Better Than Khan


Leslie Lyles

Unit Title:

Better Than Khan




Algebra I

Estimated Duration:

9  90 minute periods

Unit Activities:

Activity 1: Introduction, Big Idea, Essential Questions, Guiding Questions

Activity 2: Algebra I Online Tutorial Research

Activity 3: Online Tutorial Evaluation

Activity 4: Algebra Online Tutorial Challenge


July 2015

Anticipated Guiding Questions

What forms of media are most appealing in a web-based online tutorial?

How long should a math online tutorial last?

What Algebra topics will we cover in our tutorial?


Students may not understand the level of work involved in constructing an effective tutorial.

Students may not see the value in using online math tutorials.

Unit Academic Standard

Common Core State Standards:

A-REI.A.1 Explain each step in solving a simple equation as following from the equality of numbers asserted at the previous step, starting from the assumption that the original equation has a solution. Construct a viable argument to justify a solution method.

A-REI.B.3 Solve linear equations and inequalities in one variable, including equations with
coefficients represented by letters.

A-CED.A.1 Create equations and inequalities in one variable and use them to solve problems.

A-CED.A.3 Represent constraints by equations or inequalities, and by systems of equations and/or inequalities, and interpret solutions as viable or non-viable options in a modeling context.

The Big Idea (including global relevance)

Many Middle school students have easy access to the Web through their cellphones, personal or school computers, or their local library, but how often do they use the Web to help them in class? Researchers have found that Web-based tutorials are as effective as traditional face-to-face lecturing with regard to student performance.

The Essential Question

What do we like most about Web-based Algebra online tutorials?

What are the key features of a Web-based tutorial?

What makes an effective Web-based tutorial?

How do we design and assess an effective Web-based online Math tutorial?

The Hook

Show students a Dance Tutorial Video and have students follow the steps of the tutorial to learn a few dance steps. Show students a student created Math Tutorial Video and discuss what they saw in the video. Have students compare the videos and discuss their level of effectiveness.

The Challenge and Constraints
Description of Challenge (Either Product or Process is clearly explained below):

List the Constraints Applied

Design and create an effective Algebra I Web-based online tutorial that provides:

  • at least 2 example problems
  • practice
  • feedback
  • self-pacing
  • user-control
  • questions
  • creativity
  • assessment

*Must be interactive

Posted on Class Google Site (wiki/webpage)

Must not exceed 5 minutes in length to present.

Must be standards based: A-REI.A.1, A-REI.B.3, A-CED.A.1, A-CED.A.3

Must contain a media such as audio, video, animation, Power point slides.

Media types: music, animations, Ads (TV or Radio commercials), Flyers, Magazines, Posters

Engineering Design Process (EDP)

How will students test or implement the solution? What is the evidence that the solution worked? Describe how the iterative process from the EDP applies to your Challenge.

Select Solution: The students will select a media type to design and construct a Web-based Algebra I online tutorial.

Implement Solution: After students finish creating their Web-based Algebra I online tutorial, the students will present it to their peers who will evaluate their tutorial using a peer evaluation rubric.

Evaluate Solution: Once students have received feedback (Communicate) from their peers about their tutorial presentations, the iterative design process will guide students in determining what type of adjustments (Refine) they need to implement to improve their tutorial. 

Communicate Solution: Students will present their tutorial to the entire class. 

How will students present or defend the solution?  Describe if any formal training or resource guides will be provided to the students for best practices (e.g., poster, flyer, video, advertisement, etc.) used to present work.

As needed, I will teach students to use Power Point, Movie Maker, and an animation software.  Students will present their initial Web-based Algebra I online tutorials they created to the 8th grade Algebra I class. After the tutorials are refined, students will present their tutorials to the 7th graders and allow them to evaluate them.

What academic content is being taught through this Challenge?

  • Explaining steps in solving simple equations, and justifying solutions.
  • Solving linear equations and inequalities
  • Creating equations and inequalities in one variable and use them to solve problems
  • Representing constraints by equations or inequalities, and by systems of equations and/or inequalities, and interpreting solutions
  • Power Point presentation development
Unit Activities


Lesson 1 – Web-based Tutorial Components

  • Activity 1 – Introduction, Big Idea, Essential Questions, Guiding Questions (Day 1)
  • Activity 2 – Students research Algebra I web-based online tutorials and identify key features. (Day 2)

Lesson 2 – Web-based Tutorials Design and Assessment

  • Activity 3 – Design a Tutorial Evaluation Rubric based upon the tutorials they researched. (Day 3)
  • Activity 4 – (EDP) and (CBL) Algebra Tutorial Challenge: Students will design and create an Algebra I web-based online tutorial (Days 4-9)


Additional Resources

Springboard Algebra, by College Board. 2015 – textbook 

Math Tutorial

Math Tutorial Video

Dance Tutorial Video

Pre-Unit and Post-Unit Assessment Instrument
Results: Evidence of Growth in Student Learning 

The data revealed student growth because students scored higher on average on the post than on the pre-assessment. The class average on the pre-assessment was about 33% (6.5/20) and the class average on the post-assessment was about 56% (11.2/20). Students expressed having a better understanding of the material they had to teach on their tutorial. An influx of new students and a few attendance issues resulted in 7 students only taking the post assessment and not the pre assessment, which may or may not have an effect on my data. 27 students increased their score on the post assessment ranging from 1.5 points to 13 points increase.


I selected this content for the Unit because the concept of setting up and solving linear equations and inequalities was taught first quarter and this Unit served as a time for students to reinforce what they were taught previously and to develop a sense of mastery. The purpose for selecting this Unit was met because students were able to teach what they knew and to develop a sense of confidence about the math content they have learned. Students successfully found solutions that resulted in concrete meaningful actions for the Unit’s challenge. A link to one group’s Algebra tutorial is hyperlinked One thing I would change if I retaught this Unit would be to spend less time having students create a rubric and spend more time having them present their knowledge of solving linear equations and inequalities.  I would definitely teach this Unit again because it really helped students to see the importance of tutorials in their lives and it showed them that they could create a tutorial. Also, the Unit gave students the opportunity to work as Math Educators and Animators and the chance to experience working as a team to carry out the Engineering Design Process. Students worked within their teams to Identify and Define the problem, we brainstormed as a class and discussed alternative solutions, students used video recording or animated software to implement their solution. After students tested their solution, they described how they would refine their design to create a better tutorial and they communicated their solution using Google slides, animation software, and their YouTube videos in group presentations.