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ALEKS Review

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As a member of the Homeschool Crew, I had the opportunity to review a math program called ALEKS. First I will give you some information about ALEKS and then I will share our experience! What is ALEKS?
  • Assessment and Learning in Knowledge Spaces (ALEKS) 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 (in other words, the questions are based off of previous answers and tailored to each child)
  • ALEKS then instructs the student on the topics she is most ready to learn.
  • ALEKS can provide you with the instruction and support that you need to homeschool your children in mathematics for grades 3-12.
  • ALEKS offers highly-targeted, individualized instruction from virtually any computer with Internet access, making it a comprehensive and mobile education solution for your children.
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
  • New and Improved Master Account - Includes Quizzing, Attendance Tracking, Automated Reports, and More
  • Unlimited Online Access - PC and Mac Compatible
  • QuickTables - Complimentary Math Fact Mastery Program for Multiplication, Division, Addition, and Subtraction
  • ALEKS is used successfully by thousands of homeschoolers as well as by millions of students at schools and educational institutions throughout the world. Additionally, some ALEKS course products are American Council for Education (ACE) credit-recommended, meaning students may be eligible for college credit at participating colleges.
What to expect from ALEKS:
1. Assessment: Students begin in ALEKS by taking an individualized, adaptive assessment to determine what they already know and what they are ready to learn next.
2. MyPie: The ALEKS Pie summarizes a student's current knowledge and offers topics that the student is ready to learn next. The darkened portion of each pie slice represents the topics that the student has mastered and the lighter portion represents what the student has yet to learn.
3. Input Tools: ALEKS provides a free response environment and sophisticated input tools that avoid multiple choice and require students to demonstrate content mastery.
4. Learning Mode: The Learning Mode provides students with practice problems, and offers explanations of topics and procedures as needed. Once a student has demonstrated mastery in the Learning Mode, the item is added to the ALEKS Pie, and new material that the student is now ready to learn becomes available.
5. Feedback: Students receive immediate feedback and, in some cases, suggestions for correcting mistakes.
6. ALEKS QuickTables: QuickTables is a research-based math fact mastery program for multiplication, division, addition, and subtraction.
7. Interactive Games: Provide additional review and built-in rewards.
8. Master Account Homepage: Easily manage all student accounts, monitor student progress, view customized resources, and more.
9. Attendance Report: Track student time spent in ALEKS per day, the topics attempted, and the topics mastered and added to the ALEKS Pie.
10. Student Progress Report: Track student progress made throughout the course. The blue bar represents the percent of course material that the student has mastered during an ALEKS assessment; the green bar represents the percent of new topics the student has mastered in Learning Mode since the last assessment; and the yellow bar represents the percent of topics the student has yet to learn in order to complete the course.
11. Quiz Results: Quizzes are automatically graded and the results are available to both the parent and student immediately. View a detailed quiz results sample.
The cost: A subscription to ALEKS is
  • $19.95 per student, per month, or
  • $99.95 every 6 months, or
  • $179.95 every 12 months.
A family discount program is also available.
You can also request a free one month trial by clicking the graphic below. I highly recommend you give this great trial offer a try!
Visit ALEKS for 1-Month Trial
You can learn more about ALEKS and take a 2 minute video tour called ALEKS in action. A complete list of Course Products is also available.
My thoughts:
I must say that I am totally overwhelmed by what this program can do and do not feel that I have truly tapped into its capabilities!
After signing my 3 oldest boys up as students, I was given a master account to keep track of their progress. I also got to sign myself up to see how it works. Once signed up, each student took an initial assessment and was given a pie graph and a detailed report of "what they know" and "what they are ready to learn" based off of our state's math standards. Then they had the option to choose a section of the pie and practice problems. If they do not understand, they can click on an "Explain" button which then walks them through how to solve the problem. Additional links are available for more detailed instruction or definition. Once they have mastered a concept, it is added to their pie graph.
The one thing that impressed me the most is that this software is very sophisticated and there is never a moment that a child does not know what to do. Little bubbles pop up and give suggestions if they become idle. A Review button highlights when they need to review material from the previous lesson and you can assign quizzes.
I am very impressed with this program. It is a complete curriculum in and of itself! I like how independent my boys were during their time with ALEKS. One of my sons requires a lot of attention when it comes to math and it was nice to sit back and watch him learn! He learned several new things on his own while working with ALEKS. And in a way, ALEKS was like his personal tutor for a time.
The drawback with this kind of program is the price. I'm not sure I would spend the money for a student who is doing well in their current math program. If I were to personally consider this for any student it would be for a student who does not like math and would respond to this kind of environment, needs more detailed, visual instructions, or needs remedial math help or for a student taking a course that a parent does not feel confident to teach. I also think that it would be a great summer math program to assess a student's progress and fill in any missing gaps.
If price were not an issue, I would schedule ALEKS into each of my student's day throughout the year. I think it is a great program and wish I could have had more time with it! To see other crew member's reviews, click here or on the banner below!

4 comments

Heather said...

Great Review! I have been overwhelmed with all this program does. I think your review helps explain it well. I think we like it, too:) TOS Crew Heather

Susana said...

This is a grabber too! I am really leaning towards a different math for next year and thought I was completely decided--now I have a little more looking to do:-). Plenty of time though!

Anonymous said...

I have been using ALEKS with my DD for a couple of weeks and she has learned so many new things. Lesser topics that are part of state standards are sometime difficult to cover in regular curriculum due to lack of time as specific materials. I think ALEKS is a spectacular program and when I think about all the money I've wasted on trying different work books and textbooks and private tutors when necessary Aleks is worth the price to me. Even if I have to eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

HomeschoolingbyFAITH said...

I found it! I should have known I'd find it here! We have been using ALEKS for 3 years and it has been a life saver! My boys (almost 14 and 11) struggled with math and they love this program! I love the master account and the way it has been updated with the quizzes you can create and even print worksheets for extra practice. I've offered other programs and they aren't even interested in trying anything else.

I'm ok with the price, because I cut back in so many other areas and it's way cheaper than a private tutor (@$25/hour). It's definitely worth the sacrifice, especially since it's working and my boys love it!

They love the pie chart and are always trying to guess when an assessment is coming; they actually started reviewing when they first log on to gain more mastery of the concepts, so that if an assessment "pos-up", the chances of their pies going down are reduced, giving them a major boost! I think one of the things that I appreciate the most is that as a result of this mastery based learning, my kids are no longer too bummed out when their pies go down, because they know that it simply means that they haven't MASTERED the concepts and need to continue learning and practicing. Love, love, love ALEKS! Oh! They also don't require a lot of help from mom, but sometimes I can show them shortcuts or tricks that ALEKS may not share with them, which they like, plus this pulls me into the learning process. They also like to utilize the email feature when they need help, which is nice, because they can give me a heads up of what I may need to help them with the next day. I get messages and reply to them when I review their daily progress reports. A-MAZING!