Tuesday, February 14, 2012

An Online Math Tutor Names ALEKS

What is ALEKS? ALEKS stands for Assessment and LEarning in Knowledge Spaces. ALEKS is an online program that acts like a math tutor for children in grades 3-12. ALEKS uses artificial intelligence to adapt the questions to discover what a student knows and doesn't know. ALEKS then has a starting point in which to use to perfectly adapt math lessons for each individual student. As a student spends time on the ALEKS site, they will be periodically reassessed to make sure they are retaining what they've previously learned. 

Once your child goes through the initial assessment, you can see something ALEKS calls "My Pie." It is divided up into sections and you can see the concepts your child already knows and the concepts they need to learn. From here you can click on the topics and work through the lessons. 

Once you click on a topic from the "My Pie" section this is how the questions look. A paper and pencil must be used in order to work out the problems. My children would have preferred to be able to write using the mouse on the computer (think Microsoft Word's paint program). However, they quickly got used to always having pencils and papers nearby when they worked on the ALEKS website. 

Our time spent on ALEKS looks like this. First my child logs on and we go through anything they need to review, then they work on some new lessons from their pie, and then they do 10 minutes of Quick Tables (pictured below). Once they complete their 10 minutes of Quick Tables, they earn a few minutes of game time. As they make progress with their Quick Tables, they unlock more and more games. The parent can go in and adjust the amount of Quick Table time. 10 minutes is what is recommended and that is what I stuck with and it worked out well for my children. During their review and "My Pie" lessons I sit right next to them and still act as their instructor as needed. The only time I can walk away from them is when they are doing Quick Tables and of course playing their games. So, if you are wanting a program that does the teaching for you, ALEKS is not it for younger elementary-aged children. When my children didn't understand a new lesson, they could click on an "explain" button. However, we found the long written-out explanations to sometimes be overwhelming to follow and that is why I sat by them during their entire lesson time. I do like the printable worksheets that ALEKS generates based upon the lessons your children have been working on. I live in a state that requires me to compile a portfolio of my children's progress each school year, so the worksheets, and the visual progress charts available to print off are nice features.

In the 4 weeks we've been using ALEKS my children have definitely progressed and learned some new math concepts. I have also clearly seen some gaps in our current math curriculum and have learned a lot as an instructor while using this program. 

Screenshot of the Quick Tables. Your child can work on addition, subtraction, or multiplication. Once their predetermined time is complete, they earn a few minutes of game time. 

The horse race game is one of several games the children can unlock as they make progress during their quick tables time. 

Pricing and Ordering Information:
$99.95/6 months
$179.95/12 months
ALEKS does offer a family discount program. Click here to read more about that. 

ALEKS is an excellent and well organized product and the company is very professional. However, I find the pricing for this product for one child to be incredibly expensive, so imagine my fright when I discovered what it would cost to subscribe all three of my children for only one year ($431.88).  For this price, I feel like someone should physically come into my home and teach my children math so I can have a break for one hour each day! 

To read more TOS Crew member reviews, click over to the blog and find the Mr. Linky we all signed. 

*I received a 2-month free subscription for review purposes only. All opinions are my own.*

1 comment:

online math tutor free said...

Homework and online tutoring both are very essential thing for everyone and especially for beginners because it provide practice and guidance for them.So that they will not face any kind of problem in future with higher section's topics.