In a recent quasi-experimental research study, the effectiveness of Assessment and Learning in Knowledge Spaces (ALEKS), an Intelligent Tutoring System (ITS), took center stage in the realm of 8th-grade mathematics education. The study aimed to determine whether ALEKS could bring a statistically significant improvement in students’ mathematics achievement compared to traditional teacher-led instructions.
The research involved 158 8th-grade students categorized as ‘underachieving students, with 60 in the teacher-led group and 98 in the ALEKS-led group. The study used a non-randomized approach to compare the outcomes of teacher-led instructions to ALEKS-led instructions over two consecutive years. In the first year McGraw’s curriculum “Reveal” was used exclusively without ALEKS. In the second year ALEKS was incorporated as a supplemental tool in a math support class.
The study incorporated a rigorous methodology, utilizing pretests and posttests to compare the outcomes of teacher-led instructions versus ALEKS-led instructions. Furthermore, the researchers delved into the broader context by comparing five years of End of Grade (EOG) results without ALEKS compared with one year of EOG results with the inclusion of ALEKS.
The findings of the research, analyzed through paired t-tests and analysis of covariance (ANOVA), revealed statistically significant results for both ALEKS-led and teacher-led instructions. However, the study concluded that teacher-led instructions demonstrated greater efficacy, showcasing higher test scores and lower variance compared to ALEKS-led instructions.
As educators and institutions continue to navigate the evolving landscape of educational technology, this research contributes to the ongoing dialogue, encouraging a thoughtful integration of innovative tools to enhance, rather than replace, traditional teaching methodologies in mathematics education.
Khazanchi, R., Di Mitri, D. & Drachsler, H. (2023). Measuring Efficacy of ALEKS as a Supportive Instructional Tool in K-12 Math Classroom with Underachieving Students. Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching, 42(2), 155-176. Waynesville, NC USA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).