Alternative Pathways to College Level Math

Over the past few years, several alternative pathways to college level math have been explored across the country. These pathways differ from the usual pre/beginning/intermediate pathways that traditionally prepare students for college algebra. Instead, they aim to prepare students for a course like college math.

The faculty at Yavapai College are in the process of developing a new course that will help students move from Prealgebra to College Mathematics as quickly as possible. Since College Mathematics enrollments are on the rise, this will help more and more students complete their mathematics requirements quickly.

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Regression Using Google Sheets

sheets_reg_01Not long ago, Microsoft Excel was the go to tool for making scatter plots and modeling data with regression functions. For the last ten years my students have used Excel to model data in projects. For many students wishing to use Excel on their own computers, Excel was an expensive purchase.

Other students wanted to save money and used ancient versions of Excel that were difficult to use. This was particularly aggravating to me since I had to help them find their models in Excel 2003, 2010, and 2013. The process was different in each platform.

This encouraged me to look at other ways of making pretty graphs with models. Google Sheets was particularly attractive because of its cost…free. Last summer Google added a simple way of adding a regression model to a scatter plot in Sheets. Now you can do just about everything you might want to do in College Algebra or Finite Mathematics in Google Sheets. And you get the added benefit of a single, free, platform in the Google ecosystem.

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