Free, Online Math Class Launches at UWL - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Free, Online Math Class Launches at UWL

Posted: Updated: Jan 28, 2013 08:45 PM

LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) – Taylor Watson is a junior at the University of Wisconsin La Crosse, and admitted she needs a refresher in basic math. 

"I've never been good at math," Watson said. "I haven't taken math in four years or so. I'm just hoping to brush up and do really well on a placement test I need to take." 

"They way I can get into the math class I need," she said. 

Watson needs to take statistics. 

She's hoping the UW system's first ever offered MOOC, which stands for massive, open online course, can help her hit the benchmark to qualify for the class's roster. 

The math MOOC's instructor, Maggie McHugh, said Taylor is one of roughly 1-thousand students from 40 different countries currently enrolled in the course. 

"Some of our participants want to gain the math knowledge to assist their children with homework," McHugh said. "Some are looking to cross this off a bucket list. Math is something they've struggled with and they want to overcome that struggle." 

"This class is helping students not just in La Crosse but across the University of Wisconsin system, across the state and across the world," McHugh said. "When there's more math being learned out there, no matter who it is, we feel happier about that." 

The online class features videos tying math into everyday life, PowerPoint presentations, live lectures and, of course, quizzes. 

The class is paced to run seven weeks, although McHugh said the curriculum can be completed more quickly if a student seeks to do so. 

Watson said she's now ready to dive in. 

"I do get kind of nervous about online classes because it's hard to get all the information you need from the instructor," Watson said. "But I went through the tutorial and I think this one is going to be easy to follow and really convenient." 

Enrollment in the MOOC is open through next week. 

University officials will review the first seven week session before deciding if and when to offer another class. 

"This is our trial run to find out what people power it needs, how much technical assistance it needs and what the benefits are, both to us as a university and the students," McHugh said. 


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