Wednesday, May 18, 2016

ALEKS- A better way of learning

As time goes on, educators are constantly finding new ways to reach the minds of the students so that they are able to maximize the learning that takes place in mathematics. Perhaps one of the best experiences I have had is seeing ALEKS in action, on a day to day basis with students at my school. ALEKS stands for Assessment and LEarning in Knowledge Spaces and is a web-based, artificially intelligent assessment and learning system. The program uses adaptive questioning to quickly and accurately determine what a student knows and does not know about a topic. 

ALEKS provides students, in all grade levels, the benefit of seeing the math that they are learning in more of a visual way. They are able to see the math, therefore they understand the math. Also important is the fact that teachers are able to view all of the students' progress and can set the rates for each specific student so that they are able to learn at their own speed. I have seen first hand how the students at my school benefit from using ALEKS, but don't just take my word for it. Here is what some other teachers had to say: 

“ALEKS makes me a better teacher and my students better learners! I have seen students progress more in one year with ALEKS than with any other program I have utilized in my 20 years of teaching.”
Kara Guiff, Teacher, Oak Hill Junior High School, IN

“Before we used ALEKS, some of our students scored toward the bottom on the math portion of the state assessment in our 21-school district. After we implemented ALEKS, the same students had the top scores in the entire district.”
- James Zwerican, Teacher, Haas Elementary School, MI

I would encourage anyone in the teaching profession to take a look at ALEKS because its benefits are astronomical. 

- - Chris Langlois 


  1. I cannot believe that I have never heard of ALEKS! Although I have never used it with students before, I feel as though it would be a learning system that would really engage students.
    Thank you for sharing! Definitely a system I will be interested in using in the near future.

  2. Hi Chris,

    You make some excellent points about this software. Some hiccups I have seen and think are important to mention as well include the following:
    1) It is an American software company. What this means is that it takes a lot of preparation to ensure curriculum matches/ties with the Ontario Curriculum. Very time consuming to initially set up
    2) The software won't let students move on until they have mastered the concept. What this means is that a student can be stuck on a type of question for a length of time and make no progress in the curriculum. This can be frustrating to say the least for both student and teacher.

    I do like the software and agree with what you have mentioned. It is great to track progress, direct students and the way it is set up is ideal as it provides questions from previous concepts to keep them fresh in the minds of students (Something I am thinking about bringing into the classroom in the future). Similar concepts/software include, Khan Academy and many online textbook (including which is becoming one of my favorites!)

    Thanks for the thoughtful post,