What are the students who succeeded in this online calculus class say and what advice they offer?
previous Summers - 8 weeks - 3 lessons per week, summer students sharing their experience**Your tips for a potential student to succeed?**
scanner, fast internet connection, i didnt have a graphing calculator so i downloaded WZgrapher and that worked for me

1. Submit assignments early when possible, especially for the first sets, which tend to be easier and gives you room to get a few problems wrong in the later, more difficult sections.
2. Listen attentively during the lectures without taking notes, pause when the professor asks for students to solve a problem on paper and do it yourself, and be engaged even though there is no physical contact. I often found myself responding outloud to his questions as if I was in class with him, but it helped me in being completely focused.
3. Replay lectures when necessary. Make us of the stream videos available, very helpful!
4. DOWNLOAD LECTURES AND ASSIGNMENT AHEAD OF TIME. With technology comes some uncertainty, as signal strength can change or internet connection can fail. I often read about classmates being stuck in a problem that was explained in lecture because they could not access the lecture due to last minute internet connection problems.
5. Last week is fast paced, give yourself time to complete the mandatory assignments EARLY, so you may submit the optional assignments (which are review problems for the final exam) and do the final practice exam. Get ahead early and always work at least one assignment ahead. If participation remains as such a influential catagory then respond to everything and anything.

It is very important to have enough time to watch the lectures, read the notes, and "hammer out" the homeworks. If you have a good foundation in Algebra, Trigenomentry, and Geometry, the only key needed for success is committed time for this class (about 5-7 hours per lesson).

Make sure you are aware of the deadlines. Also, be organized and allow yourself plenty of time to complete the assignments.

take this class. If possible, I would reccomend getting ahead early so that you can take advantage of the potential flexibilty this course offers.

You need to have high discipline in your studying. You need to control yourself to take a seat and study on timely basis.

Purchase the "Calculus Lifesaver" book instead of a calculus textbook. First, it's much cheaper than a used textbook. Second, the topics are covered in order and in more detail with lots of examples, solutions, and explanations. It was a great complement to the course material.
Second, come up with a schedule of when to do each lesson, and stick with it. That came in handy for me, as I took this course over the summer, along with volunteering weekly and taking the MCAT.
Third, review trig along with basic algebra.

Get ahead and try stay ahead. It's the only true way to succeed.

Do NOT fool yourselves. Even the brightest, most successful students found this class to TRULY require 5-7 hours per homework set, if not much more at times.
Watch the video ALWAYS before you start the homework! Maybe you are running a little late and feel that you don't have time for it, but find the time! These videos are the key to your success in this class. You'll spend more time looking up how to do a homework problem than simply watching the video. Might as well start off with the right step then skip it, waste time, and have to watch it after all.
Also, DON"T wait till the last minute to turn in your homework. On one or more occasion I figured I would turned my homework at work, no problem. But I got preoccupied and found myself running to my PC praying to have enough time to turn it in.

Put in plenty of study time and you will succeed.

Take the class with no other engagements, as aforementioned. Also, dedicate a minimum of 3 hours to each lecture and homework. The final thing would be to utilize the forum. It is a wonderful learning tool if you use it correctly. Keep up on the homework, doing it ahead of time if possible in case some problems being harder and taking more time than expected!

Watch the lectures and communicate with the other students in the class, although I was a bit slack I found out that they was a great resource.

The key to success is to be diligent and stick to the class schedule. Also, class participant is critical, without the student has a slim chance of achieving a good grade.

Definitely need to put in the time, if someone wants to get a decent grade. Aside from the lecture (usually an hour long), and reading material from my text (usually another 2 hours to understand), the homework would take me anywhere from 2-7 hours to complete.

Keep on top of the work! It was a lot for me to do, and I'm a math person!

Definitely do NOT get behind on lectures, participate in the homework forum and I found it very helpful to meet with a tutor on a regular basis.

Again, make sure you devote enough time to the HW assignments and don't be afraid to ask questions.
Keep up with the homework and contact the TA's for professor, and check the ilearn constantly. Before you watch the video read the Home work problem and the instruction.

Watch lectures in advance, don't rely on ilearn for answers...just to double check, and to discuss big picture concepts.

**What was most rewarding?**
seeing as how i paid for this class with my own personal money that i saved up i really wanted to not only succeed but enjoy it. viewing the problems as puzzles or games made it fun and the sense of accomplishment after finishing was great.

