Math 380: Elementary Algebra

The Adobe Reader

To use the textbook and Optimath system in this course, you must have properly installed and configured the Adobe Reader on your computer. You will need to download a free copy of the Acrobat Reader to read them. Click the following icon to obtain a free copy of the Acrobat Reader.

It is important that you have the most current version of the Acrobat Reader that your system will allow. The above links will take you to the Adobe site. The Adobe site will analyze your system, but you may be asked to choose the appropriate version of the reader for your system. If this happens, carefully select the appropriate version of the reader for your system.

Installation Instructions:

Course Description and Prerequisites

At College of the Redwoods, Math 380 is the course number for our Elementary Algebra course. This course is designed to give an introduction to the study of algebra. We begin our exploration of algebraic concepts using graphical, numeric, and analytic methods. Graphing calculators and computer are used to illustrate and investigate the key concepts. Colaborative learning activities will be used to further the understanding of mathematics in real-world settings and assist students in seeing mathematics as a human endevor. Students will learn to communicate algebra in written and verbal formats.

Prerequisites: Grade of C or better in Math 376 (Prealgebra) or equivalent, or an appropriate score on the math placement exam.

Course Description: A study of the real number system, first degree linear equations and inequalities, polynomial expressions and equations, factoring, radicals, quadratic equations, and the quadratic formula, interpretation of graphs, and problem solving techniques. Small group work and exploratory activities (including the use of the graphing calculator) are involved in this course.

Elementary Algebra Textbook

Each semester, every student in Math 380 at the College receives a free copy of the textbook and solutions manual on CD. To help you get started using the textbook on the CD, watch the video Getting Started with the Elementary Algebra Textbook (note: the video refers to the "Prealgebra" textbook, but the instructions are similar).

The latest version of the textbook is also available online at:

Interactive features in the online and CD versions of the textbook:

Features in the printed version of the textbook:

Printed Versions of the Elementary Algebra Textbook

For those who prefer a printed version of the textbook, there are two different printed packages which can be ordered from

All printed packages are bound paperback books in black-and-white.

If you order from during the summer, you are granted free shipping for all purchases over $20. To purchase both the textbook and solution manual costs $38, so you will be granted free shipping. However,

Tabbed Browsing

Most browsers allow tabbed browsing. To see how tabbed browsing can help you make more efficient use of the textbook, watch the movie Tabbed Browsing.

Elementary Algebra Textbook Errata

Lists of errors for the 2012-2013 version of the Elementary Algebra textbook can be viewed on the textbook web site at:

You will find separate "Errata" links for each chapter.

Graphing Calculator

Students are required to use a graphing calculator in the Math 380 course. Students can rent a calculator for the semester for $20. Instructions are available at the following link:

Graphing Calculator Rental Program

Online Practice and Testing in Mathematics (OPTIMATH)

OPTIMATH is our locally-developed online practice and testing system. The portal for OPTIMATH is:

There are numerous resources to assist students and instructors.

Further Resources

Here is a list of further resources to help student successfully complete the course.

Important Links

Math 380 Home Pages