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ALEKS Intro 142 Summer 2011

ALEKS Intro 142 Summer 2011 - An Introduction to ALEKS for...

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An Introduction to ALEKS for CHEM 142 (Su11) at the University of Washington Overview of ALEKS In your CHEM 142 course this summer, you will use an innovative approach to facilitating the study of chemistry called ALEKS ( Assessment and LEarning in Knowledge Spaces ). ALEKS addresses many of the deficiencies in traditional online homework systems, which rely on an old- fashioned approach to facilitating student learning: the instructor chooses a list of problems from the textbook that are meant to invite thoughtful study on the part of the student. Under this model, every student receives the same set of problems, regardless of his or her background preparation. Some students may not feel sufficiently challenged by the homework problems, while other students may feel overwhelmed. Furthermore, students who complete the assignments without reflecting on conceptual underpinnings of the problems can be lulled into a false sense of security in their knowledge. Simple mastery of the mechanics of a particular kind of problem does not necessarily imply mastery of the concept, or that the concept will be retained long-term. ALEKS, in contrast, is a powerful teaching tool based on artificial intelligence, rather than a static set of homework problems presented digitally. The first time you log in, ALEKS will ask you a series of math and chemistry questions designed to assess exactly what you do and do not know in CHEM 142 and your proficiency with basic algebra and mathematical skills. Once ALEKS determines what you have remembered, what you have forgotten, and what you haven’t learned yet, it will begin to teach you items that meet both of the following criteria: 1. You don't already know how to do an item, and 2. You are ready to learn the item, based on what you know already. Note that ALEKS will tailor its approach to the unique needs of each student in the class . ALEKS will rarely force you to "learn" material you already know – ensuring that more students are sufficiently challenged, nor will it try to teach you things for which your foundational skills make you unlikely to succeed – ensuring that fewer students will feel overwhelmed by the problems. Further, you will periodically have your mastery of the material assessed by ALEKS – ensuring that you are retaining the concepts you have learned. How does ALEKS work? There are two “modes” in ALEKS: the Assessment Mode and the Learning Mode . In the Assessment Mode , ALEKS will ask you questions designed to determine what you know and what skills you have. This means you will not receive any feedback from ALEKS during an assessment. The first time you log into ALEKS you will be automatically placed in the assessment mode to complete an Initial Assessment of you knowledge of chemistry and math ( see below ).
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In the Learning Mode , you will complete “ Objectives ” designed by your instructor, rather than “homework assignments.” An ALEKS Objective will contain a list of topics relevant to the current
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ALEKS Intro 142 Summer 2011 - An Introduction to ALEKS for...

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