Making algebra entertaining seems like a hopeless, if not downright insane, task, but that doesn't stop the Standard Deviants. A youthful cast of performers, who believe no joke, skit, or costume is too corny as long as it helps a student remember something important, throw themselves into "The Adventurous World of College Algebra" by beginning with a spoof of "Raiders of the Lost Ark." Inside a cave, two Indiana Jones wannabes search for, you guessed it, x. Despite the lighthearted approach, this is a serious algebra review course, compiled under the direction of academic advisers. The lessons begin by answering, "What is algebra?" and quickly move into quadratic roots and factors and a section on linear equations. A wacky sense of humor stays a constant, with spoofs of pop culture programs as well as flashy computer graphics appearing to illustrate essential concepts. At the end of each lesson a quiz appears (which the student can take or skip), and the DVD also contains the "Algebra Adventure," a multiple choice test taken by using the DVD player's remote control. A "Quick Review" segment provides a fast overview of the contents. This is an innovative approach to what has often been a daunting and dry subject. --Robert J. McNamara
Required study by high schools and colleges, algebra has been a notorious stumbling block for students. Without a solid foundation in algebra, however, you cannot expect to do well in more advanced math and science courses, such as calculus, physics and chemistry. Suitable for students of all ages, this DVD presents the three basic principles of algebra in a clear, fun and approachable manner: functions, algebraic properties and linear equations.