Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Aleks Math! TOS Review

Our latest product up for review has been ALEKS Math! ALEKS is an online program that helps teach and reinforce your kids math learning.
"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."

The first thing that your student will do after signing up and choosing their grade level is take a quick assessment test, so the program can adapt to their exact skill level. Since ALEKS is for grades 3rd-12th I signed Buster up to try it. He took the placement test and scored near the end of 3rd grade level. After the assessment students and parents can see a visual Pie chart of what they know and what they still need to learn or practice.
Every time they log in to use the program students can hover over which piece of the pie they want to work on and choose from a list of topics. Each topic is introduced very basically with simple explanations like this. Students are taken through a series of questions. If they understand it already they can answer if they do not they can click on explain and see an example done for them. After they answer several correctly they are taken back to the main screen to choose another topic. Extra practice worksheets can also be generated for some topics.


They also have a section called Quicktables where students can practice their math facts. The first thing they do is take the student through a long series of number typing practice to get them typing fast enough, then you can choose an operation to work on. The fact practice starts out with an assessment that begins easy and then slowly ramps up to harder questions until they can determine the students level. When they say quicktables they mean quick. The answers need to be typed very quickly.

Progress on math facts can be tracked on a grid like this! There are also some fun math facts games that can be played!

ALEKS is meant to be used several times a week as, and covers new teaching and periodic review and assessments.
Parents can track all progress and attendance by logging into their parent account.

Buster enjoyed using ALEKS and did not have any complaints about the program. I found the teaching to be pretty basic and was expecting more in that aspect. There is no audio, and very basic black and white diagrams. All explanations need to be read by the student, and it seemed a very small number of questions were asked per topic. Also it was a bit confusing to figure out how to type in the answers sometimes. If you are interested in trying the program for yourself you can sign up for a free 2 month trial of ALEKS here!

Visit ALEKS for a 2-Month Trial
This is a special offer just for my readers! Normally the free trial is only for 48 hrs.
You can purchase a subscription to ALEKS for $19.95 a month, $99.95 for 6 months, or $179.95 for 1 year. These prices are for one student and can be used on as many of your computers as needed. The do offer family discounts for multiple students.

A free 2 month trial of ALEKS math was given to me free of charge in exchange for my honest review. No other compensation was given.

To read what other crew members thought visit the Homeschool Crew blog!

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