Top positive review
One person found this helpful
Lighthearted algebra text
on August 26, 2013
Students: be sure to buy THIS expensive package if your university requires MyMathLab access. You will end up paying more if you just buy the textbook and then the access separately. You should be able to contact your school or instructor to find out if MyMathLab will be used throughout the course. Also, you will need internet access to use MyMathLab.
Blitzer approaches a subject that most students dread - algebra - in a lighthearted, interesting, and fun way. The Learning Guide (included with the MyMathLab Access card, via MyMathLab > Learning Guide) is a phenomenal resource: organized by section objective, the Learning Guide presents a worked example problem. On the side, there is a blank pencil problem with an area left for the student to try each one. This has been highly successful and I use it throughout lecture. The feedback from students has been positive, and they have an easier time with homework with the Learning Guide to refer back to.
The textbook format is very user-friendly with the chapter summaries and "Good Question" features. The only improvement I could offer would be to make the PowerPoint more concise and usable. Most instructors would prefer to write examples out, step-by-step, so PowerPoint is most useful at imparting information such as definitions, visual aids, etc. The included PPT is incredibly long, so it must be spliced and edited to practically use in a lecture setting.
Regarding MyMathLab access: my favorite features are the Item Analysis, Multimedia Library (with complete video lectures - perfect for students who are sick and miss a class), and Study Plan. The study plan creates individualized assignments for students, based on their areas of difficulty. The Study Plan would be impossible to create without this program - which makes the little inconveniences of inputting answers into MML worthwhile.
Pros: fun approach to algebra, chapter summary, student question features, Learning Guide, MyMathLab study plan, multimedia, instant feedback for students and teachers, item analysis via MML
Cons: price, PowerPoint is lacking, students may find inputting answers into MyMathLab to be tedious