The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted life as we know it. The social distancing that has been called for has left businesses shuttered, recreational facilities empty, and workplaces closed. Furthermore, if you’re a college student, your classes have been moved online because face-to-face instruction has been suspended.
Learning in an online setting is difficult because it requires high levels of self-motivation and discipline. However, the challenge is even greater if you are taking a tough course like Linear Algebra and you’re not a math genius. For, then, you’ll be bombarded with complicated terms like “orthogonal basis,” “Gram-Schmidt process,” and “singular value decomposition” that are sure to confuse you. And, since your professor won’t be available to answer your questions in real-time, you’ll probably then find yourself drifting into thoughts like, “I need someone to do my math homework for me” and “Where can I find someone to take my math test online?” But, my dear Linear Algebra student, please resist any such ponderings when they occur, and instead follow the three tips I’ve outlined below to give yourself the best chance to succeed in your Linear Algebra course.
Tips for Succeeding in Your Online Linear Algebra Course
- Make a Weekly Schedule and Stick to It
Before your course begins, make a note of the due dates of major assignments and exams, as well as the dates during the semester of any important personal appointments you are obliged to keep. Factor these in as you create a schedule, apportioning specific hours each week to watching lessons, doing homework, and receiving tutoring. Then, importantly, you must force yourself to stick to your schedule for the entire semester.
- Line Up These Recommended Online Resources
Your professor will likely place resources such as e-books and practice tests online for students to use. But you should supplement them by securing your own helpmates. One that I highly recommend is Khan Academy, a not-for-profit educational site that contains user-friendly video lessons on a wide range of mathematical topics, including Linear Algebra. You will also find a list of “community questions” there that other students have posed and experts have answered. You’ll likely find among them many of the questions that will cross your mind as you study.
Another extra resource you should procure is a good online math tutor who can work with you for the entire semester. You’ll be able to interact over the Internet with this individual in real-time, and he or she will be expected to keep track of where any gaps in your understanding are located and resolve them in a manner that suits your learning style. A site that has excellent math tutors available at reasonable prices is DoMyMathWork.com.
- Master This Fundamental Concept and Procedure First
You are going to discover that Linear Algebra is a branch of mathematics that uses addition, subtraction, and multiplication to combine columns of numbers called vectors and arrays of numbers called matrices. Linear Algebra is central to many processes in math, including solving linear systems and representing geometric transformations.
You’ll also come to realize that the notion of an orthogonal basis of a vector space permeates all of Linear Algebra, and so you’re advised to invest a lot of time and effort from the get-go to understand this idea fully. Ask your online tutor to explain this concept to you using multiple perspectives, and request that at least one of the perspectives involves a real-world example. In addition, because you will be performing matrix multiplication throughout the semester, you should spend time mastering this procedure from early as well. Let your tutor help you to practice this using matrices that vary both in their dimensions and the amounts of them being multiplied.
Once you develop yourself early in these foundational areas of your course, you’ll be able to more easily comprehend the other topics that’ll show up later in the semester.
The health concerns brought on by the coronavirus has forced a lot of people to change their habits. Students, for instance, have been transitioning to learning from home. But if you’re a student who is taking a Linear Algebra course, just follow the tips I’ve presented above, and you will have no reason to change your expectations of doing well in the class.
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