Wednesday, February 8, 2012

ALEKS (a TOS review)





What is ALEKS?



Glad you asked!



ALEKS is an acronym representing "Assessment and LEarning in Knowledge Spaces."  You can read about the research behind the ALEKS formula more in depth here



According to their website, ALEKS offers a research driven web accessible math system with the following:


  • 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 - Monitor and Direct Learning Progress
  • Unlimited Online Access - PC & Mac Compatible



Because I’m a highly visual learner, I always assume everyone would enjoy a video tour like I do! 



ALEKS offers math focused courses from elementary (starting in 3rd grade) through higher levels math.



ALEKS offers homeschool specific programs.  Check out the details here



  So if you’re anything like me, you’re thinking this looks great.  But the question you can’t shake is – how much does it cost?  With such an impressive website and research backed lessons, it looks like it could possibly cost an arm and a leg, right?  I’m happy to share that’s not true!



A subscription to ALEKS is just $19.95 a month per student.  And of course, the more months you subscribe the less you spend!  ALEKS also offers family discount plans.  Check them out here.



You can also give it a whirl for free!




Each subscription gets you two accounts.  A Master – or teacher account.  And a student account. 



One of the reasons I was drawn to ALEKS is the student assessment.  Math is not my strongest subject, and I often crave making sure he’s catching it all.  I use the testing as more of an assessment of me rather than him!



After your child completes the assessment they’ll have a pie chart which breaks down the grade level areas they need to master.  ALEKS is a mastery based program.   



This is an image of my 5th grader’s pie.




Each color is a different mathematical skill set.



We’re not using ALEKS as our sole math curriculum, although I could see it working for that purpose.  Because we’re already plugged into a curriculum, we’re using it as a supplement.  I’m having Toby complete one lesson from each color in his pie chart each day.  I, personally, think it’s important to expose our children to alternate ways of learning.  This helps to see if they have generalized the information they’re learning.  Meaning…they really understand it and can work it even when presented in different formats.  ALEKS has been great for that!  It took a bit for us to catch on to how it worked but now that we “get” it…we’re really enjoying it!



Toby says, “I really like the way it’s testing me”



   I could see our family subscribing to ALEKS for the summer months.






**This is my little space to disclaim, as part of the TOS Crew, I was given a subscription to ALEKS in exchange for my honest and timely review.  All thoughts expressed are my own.  I received no other compensation.**

No comments:

Post a Comment