What are the students who succeeded in this online calculus class say and what advice they offer?
Jonathan in the process of applying to Boston University, College of Engineering, fall 2010
I want to thank you for the obvious amount of effort, enthusiasm, and organization that you put into making this class possible. Without your devotion to the subject and desire to teach the material, I feel I would not have been able to do this subject online. Many people commented,"Wow, really, calculus online? Isn't that going to be difficult?" Admittedly, I gave some wieght to thier comments, but enrolled anyway.
I worked hard, but all of the details were laid out, and it was clear what needed to be done in order to succeed. This was by no means an easy class for me to complete, as I am also working full time and enrolled in a graduate degree program, but it was very much worth it.
Because of this class experience, I feel that I have a solid understanding of the foundations of calculus, am able to see thier applications in the real world, and will be able to move forward in understanding of mathematics in my future academic and professional career.
It was a bit unnerving to start an online class in calculus, but you made it challenging, interesting, and rewarding without making it intimidating. And for that, I thank you. Good luck in the coming semester!
Lucas, The Citadel, Summer 2010
I was very pleased with this course. I have never been a math genius and the way that this course is designed helped me tremendously: the video lectures, forums, online notes, etc. I would highly recommend this course to any student who is trying to get ahead in their college credits. Fair warning though, it was not an easy summer course. You must remain motivated throughout the duration of the course and be sure to not get behind in the course load. All students have the opportunity to work ahead in the course and prevent this from happening. If you can do this, do it! Thanks Professor Goetz!
Nick, stationed in Iraq, applying to Military school, Summer 2010
After reading all the posts about the class and being that I was going to be taking the class online in Iraq I was a little nervous about it. Especially after the first two weeks when I was unable to download a descent version of the lecture. However, eventually I was able to save the whole lectures and that made all the difference. From then I started downloading early so I made sure to get the lecture and have time to turn the homework in early. This not only gave me bonus points but gave me a head start on the next lesson. This is my first class in about 10 years and having the discussion board available was probably the reason I passed the class. I used it on every lesson and lucky for me there were a lot of extremely smart people in my class so when I had a question they could break it down Barney style for me so I could figure out the question. Dr. Goetz and his assistants were helpful too with all the questions I had and I normally received a response in a day or two at the most. The way the course runs made perfect sense to me. What I mean is that each lesson built on the others so that you could use and reuse what you had been learning. The videos and the streaming page were helpful too when I could get them to work. That was due to the speed of the internet over here though and had nothing to do with the system. I feel that the work load for each lesson was spot on. I was able to teach myself what I needed to, ask questions on the discussion board, get answers, and still finish my homework early. I was little cramped for time some days, so that required me to work extra hard other days. I think if you can devote a solid 4 hours per lesson, you will do fine is this class. That sounds like a lot, but it would not only be working on the current lesson but reviewing and applying the past lessons subjects. Also, just like Dr. Goetz recommends, if you pause the video and do the problems on your own or rewind it to double tap some of the segments you will spend more time but be able to get a better understanding of the material.
Migdalia, (post-bac for pre-med, Fall 07 )
1. What was the main reason you why you took the online Calculus course rather than a regular class? I am took online calculus because of the flexible schedule which allows me to work full time.
2. What was the key to your success in this course? In order to do well in the class I consistently set aside 2 evenings a week to listen to lectures and an additional 2 days a week to do the homework problems and participate on the discussion board. [this comment is about the setup for the Fall, in the summer there are three lesson per week] I listened to lectures on the same days and times every week, which I feels helps. I worked on homeworks ANY time, which is great. You could post your questions on the discussion board any time and come back to it later for some answers. The key was to stay on top of the lectures and homeworks.
3. Who in your opinion would be a good student likely to succeed in this class format? Who, in your opinion, would not be a good candidate? In order for a student to succeed in the course he/she must be comfortable with setting up a schedule for classes and sticking to the schedule. You must be comfortable with asking questions and answering questions on-line the majority of the time. You must be comfortable with searching through google or through the sfsu website for examples that will further enhance your knowledge of calculus concepts you do not understand. Do not take this course if you like doing everything last minute, cannot stick to a schedule, and are weak in algebra and trigonometry.
4. What advice would you offer to a potential student? I would advice to make sure to have all the systems in place before class starts, for example: download skype, have a scanner or camera available for submitting homeworks, etc. before the first assignment is due. I would advice having some time available to meet with the TA in person.
5. Please add anything about the class and your experience: The class is set up to allow commited students to succeed. There are many resources and opportunities to learn. If you have the time (or are willing to give up personal time) you can succeed in the course. I committed about 10 hours a week to the course (that included listening to lectures). I learned the most from my online class mates. If they could not answer my questions, I would ask the TA (...). And if that did not help, I would always ask Prof. Goetz, who is very helpful.
6. What is your major and where do you go to college? I am a post-bac for pre-med at SFState. I originally did a B.S. in Kinseiology at SF STATE First of all, thanks to you for everything. This class is wonderful and I learnt alot, espeically the group homework work. The best thing, i like about the class is its "organization." You organzied the class in way that everybody can understand every concept easily. You always be there to help us any time (even 2 am). I definitely recommond this online class to every one because it helped me alot. Again thanks alot for all your help and hard work.
