Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Algebra: A Complete Course by VideoText Interactive: A TOS Crew Review

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Algebra: A Complete Course by VideoText Interactive

From their website:
"Algebra: A Complete Course by VideoText Interactive - An alternative approach to Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, or Algebra 2! There are 176 video lessons contained in 10 unit directories. The program covers Pre-Algebra, Algebra I and Algebra II, and is a firm foundation for students advancing to VideoText’s Geometry: A Complete Course, covering Geometry and Trigonometry."   Designed for the student ready for Pre-Algebra (my tester was in 8th grade.) 

Cost: ONLINE ALGEBRA Modules A-F: Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, and Algebra 2 - . $299  (Classic Print Version – $529.00)  

The Bentz Test Laboratory has several "math kids" and several "not so math kids".  Being a "not so math mom" - I was relieved that my oldest (a "math kid") allowed me to "abandon him" (yes, that's what HE says!) to self-teach math around fourth grade.

But, now - Tester number 2 - my first "not so math kid",  is ready for Algebra...  I however, am still not ready!  I need an Algebra teacher...FAST!

We were grateful for the opportunity to take a look at a new approach to Algebra - Algebra: A Complete Course .  Instead of the repetition of Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1 and Algebra 2 - all Algebra is taught in logical, sequential order - focusing on the concepts and working toward mastery.

My tester has already trudged his way through Pre-Algebra, and was on the brink of starting Algebra when this God-send showed up.  You can set your own pace for the course - covering it in 1-3 years, depending on your student.

We used the Online Algebra (Modules A-F) - you get unlimited access for 3 years.  Great value if you have multiple children using it (the next couple of "not math kids" are coming soon...)  I downloaded the materials - Student Lessons w/Exercises, Quizzes, Course Notes and Instructor Guide (with the answers...YES, I NEED them!)

My tester logged in to watch a short, interactive video presentation for each lesson's concept.  He then completed a short quiz from the previous lesson's material, and worked the Exercise for the new concept. The Notes are readily available to use after he was logged out.  It was a great way for him to "refresh" the concept taught, as he worked the student exercise, if needed.

As I corrected his work, with the handy Instructor Guide,  I began to notice a new phenomenon occuring at Bentz Test Laboratory... he was getting the answers correct!  First try, without my "help"...  My tester diligently worked on a lesson a day (you could easily slow to 2 days per lesson - which we will be doing soon).  His quizzes were even better than his exercises.  I think I found our new Algebra teacher!

So, now for his comments:

  • "I liked watching the video, but - the videos could use an update.  He's hard to hear, and his analogies don't make sense."
  •  "The lessons were short.  They taught the concepts in a new way that I hadn't seen before.  That can be both good and bad."
  • "I like that it teaches a concept straight through, and does it quicker than other math programs."

Here are a couple of my thoughts:
  • The online program is worth the investment, especially for someone else to teach Algebra! 
  • The materials were easy to use, easy to download. Very mom-friendly! 
  • I do think the entire program - videos and PDF's could use a little "modernizing", they do seem a little "outdated".
  • I liked the 2 versions of the Quiz for each lesson.  You can use them to go back for more review, if needed. 
  • I'd recommend this program - one of the best approaches to Algebra I've seen.
Click to read more reviews from the Schoolhouse Review Crew

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