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For background on this textbook, see Precollege Algebra OER ORCCA.

For Winter 2018, we are using "Edition Beta" which has chapters 1–4 for MTH 60, and 5–9 for MTH 65. Visit its formats:

Any PCC instructor has approval to pilot this book during the 2017/8 Academic Year.

  • The MTH 60 portion (presently chapters 1–4) may be piloted through the full year,
  • The MTH 65 portion (presently chapters 5–10) may be piloted in winter, spring, and summer
  • The MTH 95 portion (presently chapters 11–17) may be piloted in spring and summer

[Any references to chapter numbers above may change. For example, MTH 65 might ultimately be chapters 5–10 if we reorganize things.]


  1. What do I need to do to commit to piloting?

    The main thing is that your FDC (and/or your department's administrative assistant) needs to know that you have made this decision. First of all, it will affect your department's book order of the commercial textbook. They assume you will use the commercial book and place an order based on that. While you could still change your mind for a little while after orders are placed, we do not want the book stores to end up with too many copies of the commercial book on their shelves.

    Also by law, the course catalog must indicate which sections only use course materials that cost $40 or under. The eBook is free, but we will also make sure that the print version sells for under $40 at PCC book storesthe physical book is available from Amazon for $12 (for each of MTH 60, 65, and 95). And so your FDC/admin needs to make not of your decision into the system.

  2. How will students obtain a print copy and how much will it cost?

    During Winter Spring and Summer term, print copies are being sold through Amazon for roughly $20$12. Students have free access to a PDF at The licensing permits anyone to print copies for any purpose.

  3. How will students access the eBook?

    The eBook is hosted at In future terms, the eBook might reside inside Desire2Learn for PCC students. In that event, a public-facing version will remain available as a demonstration for people outside of PCC.

  4. Do I have to use WeBWorK to use this book?

    No. The print copy and the eBook present the exact same homework questions, and you can assign them for traditional pencil-and-paper homework. The questions themselves look like typical questions from a book at this level. Using WeBWorK just adds a level of automated feedback.

  5. I'd like to use WeBWorK with this book. What's that like?

    For the most part, it will be exactly like using WeBWorK is now. You could even just use WeBWorK exactly as people use it now: either loading the current PCC default problem sets, or using your own custom-built problem sets. But you will also be able to load and assign problem sets that come straight from the book by problem number. You'll load full problem sets from a section of the book, and then customize them as you like. A demonstration of this (with guest login enabled) is up at

    If you are brand new to WeBWorK, we will help you get going with it. You might start by reviewing Requesting/Maintaining WeBWorK course shells.

  6. I use D2L. How does that work with using WeBWorK for homework?

    Not much will be different from how one uses WeBWorK via D2L for now. Single sign-on is the default setup. So you provide links from your D2L course into the WeBWorK course, and students follow those links without using a separate password. There is no separate registration of students into the WeBWorK course.

    If you like, you can also use grade passback form WeBWorK to D2L. However there are limitations on how grade pass back from WeBWorK to D2L behaves. It's a bit tedious to use problem-set-by-problem-set grade passback. Or you can just have one overall WeBWorK grade returned to D2L. This option is easy to set up, but can be confusing to a student who completed early assignments but sees a low score in their D2L gradebook (because WeBWorK is reporting the overall average using 0s for the future assignments).

  7. When reading the eBook, I see there are "exercises" at the end of a section. Can a student just work those right there for credit?

    At this point, end-of-section exercises in the eBook are "static". There is no ability to submit an answer and "check" it, or see a solution. If you assign these problems in a WeBWorK course shell, then they work in the usual way, where solutions are visible after a set's due date.

  8. Will I be compensated for piloting the book and providing feedback?
    Maybe! We are setting aside some funding to pay a stipend to a small number of faculty for submitting formal, organized feedback. This will only take place in winter (and possibly spring) term(s), and will be offered to something like ten instructors who agree to a structured mechanism for providing feedback
    No. However there will be biweekly meetings to discuss experiences, observations, suggestions, etc. Part-time faculty will be paid the special projects rate for each hour of attending these meetings.

