Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Course Content and Outcomes Guide for MTH 58 Effective Summer 2021

Course Number:
MTH 58
Course Title:
Math Literacy I
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Explores how to clearly communicate arguments supported by quantitative evidence. Investigates contextual and open-ended mathematical problems. Develops mathematical reasoning skills through interpreting information, making conjectures, communicating effectively, and verifying results. Emphasizes an understanding of the role of mathematics and how it affects decision making in life. Uses collaborative learning through in-class group interaction. Uses technology throughout the course. Prerequisites: MTH 20 and (WR 80 or ESOL 252) and (RD 80 or ESOL 250) or equivalent placement. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon completion of the course students should be able to:

  1. Use and integrate several different types of technology to explore and analyze data to solve problems.
  2. Use contextual information to reflect on and communicate the reasonableness of mathematical approaches and solutions.
  3. Use quantitative reasoning, articulate individual positions, and respectfully consider the approaches and solutions of others to contribute to the academic conversation.
  4. Critically analyze information for its accuracy, relevance, and credibility to reflect on how mathematics can be used in one’s life and in the larger community.
  5. Engage with and formulate questions to explore mathematical topics, collaborate with others, and persevere through the problem solving process.
  6. Develop self-awareness of the learning process and self-monitor understanding and performance.   

Course Activities and Design

This class is designed on a group work and discussion classroom format.  The focus of the activities in the course are reality based problems and situations from which formal definitions and procedures will arise.  A technology component is included as part of the course activities.  

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Different grading structures can be used to determine the course grade, such as mastery grading, percentage-based grading, points-based grading.  Instructors’ grading systems should promote individual student development toward mastery of the skills listed below.

Required assessment shall include:

  1. At least two individual proctored, closed-book, no student-notes exams.  (An instructor-provided conversion chart is allowed. An example is attached here). These exams must consist primarily of free response questions.
  2. Group work and class participation
  3. Homework including each of the following:
    1. Technology assignments
    2. At least one group project culminating in a written report and/or oral presentation????
  4.  Must include at least 3 of the following
    1. Online skills assignments
    2. Written Homework
    3. Quizzes
    4. Reflections
    5. Portfolio  
    6. Individual student conference
    7. Community based learning

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

  1. Numerical Competency
    1. Use technology to develop a number sense with applications involving fractions, decimals, integers, and square roots.
    2. Develop competency with applications involving percents. Use percentages to make comparisons and conclusions about relative/percent increase and decrease for different applications.
    3. Use scientific notation in different contexts.   Convert between standard and scientific notation.
    4. Use inequalities to develop number sense by comparing the magnitude of different numbers.
  2. Data and Graphical Competency 
    1. Interpret tables, bar graphs, and line graphs based on applications.   Create tables, bar graphs, and line graphs with technology using appropriate scale, labeling, and title.  Read, interpret, and make decisions based upon data from graphical displays. Recognize misleading graphs and the visual impact of scale on the interpretation.
    2.  Create and interpret visual representations of data using pie charts with and without technology.  Recognize how percentages can be represented in and inferred from tables and graphs.
  3. Dimensional Analysis
    1. Determine area, perimeter, and volume using technology for different applications always including units in results.
    2. Distinguish between units that measure quantities and units that measure rates.
    3. Explore and interpret different types of units in applications including but not restricted to length, area, volume, and rates.  Convert these units and rates using dimensional analysis in both metric systems, US customary units, and conversions between the two systems. 
    4. Determine the unit rate for different applications including unit price.  Compare the magnitude of different rates and interpret the results.
  4. Linear and Exponential Models
    1. Explore applications that involve linear and exponential growth and be able to distinguish the differences between them. Make predictions based on patterns.  Identify models and patterns that are neither exponential nor linear.
    2. Be able to distinguish between inputs/independent variables and outputs/dependent variables. 
    3. Write and interpret a formula either as a linear expression or linear equation given the rate of change and an initial value.   Evaluate these models and interpret the results. 
    4. Find and interpret solutions to linear equations.
    5. Write and interpret a formula either as an exponential expression or exponential equation given the percent growth rate and an initial value.  Evaluate these models and interpret the results.