Educational Tech Byte of the Week: ALEKS

13 11 2009

This week, I am highlighting ALEKSAssessment and LEarning in Knowledge Spaces is a Web-based, artificially intelligent assessment and learning system designed for use in grades 3-12. Developed from research at New York University and the University of California, Irvine, by a team of software engineers, mathematicians, and cognitive scientists with the support of a multi-million-dollar grant from the National Science Foundation, ALEKS is different from most educational software on the market. ALEKS uses artificial intelligence to diagnose, prescribe, instruct, and assess student learning.

When a student is working within ALEKS, they will first work through an assessment that will show teachers what that student has learned and is ready to learn next. Referred to as a “pie”, ALEKS visually shows students, parents, and teachers progress within the course. ALEKS also offers a feature called Quick Tables, which tests a student’s automaticity of computation skills.  Teachers can customize the courseware to meet individual and group student needs.

ALEKS1

An example of what a student sees after taking the initial assessment.

ALEKS shows what's learned and what's yet to be learned.

See what a student has learned and what a student is ready to learn next with ease.

Picture 3

Hover over a slice of "pie" to see what students are going to learn next. Studens may select any topic within that pie slice that they are ready to learn next.

ALEKS can be used in a variety of applications. From instructional support for students with special needs, to accelerated learning to challenge our gifted students, ALEKS can meet these needs without compromising quality instruction.  I am amazed by what ALEKS has offered in a mathematics program. Since it is web-based, it can be used anywhere in the world as long as you have an internet connection. Student feedback to date has been positive. They enjoy seeing their “pie”, learning new concepts on the computer, taking ownership of their learning, and practicing Quick Tables.

I hope that students and staff are as excited to use ALEKS as I am!  Give me some feedback as to how it’s going in your program, building, or district in using ALEKS!

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