I'm going to disagree with you there. ALEKS reinforces over and over again, not just a one-time pass like MatLab. Neither can replace an excellent instructor, but for kids who are visual learners, it's great.@MFJohnston wrote:
If you want the students to actually learn the material ALEKS doesn't cut it.
I'm curious how folks outside the teaching world view this... It is a current dilemma I am having right now with a pre-calc student.
The student is a freshman in pre-calculus, so he is working three years above grade level. Up until last week, he was sitting on a 90% A- in class. He bombed the last unit exam of the semester (63%), moving his overall grade to an 85% B. He has not yet seen this score. We have one grade left this semester - the semester final, which is 20% of his grade. A strong "A" would put him back an an "A" in the course. A zero would put him at a "D." The real benefit of the final, however, is that it forces kids to review their entire first semester of learning, helping to put it into their long term memories. Our first unit second semester builds directly on the material from the exam he just tanked.
The issue is this; He told me last week that his family is going on a vacation and he will miss all of finals week. According to school board policy and state law, this is NOT an excused absence, so I have not legal obligation to allow him to make up the exam and can be completely justified in giving him a "zero" and a "D" for the semester. At the same time, his parents planned the vacation and not him. Making it more difficult, I do not have a two hour block of time before I must turn in first semester grades to allow him to take a final.
Note: Were this an excused absence, the school would give him an "incomplete" for the semester and would provide a time for him to take the missed exams. This is not an option as the absence is not excused.