ALEKS Math

Summary

Students take a pre-assessment and are placed in the course based on how well they performed.  The students have a pie that represents the total number of topics they have mastered compared to the total number of topics in the course.  

Students have the freedom to move through their pie and pick from a number of topics that are available to them.  When they select a topic they read through a tutorial to learn the concept.  Then the student is expected to answer a similar question 3 – 4 times before the topic is considered mastered and then added to the pie.

 

Pros:

  • The student can test out of content and push ahead based on the outcome of the initial pretest.  If a the initial pretest indicates a mastery of less than 15% or more than 80%, then we know that the student needs to be moved to the previous or next course.
  • At any time students have multiple choices as to what to work on.  The student can’t say, “I’m stuck” without having tried each of the 5 – 20 topics available to work on.
  • This curriculum is VERY thorough–the typical gaps in a student’s math skills are solved with this curriculum.  If a student earns a credit in pre-algebra via ALEKS, there is absolutely no doubt that the student is prepared for success in algebra.
  • The Mastery Checks continue to verify that a student’s mastery of an idea is solid.  Students don’t slide by with “almost” knowing the content and getting lucky on a couple of sample problems.

Cons:

  • There is no variety in how the material is presented; no secondary options when the student needs a second approach to a topic.  There are no videos.
  • If a student’s knowledge isn’t solid, the Mastery Checks will remove pie-slices and send the student back to redo.  This is not really a CON, but if kids aren’t prepared for it they will be frustrated.

 

Video Intro:

 

Demo:

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Link:  ALEKS

User- Sbrown6679

Pass- cardoor

Redbird Math

Summary

Challenging curriculum designed to encourage students to think critically, be persistent and develop a math growth mindset.  Real world problems and careers are presented throughout the program.  Redbird is also very adaptive.  If a student is struggling on a concept, Redbird will present precursor lessons and additional instruction to help build the student knowledge base.

 

Pros:

  • Common Core Aligned
  • Instruction done all online
  • Adaptive instruction
  • Fun, engaging games
  • Challenging real world problems and projects.
  • Easy to monitor time in program each day.
  • Parents can view each problem attempted easily

Cons:

  • Students work is all online – no workbook
  • Complaints about not being able to easily refer back to lesson/instructions
  • Students must be average to above-average readers.

 

Video Sneak Peak N/A

Learn More:

Redbird Website

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Link:  Redbird

User- SAMPLE12

Pass- SAMPLE12

OdysseyWare

Summary

In many ways, this is a textbook online. There are a few games and videos to add variety, but it is mostly text-based. Students find OW to be straightforward and easy to get used to, and comforting in the routine that the program establishes (each unit follows the same pattern of instruction, quizzes, and projects).

Pros:

  • This is an online, teacher-graded curriculum available to grades 3+
  • Struggles readers can use the read aloud feature to have all lessons read to them.
  • It has been around for a long time, so it has lots of courses, especially high school electives in the area of computers, technology, and career fields.
  • Students and parents can go back to content when they need to review or check something.
  • Students to choose 2 projects in each unit and skip the rest.

Cons:

  • Heavy on the reading, though not difficult text.
  • The projects can feel like lots of little research papers and posters, but students are encouraged to reflect and apply to their own experiences.
  • The due dates are sometimes not accurate, so students are encouraged to use the percent progress to determine how much to do each day. As we discussed, this can be inaccurate.
  • Assignments vary in complexity, so it is not always possible to set a consistent daily goal. In other words, finishing 1 lesson per day could mean a short quiz or a long paper.

Video Sneak Peak N/A

 

Learn More:

 

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Link:  OdysseyWare

User: Example1

Pass: bakerweb

When in, click on “Learn” at top right.  You will see a variety of lessons/subjects.

Florida Virtual

Summary

This program is mostly text-based, but it takes advantage of more interactive technology than Odysseyware, embedding Discovery videos, interactive review games and even some avatar clips and virtual labs. These core subject-area classes are very solid and great preparation for students planning to go on to future education after high school. The content relates to the real world, presenting real-world situations and asking questions that connect back to real events and situations as often as possible.

Course Outlines for FLVS

 

Pros:

  • Rigorous
  • Does have ability to Highlight words to do text to speech
  • Some videos
  • Discussion based assessments
  • Compelling and varied
  • Students and parents can go back to content when they need to review or check something.
  • There are opportunities to work with the teacher and other students in the course, if the teacher has set up these assignments as an option.
  • Although the math is partially multiple choice, it has “real world” problems. The lessons present the material in a way that relates back to how math is used in the real world.
  • Students can see how much each assignment is worth so they can gauge how much time and effort to spend on each assignment. This is a great skill to learn.

Cons:

  • Requires strong reading and writing skills.
  • Assignments vary in complexity, so it is not always possible to set a consistent daily goal. In other words, finishing 1 lesson per day could mean a short quiz or a long paper.

 

Video Sneak Peak N/A

 

Learn More:

Would you like to briefly demo this program?

Link:  FLVS

User- Test@bakercharters.org

Pass- baker2015

 

**Florida Virtual Course Tours

Acellus

Summary

The lessons are in video-form, followed by a set of (usually) multiple-choice questions. In each lesson, students must answer 3-5 questions correctly in order to move to the next lesson. After about 10 lessons, there is a review where student has access to the videos in the lesson to prepare for the unit exam. If the student passes the exam, they progress. If they do not, the program resets them to the beginning of the unit to try again. 

Course Outlines for Acellus

Pros:

  • Predictable and easy to follow.
  • Easy to calculate how much to do each day.
  • Good for students who learn best by listening.
  • Students can work fast if they pay attention to the lessons.
  • Is easy to catch up if students add late (the workload is easy).

Cons:

  • Can be monotonous.
  • If a student is not understanding a concept, they can get set back a lot and end up frustrated.
  • It is a bit of a “Reader’s Digest” version of the curriculum, lightly covering the most important concepts. Students learn at the recognition level vs. higher order thinking. In other words, there is limited analysis, reflection or critical thinking built into Acellus.
  • Students must do assignments in 2 programs to receive full credit for the course: Acellus for lessons and tests; Canvas for written assignments and projects. There is no analysis or writing in Acellus, so students do extra projects in the associated Canvas classrooms that have been created by the teacher in order to flesh out these areas – deeper thinking, and more writing.
  • Students can’t go back and see previous questions or videos except in Review lessons before tests.
  • Parents cannot see what the student worked on. Teachers can see records of time worked, lessons completed, answers and scores for lessons and the whole course. The student (and parent) can only see how many lessons have been completed and what the next lesson is.  Parents cannot go back to see a previous lesson.
  • The videos sometimes start out short and may get longer throughout the course, so students might under-estimate how long it will take to finish their work.

Sneak Peek Demo N/A

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Link: Acellus

Username: 541-524-4255

Password: uzspg2