Wednesday, December 8, 2010

TOS Review: ALEKS Math

What is ALEKS?

Visit ALEKS for 1-Month Trial
Assessment and LEarning in Knowledge Spaces is a Web-based, artificially intelligent assessment and learning system that uses adaptive questioning to quickly and accurately determine exactly what a student knows and doesn't know in a course. ALEKS offers truly individualized instruction that meets the student at her learning level and instructs her on the exact topics that she is most ready to learn. As a result, no two students will experience the same learning path while working in ALEKS. Learn more by watching a quick 2-minute video.

ALEKS can provide you with the instruction and support that you need to homeschool your children in mathematics for grades 3-12. With a comprehensive course library ranging from elementary school math to complex subjects such as PreCalculus, ALEKS acts much like a human tutor to help take the stress off of homeschooling parents.

ALEKS offers highly-targeted, individualized instruction from virtually any computer with Internet access, making it a comprehensive and mobile education solution for your children. A subscription to ALEKS offers access to all courses and your child may take as many courses as needed during their subscription period.

ALEKS is a Research-Based Online Program:

* Complete Curriculum Solution for Math with Access to Full Course Library
* No Textbook Required
* Artificial Intelligence Targets Gaps in Student Knowledge
* Assessment and Individualized Learning for Grades 3-12
* Master Account Includes Quizzing and Automated Reports to Monitor Learning Progress
* Unlimited Online Access - PC and Mac Compatible
* QuickTables - Complimentary Math Fact Mastery Program for Multiplication, Division, Addition, and Subtraction
o Learn More

ALEKS has been used successfully by homeschoolers, as well as by millions of students at schools and educational institutions throughout the world. Additionally, some ALEKS course products are American Council on Education (ACE) credit-recommended, meaning that your student may be eligible for college credit at participating colleges.

After picking a subject for each of the boys, the first thing each of them did was go through the ALEKS assessment.      The assessment was about 25-29 questions over the scope and sequence of the topic which they chose.    For Big Guy that topic was Algebra I and for Little Guy that topic was 6th grade math.    

Following their assessment, ALEKS generated a pie chart which showed them their strengths and weaknesses.    By far, I think that was the best part of the ALEKS program.     I liked seeing what areas ALEKS said that they had mastered, which ones they were learning and which ones they had yet to discover.      After the assessment, I assigned them to start working on their weakness areas.      We immediately ran into our first challenge as we discovered that ALEKS is not a teaching program.     It is great for review, but there is no real explanation of new materials.      It didn't take but two days of frustration for all three of us to realize that ALEKS is not good for day to day lessons.    

We all three decided that it would work great as a test or review before test, but was more of an aggravation on a day to day basis.    I hated it because I thought that the progress charts and over all reports were amazing.    

For our family, this wasn't a good match although I could see how it could be used as a good summer bridge program.

Disclaimer:  As part of the TOS Homeschool Review Crew, I did receive this book for free from Aleks.  The fact that I received complimentary products does not guarantee a favorable review.  It does guarantee a review. A fair review. But I am not going to praise something unless I think it deserves the praise.  If I don't like it, you'll hear that.  And hopefully with enough detail as to why so you can decide for yourself if what I hate about it makes it perfect for your family.  

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