The Georgia College Department of Mathematics is now offering a redesigned Math 1111 College Algebra course using the Emporium Model. The goal of this course is to offer a fundamental understanding of algebraic concepts which form an important component of an undergraduate education and to enhance the algebraic skills and knowledge necessary for upper-level mathematics courses and for courses in many other disciplines. The underlying principle of the Emporium Model is very simple:

 “Students learn math by doing math not by listening to someone talk about doing math.”

This model for redesigned courses has been implemented successfully by many institutions including Virginia Tech, University of Alabama, University of Idaho, UNC at Chapel Hill and Greensboro, Georgia State University, University of Mississippi, Wayne State University, University of Arkansas, University of Nebraska, Oklahoma State University, University of Central Florida, Auburn University, and Southeastern Louisiana University.

The key elements of the success of this model are:

The Math Emporium Lab features 100 computers.

  •  Interactive computer software
  • Personalized on-demand assistance
  • Mandatory student participation

Why is the Emporium Model so successful?

  •  Students spend more time doing math problems rather than simply listening 

to someone talk about doing them.

  • Students spend more time on things they don’t understand and less time on

things they have already mastered.

  • Students receive immediate and personalized assistance when they
 encounter problems doing math.
  •   Students are required to do math.
At Georgia College, students in Math 1111 College Algebra spend one hour a week at a fixed time with their professor and then a minimum of three flexible hours a week in the Math Emporium lab which is staffed with professors and undergraduate learning assistants (ULA’s).

Dr. Chiorescu assisting students

During the meeting at the fixed time, professors guide the students through their responsibilities, connect concepts, work examples, and point out common student misconceptions. In the Math Emporium lab, professors and ULA’s  offer immediate and personalized help with math concepts 44 hours per week. In addition, we offer one-one/small group tutoring in one of the small rooms located at the back of the lab.
Room available for one-one/small tutoring

All course materials are created using the web-based software MyMathLab, which comes bundled with the e-textbook. Students navigate through the chapters which include the textbook content, lectures and example videos, animations and tutorial exercises, homework and quizzes. The Help Me Solve This and View an Example buttons guide students through their homework exercises offering instant feedback. The homework has an unlimited number of attempts and the quizzes have up to three attempts before the due date, and they can be accessed from home as well. The password-protected tests are only taken in the lab under the professor’s supervision.

MyMathLab homework problem

This course redesign is not about putting the course online.  It is about creating a new pedagogy in the light of the possibilities that technology offers with strong considerations being given to the individual needs of students.

For more information, contact:

Marcela Chiorescu, Ph.D.
MATH 1111/1113 Coordinator