UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | October 01, 2022

Math 1000’s faulty system stresses students

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The word “math” is a swear word in my house.

Math has been my mortal enemy since my seventh-grade math teacher taught me equations on the old school projector. Those middle school classes were treacherous then, and continue to be now. I guess the whole math thing just doesn’t come easy to me. That probably explains why I am a senior and taking the first math class of my college career.

I had hopes of approaching my new Math 1000 course with a new zest by blasting away the stereotype that communication majors can’t utterly dominate the world of mathematics. But so far, I’m off to a rough start. The brand-spanking-new Math 1000 course has left me, and many other students, feeling overwhelmed, stressed out and on the verge of a mental breakdown each week. The insane amount of time and energy required for the course is the cause.

Not to mention, a strikingly high amount of students have simply dropped out of the class due to near impossible expectations. 

The new Math 1000 course combines the traditional 990 and 1010 Math courses into one. The course uses Pearson’s Mymathlab, an online system where students watch all lectures and do all homework, quizzes and tests.

I didn’t know this was how the math course would be structured when I signed up, but that’s not where my main beef lies. I believe an online math class has the potential to have great success

The word “math” is a swear word in my house.

Math has been my mortal enemy since my seventh-grade math teacher taught me equations on the old school projector. Those middle school classes were treacherous then, and continue to be now. I guess the whole math thing just doesn’t come easy to me. That probably explains why I am a senior and taking the first math class of my college career.

I had hopes of approaching my new Math 1000 course with a new zest by blasting away the stereotype that communication majors can’t utterly dominate the world of mathematics. But so far, I’m off to a rough start. The brand-spanking-new Math 1000 course has left me, and many other students, feeling overwhelmed, stressed out and on the verge of a mental breakdown each week. The insane amount of time and energy required for the course is the cause.

Not to mention, a strikingly high amount of students have simply dropped out of the class due to near impossible expectations. 

The new Math 1000 course combines the traditional 990 and 1010 Math courses into one. The course uses Pearson’s Mymathlab, an online system where students watch all lectures and do all homework, quizzes and tests.

I didn’t know this was how the math course would be structured when I signed up, but that’s not where my main beef lies. I believe an online math class has the potential to have great success. My beef is the overwhelming amount of time required and the lack of support given to students.

I began completing my assignments the day I got my access code, which was a Friday. I had to complete 10 sections by the following Friday, which gave me exactly one week. Each section includes a video lecture, a lengthy homework assignment, and a quiz. Each section takes about two hours. So, with 10 sections to accomplish that took two hours each, I spent more than 20 hours working on math during my very first week back in the math game.

The math department should reevaluate each chapter and even make cuts to assignments. More than six hours a week spent on a single class is unacceptable, and unfortunately, that is the case some weeks.

I was in over my head. For starters, this was my first time in nearly five years taking a math class, and the excessive information thrown at me was too much. In addition, having a class that requires the majority of my free time throws my 20-credit schedule off kilter. I can’t imagine trying to complete this course with a demanding job or even a family.

The math department took initiative Feb. 4 and somewhat restructured the operation of the math course. There are no more test deadlines, which essentially makes the course a personal-paced online class.

I have to give credit to my professor and some of the other professors I’ve met during my long hours in the math lab. The new Mymathlab system is new to everyone involved, and I’ve witnessed the professors in the math department also frustrated with the new setup.

I commend the math department for deciding to do away with the unreasonable deadlines that simply resulted in leaving more students behind in the first place. But even with the change in the course, I’m still feeling anxious about getting through the semester. The course is shoving too much into too little time.

I think there are still quite a few kinks that need to be resolved before this new math course can be successful.