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math skills

ALEKS -- Online Math Assessment & Tutorial

15641 Red Hill Avenue, Suite 150
Tustin, CA 92780

by Joseph Grayhame

One of the most valuable aspects of using the Internet for homeschooling is web-based programs and products. They can be accessed from any computer that is connected to the Internet -- either by land-line or wireless connection. Therefore, if you and your child are traveling, s/he can access a web-based product in the airport, between planes, in a Wifi cafe or even in some metro parks and other public locations! What could be more efficient than being able to take your coursework with you, having it as close as your laptop or iPhone?

ALEKS is just such a program. It is a web-based assessment and learning system, specializing in various K-12 math courses and chemistry and college level math courses. Through the use of revolutionary new approaches to assessment, ALEKS is designed to be able to quickly determine precisely what an individual student knows and doesn’t know. The questions ALEKS uses in its assessment are not duplicated for each user, and therefore, cannot be anticipated. ALEKS then provides instruction relative to it. As the child works through ALEKS, a reassessment is performed periodically to ascertain that the child is retaining the information that is studied and to what extent.  

ALEKS method covers each topic thoroughly. Once the student completes the assessment, ALEKS develops a clear picture of the student’s knowledge spectrum in the course. The assessment is represented by a four-color pie chart generated by ALEKS and used when the student enters the Learning Mode.

In Learning Mode, the student is offered a choice of topics s/he is ready to learn, based upon the assessment. All course work is self-paced and individualized. When a topic is chosen, ALEKS offers practice problems that teach in such a way that the core principle of the topic is learned. ALEKS offers the student a complete explanation of the subject concept if the student doesn’t understand a particular problem relative to it. Once the student achieves consistency in answering the problems correctly, ALEKS recognizes this as having learned the topic and the student is free to choose another topic to study. ALEKS updates its “map” of the student’s knowledge as well and the student or parent is able to see the renewed summary of what the child knows and what s/he needs to learn.

Because actual learning is what is retained in the long-term memory, ALEKS reassesses each student periodically and adjusts the student’s map accordingly. Because ALEKS requires students to show their mastery of the topic through a questioning technique that cannot be predicted, when the student demonstrates mastery of the ALEKS course, it can be taken as an indication of true mastery of the course.
ALEKS provides courses in Elementary Arithmetic, Middle School Geometry, Pre-Algebra, High School Geometry, Algebra 1 and 2, Pre-Calculus, Trigonometry, Math Reviews for AP Calculus and AP Physics, Chemistry, and a variety of Science courses.

ALEKS is very affordable and flexible, providing a beginning tutorial to each student, instructing exactly how to use the Assessment and Learning Modes, with complete support and 24/7 online access. To learn more about ALEKS and see testimonials and details, please visit JG

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