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Image Credit: Saskatchewan Polytechnic
Image Credit: Saskatchewan Polytechnic

Saskatchewan Polytechnic free online applied math course attracts students from around the world

Self-paced study lets students review and improve their math skills anywhere, anytime


August 21, 2018 – Since its inception in 2015, the Applied Trade Math MOOC offered by Saskatchewan Polytechnic has attracted nearly 1,000 students from around the world. The self-paced, non-credit course focuses on mathematical concepts commonly used in skilled trades and apprenticeship programs.

“We developed the Applied Trade Math MOOC in partnership with the Saskatchewan Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission,” says Dalton Mervold, a program head in Sask Polytech’s School of Transportation.  “A lot of our students come from apprenticeship programs or want to brush up on their skills prior to starting full-time study. We’ve been offering the course three times a year and have people from as far away as Australia and Europe registering”

The Massive Open Online Course, also known as a MOOC, is open to anyone (over the age of 13) who has access to a computer or mobile device and the Internet. MOOCs are a relatively new learning innovation that have attracted public attention since 2012, when post-secondary institutions such as Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology started developing and delivering these highly accessible courses.

Sask Polytech’s Applied Trade Math MOOC is geared to individuals who want to review and improve their math skills. Its seven modules cover addition and subtraction, multiplication and division, fractions and decimals, percentages, measurement, basic algebra and geometry, and money skills. Optional pre-tests for each module let students assess gaps in their knowledge, while optional tests at the end of each module let them measure what they’ve learned.

“We’ve designed the course to provide immediate feedback,” says Paul Carter, dean of Sask Polytech’s School of Construction and School of Transportation. “We think the Applied Trade Math MOOC is a useful resource not only for teachers seeking supplementary questions and answers for their students, but also for employers looking for training material.”

The Applied Trade Math MOOC is a full-length course that is expected to take 40-60 hours to complete. The course is designed so students can work at their own pace through on-line learning. Supplementary instruction through videos enhance the course, pre-tests allow students to gauge learning and post-tests include a printable wall certificate if students reach the minimum requirement.

Classes run from:

  • June 27, 2018 – October 17, 2018
  • October 22, 2018 – February 8, 2019
  • February 11, 2019 – May 31, 2019

Students can register at any time during the instruction period. If students are unable to finish the course by the closing date, they can re-register and continue their studies from the same point in the following session.

Sask Polytech is working on three new MOOCs that are expected to be launched this year.

The Sask Polytech Applied Trade Math MOOC is delivered on the Desire2Learn Open Courses platform. Students can register for the course free of charge at www.opencoursesstore.d2l.com.

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