Monday, December 13, 2010

Aleks - Assessment & Learning in Knowledge Spaces - TOS Review

ALEKS Corporation
15641 Red Hill Avenue, Suite 150
Tustin, CA 92780
Email: contact us at

Our latest homeschool adventure has been to check out ALEKS, Assessment and LEarning in Knowledge Spaces, a great Web-based, artificially intelligent assessment and learning system. Through adaptive questioning (basically a short online quiz) the program determines what your child knows and doesn't know about different areas in math. ALEKS then instructs on the topics your child is most ready to learn.
While working through a course, ALEKS periodically reassesses the child to make sure that topics learned are retained. This one is designed for individual use, no textbook and not a lot of parent "hands-on" time with this one.  Another feature, ALEKS QuickTables, is a fact mastery tool for multiplication, division, addition, and subtraction for grades 3 and up.

After the initial assessment quiz the students abilities are put into a pie chart.  Assessment of what is known and what still need to be learned is shown on the chart.  The student then picks a section of the pie to work on.  The chart adjusts as the student masters topics.

ALEKS has been used by millions of students in more than 50 academic subjects ranging from Basic Math to Precalculus at thousands of institutions throughout the world.  This program is available for homeschoolers, public and private schools, and individual use.  Coverage includes K-12, higher math including algebra, precalculus and trigonometry, and college prep business math, accounting, and statistics.  With the advantage of one-on-one instruction, 24/7 you can work through problems almost anytime and anywhere if you have a Web-based computer.  English and Spanish are both available.  Another great feature about this program is that it will work for Macintosh or PC.  It also works with a number of different browsers.  Although Internet Explorer should work, we had to do a quick download of Mozilla Firefox to get access.  In addition, your browser must have Java enabled. The last thing you'll need is the ALEKS plug-in installed on your computer, a relatively short download, even on "dial-up".

Example of a screen shot:

To get started you sign up for a Student Account and a Master Account.  The Master Account allows you to monitor and direct your child's learning.  User Guides, additional reference material, reports and announcements are available.  There is also the possibility of ACE credits for completion of materials.

This program is really easy to use and reasonably priced for the coverage available.  This one is great for K-12 and College Prep.  This would definitely be a great way to get a refresher on those upper math topics before teaching and/or helping your kids tackle them. 

We really like the variety of topics and the fact that you don't have to do 50 of the same type of problem.  Once you feel you have mastered a topic you can quit doing "practice" problems and move on to the next section, at your pace.  We also like that you work for however long you choose, whether that is 10 minute segments or a full hour, and still feel like you've accomplished something.  This program helps you find and fill those gaps in your child's abilities.  Thumbs up for a great product!!

  Subscription prices for 1 student are $99.95 for 6 months or $179.95 for 12 months.  Family discounts which increase with the number of your students are available for 6-month and 12-month terms.

Try before you buy, click here to get your free trial.

For other reviews of this product by the TOS Crew click here.

I was provided a free month subscription to Aleks in exchange for an honest review of the program.  An additional 2 months was provided in appreciation of the review.  No further compensation was received.  Observations and opinions are my own.

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