Developmental math delema

Don’a Smith

Staff Writer

CCC’s developmental math classes got the short end of the stick, especially when it came to professors.  I can’t speak for all students, but I can speak to my experiences with the math 094 classes and my professors. I haven’t experienced all the professors, but the ones that I have are those that I will speak bout, and some comments from others students’ experiences.

My first experience with Developmental Algebra 094 resulted in a failing final grade, thus failing the entire class. Struggling through my professors teaching methods, I managed to earn a C average for the class. I am a bad test taker and failed the final, which made me fail the whole course.

Why wouldn’t the final be averaged into the class grade? I passed the class, and failed one test, so I automatically failed, which made the whole class a waste of time.  With the professor that I had, I could never learn. Older aged teachers are very wise, yet very forgetful. Having an elderly professor in a developmental algebra class that consists of younger students, makes no sense. At one point I experienced him writing “10/2=8” on the board. Although a simple mistake, it was an obvious mistake, none the less. Not only did he write the wrong answers, he would re-do the problem on the board because he forgot and couldn’t figure it out. “Oh that’s not it,*erase.. do it again, *erase, *restart the problem.”  When you asked him questions, he would never understand what you were asking. Once he understood the question he spent a half hour trying to explain it, but never really answered your question anyway. Students just stopped asking questions eventually.

My second experience with Algebra 094 is nothing more than a lecture hall. The professor wrote problems on the board, solved them, and that was it. There was no classroom interaction. I was just supposed to catch on.  There wasn’t any organization in these classrooms.

If you fail, and retake it, like me, you start the class where I left off. The higher the chapters go, the more difficult the math becomes. If I failed the easy chapters in my first attempt at this class, what makes you think I’m going to pass the harder ones in my second attempt? I don’t understand why the class wouldn’t start over from the beginning.

CCC has taken a new route to learning developmental algebra. Computer courses, and no more classrooms is the new thing. Once again I don’t understand the logic, because if I can’t learn this math with the professors, what makes them think I will be able to teach myself on the computer. Yes, I know there are tutorials to watch and materials there for you. That’s the same as having examples in my math book, which still doesn’t help.  The courses are at your own pace, but students who learn at slow paces are surely going to get left behind. Advertised as the course that is impossible to fail and is taught at your own pace is deceiving. If you don’t finish all the tests by the time the course is over you have to take another session until you finish. Sounds to me like CCC  has found a new way to get into their students pockets.

Cumberland County College needs to find a solution to have students learn and pass these developmental 094 courses. A suggested solution is to hire effective algebra teachers. I believe that the professors should be evaluated and watched in a classroom on how well they teach the math material.


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