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Math Education
Colloquium Series
@ Suffolk University

Celebrating Our 11th Year
of Teaching On-Line

Suffolk University is one of the major universities in Boston, featuring its internationally respected Law School, School of Management, and College of Arts and Sciences

Suffolk University is
fully accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)

All Distance Calculus Courses
are offered through the
Mathematics &
Computer Science Department
at Suffolk University.

Visit Our
Distance Calculus
Sister Program

How Quickly Can I Finish The Course?

Each of the Distance Computer Science courses are designed to be semester-length courses, based upon the "Carnegie Unit" model of :

4 Units 4 Classroom Hours + 8 Homework Hours = 12 Workload Hours Total Per Week

The common "Carnegie Semester" is 14 weeks.

This course design is targeting an "average student".

In actuality, the amount of time each student needs to spend on this course material varies greatly from student to student. Some students, who can learn the topics of Calculus/Computer Science very quickly, may only need 3-4 hours per week to accomplish the pace shown above. Other students, who may have a weaker background in mathematics, or a student who simply likes to go at a slower pace, may need or want to spend more than the planned 9-12 workload hours per week.

In a traditional lecture-based course, you keep up to the pace set by the instructor, or you fall behind and usually drop the course (or receive a poor grade). Often, the pace set by the instructor is too slow for many students, which makes the course boring for these quicker students.

In Distance Computer Science, you can go at whatever pace you want, with the approval of the instructional team.

At the beginning of these courses, we ask you the following questions:

  • On which date would you like to begin the course?
  • On which date would you like to finish the course?
Based upon your answers, we customize the due dates on the Homework Management System for the course to set up the due dates - thus the pace of the course - to meet your finish date goal.

If you need to finish quickly, and you have the time required to dedicate to the course to meet the requirements of the pace that will be set by a quick finish date, that is certainly fine with us.

[Note: The world's record thus far for finishing any of the Distance Calculus and/or Distance Computer Science courses is 5 weeks. The few students who hit this world's record time basically did nothing but eat, sleep, and breathe Calculus/Computer Science for these five weeks!]

As Distance Calculus/Computer Science is taught in the Mastery Learning model, one requirement of progressing through the course materials is mastery of the materials. You must complete one module at 100% understanding before moving to the next module; each Distance Calculus/Computer Science course contains approximately 8-15 modules.

The pace you take through your Distance Calculus/Computer Science course is really up to you: you may go as fast as you like, so long as you maintain the 100% understanding goal as you progress through the course.

Alternatively, you may go as slow as you like, taking twice or thrice as long as an "average student". A slower pace may be less stress for you, and more enjoyable.

The only restriction on how slow you set your pace is the 1 Year Rule : you must finish your Distance Calculus/Computer Science course by 1 year from the last day of the semester in which you first enrolled in the course. This usually amounts to 1 year and a few months from your enrollment date. This is a good rule, because taking too long in a course is not beneficial.

I Need To Get This Course Done By This Date!

Many Distance Calculus/Computer Science students are under very strict deadlines to finish their course by a certain date. Often, deadlines are good motivators and help students focus.

If a Distance Calculus/Computer Science student has such a deadline, we are happy to help the student meet that deadline by putting the student "on the fast track," making sure the student homeworks get returned in "double-time" to aid the student's goal.

Being "on the fast track" does have a requirement: that the student is staying on the 100% understanding level. Turning in assignments quickly and in volume is fine, so long as the work is at "A" levels.

Often, the instructional team will need to slow down a student who is under a deadline because the student's work is not "A" levels, and the student is trying to "rush through" the materials in effort to "just get done".

In Distance Calculus/Computer Science, this is not how the course works. The #1 goal is Mastery Learning , which means having a 100% understanding level of the materials as you progress through the course. If a student is trying to progress through the course too fast for this goal to be met, then the instructional staff will "put on the brakes" and require the student to slow down.

This can be frustrating to the student under a serious deadline. We are sorry for the frustration, but there is no way around the mastery learning edict. Distance Calculus/Computer Science is based upon it.

In most cases, students who find themselves behind the clock, who try to go "on the fast track", but then get "the brakes" to slow down, usually rise to the occassion and couple speed with understanding and learning the material to find an optimal pace for them.

So the basic answer to this question, "Can I finish by this date?" is: "Yes, you can finish by this date, but it is up to you how fast and successfully you can progress through the materials. You may progress as fast as you like, provided your understanding level is at 100% as your proceed."

Distance Computer Science is offered through the Mathematics and Computer Science Department
at Suffolk University •41 Temple Street • Beacon Hill • Boston, Massachusetts 02114 USA

Phone: 617.497.2096
FAX: 617.497.2116
[email protected]