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Math On-Demand

December 13, 2011

Want to learn some math? Now you can access more than 1600 mini Math lessons and examples on YouTube.  PC Faculty, James Sousa, single-handedly created and uploaded all of these videos since 2009. That works out to be more than 800 videos a year and more than 15 videos a week! Did I get my Math right?

How does he do it when the rest of us barely have time to finish our grading? When I expressed my amazement, he humbly responded, “If you want to do something, you will take the time to do it.”

As a Math professor of more than 9 years at Phoenix College, his number one goal is student success. Being faced with what he considers to be poor success rates over the years, he was compelled to change his teaching strategies, “I could not continue doing what I’ve been doing.”

His focus on one particular question, “What can I do to help the students?” resulted in his learning Camtasia, Classroom Presenter, Wolfram Alpha animation, and whatever else it takes to change his teaching strategies and help students be successful.

Contrary to what most might think, his teaching videos are not just for online students, but are highly utilized in his face-to-face classes. He wants his students to have resources outside of class and having these teaching videos “removes obstacles for their success”. He has combined his teaching videos with an open source online textbook and assessment package. His videos includes mini lessons & screen captures. He incorporates this with an open educational resource (OER) textbook, Flexbooks, which can be edited to fit his teaching objectives. He has included for every example, a link to the relevant teaching videos.  As a result, his students can access his course content on-demand, and receive instant feedback from the system.

This semester (Fall 2011), he is implementing an innovative Flip Curriculum, in which students will learn through watching his teaching videos outside of class as homework and use precious class time essentially for meaningful problem solving activities, active learning, and group activities. Again, this approach removes barriers to learning by allowing individuals to learn at their own pace. All of his hard work and dedication are paying off as he watches his students succeed in his Math classes.

Above: This video combines the use of Camtasia, PowerPoint, Classroom Presenter, Tablet, Wolfram Alpha animation.  You can find his videos at: and also on his blog at