Course Title: Use a range of techniques to solve mathematical problems

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2013

Course Code: MATH5309

Course Title: Use a range of techniques to solve mathematical problems

School: 155T Vocational Health and Sciences

Campus: City Campus

Program: C3209 - Certificate III in Science

Course Contact: Judith McCann

Course Contact Phone: 99258366

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Nominal Hours: 110

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites

There are no pre-requisites or co-requisites for this course.

Course Description

The purpose of this unit is to provide learners with the knowledge and skills to use a range of specialist techniques and concepts to solve mathematical problems

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VPAU073 Use a range of techniques to solve mathematical problems


1. Use ratio, proportion and percent to solve problems

Performance Criteria:

Determine a ratio from information in a practical problem and express it in simplest form
Divide a quantity into a given ratio
Convert between fractions, decimals and percent forms
Calculate a percentage increase or decrease of a quantity


2. Use trigonometry to determine lengths and angles

Performance Criteria:

Use Pythagoras’ Theorem to determine an unknown side of a right angled triangle
Use Pythagoras’ Theorem and trigonometric ratios to find unknown side lengths and angles in right-angled triangles


3. Use basic indices to solve problems

Performance Criteria:

Evaluate simple index form expressions
Simplify simple exponential expressions using the first two index laws
Convert between decimal numbers and numbers expressed in Standard Notation
Perform calculations with numbers expressed in Standard Notation, using a calculator


4. Use measurements to solve mensuration problems in two and three dimensions

Performance Criteria:

Determine lengths and perimeters of rectangles, triangles, circles and simple combined shapes using appropriate and correct units
Determine areas of rectangles, triangles, circles and simple
Determine volumes of prisms and pyramids with rectangular, triangular and circular cross-sections and with simple combined shapes as cross sections using appropriate and correct units


5. Substitute into and transpose simple equations and formulae

Performance Criteria:

Substitute given values into simple equations and formulae
Write equations to solve simple problems
Transpose simple formulae
Solve simple linear equations


6. Solve problems by plotting points

Performance Criteria:

Plot given points and points determined from the general formula y = mx on the Cartesian plane
Determine the gradient of a straight line
Determine the equation of a straight line, where the equation has the general form y = mx, y = a and x = b
Use interpolation and extrapolation to make predictions from the line of best fit, noting limitations


7. Present and evaluate statistical information

Performance Criteria:

Collect, organise and graphically represent statistical data
Interpret, analyse and describe statistical information


8. Identify connections between formulae and graphical representations

Performance Criteria:

Use graphical techniques to draw linear and simple non-linear graphs
Develop equations for given linear graphs, including lines of best fit


9. Use algebraic techniques to analyse and solve problems

Performance Criteria:

Develop formulae to describe relationships between variables and substitute into formulae to find particular values
Use a range of techniques to solve a range of algebraic problems and perform algebraic manipulations

Learning Outcomes

At the completion of this course, the student must be able to:
• apply a wide range of strategies and techniques to solve mathematical problems including:
− using ratio, proportion and percent
− using trigonometry to determine lengths and angles
− using basic indices
− using measurements to solve mensuration problems in two and three dimensions
− substituting into and transposing simple equations and formulae
− solving problems by plotting points
− presenting and evaluating statistical information
− identifying connections between formulae and graphical representations
− using algebraic techniques to analyse and solve problems
• demonstrate estimating skills to check calculations and reasonableness of outcomes
• use mathematical symbolism, charts, diagrams and graphs as appropriate to convey mathematical thinking and processing.
• use calculators, computers for word processing or spreadsheets as appropriate

Details of Learning Activities

Students are expected to participate actively in all learning activities that include

discussion of mathematical concepts relevant to each topic
discussion of the mathematical routines and procedures for solving problems related to each topic
working independently or in groups in solving problems on exercise and work sheets
working in groups to solve more challenging problems requiring interpretation and evaluation of results

Teaching Schedule

Week beginningTopic/Assessment                                                                    Exercises                                                                                                             

Induction and Numeracy Assessment
Number Skills (Order of operations, Directed number)

Order of operations Exercise
Directed number Exercise
18/2Calculations involving fractionsFractions Exercise 1.
Fractions Exercise 2.
25/2Decimal places and significant figures
Calculations involving decimals
Decimal places and significant figures Exercise
Decimals Exercise

 Ratio and proportion
TEST 1. / Introduction to percentages

Ratio and proportion Exercise 1.
Ratio and proportion Exercise 2.
11/3 Calculations involving percentages
Introduction to algebra
Percentages Exercise
Basic Albegra Exercise 1.

Simplifying algebraic expressions
Working with indices

Basic Albegra Exercise 2.
Basic Albegra Exercise 3.
Indices Exercises

25/3 TEST 2. / Scientific notation
Mid-semester break
Scientific notation Exercise

 Mid-semester break

Solving linear equations
Linear Equations Exercise 1.
Linear Equations Exercise 1.
Linear  Equations Exercise 3.
15/4Working with formulae
Metric conversion/calculating perimeter
Formulae Exercise 1.
Formulae Exercise 2.
Formulae Exercise 3.
Metric Conversion Exercise
Perimeter Exercise 1.
Perimeter Exercise 2.
22/4Calculating area
Public Holiday
Area Exercise 1.
Area Exercise 2.
29/4 TEST 3./ Calculating volume
Calculations involving the Theorem of Pythagoras

Volume Exercise
Theorem of Pythagoras Exercise 1.
Theorem of Pythagoras Exercise 1.

6/5 Introduction to trigonometric ratios
Calculations involving trigonometric ratios
Trigonometric Ratios Exercise 1
Trigonometric Ratios Exercise 2
13/5Calculations involving trigonometric ratios
TEST 4. / Analysis of univariate data
Trigonometric Ratios Exercise 3.
Statistics Exercise 1.
20/5Further analysis of univariate data
Introduction to linear relations

Statistics Exercise 2.
Linear Relations Exercise 1.
Linear Relations Exercise 2.

27/5 Working with linear relationsLinear Relations Exercise 3.
3/6 Analysis of bivariate dataStatistics Exercise 3.
10/6 Revision

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Any Year 10 or Year 11 Mathematics textbook.
MATHEMATICS for Biology/Pathology Technicians by Carly Marshall and Sue van Megen

0 7035 8505 0

Other Resources

Students are required to purchase a scientific calculator for use in class and when completing assessment tasks.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment in this course will include:

Worksheets (ungraded)
Exercises (ungraded)
Quizzes (ungraded)

Tests (graded)
Assignment (graded)
MId-semester Test (graded)
Final Examination (graded)

Assessment Tasks

4 Class Tests (best 3 results of 4 tests) 20%

Statistics Assignment 15%

Mid-semester Test 25%

Final Examination 40%

Assessment Matrix

Other Information

1. Classroom lessons 18 x 4 hours = 72 hours

Tutorials 18 x 0.5 hour = 9 hours

Work outside class on Exercises, Worksheets etc = 9 hours

Assignment work = 10 hours

Revision and preparation for assessment tasks = 10 hours

TOTAL 110 hours

2. Students who are absent on the day of an assessment task, whose performance in an assessment task has been severely affected by some unforeseen circumstance or who are unable to submit an assignment by the due date, should refer to the assessment prcedures described on the C3209 Certificate III in Science webpage of myRMIT Studies(Blackboard) Program Information/General information for new students.


Course Overview: Access Course Overview