Math Lab moves online


Ashling Doherty

Dorthy Enomoto checks her answers in the Math Lab. Picture taken in 2013.

Weston Hopkins, Staff Writer

As lecture classes continue to transition online, the Los Medanos College Math Lab will also be transitioning to an online format. This switch will happen March 23 starting at 8 a.m. The Math Lab will function in a similar manner to lecture courses, through Canvas.

Any LMC student currently taking a math course will receive a new Canvas ‘class’ on their dashboard Monday, March 23.

Brentwood Math Department Chair Matthew Stricker sent out an email sent out saying, “there is one Canvas page for students taking math classes in Brentwood and a separate Canvas page for students taking math classes in Pittsburg.”

The Math Department hopes that, through the use of Canvas and Zoom, they can replicate the feeling and assistance provided at the on-campus Math Lab. Through personal Zoom meetings, set-up by professors scheduled to be in the lab, students will have the opportunity to receive one-on-one tutoring.

The Math Department is currently trying to determine the most convenient way to get student tutors involved in the online Math Lab, in order to help with the influx of traffic that will occur. 

“Every instructor and student-tutor will have a private zoom meeting with a waiting room to protect each student’s privacy. Unfortunately, this will have to be first-come-first-served since that is how the Zoom waiting rooms work,” said LMC math professor Julio Guerrero-Gonzalez through email.

Students who have utilized the on-campus lab before will remember that there was a sign-in sheet that would track your hours. The online lab will not require you to log-in nor manually count hours spent in the lab. 

Just as before, there is no limit to the amount of time you can spend in the lab.

“We aim to provide the same great, unlimited access to students that the math lab has always provided,” wrote Stricker.

One issue with the transition to online-only lectures and labs has been for those who don’t have the technology to fully utilize Zoom. Due to the sudden prevention tactics enacted to fight the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the math department is still working on how to help these students out. 

If the online lab proves to be effective, there is a possibility that it could become a permanent addition to the on-campus Math Lab.

“I think this is long overdue. Since my time as Math Lab Coordinator, I frequently received comments about providing online tutoring for our parents and working students. These students tend to need more assistance than a “traditional student” but can never make it to the Math Lab when it is open,” wrote Gonzalez.

The online Math Lab will have the same hours as the on-campus lab. The lab will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday.

If you have any questions regarding the online Math Lab, please contact Matthew Stricker at [email protected].