The most rewarding part of this course is the fact that I enjoyed the course, when in the past I have dreaded taking math course due to the difficult time I have grasping concepts quickly. Despite the fast pace of this course I felt that the lectures where very clear and concise and had a very manageable pace. Also, the homework forums where a very effective way to exchange ideas, frustrations, and the glory of finding the correct solutions....making the entire process more involving and more effective. I had never before enjoyed a math course as much as I enjoyed this online calculus course!
Doing a problem and going to the forums to see that you did it righh!
The most rewarding part of this class for me was getting the grades I wanted on the assignments. Despite all of the work, the material made sense to me, and it was good to see that reflected in my grades.

Being able to help other students in the discussion forum was the most rewarding part of the experience. And, finally being done!

i don't really know
It was rewrding to finish a homework assignment that was due on a Monday before the weekend.

Fully understand in the calculus fundamental knowledge.

The final exam was the most rewarding for me. I could not believe that I had actually learned a lot over the summer from an online course until I took the final exam.
I took the exam at the SFSU campus. There was one little thing that could have been done a little bit better. It would have been nice if the clock were positioned so that we could see how much time was left as we were taking the final exam. Or, write on the white board every 30 minutes with the amount of time remaining. I definitely rushed through the exam, not realizing that I had a ton of time to double-check my answers.
Taking the final, it wasn't that hard at all.

Getting the right answer and being able to help someone else get the right answer.

The way the course is set up if you put in the relevant time to study you come out really knowing your stuff.

Dr. Goetz. He is an amazing person, and his teaching style is one that I can learn from very easily. He also was very very helpful via email when I needed things. I think the forum was also very rewarding, but due to my 'around the world' situation I had little time to post messages on the forum, but I did read them daily.

Drilling this information into my brain after only half-getting it my first time through. It was nice learning why something works and not just going through the motions of the problem, knowing how it worked helped me.

I understand calculus a little better then I did before. The lectures was great, because you made it plain and clear along with the examples was a great help.

The most rewarding part was seeing the entire class through until completion.

Comparing homework answers with other students, and finding out that I had similar answers compared to the rest of those who posted on the forum.

I love algebra. Finding out that so much was algebra was fun.

Actually absorbing the information and making sense of it all! Professor Goetz does a great job of applying calculus to real life situations.

Finishing a HW assignment and seeing that you got the right answers was a good feeling. Also, being able to help others who were having trouble on the web boards was rewarding.
When I took calculus for years ago in my high school I though I would go nuts. But taking this class from SFSU with Dr. Goetz made calculus to understand better.

Probably just feeling accomplished after sorting out a really complicated problem...

**What was most challenging?**
complex derivatives (trigonometric fractions etc)

A few students were always ahead and began the forums. When the answers they posted where correct and someone else had already described the path to the solution, I often felt the inability to make a valuable contribution, other than saying "I agree".

Trying to keep up with the assignments while working full time.

The most challenging thing about this class was carving out time to work on this class every day. I worked at a full time job, and taking this class was just short of a second job.

Once my summer began to get busier, it got more challenging to keep up with the assignments. But, since you are well aware of the assignments for a long time before they are due, you could work ahead to avoid this problem.

in the beguinging it was very hard for me to understand but now it is very easy.

The most challenghin part of the course was tryin to participate in the homework forum while working around my schedule. It was helpful but sometimes not the best way to stay involved. Many times, everything that needed to be said about a problem was already said by the time my schedule allowed me to get to the homework. That makes it difficult when you know that the forum is a large portion of the grade.

Some homework problems are really difficult, but they are interesting.

My internet connection. My occasionally-working DSL router died midway through the course. Luckily, I got into the habit of downloading 3 lectures at a time, along with the corresponding homework assignments so that I could still learn and do homework while the router was not working. I just didn't post to ilearn during those down times.
Also, there were several lectures where the sound quality was horrible. For those lessons, I relied more on my book than the lecture for information.

The Shapes of Graph and Optimization.

THE PACE! Even as s straight "A", $35,000 scholarship receiver could not keep up but I took on too much this summer! I only mention my large scholarship in order to put emphasis that no matter how smart you are, and no matter how little effort other math classes may have been in the past, this class is extremely time consuming.
I enter this semester thinking " Oh, no problem. I can handle this easy! I am not the average student and can certainly get an A with ease". Wrong!
The videos were phenomenal! yet I found myself eventually lacking the time to watch a few of them. BIG MISTAKE! It's actually took me MORE time to do the homework without watching the video! The forums helped a ton, but those videos are crucial to your success in this class! MAKE time for them, and ALL of them!

I took the summer course and needed to put in many hours a week to master the material.

Maintaining appropriate homework time dedication while traveling all around the world. This was a personal choice, of course, and I dedicated sufficient time to each homework, but it was not an easy task. My advice is to take the class when you have no other engagements.

Working full time and finding time to do the homework.

