Online Calculus I     Information    

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4 semester units, fall 2017, 14 weeks, Aug 25 - Dec 20,
fully online, flexible Calculus I - MATH 226
14 years of verifiable track record serving hundreds of students annually
Calculus class online with video lectures, active forum & personal help

Prerequisites Syllabus
Students from any other universities are welcome to join us. Email Dr. Goetz if you have any questions that are not answered below.
Info how to join in.

The class is fully online, you can be anywhere with an interent access. There is no need to come to campus. However, there are two proctored events: (a) a readiness test and (b) comprehensive final examination. Both can be taken on campus or at your location via a video link.
In the latter case there is a small fee charged by You can take a practice readiness test now: Once you pass it, you can retake with even before you register for the class. If a students cannot demonstrate that they are ready by passing a proctored test within first 7 days of instruction, they will be dropped from the course.

This is the future - recent article about this this class and the professor.
Department of Mathematics, San Francisco State University (SFSU), 1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94132. SFSU is accredited by Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
What are the students who succeeded in this online calculus class say and what advice they offer?

Joey from spring 2017. Hey Dr. Goetz, I wanted to personally let you know what I've thought of this class, as it is my first online course: 1.) This course is designed very well and your lectures are incredibly comprehensive. 2.) The ability to pause and rewind your lectures has greatly increased my capacity to understand lessons. 3.) I am graduating this semester with a BS in geology and have completed a senior thesis, this class has been extremely relative to the data analysis scope of my project. The way I have come to understand the processes of derivation and integration in the applications of geology are extremely empowering! Just wanted to personally thank you, and say that this class has been awesome.

A student from summer 2016. Dear Professor Goetz, I would like to thank you and your team for all your help with this class. Your students have been really efficient with the feedback on the homework and I really appreciate that. Also, your lectures/videos were very clear and easy to understand, the summer class was definitely tough but I had fun.

Continuing student in 2016. I am writing you to inquire about adding your Math 227 Calculus II. Over the summer I completed Calculus I with your online class and received a B. I found a new appreciation for online classes and your class by far made me love online studying. I enjoyed the self paced instruction and I felt as if I was able to understand the material a lot better. The way your class was structured was very organized and is set up for student success. Hopefully I can join your class again.
A student with different learning needs, summer 2015 Thank you again for welcoming me into calculus I, and thank your staff for always being there for me. Having learning differences isn't easy, as this class required full commitment and persistency. I was immediately accommodated by you, and your staff never let me down. Although this course seemed almost impossible torward the beginning, your staff always guided me in the right direction and gave me the confidence I needed. I was shy in the beginning to even comment on Piazza, but took it upon myself to open up to everyone and start interacting about questions and concerns with the homework. Overall, I remember the day when I was on the edge about joining this class considering, like you said, it is very hard to just jump in! For someone like me who started at lesson 7 and succeeded since due to my dedication, I am proud to say I ended with an A. I learned that although this course was one of the most intense courses I've ever involved myself in, anything is possible with a little bit of faith. I couldn't ask for a better calculus course to be apart of!
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!
Mike, architecture major, Summer 2010 This calculus course was very convenient in the sense that it was online and 4 credits without any major prerequisite. But over the summer I took this class while taking another online class and working 40 hours a week. This calculus class is not good for someone who plans on doing too many other things over the summer. When professor Goetz says you need to devote alot of time to this class he is not exaggerating. This class requires your full attention and effort. The only thing I though was not right was the fact that the homework switched from Monday Wednesday Friday to sometimes Tuesday Sometimes Thursday and even sometimes on the weekends. When it was all said and done I am thankful for this class.
Lauren, a Peace Corps volunteer (Fall 08). A little bit about me... I'm a Peace Corps volunteer serving in Suriname, a former Dutch colony on the East coast of South America. I arrived in May 2007 and have since worked for the Pan American Health Organization. Primarily, I am working to draft and implement a Family Health policy. I also volunteer part-time at Lotjes-Huis, a home for children displaced from their families.
B. Why Calculus 1 at SFSU? I am currently applying to Masters in Public Health programs for 2009-2010 and I needed to take a quantitative course. I researched many options and finally chose the online Calculus course offered through SFSU, taught by Professor Goetz. I was impressed by the course structure and Professor Goetz' support and responsiveness. I was also excited about participating in real time dialogue with my classmates.
C. Challenges in taking US based courses while abroad... Suprisingly, I ran into very few challenges. Suriname is certainly a developing country but as long as I gave myself plenty of time to work through power outages and bad internet connections, I was able to get my homework in on time and participate in discussions with my classmates. At all times, I had an open line of communication with Professor Goetz in case an unavoidable roadblock popped up but everything went quite smoothly. All the course required was a computer, an internet connection and a digital camera. Otherwise, all course materials were accessed online so I didn't need to worry about a textbook. Professor Goetz also provided very helpful links to differentiators, graphers and extensive background if further explanation was needed. Ultimately, my main resource was working through problems with my fellow classmates. I was always able to clear up any confusion I had and often by posting my concerns, other students realized what mistakes they had made and we worked through them together. The TA's were also extremely helpful in guiding you through a problem, rather than just giving you the solution. Often, Professor Goetz would post a response or question that would help clarify a concept as well. The lectures were extremely informative and the homework sets were well thought out an relevant.
D. I highly recommend this class to anyone living abroad. I was hesitant to engage in such an endeavour but putting off grad school another year was not an option. I'm so glad I took the course and I'm so grateful for Professor Goetz's support. The interface was straightforward and worked well on even the oldest computers. Being able to submit the homework by taking a picture was a breeze. As for the material itself, Professor Goetz made Calculus accessible to those of us who shunned math long ago. The pace was spot on and as long as I kept up with the lectures and the homework, I was never left behind. It is important to note that on average, I spent 10 hours a week which can be a lot for folks who are working but certainly doable.
Another student. Thank you for such a wonderful opportunity. I finally enjoyed learning math. It was a great adventure and I am grateful to have the opportunity to participate in this experience. I also like to say thank you to your staff (...) for the support we received even very late at night and for the fast responses. I will definitely recommend this course to all, even those who are a student, a father and working at the same time. I would have signed up for an online math 227 if there was such an opportunity, but to my knowledge it is not available. Maybe not yet! Again, thank you very much and wish you a great summer.
2. What was the key to your success in this course? Not staying behind even for 1 lecture. Planning to submit the HWS early and implementing that for almost all of them. Above all that, we received the best possible education trough well organized lectures, well planned homework assignments and online supports. I also need to add that the online discussion group was a great opportunity. We had the chance to discuss and to review our questions and home work assignments. Not staying behind even for 1 lecture. Planning to submit the HWS early and implementing that for almost all of them. Above all that, we received the best possible education trough well organized lectures, well planned homework assignments and online supports. I also need to add that the online discussion group was a great opportunity. We had the chance to discuss and to review our questions and home work assignments.

