Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Aleks Review TOS

I must admit to being sceptical when we were first offered this item for review - after all we don't work to the US grade system here and math is one of Sunflowers favourite subjects while Lilly will do it without too much complaining. However their reaction to this surprised me .

Aleks - Assessment and LEarning in Knowledge Spaces - is a Web-based, intelligent assessment and learning system.

When you first log on you take an assessment of approx 30 questions. Each of the assessment questions is unique as each question is based on your previous answer. After the the assessment you are presented with a pie chart showing which areas you have mastered and which need more work.
Each session begins with a quick review followed by the Pie Chart which allows you to keep track of your progress. The darker shading shows what you have completed and the lighter shading shows more work needed. You then select what you wish to practise/study each day.
If you are tackling a subject you don't know, they provide an explanation of the topic and a series of questions to test your understanding and if you go wrong they show the correct working out.

There is also a Quicktabs screen when you can drill in the basics.

Aleks courses are available for grades 3-12 and subscriptions are available from $19.95 a month ($99.95 for 6 months or $179.95 for 12 months). Discounts are available for more than one user. They do offer a 2 month free trial.

I liked the idea that I could check on my child’s progress at any time as well as having reports emailed to me (it was wonderful seeing Lilly submit 3.5 hours of additional math work in one week). 

While I think Aleks is very good, I did find I often had to interpret their explanations for a new topic and a certain speed is required on the keyboard which Sunflower struggled with initially.
Some of the processes are difficult to use (like drawing points or shading a graph) but overall a pleasant experience. Lilly loved this product and would willing use it every day while Sunflower liked it but was less excited, probably more due to her lack of computer skills.

You can read what the other crew members thought over at  TOS Crew Blog

I was provided with a free trail so I could give an open and honest review of the product.

1 comment:

Amanda said...

We just started using Aleks and my daughter is LOVING it. She asks for it everyday. I haven't had to explain any concepts yet, but she has a naturally strong grasp on math and tends to need only a short intro to completely grasp a concept so this is working well. Thanks for the review.



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