The thing that was most challenging for me was getting the lesson in.

The most challenging part was keeping up with the 8-week break-neck pace.

The whole class was challenging I thought. You really have to work hard to attain a decent grade in the class. No one should ever expect an easy A if they are thinking about taking this class.

The problems with the graphs of the flight. It was difficult for me to figure out how the graph related to when you were on or off the ground.

Organizing my time properly so as to not get behind on lectures and homework assignments. Three or four assignments due a week!

Staying ahead with the class was difficult at times - completing 3 (sometimes 4) 1 hour lectures plus their associated HW assignments in a week was sometimes not the easiest thing to do. But, with a decent ability to manage your time, it was an easy hurdle to overcome.

The most challening part of this class was staying motivated. Since you work during your own schedule and pace, it was definitely easy to lose track of what was going on.

Comprehensive problems.

Sometimes I had a lot of trouble getting myself to watch the lecture far enough in advance. I did the best when I watched it the day before, and thus had time to recap with the book and think some concepts over before doing the homework.

David - 20 May 2008, 07:42 PM
The hardest part for me, as someone who hadn't taken a math class in more than 5 years, was adjusting at the beginning of the semester. It was easy for forgotten algebraic principles and equivalencies to get in the way of new concept learning in the beginning. I was a little nervous at first because the first few assignments were taking much longer than anticipated, but it became much more comfortable once the algebraic rust fell away. Do review algebra first!
I got a great amount of information from the lectures and online forum, but I found it also helpful to reinforce those concepts by reviewing the corresponding textbook sections. The textbook is good for the general concept and formula checking, but when you have a more specific question just shoot it off to the forum and the feedback comes almost immediately. Trying to teach concepts in the forum to someone else, I also found, was really a great way to lock down new concepts. If you're doing your homework early and not many people are discussing your question on the forum yet, check the stream channel for short video clips (a huge collection) that can provide that one needed concept (or trick) to the problem. Another source for learning (you will see there are very many) are great links to math websites and even designated times to personally chat online, or call, teaching assistants about your questions.
Procrastination will penalize you in this course. There were some homeworks that were considerably longer than others that required early starts for a good grade.
Overall it was a great learning experience that was just very convenient. You could probably be a full time business traveler and still take the course. I feel much better about my math skills now. Before I took this course, a function was just an equation that was hard to evaluate without a graphing calculator. Simply a great class with a great professor and fellow students!
by Arnold - Tuesday, 20 May 2008, 09:22 PM

How to succeed:
Tip #1: Do not take this course over the summer unless you are...

a. Either very proficient with math (algebra and trigonometry);

b. Or you have a lot of time to devote to this class and all the homework.
Tip #2: Regardless of your answer to #1, you must be willing to do a lot of work, including posting and sharing questions and answers.
Tip #3: Really listen to the very first lecture where Dr. Goetz explains how Calculus came into being. That sets the stage for the entire course and its primary objective. Throughout (and especially In the middle) of the course, it is easy to lose sight of how the little concepts add up to something worthwhile or useful. Thinking back on the first lecture will help you see the bigger picture and might even give you the proper perspective to understand that troublesome derivative problem or that confusing integration problem. Seriously!
Tip #4: Try on your own first. Active learning is the only way to pass the final exam!
Tip #5: When tip #4 fails, use all the resources at hand: the homework forum, video excerpts of the lecture or similar problems, the grapher, external resources, even that expensive dry text book!
Tip #6: When tip #4 works, take the time to give others tips or weigh in on questions posed by other students. This serves 2 purposes: it reinforces your learning and it builds your body of "postings" for that all-important class participation credit (which is worth an entire grade improvement)!
Tip #7: Convince yourself that you love to solve all kinds of problems, including Calculus, even if that's not entirely true. If you can get into the spirit of things, you will have some measure of fun to help temper the frustration and make the long hours of doing homework less tedious.
Tip #8: Dr. Goetz and his staff are the best and they are looking after your best interest: to learn and have an appreciation for Calculus. So trust them and don't be afraid to ask anything that would help you to make the most out of the class.

Enjoy and good luck!

Jennifer - Friday, 23 May 2008, 08:28 AM
This is my first time taking a online math class. It's not as difficult as I thought, but it cannot be compared to a face to face class setting. The most important thing is to keep up with the lectures and homework. I found that the lectures were the most helpful, because Dr. Goetz explained it very well. I bought the textbook, but I didn't find it to be helpful at all, but there were some examples in the book that were a little helpful for doing some of my homework assignments. But most of all, you should keep up with homework assignments so you won't fall behind, because once you fall behind, it's kind of hard to catch up when everyone is already ahead.