This month, we would like to shine WATC’s Virtual College Spotlight on instructor Rachel Bates. Rachel currently teaches Online Elementary Algebra, Intermediate Algebra, Intermediate Algebra with Review, and College Algebra online currently for WATC. She also serves as Senior Learning Officer for the areas of Math, Computers, and Business.
Rachel brings a strong mathematics background to her teaching as she has her Bachelors in Mathematics and a Masters degree in Education. She has been teaching at the college since 2003 and online since January, 2009.
Rachel’s algebra classes provide great math instruction to her students by utilizing the My Math Lab software in all of her algebra courses. This software provides animated tutorials, chapter test preparation videos, PowerPoints, and video lectures. The homework is set up to give student support in working each one of their problems. Immediate help is there from the software as they work their homework problems. Students can ask for examples for each problem as they work their homework. There is also a link provided to click on and ask Rachel for explanation about each specific problem. Rachel is only a click away via email if a student needs a question answered. This is an excellent way to teach mathematics.
Rachel also provides extra support in her courses to her students outside of the My Math Lab software. The course has an abundance of video clips that Rachel prepared herself to demonstrate how to use the Angel Learning Management System and its navigation, My Math Lab itself, and the TI 83 Graphing Calculator which is required for the classes. There is excellent support in Rachel’s algebra courses to help students be successful in the course.
Rachel says that one of the best things about taking algebra in her online classes is that the software allows her to give the students immediate feedback on their homework problems and tests. Gone are the days that students have to wait a week for their work to be graded, perhaps working problems the wrong way for a whole week. Rachel says that online students “can learn it right the first time” taking her algebra classes. This can give the student a very positive feeling toward algebra which is a feared subject for many. Rachel works to eliminate this fear by providing abundant support to her students throughout the course and a teacher presence with using tools such as email, telephone, and even giving in-person help to those who might need it on occasion.
Hats off to Rachel Bates for her great work in designing an outstanding courses in Elementary Algebra, Intermediate Algebra, Intermediate Algebra with Review and College Algebra, which are engaging, well-organized, full of explanations and information, immediate feedback, and user friendly for all student populations.