Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Aleks Review

(From the ALEKS website)

What is ALEKS?

Assessment and LEarning in Knowledge Spaces is a Web-based, artificially intelligent assessment and learning system. ALEKS uses adaptive questioning to quickly and accurately determine exactly what a student knows and doesn't know in a course. ALEKS then instructs the student on the topics she is most ready to learn. As a student works through a course, ALEKS periodically reassesses the student to ensure that topics learned are also retained. ALEKS courses are very complete in their topic coverage and ALEKS avoids multiple-choice questions. A student who shows a high level of mastery of an ALEKS course will be successful in the actual course she is taking.

ALEKS also provides the advantages of one-on-one instruction, 24/7, from virtually any Web-based computer for a fraction of the cost of a human tutor.

Math is NOT my strong subject, I love history. I thrive when my children and I are learning about History and so do they. Math is a struggle for us. I was really excited to review ALEKS.

I love the idea of someone/thing else teaching my kids math, assessing them and making sure there are no "gaps" in their learning. Gaps, scary word for a homeschool mom. Reality is, there will be gaps, no matter what you do. But thankfully, learning doesn't stop at 18 and they can work their entire lives to fill those beautiful brains with knowledge, and even closing some of those gaps. However, having a program that is so complete that it continually assesses for learning issues, moves them on when ready and keeps records of everything is incredibly appealing.

I set my children to work on this program right away, with very high hopes. They both enjoyed the assessment portion, both were happy with this portion. They then saw their pie chart that showed them where they have mastered and what they have yet to learn. Very satisfying, at least for mommy, to see this breakdown. Now I know what needs to be tackled! Not to mention I love to check things off! Let's get that green pie piece filled in!! I feel so accomplished! They liked it least the idea of it.

As they got working away, they enjoyed the program, but did have a few hiccups which turned into frustrations as we continued. They understood how to receive instruction by clicking on the explain button. However when they were sent back to the problem they had been working, the problem would be a new one after the explanation was given, they both found this frustrating as they wanted the opportunity to finish the work they had begun.

They both needed a fair amount of help from mom throughout the program. They would read the explanations, it was different than the current programs we use, and this caused confusion. And I have to admit, some of the processes they used in the math was different than I had seen. I could understand it, but it was a different and it just added to them not understanding the procedure.

I love the idea of the program, I even really liked the program itself. I think for my family it was just not a great fit.

ALEKS is available for a wide variety of uses. Homeschool, Public Schools and is available for K-12. They offer free trials, which I would highly recommend as this program could be an excellent fit for you and your children!

A subscription to ALEKS is

  • $19.95 per student, per month, or

  • only $99.95 every 6 months, or

  • only $179.95 every 12 months.
They also offer family discounts. Wonderful program, user friendly, just like everything it is not a perfect fit for every family or situation. I really enjoyed getting review ALEKS and overall, I think my kids liked it to.

Disclaimer: I am a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. As such I have received this product free of charge in exchange for my honest opinion and review of this product. I have not received any additional compensation for my review.

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