Friday email only:

Enrolled students will take 3 hour exams and a cumulative final exam, all of them multiple choice and/or short answer. Access to examination scores is through email to Prof McFarland only. A SAMPLE TEST is available, and 7 un-passworded practice quizzes are now on the main website menu and in the syllabus. More practice quizzes will be added as Professor McFarland's time permits, allowing one self-scoring practice quiz for each chapter or topic.

For on-line or hybrid course format
Paper exams counting toward course credit will be given between 6 PM and 10 PM on 3 Wednesday evenings; plan to spend about an hour, but there will be no time limit except the 10 PM closing time. Examinations may be taken in a computer lab (115 McGraw) if lab time is available. During exam times, you will be given a PC without internet access, on which to take your exam, and your test answers will be automatically emailed to Prof McFarland, who will email scores back to you. All exams are internet ready, and could be taken at any PC on the planet, but this alternative would require a password-secured folder and acceptable secure supervision at the exam site, which may substantially inconvenience some students. If there is a problem of any kind in taking this exam, Prof McFarland will try to accommodate your difficulty and schedule: email him at "".

If the above arrangement proves in any way difficult, Prof McFarland will organise another: WATCH THIS PAGE FOR UPDATED POLICY, and/or expect an email to your OFFICIAL UWW EMAIL ADDRESS.

Grade Scale

At any point during the semester, you may determine your letter grade by adding your test scores, dividing by the perfect scores, and converting to a percent; the percents are then curved as follows:

A 9O% > B 8O% > C 7O% > D 6O% > F

Homework; Textbook

HOMEWORK (i.e. practice problems) shall consist of all problems listed in the syllabus for the assigned sections of your text, which changes every few years.

WARNING: The text used here was used for the spring 2000 semester, the last time Prof McFarland offered Math 141 on-line, but this website currently conforms to nearly any text which might be used in the future.

You may obtain your text either by coming to the University of Wisconsin Textbook Library in Whitewater, Wisconsin, or by obtaining a copy of the text in your own city, if you live far from our campus. Your experience solving problems may be enriched by the bulletin board available to all registered students: posted comments by any student may be read and answered by any other student. An open website contains all "handouts", a SAMPLE TEST, and interactive exercises: check it out!

Cheating (Academic Misconduct)

It is expected that examinations submitted for a course grade are the result of your own work, and that no other person contributed such work during the 24 hour period allowed for each exam. Engaging in plariarism, attempting to cheat on a test, intentionally helping someone else cheat on any work in this course, or any other academic misconduct will result in a penalty consistent with UWS Chapter 14. Some of these penalties can have far reaching consequences. Please see your professor if you have any questions concerning academic misconduct.

UWW Policies

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater is dedicated to a safe[A], supportive and non-discriminatory[B] learning environment. It is the responsibility of all undergraduate and graduate students to familiarize themselves with University policies regarding Special Accommodations[C], Misconduct[D], Religious Beliefs Accommodation[E], Discrimination[F] and Absence for University Sponsored Events[G]. For details please refer to the Undergraduate and Graduate Timetables; the "Rights and Responsibilities"[H] section of the Undergraduate Bulletin; the Academic Requirements and Policies[J] and the Facilities and Services[K] sections of the Graduate Bulletin; and the "Student Academic Disciplinary Procedures" [UWS Chapter 14][L]; and the "Student Nonacademic Disciplinary Procedures" [UWS Chapter 17][M].


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