Going Deep on the
– The Course –
How Algebra Victory Works
Before a student will be permitted to enroll in AlgebraVictory!, he or she must pass (online) a Prerequisite Quiz in (a) Basic Arithmetic (not Advanced Arithmetic), and (b) elementary English grammar (or, when we expand internationally, the grammar of their native language)—specifically, students must know what a verb is and what a complete sentence is. Here is a sample prerequisite quiz:
To pass, the student must get ALL the answers correct. If they fail, they may try again the next day, but the numbers and words will be new. Once the student passes the Quiz, he or she can enroll in AlgebraVictory! and begin Lesson 1.
If a student is unable to pass the Prerequisite Quiz, then he or she may not enroll in AlgebraVictory!. In the future we will provide some resources to help such students, but that is not in our timeline getting to the launch of Version 1. However, there is no crisis in teaching/learning Basic Arithmetic—most students in the Middle 80% are able to learn it.
AlgebraVictory! lessons vary in length, but average about 2 hours each. In the parlance of the Educational Establishment, the “Carnegie Unit” of 120 hours is the minimum time for a one-year, two-semester course. However, most one-year courses in public schools run closer to 150 hours (e.g., 36 academic weeks, 5 days per week, 50 minutes per day, which equals 150 hours), although numerous non-academic school activities, such as assemblies, drills and alternative schedule days typically reduce that to about 140 hours. AlgebraVictory! has 75 lessons, which span about 150 academic hours.
Watch a Sample Lesson Video
Note: The videos on this investment website are temporarily hosted from Youtube, and we apologize for its annoying ads. However, when we release AlgebraVictory! and this website is reconfigured for production, all videos will be hosted on our own PRIVATE server system. Youtube will NOT be used; nor will any other video or social media platform will used in the operation of our production website. Also, these are high-resolution videos, but YouTube might send them to your device in lower resolution. To get the highest resolution, click the “gear” icon at the bottom, select “Quality,” and then select “1080p HD”.
The sample video below is Lesson 3 Topic 7. In it, Mark teaches when it is okay to add the numbers in two terms and when it is NOT okay.
By the time students get to this video, they will have already learned: (a) how to do arithmetic with negative numbers; (b) what the words “term” and “factor” mean (terms are added, factors are multiplied); (c) that, when there are no parentheses, multiplication must be done before addition; (d) that a number next to a variable means the two are multiplied; and (e) how to plug numbers in for variables from a “when clause,” e.g., Evaluate: 4A+1 when A=5 (the answer is 21).
Obviously, 5+3=8. But what if there are variables? Can we add 5A+3 to get 8A? What about 5A+3A? Can we get the 8? And what about 5A+3B?
The traditional explanation (not mentioned in the video) that “You can’t add apples to oranges” is nonsense. You definitely CAN add 5 apples to 3 oranges, and you will get 8 pieces of fruit! The apples/oranges metaphor fails because, in 5A+3B, the A and B are not fruits, they are numbers. In the video, Mark explains what is actually going on, gives students the rule they need, and does several example problems.
The AlgebraVictory! Course is organized into 6 Chapters. Each Chapter is organized into several Sections. Each Section is organized into several Lessons. And each Lesson is organized into several Topics.
Each lesson consists of lectures and problems. For example, Lesson 1 is entitled Natural-Number Phrases with Variables and When Clauses, and its problem set consists of 35 problems. Here are problems 27–29:
A Topic begins with a lecture video and is usually followed by a few problems. The Topics and their problems build the student’s knowledge and skills, step by step, to master the subject matter and problems of the overall Lesson. The last Topic of the Lesson is a summary of the entire Lesson, after which the student does an assignment consisting of a larger number of problems to complete the problem set. Thus, at the end of Lesson 1, the student will be able to do problems 27–29 shown above.
How Online Students Will Learn from Mark
Online students will work their way through each lesson as follows (this is a simplified overview of how the system will work):
The system will present the lecture of the first topic, which the online student will watch.
The system will then present the problems for the topic.
In Version 1 of AlgebraVictory!, the student will copy each problem onto paper, work the problem on paper, and then enter his/her answer online in multiple-choice format. If incorrect, the student will have a choice of (a) trying again; or, in many but not all cases, (b) asking the system to demonstrate the solution (“Problem Demo”). In version 1, the Problem Demo will show the line-by-line solution. (However, depending on development timing, it is possible that we defer the Problem Demo feature until Version 2.) Later versions of AlgebraVictory! will implement, in software, Mark’s profound expertise tutoring algebra. The student will solve the problems on the screen (rather than on paper) in a sophisticated algebra editor. Multiple-choice answers will be eliminated. The system will automatically tutor the student when errors are made
We will also provide, for an additional fee, an online connection to a live, human tutor who has been trained in Mark’s methods. This service will be added sometime after Version 1 is released.
When the online student has finished all the topic problems he or she will be taken to the lecture video for the next topic.
When all the topics are completed, the online student will do the assignment problems in like manner.
At the end of each Section, the student must take a Quiz. At the end of each Chapter, the student must take a Test. And at the end of the Courts, the student must take a Final Exam.
In version 1, students will work the quiz, test, and final exam problems on paper and enter their answers into the online system in multiple-choice format, and there will be a time limit. During the time, students may change their answers. When the time is up, or if the student indicates that he or she is done, the system will score the exam.
Mark strongly believes in giving partial credit when students demonstrate understanding and make a solid attempt, but fail to get the correct answer. However, for technology reasons, partial credit scoring will not be available until a later version of AlgebraVictory.
Parents will be responsible for proctoring quizzes, tests and the final exam.
The system will provide parents (and teachers) with detailed student progress.
We have additional plans for AlgebraVictory! that are powerful and exciting but are confidential at this time.
Patent-pending video configuration
Teachers use a variety of physical communication methods with their students: speaking, writing on a whiteboard (or other medium), pointing at things they have written, body language (including arm motions, facial expressions and eye contact), discussion with students, and demonstrations. Presuming the underlying content and pedagogy is good, the COMBINATION of these communication methods, as a whole, is greater than the sum of the parts. But it’s difficult to capture all of these communication methods on video at the same time. Indeed, NO competing product achieves this!
After much effort and experimentation, Mark created the two-camera system that you see in the above sample video. He has filed a patent application on this process, which is currently pending in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
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