Shakir who took an accellerated version of the class [now at Cornell Business School]
Enrolling in the SF State accelerated online Calculus course with Dr. Goetz was one of the best decisions I made in my preparation to apply to business school. I have to tell you this course was like a marathon. It was intense especially due to the distance learning component. I had to work extra hard to be organized, stay focused, problem solve and communicate my needs with the teacher and other students. But because of the flexible nature of the course and unlimited access to video lectures, I was able to self pace and succeed beyond my expectations. I definitely came away feeling stronger and more confident in my math abilities for quantitative success as I start my Ivy League Business School in the fall. I highly recommend it for B-Schoolers needing to brush up or get a jump start on their education! --Shakir
Why did you take the class?
requirement for biochemistry major and i always regretted not taking it in highschool
I took this calculus course because it is a pre-requisite to apply to some medical schools. The reason why I took it online was for the convenience of not having to be on campus just for one class as I spend a total of 4 hours commuting to and from campus each day during the academic year. It was a nice break, and allowed me to use my time better!
It had been 8 years since I last took calculus so I needed to refresh my knowledge in calculus in order to continue with my economics degree.
I took this class to help enhance my future medical school applications, as some medical schools recommend and/or require calculus. SFSU, unlike other colleges and universities, did not require pre-calculus (which I have not taken).
Having this class online meant that I could adapt the work load to my busy schedule.
I needed this class in order to begin student teaching in August, and wasn't able to fit it into my schedule last spring at Peru. So, the timing of this course worked perfectly to enable me to finish my classes and student teach in August.
Becasue i need to complete my degree and take Engineering classes
I took this class to fill my math requirements and it was a way to get the credits while working and continuing my baseball career all at the same time.
It's the requirement for my MBA program.
I needed to take this class since several pharmacy and most medical schools require that all math and science courses be taken within the previous 10 years.
To improve my knowledge of Calculus as a whole. I've taken it before and didn't like my grade.
My Fellowship would not allow me to take a class unless it was from 7PM to 10PM.. and I don't think I have EVER seen any class like that.
Also, I wanted to enhance my Mathematics skills. I dropped out of high school and have always had to struggle with math, which I believe, is do my lack of math in my teenage years. I believe having math skills provides an individual with much more than "math" skills, but also changes/enhances one's fundamental thought processes and reasoning skills.
So i could finish the relevant courses faster so that I can put more time into studying for my exams
I needed Cal 1 in order to qualify for the prerequisite of the MS in Computer Science. Unfortunately my fall schedule was full, and I was to be in London taking a class for the remainder of the summer. The online aspect of the class attracted me, and solved my problem of time.
I was not satisfied with my first time through Calculus I, and after taking Calculus II and getting a good grade there, I figured it smart to retake the first one and go for an A.
I took the class because it is a requirement of prerequisite for the MEES program.
The reasons are two-fold: I enjoy math and wanted to become more familiar with Calculus concepts. The second reason is that I want to switch careers and enter the R&D world. Therefore, these two reasons drove me toward Calculus.
In order to satisfy a pre-req in an emphasis area in my program.
To refresh my memory: I last took Calculus in 1975.
It is a requirement for my major
I was lead to believe that I needed to take a calculus class before continuing my education. Turns out I didn't ... but I'm still glad I was able to take this class. It was nice to experience an online class - they can be just as engaging as a traditional class.
I took this class because I had to--for my major. But I took this class specifically because Professor Goetz was recommended by many of his past students. Usually, when so many students praise a professor (especially a math professor) for their work; you can't help by insist that the professor is a hypnotist. After hearing all of the hype, I had the urge to check the class out for myself. I'm not saying that this class was easy or that Professor Goetz is an easy grader, you definitely had to earn your grade, but what I'm trying to get at is Professor Goetz is possibly the only person who can teach college calculus, via the internet, effectively. Now that the semester is over... I can totally say that I believe the hype!
To transfer credits.
I needed calculus as a pre-requisite for higher level Econ courses. I wanted to take it online so I could still use summer to take trips, work, etc. If I had taken it in person, It meets every day during the week, and I worked all weekend, so I wouldn't have been able to go camping!
What surprised you the most?
at first the work load caught me off guard, but it was no problem adjusting
What was most surprising to me to me was the deep level of engagement and participation that was reached in every discussion forum.The online forums generated more frequent, and more in-depth student-student interaction than a regular in-classroom course where students have the physical contact and possibility to interact with all classmates but often choose to befriend just one or two.
The class was a little more labor intensive then I thought but nothing unreasonable. I thought that the ilearn forums was very helpful.
What surprised me the most about this course was how "learnable" all of the concepts were. Many people I know cringe when they hear the word "calculus," but I thought that this class was presented in an enjoyable way.
The speed of the course is a little surprising at first, but you get used to it. I was also very surprised by how good the lectures were and how thorough and helpful too.
