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Monday, December 13, 2010

Product Review: ALEKS

What is ALEKS?

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
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.

What was great about ALEKS:

*No textbook.
*Variety of subscription lengths mean that I can choose how long instead of commiting to an entire program and then finding out it doesn't work for us.

ALEKS is so sure that you will find the program benefical that it is offering my readers a few one-month subscription to the program. The website only offers a 48-hour free trial, so click the banner below to get your one-month free subscription:

Visit ALEKS for 1-Month Trial

The cost of the ALEKS program depends on the number of students participating and the length of the subscription. One student for one month is $19.95, a six month subscription is $99.95, and a year subscription costs $179.95. Click here for complete pricing information or here for information on a family discount.

Why this program was so great for us:

I am totally convinced that this was one of the most benefical products we have reviewed thus far. The program is well-designed and educational. Although it has a cartoon mascot that follows your child through the program, it is not cartoon-based or comic book-like. Your child is learning and completing real mathematics. This is true education, not edu-tainment.

The pie chart was all the motivation that James (fourth grade) needed to want to complete skill sections of the program. He enjoyed seeing sections of his pie fill up to completion. The mini-lessons were straight forward and after one or two viewings he was able to complete the skill sets. The real advantage came when he was able to transfer the concepts learned on ALEKS to problems in his math workbook (from his regular math curriculum). ALEKS bridged gaps in his standard math curriculum, allowing him to understand skills that he had struggled with over and over. Finally those concepts made sense to him! What a relief to me and to him!

I liked the fact that I could access the parent/teacher section and assign quizzes and extra skill sets. I could view his work progress and see where his strengths and weaknesses were. An added bonus was when I received detailed progress reports in my email about James' progress. These were easy to interpret and made it simple for me to know exactly where James was in the program. It even stated the amount of time that James had spent using the program. This would be great for a parent/teacher that assigns a section in ALEKS but can't be present to monitor the students work on the program.

The only thing that will prevent me from using the program full-time is the cost. At about $20 a month, the price is a little high for our family at this time. I could see getting it for a few months during our homeschooling breaks (summer, for example), to help bridge the gap between math levels.

Overall I view this as a great supplement to any third-grade or higher math program and have already recommended it to a few friends.

Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS homeschool review group, I received a free month membership to the ALEKS program in exchange for an honest review on this blog. I recieved no other compensation.

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