Thursday, August 20, 2009

Review: ALEKS

What is ALEKS?

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. ALEKS can provide you with the instruction and support that you need to homeschool your children in mathematics for grades 3-12. ALEKS offers highly-targeted, individualized instruction from virtually any computer with Internet access, making it a comprehensive and mobile education solution for your children.

ALEKS is a Research-Based Online Program:

  • Complete Curriculum Solution for Math with Access to Full Course Library
  • No Textbook Required
  • Artificial Intelligence Targets Gaps in Student Knowledge
  • Assessment and Individualized Learning for Grades 3-12
  • New and Improved Master Account - Includes Quizzing, Attendance Tracking, Automated Reports, and More
  • Unlimited Online Access - PC and Mac Compatible
  • QuickTables- Complimentary Math Fact Mastery Program for Multiplication, Division, Addition, and Subtraction
Click HERE to view a 2-minute introductory video about ALEKS.


I had never heard of ALEKS before being asked to review it for The TOS Homeschool Crew*. The concept of it intrigued me, however, and we eagerly started out on our month long trial.

I set up an account for each of my older boys. I then had them take the assessment to see where they were mathematically. ALEKS is an interactive intelligence based system. It is able to evaluate what skills the student has & then have them work on those skills they need to learn.

Each student has a "My Pie" page that looks similar to this:

The lightly shaded areas are those areas that they student needs to work on & have yet to master. The darker areas of the pie are those areas that they have mastered. It was really interesting for me to see how far each of my boys came in only a month of using this program - and not even on a daily basis!

While working on the problems, the screen would look similar to this:

The problem is given & the student types in the answer. If they do not know the answer, they can click on "explain" & another page will appear that shows the solution to the problem. N had an issue on regrouping - which is something we had just started at the end of our last school year. While working with ALEKS, this skill has definitely developed well & he know understands it.

ALEKS also gives you the ability to print out paper worksheets with 16-questions on them as added practice. The worksheet questions are generated based on what the student is learning so each worksheet is geared toward each particular child. This would be a great way to continue using ALEKS off-line or with multiple children at the same time.

ALEKS also has fun games that the students can play as well:

Sometimes it's helpful to reinforce learning with some fun.

One of N's favorite things to do with ALEKS were the QuickTables.

QuickTables is basically a math fact drill area. The students work on mastering their math facts in all areas - addition, subtraction, multiplication & division. The different colors correspond to whether the math facts are known or not. All those in yellow & blue are ones the student are learning.

There is also a section just for the parents:

Here is where the parents can check on the student's progress and set up how they want their account to run. For instance, I have weekly reports e-mailed to me for both boys every Wednesday. This gives me a nice overview of what they have learned. For instance, N's report came yesterday & tells me the following....

  • He has worked for 58 minutes on ALEKS.
  • He has mastered 8 topics in that time frame & it lists them out for me.
  • He knows 16 out of 138 topics.
  • He has mastered about 12% of his course content.

I have not had N take any quizzes, but if he had, I could view his quiz results as well.

I have checked on the boys progress reports though & they look similar to this:

The blue area shows content mastery, the green area is content currently being learned, and the yellow is content still to be learned.

I really liked using this program. My boys love playing on the computer but I really limit it unless it is educationally based. I didn't have any issue with using ALEKS to supplement are usual math program. However, I feel that ALEKS could be the math program. They have an area of their website geared directly towards homeschoolers.

ALEKS is a subscription based program. The cost is $19.95 a month per student (with a family discount available). There are some savings to buying ahead as well (six months for $99.95 or twelve months for $179.95). There is no set length to the subscription time & you may cancel at any time.

ALEKS is generously offering a free one-month trial to any of my readers who are new users. Just click on the photo below to go directly to the sign-up page.

Visit ALEKS for 1-Month Trial

For those with high school aged students, ALEKS is working with the American Councel of Education (ACE) which allows students to earn college credits. Please click HERE to learn more about how this program works with ALEKS.

The only issue we had with ALEKS was that it would not work in Google Chrome which is my browser of choice. We found it worked perfectly in Internet Explorer. I do not have FireFox so I can't verify how it would run on that browser.

Overall we really enjoyed using ALEKS & I felt it a very high quality program.

*Disclaimer: I was not paid for this review. All opinions shared are my own. TOS Crew Members are given the product free of charge in order to review it.


  1. This looks really interesting! Thanks for sharing...I'm going to check it out.


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