Content Area

Assessment and Learning in Knowledge Spaces (ALEKS), is an adaptive, online learning program that is proven to significantly raise grades, retention, and pass rates at higher education institutions around the world. By providing effective, individualized learning in an open-response environment, ALEKS quickly resolves course readiness and mastery issues for millions of students.

ALEKS avoids multiple-choice questions and instead uses flexible and easy to use answer input tools that mimic what would be done with paper and pencil.

  • When a student first logs on to ALEKS, a brief tutorial shows him how to use these ALEKS answer input tools.
  • The student then begins the ALEKS Assessment. In a short period of time (about 45 minutes for most courses), ALEKS assesses the student's current course knowledge by asking him a small number of questions (usually 20-30). ALEKS chooses each question on the basis of his answers to all the previous questions. Each student, and therefore each set of assessment questions, is unique. It is impossible to predict the questions that will be asked.
  • By the time the student has completed the assessment, ALEKS has developed a precise picture of her knowledge of the course, knowing which topics she has mastered and which topics she hasn't. The student's knowledge is represented by a multicolor pie chart.

The pie chart is also the student's entry into the Learning Mode. In the Learning Mode, she is offered a choice of topics that she is ready to learn. When she chooses a topic to learn, ALEKS offers her practice problems that teach the topic. These problems have enough variability that a student can only get them consistently correct on understanding the core principle defining the topic. As the student learns new topics, ALEKS updates its map of the student's knowledge. The student can observe the most current summary of what she knows and what she is ready to learn.

To ensure that topics learned are retained in long term memory, ALEKS periodically reassesses the student, using the results to adjust the student's knowledge of the course. Because students are forced to show mastery through mixed-question assessments that cannot be predicted, mastery of the ALEKS course means true mastery of the course.




Analytics & Reporting

ALEKS is the practical realization of Knowledge Space Theory – the result of ground-breaking research in mathematical cognitive science initiated by Professor Jean-Claude Falmagne at New York University (NYU) and the University of California, Irvine (UCI) and Professor Jean-Paul Doignon at the University of Brussels. The core mathematical theory was created between 1983 and 1992 with the financial support of several National Science Foundation (NSF) grants to Falmagne at NYU and UCI. The research behind ALEKS is briefly discussed in non-technical terms in “The Assessment of Knowledge in Theory and in Practice”.



ALEKS Pie Report (Class Level) shows the average learning rates and a detailed view of what students have mastered, have not mastered, and are ready to learn. The pie chart identifies the average progress toward completion of the course.

Progress Bar

Progress Bar Report shows the overall class progress. Instructors can also view the progress on assessments and in Learning Mode at various time intervals.

Time & Topic

The Time and Topic Report allows instructors to view the amount of time spent by each student in ALEKS on a daily basis and provides a detailed log of topics attempted and mastered.


Knowledge Per Slice

Knowledge Per Slice Report provides a class view of the mastery of topics in each ALEKS pie slice. It allows instructors to view a summary of how much a student mastered in each ALEKS pie slice.


View results on assignments, including homework, quizzes, tests, and requested assessments.










ALEKS HE Business Success Stories

Students using ALEKS performed significantly better than those who had not on the exams that tested the underlying financial accounting material. Furthermore … I spent far less office-hour time tutoring students on financial accounting material. ALEKS provides a great way for educators teaching the introduction to accounting course to address the functional competencies of financial accounting in both an efficient and effective manner.”

– Ryan J. Baxter and Jay C. Thibodeau, Bentley University, MA
Issues in Accounting Education: November 2011, Vol. 26, No. 4

ALEKS HE Science Success Stories

“Online homework had a significant and positive impact on final exam performance for all students, and for underrepresented groups in particular. ALEKS had a significantly larger positive impact than Mastering Chemistry.

– Dr. Jack Eichler, Lecturer, University of California Riverside, CA

ALEKS HE Behavioral Science Success Stories

“ALEKS completely removed the achievement gap between different groups of students in my psych-stats course! ALEKS provides a potential solution to a critical national problem.”

– Xiangen Hu, The University of Memphis, TN