Wednesday, February 15, 2012

ALEKS Review

We have used enrichment worksheets in the past for math and we have used online drill programs for math facts, but we have never used a math course quite like ALEKS.  The acronym stands for Assessment and LEarning in Knowledge Spaces.  It is an online assessment program to see what the student already knows and what they are ready to learn next. 

ALEKS is designed for grades 3-12 to complete online lessons independently.  Each student has a pie chart of different math topics, of which they can choose to work each day.  The concepts that they have mastered are darkened and the lighter ones still need work.  The goal is to master the concepts and fill in your pie chart. 

While I like the fact that questions were presented in a few different ways, which is helpful to find if a student has really retained the information, I found the program boring and knew my children would as well.  We are used to a dynamic, graphic-filled online math program with interchangable, encouraging avatars.  They grumbled through their initial lesson with ALEKS and the second day felt they were being punished.  I feel like the program needs to be "beefed up" in the graphics program if they are to compete with the products that are on the market today.  For high school students, they may not mind the straightforward, get-down-to-business approach--in fact they probably don't want a cartoon monkey telling them "Good job!".  So in this case, ALEKS is perfect for older students.

There are a few issues in the maneuverability of the program as well.  The cursor doesn't automatically prompt the student in the answer square and you can't use the tab key.  So you have to constantly be mindful of where your cursor is or fool with clicking your mouse in the right block to give the answer.  This wastes time and makes it very frustrating for the student.

On the plus side, parents are able to check the student's progress at any time and the student can see their mastery progress as well on a tab labeled "My Pie".  It can be used with English or Spanish speaking students.  On the downside, it just isn't very fun for younger students in my opinion.

ALEKS is available as a subscription.  The price is $19.95 per student per month; $99.95 every 6 months or $179.05 per year.  They also offer Family Discount Plans.

Check out the free trial by clicking below....

**Disclaimer:  I was provided a trial version of ALEKS to use with my family in exchange for an honest review, which I have provided here.

See what the other folks at The Homeschool Crew Review thought of this product by clicking here


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