I thought before that MAth Calc is the harsest math, and it gets hard when you take online, I had told everybody that i am taking Math Calc Online, and everybody said it's gogin to be hard fro you to pass this class. However after i did all the stuff in math, i got surprised that it was very easy
the degree of participation in discussion board. It's really high. Many students had participated and their comments are really helpful.
What surprised me the most?? The professor, the TA's and the "online" format were not as intimidating as I had feared, after all I hadn't taken Calculus in 20 years. The last time that I took calculus, both Calculus 1 and 2 were weeder courses turning freshmen engineering students into business majors.
The video lectures, seeing Prof. Goetz and then seeing him in person.
Honestly? The pace at which the class was taught. I was very aware of getting into a summer school math class and that it would be taught quite quickly, I had not deeply considered exactly how that would affect my life when I took on a full time Molecular Biology fellowship as well!
Also, that Chapter 5 was included. For our first serious of Calculus as SJSU, we only go up to chapter 4. But I found Chapter 5 to be very much worth doing and enjoyed doing it. I felt as if Ch. 5 was my fist time at getting into "real" Calculus!
What really surprised me the most about this course was the dedication of professor Goetz and the TA's. If you ever have a question or need help with something they were always available and answer you back right away. Another great thing was that they were very on top of grading the homework on time, so you can know were your holding and what you have to improve on.
The extreme amounts of contact with not only Dr. Goetz but the other students. There is a closeness there that you sometimes do not see in an actual lecture.
The online support available.
The thoroughness of Dr. Goetz's lectures surprised me. He is very verbose and explains concepts quite clearly and with conviction.
What surprised me the most was how easy it was to understand Professor Goetz's method in teaching Calculus!
How interesting the lectures were. I usually learn by myself, but I didn't try to do the homework until after watching the lectures.
I was surprised at how excellent and organized the live lectures were. Although a textbook is quite helpful it is not necessary because Professor Goetz covers everything in his lectures and provides several other helpful resources i,e. online grapher, stram clips, websites, homework forum, etc...
I was surprised at how much I enjoyed some of the lessons. There were a few I didn't like, such as the ones with 8+ page HW assignments - but it was still surprisingly fun at times.
I initially felt intimidated by the idea of taking an online class--especially it being a math class--because I felt that, for some reason, it would be very fast paced and that I wouldn't be at the same level as the other students. However, once the semester began all my worries disappeared and I felt comfortable. What I found most surprising about this class were the students. It was just so refreshing to know that there was always someone online who could help and answer a question.
After Spring Semester, 2008 I was looking forward to do summer school on Calculus I. I never thought about taking a online calculus, since I thought "how can it be possible" to take a math course online. Regardless, I went on Google and searched for "Online Calculus in USA". Then I found the SFSU site at the top of the Google search. Since the domain extension was .edu I was confirmed that it is a legit place for me to take the course. Next day I called the registration and signed up for it.
All the lectures of Dr. Goetz are perfect. He does explain every little detail and examples, which makes one to finish the homework properly. All the TA's are extremly helpfull and they know what they are supposed to do. I am really impress with this "Online Calculus" from SFSU. I hope you guys will soon have "online calculus II".
Scanning the homework, instead of having online assignments. I though this was way more helpful. I often had to re-write the homework several times, which only helped solidify the execution steps.
Any other comments
Thank you! I had always felt that I was not good at math because I had a hard time understanding it. However, throughout this course I understood every single concept perfectly, and was able to apply it to the homework, and even help others once in a while! This has demonstrated me that the way a course is taught has a lot to do with how well a student does. Even though I do not yet know my final grade, I feel that I gained a very valuable understanding of calculus one, as well as newly acquired self-confidence in learning math!!
I hope that this kind of class continues well into the future, and my compliments to its creators.
Thank you for being an excellent professor and helping me understand the concepts of Calculus.
A midterm would have been nice. A middle point in which to recall all of the information you have processed thus far and the ability to put it all together would have served me well.
More examples in the .pdf lectures.
This is sincerely THEE best calculus class I have ever taken! Dr. Goetz not only is good at his job but enjoys it and that makes ALL the difference.
And when is Calculus II going to be available in this manor??? I have a year to complete it so let me know!!!
Thanx for a great leaning experience and will recommend to others
Thank you for a great course. I think it was an amazing learning opportunity. I feel as though I learned a lot, though maybe I did not properly show it on my exam. I wish I was a better exam taker, I tend to be very nervous and forget things when I take tests.
Regardless, I feel as though I learned quite a bit more than I have ever learned in previous math courses, and Dr. Goetz was the best math professor I have ever had.
I like your methods on how you presented this course. It was excellent and I learned that calculus can be understood by someone that is not a math major.
Thank you This was a great course. I only wish there was a follow-up online class (Calculus II).
I have already recommended this class to several others, I hate summer classes, but this has been a very rewarding experience. Thank you!
Thank you so much! It was exactly what I was looking for. If I teach AP Calc in the next few years, I'll be reviewing all the lectures and materials.
Keep offering this great class!
Thanks Dr. Goetz!!!!