Transitioning to
Online Introductory Math

Concluding Thoughts

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented disruption, uncertainty, and tragedy to students, instructors, administrators. Despite these challenges, this crisis can be transformational for the institutions all three groups share.[1] Institutions can demonstrate the adaptability required of the moment by finding ways to both improve quality and increase efficiency in all of their academic offerings through remote instruction. Introductory math courses, a cornerstone of so many academic paths, is an obvious place to focus these efforts due to the number of students involved and the potential to reap the benefits of increased persistence.

This guide suggests three approaches to making introductory math more available to more students by building efficiency and quality into the nature of the change. Collaboration and coordination within and between institutions can lighten the load for all involved. Involving third parties into the process leverages their scale experience as well. As with any curricular change, specific dimensions of quality must be ensured as well so that greater institutional efficiency is not gained at the expense of the students being served.


  1. Kenneth Matos, “Five Stages of a Transformational Crisis,” August 5, 2020,