4.1 Assessments in ALEKS
The ALEKS assessment (knowledge check) uses open-ended problems
questions). The assessment uses adaptive
questioning, so that problem types are selected based on all the previous
answers the student has given. It is impossible to predict which types of
problems will appear, or in what order. Moreover, the problems themselves
are generated algorithmically, with randomly-selected values (as is the
case also in the Learning Mode). Consequently, students cannot "learn the
assessment," teachers are unable to "teach to the assessment," and some
types of cheating are impossible. In the unlikely event that two students
sitting next to one another were given the same problem-type at the same
time, the problem parameters and values would be different, and so would
the correct answer. Certain assessments should be supervised, however,
such as the first, midterm, and final assessments in a course. Without
supervision, students could use a textbook, receive systematic help, or
have someone else take the assessment in their place. (There is no reason
for a student who has begun using ALEKS to cheat on a "progress"
assessment, as this will simply cause the system to suggest problems that
are too difficult, and thus hinder the student's own work.)
will be given an Initial Assessment immediately following completion of
the ALEKS Tutorial (Sec. 3.7).
The student is clearly informed that the assessment (knowledge check) is
beginning. Next, a series of problems is posed to the
student. The student provides the solution to each problem using the
Answer Editor (or clicks I don't know). In Assessment
Mode, the system does not inform the student whether their answer is
correct or incorrect. The assessment continues until the system has
determined the student's precise knowledge of the course materials, at
which time the assessment ends and a report is presented to the student.
The number of questions asked cannot be known in advance, although
consistent effort and attention may contribute to shorter assessments.