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, (Fall 07)
The key is a well planned schedule. I used to watch the lecture and complete the home works right after that or at least at the same day. Requires at least 10 -15 hours of work per week. It won't work for a student that is not willing or does not have at least 10 hours/week to allocate to the program. [comment from a student who took the class during the Fall]

4. What advice would you offer to a potential student? I never stayed behind even for one lecture. I doubt a student can make it if he or she falls behind for more than 2-3 lectures.

previous Summers - 8 weeks - 3 lessons per week, summer students sharing their experienceYour 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.
Samantha Spring 2008, Professor Goetz, I believe one of the most important things to succeeding in this course is to constantly do homework. Once you finish an assignment, start the next one. I found myself frequently underestimating the amount of time one assignment could take. With any online class you are forced to teach yourself to a certain degree, which can add time. Also, working with a tutor or completing assignments with a friend is very helpful. An online class provides no one on one interaction, and with math that is sometimes the most useful tool. I highly suggest finding someone (tutor or friend) to make up for that lack of personal interaction. And, don't be shy to use the forum. If you can't get tutoring assistance or don't have a friend in the class, let the forum be your tutor and participate in it. I often held back from posting anything because I was afraid my answer would be wrong, but that's what the forum is for, discussion, hints, tips, etc. on how to achieve the correct answer. Going into this course my major was Zoology. I have recently changed majors to one where calculus is not required, but I believe this course will benefit all who take it. It is a very useful to challenge your brain to think in the manner that is required to do calculus.

Chris, May 2008 I am going into the corporate banking world next year. I will take some of the tools I learned in this class, and make a lot of people money. Thanks once again Professor Goetz, it was a pleasure! Albeit not much pleasure stumped and sweating over graphs and such, but your enthusiasm and lectures gave me prospective of the bigger picture of mathematics. Isn't that the point! Bravo to a teacher who understands this.
Sarah - Wednesday, 21 May 2008, 12:17 AM Steps to Becoming Successful in this Class: Step 1: Since this class is online, choose days that are dedicated for this class. Listening to the lectures and doing homework assignments are important in getting a good grade in this class. Step 2: Make sure to watch all lectures which will be helpful doing the homework problems Step 3: Turn in homework assignments on time, and if you can, a day before for an extra 1 point, which may help your grade Step 4: Try to understand the material, if any questions, ask them on the forum and someone from the class or the TA, or the Prof. will surely help you out Step 5: Stay on the right track! if you fall behind, it is ok, but crucial, so be sure to catch up! At San Francisco State, I am a Biology major with an emphasis in Physiology. This was my first online class, and overall I say that it was a good experience. I set aside Monday and Wednesday afternoons, aside from the Weekends, to go over the lectures that corresponded to the homework assignments, and turned it in on time. Having the forums on ilearn was a great way in communicating with the other students enrolled in the class as well as the TA's and the Prof. I was able to ask a question and by the time I went to go check on it again, someone answered my question. If I had a problem on one of the homework problems, there was already a thread that related to that question, and people were able to help each other in figuring out the answer with the steps to finding it out. This was helpful for me because on those late night hours, I was able to log on and the questions I had were already posted. You need to stay focus and on track in succeeding in this class. If there is anything that you have any questions on or need any clarification, there are tutoring centers located on campus to get extra help, there are office hours to meet with the Professor and ways that you can get ahold of the TA's.