Review of Carnegie Learning's Cognitive Tutor Algebra 1

I've written one more review... This time it is about Carnegie Learning's Cognitive Tutor Algebra 1 curriculum.

Carnegie Learning's Algebra 1 curriculum is a unique algebra curriculum — unlike anything I've seen before. It is sure to appeal to some of you homeschoolers. I liked it quite a bit.

The curriculum consists of two parts: textbook and software.

The software component is called Cognitive Tutor. It provides the student intelligent computerized practice with everything in Algebra 1 curriculum.

The textbook also is somewhat different from your standard textbooks in the fact that often the whole lesson can be based on an exploration or investigation.

Read more here - you will also see screenshots and sample pages, pricing, an even a discount coupon code.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Interesting evaluation...however, I must say that because of cognitive tutor my daughter will be taking Algebra 1 and geometry AGAIN. This curriculum is used in our public school system and it is not showing itself to be successful in mastering skills. Now we are pulling out to homeschool. The talk around the water cooler among teachers is not favorable for this curriculum.
I appreciated your very comprehensive review of the product. As you pointed out, it is evolving and as such will benefit from feedback from users. Unlike 'anonymous', I put little or no store by talk around the water cooler. I prefer objective, well substantiated, assessments of curricula. I doubt that one could attribute any student's failure in any facet of mathematics to only one cause - ie cognitive tutor. As with any interactive package, the quantity and quality of the knowledge of the person interacting is a huge factor. Thank you for your blog. Teachers with whom I work in Melbourne Australia, have found it very useful.
My child is in a similar situation to anonymous' child. She may fail Algebra, even though she understands it, because the school district does not use Carnegie Learning Cognitive Tutor correctly. It is meant to be used as a self paced program. Her school uses both the Texas algebra book and worksheets from the Cognitive tutor program so the students are learning 2 different facets of algebra at the same time. Students spend one class hour every week on the Cognitive Tutor computer program, but many require more time than that.
My child often attempted to figure out problems by herself on the computer program, but only ended up with getting a whole lot more problems assigned to her. After she understood the required input in the computer to work a problem (which is not the same as she would do on paper) she had a lot more tedious work doing same type of problems over again until she could move on.
In her school, if students do not get the required 3 or 4 units done by the end of the 6 weeks they receive and low grade and they must finish these before you can start new units. Therefore if students get behind in the first six weeks, they never do get caught up and some fail due to this. Even Carnegie Learning does not prescribe a hard and fast time line for completing each unit. Also, students are often completing worksheets that do not match with where they are in the computer program.
One final warning, the AI (Artificial Intelligence) in the program does not compensate for any typographical errors, but functions in manner to treat these as errors as lack of learning the concepts. If your student has any sort of perceptual reading disability, (i.e. dyslexia) they will have a hard time with the computer program.
Anonymous said…
My daughter will be entering her second year of college as a FRESHMAN. This is due to the fact that she didn't test into the schools math program and was forced to take remedial math and struggled with it causing her not to have enough credits. She took Carneigie Math during high school. She never had less than a 96% during a grading period. When she took the state standerized test in her eleventh grade year she wasn't proficient. The school did there best in two different one period classes to say she had become profecient( looks good on paper!). My daughter graduated with honors but lacks skills she needs to be successful in math. Our district has since dropped the Carneigie Math. Beware to everyone who thinks this program is the way to go. This could cost you alot of extra money down the road when you're child heads off to college not to mention the embarrassment of feeling like a failure!
Anonymous said…
Horrible program.I have started back to college. I was put into developmental math and have found it difficult to use. Also it seems cheaper for the school but does not lower the price. I will not take another class that uses this program.
Anonymous said…
The US Department of Education has recently found the Carnegie Learning program to be all hype and no substance. The new middle school program has major issues and Carnegie's response has been to attack and defend. They are currently after market share to increase profits at your child's expense. 100% success rate or it's free. Here is a copy of the article from the US DOE. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/09/technology/a-classroom-software-boom-but-mixed-results-despite-the-hype.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all
Jacob Gonzales said…
Some of these students do not sound very good at math. I took algebra 1 as a 7th grader last year and we were learning out of a Holt Rinehart and Winston book and a Carnegie book and I finished the computer course in the beginning of the 3rd quarter easily. It is not that hard if you are willing to put in the effort to succeed.
Jacob Gonzales said…
In my opinion it is not very tedious at all on the Carnegie Learning computer software at all, if you learn the course well you should be able to complete the course with ease.
Anonymous said…
My son is also have trouble progressing through Cognitive Tutor. He is so far behind I have no idea how to help him catch up so that he can pass Geometry.

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