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High School Geometr

Curriculum Evaluation Project Scarlet Sink CI 5060 Second Summer 2013

Aleks began in 1996 as a grant, from the National Science Foundation, awarded for research utilizing technology to deliver a lied mathematics to students! "he name Aleks remains an acronym for Assessment and #$arning in %nowledge S aces! &hen originally released, Aleks rograms were tested on the two'year college market! "he mission for the com any states the desire to be a tool, which assists educators in im roving learning outcomes! Aleks offers on line math courses and skills ac(uisition from %indergarten through college level! )n addition to these courses, Aleks offers SA" and *SA" re aration and courses in a variety of other disci lines including the sciences!

Biographical Information: Date Released Creators 'e( Address "arget Audience Recognition August 2, 1999 Eric Cosin, Jean Claude almagne, !icolas "hi#r$, and R% &% 'ilmot http:))***%ale+s%comhttp:))***%ale+s%com ,igh -chool &eometr$ students .a$ 2//01 Codie A*ard

Content Area)Constituents: Aleks' high school geometry serves high school students who need additional su ort, outside of the classroom, for mastery in geometry skills! #earning is carefully

monitored through eriodic assessments by the rogram+s artificial intelligence to target s ecific skills! , on choosing a strand, students receive ersonal instruction in content

where they need to ac(uire mastery! Schools utilizing the rogram may ad-ust the course to fit the needs and se(uence of the classroom curriculum! All content areas of geometry can be learned through the Aleks rogram!

Aims and &oals: Aleks intends to teach and su lement classroom instruction for students of high

school geometry! After evaluating students, using artificial intelligence assessments, each student begins a rogram tailored to com lete skills in content areas where mastery is needed! As mastery is achieved, the rogram o ens additional content that builds u on the reviously mastered areas! "eachers can monitor rogress through individual and class re orts, identifying key areas of instruction for whole and small grou or individual instruction! &hile avoiding multi le'choice tests, Aleks strives to create meaningful roblems that assist with real world a lications of geometry! ,ltimately, Aleks intends to develo com lete course mastery for each student based u on his or her individual needs!

23er3ie* of Content: Strands for High School Geometry in Aleks 1! Algebra and .eductive /easoning 0! #ines and Angles 1! "riangles 2! *olygons and 3ircles 4! Similarities and "ransformations

6! 5olumes and Surface Areas 6! 3oordinate 7eometry

Activities and Approaches After com leting thorough assessments for determining areas in need of mastery ac(uisition, Aleks resents the student with a ie chart of strand areas! "he student can then choose a strand in which to work! After working with a brief tutorial, the student begins to ractice solving roblems using virtual tools, like rotractors, as needed! Answers to roblems must be in ut correctly with a ro riate labels! &hen students answer correctly, the Aleks A) 8artificial intelligence9 increases the com le:ity of the roblems! )f answers are incorrect, Aleks assesses where the student miscalculated and highlights the student+s errors! "he student can choose to review the content or to attem t another roblem! "oo many incorrect answers result in an automatic review of the skill content!

sample pie chart After a student masters a content area, another content area will o en somewhere on the ie chart! Aleks ensures that students balance learning throughout the curriculum by locking strand access if a student needs mastery in other content areas! "his revents students from focusing on one content area and missing instruction in other im ortant skills! ;ecause of this feature, students receive a balanced and scaffolded a roach to learning geometry skills! .uring this rocess, the rogram teaches im ortant organizational skills 8how to order ste s to solve a roblem9, use of tools 8 rotractors, com ass, rulers9 and calculators to solve roblems! ,sing gra hs and diagrams hel s students learn to lot coordinates or draw accurate geometrical figures! "he rogram offers calculators s aringly in order to increase mental math skills during learning as well! *eriodically, Aleks reassess all skills in geometry! "he artificial intelligence

again carefully determines which benchmarks have been mastered! "he results may alter the student+s ie chart, since some areas may need to be reviewed for mastery!

4hilosophical 4rincipals Aleks derives from years of research regarding %nowledge S ace "heory! "he blend of essentialist and rogressivist technology allows students to move through the curriculum while choosing content strands to master! "he rogram matches the essentialist hiloso hy in that it teaches the rescribed skills necessary for geometric a lications in real life situations! "hrough multi le assessments the rogram can determine the level of mastery for each student in each strand of geometry! ;y utilizing virtual rotractors, rulers and gra hs, the rogram also meets the essential needs of ro erly using these tools for calculations, drafting and roblem solving! *rogressivist tendencies show as the students drive the order in which they will learn the curriculum! Students may choose to work on com leting one strand until it is locked and then move onto the ne:t strand of their choosing! "his allows students to work on skills with which they are most comfortable before adding onto their knowledge base! "he rogram designs the skills and roblems based u on each individual student+s assessed skill levels! "he dynamic assessment and ractice tools tailor instruction to meet each learner+s ob-ectives and ne:t ste s for mastery!

'orth of the Curriculum:

Positive aspects Aleks does a fine -ob hel ing students target their learning goals and moving ste by ste through the rocess of ac(uiring geometry skills! "he rogram has easy to follow ste s and tutorials when students get stuck! ;ecause students must attain mastery and are continually assessed on their rogress, Aleks offers the ersonal attention to learning that classroom teachers often cannot rovide! &hen monitored by a teacher, Aleks can rovide useful data on the class+ erformance and gains in mastery! &hen used as a su lement to classroom instruction,

teachers would be able to identify where their teaching left ga s in mastery for their students or identify areas where remediation might be hel ful in whole or small grou s! Negative aspects As mentioned reviously, because there are no teachers, when a student gets stuck on a articular skill and e:tra tutorials in the rogram do not hel the student has not assistance in attaining mastery for the skill! Another detriment to the rogram as mentioned in a home school review, is that students are not re(uired to show their work! Students only ty e in correct answers! "he rogram also fails to give any artial credit for arts of roblems that are worked correctly! "his would be hel ful to students so they could identify the s ecific ste s where they are making errors in their calculations! Research An action research ro-ect by 5incent #a5ergne, showed that students using Aleks for Algebra ) im roved their /)" scores on the <easures of Academic *rogress assessments by an average of 0!6 oints! "heir eers in the district not using the rogram only im roved an average of 1!= oint! "hese findings roved that Aleks made a

significant ositive im act on student learning in Algebra )! Recommendation >verall the content and skills ac(uisition with the intention of fostering student mastery in geometry are solid rinci als! Since the curriculum can assist in filling ga s in learning for students and assist teachers in identifying ne:t ste s for the classroom, the rogram would be a great fit for any school trying to ensure all students master geometry! /esearch and testimonials generally commend the software on making ositive differences in skills ac(uisitions with few concerns?