As part of The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew, I was given a 2 month subscription to ALEKS to try.
ALEKS is an online assessment and learning system geared for those in 3rd to 12th grades.
What is ALEKS? From the ALEKS website:
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.
ALEKS also provides the advantages of one-on-one instruction, 24/7, from virtually any Web-based computer for a fraction of the cost of a human tutor.
I’ve been using ALEKS with my 13 year old daughter, 7th grade, and my 11 year old, 5th grade, son.
From the Master Account page, which the parent signs into with their own id and password, you can do things like add students, create quizzes and get progress reports for your students. Since I had two students enrolled, I could manage both easily from this Master Account.
The students each have their own id and password to log in with. They do no have access to the Master Account page.
I started my daughter with the Middle School Math Course 1. The picture below shows Middle School Math Course 2, but the Math Course 1 pie looks similar. When the student starts their work for the day, they come to this My Pie page. They can then hover over the pie to see what is available for them to work on. They can then click on what the choose to do that day.
Below are a couple of sample math questions. As you can see from the screen, on some problems they have a calculator available to them. The program decides which problems the calculator can be used for. The Dictionary is also available for some problems.
My daughter had problems similar to the one below in her Middle School Math 1 Course. The controls were very easy to use. You can’t see it in this picture, but there is a help button at the bottom. The student can see an explanation of how to do the problem and how to use the controls to answer the problem on the screen.
My son really enjoyed working on the Quick Tables. Quick Tables are available for Addition, Subtraction, and Multiplication. As you can see from the picture below, the student can see at a glance how they are doing. The table is color coded, with the key to the left. This is the screen they start with for their daily lesson. There will be one or more yellow squares, and the student clicks the one they want to start with. The Progress bar on the right is a very visual way for the student to see how they are doing. The stars on the right of the Progress Bar are when new games are available. My son loved seeing all the squares on his table turning green.
Here’s a screen shot of my son’s table. You can see the different colors on his table. The yellow squares were the ones available for him to click on.
Once a student reaches a certain percentage of work done on the Quick Tables, the program makes a game available to them. He always watches his progress to see when he can unlock a new game. He loved playing the games as a reward for working. As you can see from the screen below, math problems are still worked in the games. So while they are playing a game as a reward for working, they are still learning.
Both my son and my daughter were able to log in and work independently. That is a plus when you have multiple students. It’s easy to track their progress on the Master Account page.
My son really liked working with ALEKS. He loved see the colors change on his Quick Table.
My daughter liked working with ALEKS, also. She liked having some control over what subject she would work on, as shown in the My Pie picture above. She found the controls easy to use, and the explanations thorough.
I didn’t like that you could only assign one course per student. For example, you can’t assign a student Quick Tables and Middle School Math at the same time. You can easily switch courses at any time, however, the records are not kept when you switch. If I had my student work in Middle School Math for a few weeks, then moved them to Quick Tables Multiplication, their Middle School Math work wouldn’t be kept. When they finished the Quick Tables Multiplication, and I moved them back to MS Math, they would have to start over.
In my opinion, they $19.95 a month subscription price is a little steep. For the lower grades, I do believe there are lower price alternatives available. However, ALEKS covers Middle and High School Math as well. I haven’t seen anything like this for High School math before. So if you have a highschooler struggling with algebra and higher maths, ALEKS might be just what you need to help them. ALEKS will also help high school students prepare for the SATs. There is even a GED Prep Course available. The subscription price may well be worth it for high school students.
ALEKS is available by Subscription for $19.95 a month, $99.95 for 6 months of access, or $179.95 for 12 months. Those prices are for one student. For families with more than one child, discount pricing is available.
Right now, ALEKS is offering a 2 month subscription trial for new members. Try it for two months to see how it works for your family.
See what other The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew members are saying about ALEKS.
*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a 2 month free trail as mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”