Examples of Course Material

Here I've included some examples of course material from my Computer Science I (CS 121), Intermediate Algebra (Math 108), and College Algebra (Math 143) courses that I've instructed at Boise State University. Click on the images to view the complete document!

[Figure 0] An example of a lesson plan for College Algebra below. I use backwards course design to make sure that my assignments, activities, and assessments are in direct alignment with the lesson learning objectives and course learning outcomes.

An example of a lesson plan for College Algebra using backwards course design

[Figure 1] Before class, I keep my students informed on the week's upcoming topics so they have a chance to prepare for the in-class lectures, activities, and quizzes. For example, I use Piazza to communicate to my computer science students by posting notes such as the one below. Through Piazza, students can respond to not only myself and their fellow classmates, but also instructors and students from other sections, and the graduate teaching assistants who run the weekly labs.


Computer science weekly Piazza post on upcoming topics and preparation material


[Figure 2] During class, my computer science students are frequently engaged in team-based activities, which typically serve as excellent ungraded, formative assessments. For example, students are given exercises such as the ones below. This is a great way for students to attack challenging problems via the scientific method, where they have the opportunity to ask questions, form hypotheses, discuss ideas, consider alternative viewpoints, and experiment. This helps them prepare for upcoming graded assignments and assessments, such as programming projects, quizzes, and exams. Meanwhile, I have the freedom to roam about the classroom to directly interact with my students on a personal level to informally assess their progress, pick their brains, and answer questions.


Computer science in-class team-based activity handout on arrays and command-line arguments


[Figure 3] After the teams have wrestled with the problems for awhile, I give them the solutions so they can compare answers, self-assess, and receive immediate feedback. The solutions are either handed out in class on paper, posted electronically as PDFs, or implemented in working program code through a live demonstration on the projector (if time permits). Below is an example of the solutions for the previous handout.


Computer science in-class team-based activity handout solutions on arrays and command-line arguments


[Figure 4] I apply roughly the same team-based learning activities in my intermediate algebra and college algebra courses as I do in computer science. For example, students form teams and are given handouts such as the one below so they can collaborate. This helps them prepare for upcoming graded assessments such as quizzes and tests. Meanwhile, I roam the classroom to help teams solve problems, observe their progress, and do interactive mini-lectures on the whiteboard.


College algebra in-class team-based activity


[Figure 5] After the teams have spent most of the class period wrestling with the algebra problems, I give them the solutions so they can compare answers, self-assess, and receive immediate feedback. These solutions are either handed out in class on paper, where the Aleks topic is listed for each exercise so the students have the option to practice doing the topic outside of class. Below is an example of the solutions for the previous handout.


College algebra in-class team-based activity solutions