Monday, December 29, 2008


Ok, I am not a big proponent of online education, but this program may be the exception. ALEKS math is not just an online math program. At the heart of ALEKS is an artificial intelligence engine that assesses each student individually and continuously. It avoids multiple choice questions, thereby being more able to assess the student's abilities and challenges. ALEKS offers K-12 grade learning in all the applicable math subjects.

After taking the assessment, each child is given a pie chart showing what areas they need work and how much. Then the student can choose which area of math to work on until they fill up that section of the pie chart completely. They can move freely from topic to topic, thus keeping them from getting bored with one area of math. Also, if they are struggling in one area, they can switch to something they are more comfortable with for awhile.

My children actually like this program, and I sat with them as they worked and was very impressed with the quality of the material. We had a few technical challenges since we are using MACs, but quickly overcame them so that the kids could both work at the same time on different computers. My son loved the fact that it allowed him to use the calculator for long problems, as long as he understood the process and steps taken to figure out the problem. My daughter enjoyed the Geometry sections since she has not done much of this yet in her regular math program.

Here is some more information that I think will be helpful to you from their website:

"To ensure that topics learned are retained in long term memory, ALEKS periodically reassesses the student, using the results to adjust the student's knowledge of the course. Because students are forced to show mastery through mixed question assessments that cannot be predicted, mastery of the ALEKS course means true mastery of the course."

How is ALEKS different from other online learning programs?

  • Uses artificial intelligence to target gaps in student knowledge
  • Provides a cycle of assessment and learning
  • Assesses and instructs with standards-based content
  • Remediates gaps in student preparation
  • Adapts to student needs with individualized instruction
  • Presents only topics the student is ready to learn
  • Provides clear explanations and feedback
  • Monitors learning progress with automated reports
  • Allows students to toggle between English and Spanish
  • Offers unlimited online access from any computer
  • Requires no minimum purchase -- Buy as few or as many subscriptions as needed!
  • Allows you to save unused subscriptions
I encourage you to check out ALEKS for yourself and see if this might be a helpful math program for your children. They have a free trial so you can actually see what it is like.

A subscription to ALEKS is

  • $19.95 per student, per month, or

  • only $99.95 every 6 months, or

  • only $179.95 every 12 months.
They also have a family discount program so that you can get discounts for multiple students.

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