AleksMcGrawHill is using Aleks to handle the interactive quizzes, self-help and web-based aspects of its college algebra and precalculus offerings. If McGrawHill's texts are adopted, Aleks is available to students for $20 in addition to the cost of the text. Aleks alone is $50 for 18 weeks of use on the web. $35 for 11 weeks, $25 for 6 weeks. Aleks is not specifically tied to McGrawHill's texts. But the McGrawHill version of Aleks does have links which pointing to appropriate sections of the McGrawHill texts for further study.
Although I like the interactivity of Aleks, it has so far been restricted to high school level mathematics. Also, its fill-in-the-blank forms only handle numbers not formulas. But this will change. Eventually it will be able to handle formulas a la Wiley's eGrade. Beginning in Spring 2002, Aleks should also have a precalculus offering.
McGrawHill CDIn addition to Aleks, McGrawHill texts will come with a CD (free with text) which contains the pages of the text in pdf files. There will also be some videos or interactive content which I haven't seen. There are self-help quizzes available - multiple choice or numerical fill-in-the-blank. The text for Precalculus is Barnett's, it costs $70. If adopted, McGrawHill also promises courseware that is installable on the lab server; this will be at no extra cost.
For more information on this see Barnett Precalculus
SummaryThe Aleks precalculus interactive software is the most interesting part of this package. We will review it when it is available in the spring of 2002.