Monday, January 4, 2021

BTVI Students Soaring in Web-based Math Classes


In the fall 2020 term, 87% of Math students at the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI) passed their courses. According to Chair of the Math department, Ron Clarke, this represents the highest pass rate in Math that BTVI has seen.

Mr. Clarke also indicated that the results were attributable to the use of Assessment and LEarning in Knowledge Spaces (ALEKS) and the hard work of the institution’s faculty.

ALEKS is a web-based, artificially intelligent assessment and learning system. It uses adaptive questioning to quickly and accurately determine what a student knows and does not know in a Math course. In spring 2017, BTVI introduced ALEKS in its Math classes to help students learn and practice at their own pace. Since then, students’ confidence and performance in the subject have significantly improved.

The system allows instructors to create lessons based on their course outlines. On the students’ initial log in, they are given a knowledge test to assess what topics they have mastered and what topics they need to work on. Based on those results, ALEKS creates a personal learning plan that teaches and assesses students’ mastery of content and skills.  The system also regularly tests and retests the same skills to make sure that students retain knowledge.

BTVI President, Dr. Robert W. Robertson, is satisfied with the effects ALEKS has had on BTVI’s Math courses and plans to implement other resources to help students develop other necessary skills.

“We are pleased with these impressive results as they reflect our commitment to continuously improve our performance. Our goal is to fully integrate Math, reading and soft skills into our technical trade-related programs to build the skills required by the nation’s economy,” said Dr. Robertson.

ALEKS is used to assist students in BTVI’s Prep Math, MAT 0100, MAT 1100, College Algebra, Statistics, and Business Math courses, and is available 24/7 for students to learn at their own pace and in their own environments.