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math videos onlineYou have probably been in this situation. You try to scribble notes as fast as possible during math class and barely have time to comprehend what’s going on, so when you go home and review the notes, some parts make no sense. You could read the textbook, but it would be easier if someone could clarify what’s happening in that small section of your notes. Even if you have a tutor, you need someone or something to always be able to answer your question on the spot.

I’ve recently had this happen to me many times in a multi-variable calculus class, and while I headed to tutoring and office hours, there were still times that I saw and understood what the tutor or professor did, but when I tried the problem by myself, I wouldn’t know how to continue the problem or get to the right answer. I’ve found the following resources incredibly helpful as they can really show you the snippets of information you need and will always be available on-site for you to go back to.

PatrickJMT (“Just Math Tutorials”)’s YouTube Channel

Patrick, the author behind all these math videos, holds a Masters in math, and more than 900 videos on math topics, ranging from pre-Calculus to Algebra and Calculus. PatrickJMT’s videos contain thorough explanations of even the hardest topics using nothing but plain marker and paper. Then, rather than throwing them at you with mathematical jargon, he tells you (in a soothing voice) what and how you’ll need to solve the problem in layman’s terms.

Simple and straight-to-the-point, he usually goes over a topic’s definition, then illustrates it with plenty of problems, guiding you through each step and also telling you how he simplified it by skipping a step. Some of his videos can up close to 10 minutes long, but that’s a very short time compared to the 50 or 60 minutes you spent in class trying to comprehend your professor.

Here is a video where he explains the basic concept of limits.

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The concept of recording the process of solving a math problem is absolute genius, but the value of these videos really depends on whether the tutor guides you through the steps and whether the tutor can help you regularly. Well, Patrick not only goes through an entire problem for all topics without skipping and making leaps between steps, he also posts videos regularly, which he has been doing since 2008. Even the author’s website has playlists for all topics in Algebra, Trigonometry, Calculus and Statistics. For fun, he also posts interesting puzzles to be solved mathematically.

Here’s his latest one, talking about the Monty Hall problem.

MathTV’s Youtube Channel

Compared to PatrickJMT’s videos where you can only hear the instructor while he does the problem, MathTV’s videos feature a very clear, smiling (makes you enjoy videos more!) and patient professor who goes through math concepts and various problems.

The style of teaching is basically the same: He goes through the concept with easy-to-understand terms and solves problems by applying the concept. Not only does the professor excel at teaching with clear explanations, but what’s cool is that he also provides motivational and study skills videos to encourage students to not give up when they face difficult math problems or feel like they can’t do math.

Here’s one of Mr McKeague, the instructor in the videos, with a study skills tip.

Then, here’s Mr McKeague in another math video online, explaining the concepts of  limits.

Although the channel hasn’t been updated in a year, the website looks active with playlists and links to online textbooks for anyone to purchase and receive the premium content. The YouTube channel itself contains more than 50 free videos with topics in high school and college-level math.

Overall, these two great resources are helpful for anyone in college-level math classes, with topics such as multi-variable Calculus and can be of assistance when you want someone to simply tell you what exactly you’re trying to achieve without the jargon. For additional help resolving problems, you should check out the web-based Mathway Mathway - A Step By Step Mathematics Problems Solver Mathway - A Step By Step Mathematics Problems Solver Read More .

Would you rather go to traditional tutoring or are open to multimedia lessons to aid your learning? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Image Credit: d3 Dan

  1. Xiong Chiamiov
    April 22, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    Until recently, I worked for MathTV, and so I can say that they are most certainly active; there are some cool things in the works right now that I'm probably not at liberty to talk about.

    They're also a small company, so if you have any suggestions about the site, email 'em in and you'll probably get a personal response. Nice people.

  2. Tina
    March 1, 2011 at 6:46 pm

    I love solving logical puzzles, which is why I always enjoyed maths (with some exceptions).

    So what's the solution to the Monty Hall Problem? I'd say since initially your chance was only 33% for picking the right door vs. 66% for picking the wrong door, it's obviously more likely that you picked the wrong door. Now your chance would be 50% for either, but since it's more likely that you chose the wrong door initially, you should switch to the other door.

    Anyways, great article!

    • Jessica Cam W.
      March 2, 2011 at 3:55 am

      Lovely answer to the problem, Tina.

      • Aibek
        March 4, 2011 at 11:47 am

        nice post Jessica!

  3. Tina
    March 1, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    I love solving logical puzzles, which is why I always enjoyed maths (with some exceptions).

    So what's the solution to the Monty Hall Problem? I'd say since initially your chance was only 33% for picking the right door vs. 66% for picking the wrong door, it's obviously more likely that you picked the wrong door. Now your chance would be 50% for either, but since it's more likely that you chose the wrong door initially, you should switch to the other door.

    Anyways, great article!

  4. Archangel Associate
    March 1, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    I think multimedia aides should be an integral part of the tutoring process and used outside of it. Some people learn very well by these methods, and they very well could supplement tutoring or for some they may be enough

  5. Guest
    March 1, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    Did you just recommend two free math video websites and not even give an honorable mention to Khan Academy? Now I've seen everything.

    • Jessica Cam W.
      March 1, 2011 at 2:59 pm

      I did recognize that I should have included Khan Academy after Ronaldinho brought it to my attention. Comments with suggestions to better or similar sites are always welcome.

  6. Annoyed
    March 1, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    Just wanted to have a little rant on behalf of the "english" speaking world!

    The word is "mathematics", so the short form is "maths" NOT "math". Sorry, but that is a huge irritation!!!

    • Jessica Cam W.
      March 1, 2011 at 2:53 pm

      I guess they can both be used? :)

    • Xiong Chiamiov
      April 22, 2011 at 7:50 pm

      Don't talk to Americans? Problem solved.

      Or you can learn to instead make a big deal about the things that are actually important. Just sayin'.

  7. Annoyed
    March 1, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    Just wanted to have a little rant on behalf of the "english" speaking world!

    The word is "mathematics", so the short form is "maths" NOT "math". Sorry, but that is a huge irritation!!!

  8. Ronaldinho
    March 1, 2011 at 2:44 am

    Where's khanacademy?

    • Jessica Cam W.
      March 1, 2011 at 2:54 am

      I should have included Khan Academy here, but it just encompasses more subjects than these dedicated math channels.

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