I have been working with beginning Algebra students for a good many years now. In that time, I have found myself answering many similar questions where students often tell me that when they are alone they get stuck and do not know where to look for help. This is certainly the case when problems are posed out of sectional context. After some interaction, it becomes clear that folks simply do not have the algebraic vocabulary needed when searching the index or internet for help and quickly become overwhelmed.
"I do not know what to type in when searching for help!"
To help, my idea was to create a visually searchable database of commonly asked algebra questions. This compendium of algebra videos is intended to be more of a "how to" type of approach serving students looking to solve a particular problem in a short amount of time. More instructional or "lecture" type of videos are valuable and quite abundant. For these I would like to recommend James Sousa's MathIsPower4u website.
After authoring two online algebra textbooks published by Flatworld Knowledge, I created a similar visually searchable list of videos for all of the "Thy this!" problems found in the textbook.
This approach is not the silver bullet for success in Algebra, however, it does review well is appreciated by students who are more inclined toward a visual learning style. Everything on the openAlgebra.com site is offered free of charge and is openly licensed with a creative commons license. This means that you are free to and encouraged to link to it, copy-and-paste into your CMS, build upon, improve and share the material.
This semester I posted mobile phone friendly solutions to exams in my Elementary Algebra and Intermediate Algebra courses. Both are one-semester courses. This was easy to do using a basic snipping tool and Blogger.
In doing this, I was able to save some valuable class time. We are not quite finished, I still need to cover conic sections (chapter 8) in Intermediate Algebra, but students definitely said they appreciated this approach. Please feel free to comment or share.
My algebra YouTube videos broke the 100,000 view mark! I know it is not a lot compared to many others out there but it is a milestone for me nonetheless.
I have received a great many "thank you" type comments and emails. It still amazes me that I can help so many so easily. And I am getting better at tagging and SEO so hopefully this run will continue to accelerate.