Houghton-Mifflin online materials

Overall, Houghton-Mifflin's courseware seems to be the most complete and most mature. Their representatives were able to give a rather comprehensive presentation of the material without glitches. Houghton-Mifflin offers an extensive series of College Algebra, Trigonometry and Precalculus books authored by Larson and others. Now they are supplementing these texts with courseware on CDs (available free with purchase of the text or separately for $40). Students enrolled in courses using Houghton-Mifflin text's can also use their online service "Smarthinking". There is free online tutoring available through Smarthinking even with hours appropriate for Hawaii (3:00p.m.-6p.m.). See Larson text's

The CDs and online material the come with the Larson texts include exercises (with solutions for the odd exercises). Guided examples. Self tests. Animations, interactive simulations, and video clips.

The online offering also provides the usual chat room, bulletin board and mail list facilities analogous to our WebCT software.

My main complaint is that the tests seem to be restricted to multiple-choice for fill-in-the-blank for numbers only. Only eGrade's testing software seems capable of handling formulas. However Houghton-Mifflin's tests and test generators are exceptional in their support of algorithmically generated questions. One can use parameters in a problem subject to various restrictions. Then many variants of the problem can be automatically generated by randomly choosing values of the parameters which meet the constraints (which might require that the parameters be digits between 0 and 12).


Overall, Houghton-Mifflin's CD and online offering seem to be the most complete - test authoring, test databanks with algorithmically generated questions, some interactive content, and online tutoring. However it has also received negative comments from other reviewers.

While I prefer our current text, David Cohen (Brooks/Cole), Larson is a popular text and covers the material we need.