  9. I would like to contribute to the book. (Add/edit expository content, add/edit exercises, etc.) How can I do that? And does it matter that I don't know how to code WeBWorK problems?

    First, that's awesomegreat, and we want your help. Contact Alex Jordan or Ann Cary as a first step. In many instances, it will be OK for you to provide content written in MS Word or whatever, and let us convert it into MBX PTX source content. If you have a certain level of comfort with working directly with technology, we can set you up to make contributions more directly too.

    If you contribute interactive examples or exercises, and you don't know how to code something for WeBWorK, that's fine. Just be prepared to clearly describe what you think the automated responses should look like. Both for various kinds of incorrect submissions, and for variations on what should be considered correct.

    If you contribute significantly and keep a record of your hours, we may have some funding to compensate you at the special project rate. Either way, please know that what you contribute will be owned by the college and released with an open license for people everywhere to use.

ORCCA problem sets in WeBWorK

First-time faculty users of WeBWorK should visit Requesting/Maintaining WeBWorK course shells for some basic information about using a WeBWorK course shell.

If you are using ORCCA as a textbook, then when you import problem sets, you can scroll to select the list of sets corresponding to sections of ORCCA. Be sure to go to the ORCCA-201801 201802 problem sets, not the plain old ORCCA-201801 sets which were used in Fall Winter term, and need to stay in place for nowa few instructors letting their courses run long.

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Note the three different kinds of sets:

  • set1_1-Arithmetic_with_Negative_Numbers.def
    is just the interactive exercises from the reading section. You probably do not want to make homework sets out of these.
  • set1_1-Arithmetic_with_Negative_Numbers_Exercises.def
    is the full set of all exercises at the end of the section which are available in WeBWorK. In this case, that's 46 exercises. You could load this set and then selectively remove problems. If you remove problems, you should take care not to re-number problems. That way the number of the WeBWorK problem will match the number of the corresponding problem from the actual book.
  • set1_1-Arithmetic_with_Negative_Numbers_Selected_Exercises.def
    is a reasonable default selection of exercises to assign as homework.

Also, the Library Browser now has an "ORCCA (Winter Spring/Summer 2018)" button to see problems from ORCCA. However, the problems here are only the problems that were coded within ORCCA itself. The majority of problems used in ORCCA are actually part of the BasicAlgebra, BasicMath, Math95, and BasicMath CollegeAlgebra libraries, and so you will not see them by visiting the ORCCA library this waythe "ORCCA (Spring/Summer 2018)" library.

You can use the Library Browser to view all of the problems in any particular ORCCA problem set if you like. It may be just as easy to import the problem set though and work from there.

Meeting Notes

Piloting faculty will meet regularly and we will post meeting notes here.

DateNotesFriday 9/8/17
  • Draft notes
  • Ann created a folder in the Google Drive for files pertaining to ORCCA pilots
  • Drafted a ten-week schedule for ORCCA in MTH 60. The spreadsheet includes a set of possible homework sets that Ann drafted.
  • For anyone interested in shared in-class activities, we should continue to use the SAC's folder for shared MTH 60 materials. You may need to be granted access to this folder by the manager of the math SAC's shared Google Drive folders. If we create in-class activities, we are encouraged to share them in this same location. Also, a later edition of ORCCA may have built-in worksheets drawing from approved, appropriately licensed submissions.
  • It would be wise to send students an early email informing them of this pilot and how it impacts them. Ann drafted a template letter that you are encouraged to customize as you see fit. It's included in the draft notes.
  • Ann will sketch out three exams for the course, for our convenience. Instructors can modify as they like. The outlines will only include "new" content, and instructors can add cumulative content as they like. As a reminder, the CCOG says the final is supposed to be "comprehensive".
  • Alex will draft a course project assignment where each student chooses (or is assigned) a section of the book, and then writes some improvement such as a new example or a new explanation. With student permission, we may end up including and crediting some of these submissions in the book.
  • We will alternate weekly debriefing meetings between Thursday at 2:00 and Friday at 11:00. Meetings at Sylvania, but with options to submit written comments ahead of time, or teleconference in.
  • For collecting faculty feedback, Alex will set up a Google form that feeds into a Google spreadsheet