TOS Review: ALEKS

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What is ALEKS?

From the website:

ALEKS is a ground-breaking technology developed from research at New York University and the University of California, Irvine, by a team of software engineers, mathematicians, and cognitive scientists with the support of a multi-million-dollar grant from the National Science Foundation. ALEKS is fundamentally different from previous educational software. At the heart of ALEKS is an artificial intelligence engine that assesses each student individually and continuously.

Simply put, student scores are recorded and assessed constantly to keep an accurate record of progress. Progress can be clearly seen in the "MyPie" section of the website by both parents and students.

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How does it work? and How did it work for us?
ALEKS provides personalized assessments for individual students. The student is able to choose--or a parent/teacher may assign--an individual skill to work on. Practice problems are given for the student to work through and quizzes can also be completed. As problem sets are completed accurately more of the student's pie is filled in. As this is a mastery program, ALEKS avoids multiple choice questions.

If a student has trouble with a topic, help is available by clicking on "explain" on the web page. A virtual tutor walks the student through the problem step by step explaining the "hows" and "whys" of it all.

JC14 used this program. He is in 9th grade and working through another curriculum provider's Algebra I program. JC14 did not use this program as often as I had hoped. Once I convinced him to give it a sincere try, he decided he enjoyed it. He especially appreciated the pie chart. Being able to visualize his progress was motivating for him.

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Our Opinion

PhotobucketWe both really liked ALEKS. I like that I can check my students progress at any time. I can see what he has worked on, how he has progressed and how much time he has spent working on it. Like I said before, JC14 was really motivated by the visual assessments in the pie chart.
Other things I like:
  1. No textbook is required.
  2. Available anywhere you have internet access.
  3. ALEKS is a mastery program, so I feel there would be fewer "gaps", if any.
How you can get it--
Subscriptions to ALEKS are available at the website at the following price points:
You may also choose to check out the family discount program if you have more than one student in grades 3-12. I do understand that the price point seems a little steep for most families, but the 12-month subscription is comparable to the purchase price of another popular math curriculum. That is why I am excited to share that ALEKS offers a FREE 2-month subscription. Try before you buy!
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To read the opinions of other TOS Reviewers, head of The Old Schoolhouse blog. Have you tried ALEKS? What did you think?
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*Disclaimer: My family received a free subscription in exchange for an honest review. We have not and will not receive any other compensation. All opinions are our own.*

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