Arizona State University Expands the Use of McGraw-Hill's ALEKS Artificial Intelligence Software in its Global Freshman Academy

Published May 30, 2017

New Precalculus Course Is The Second Math Course Offered After College Algebra & Problem Solving Launched a Year Ago

New York, N.Y. (May 30, 2017) – A new Precalculus course added this month to Arizona State University’s online Global Freshman Academy leverages McGraw-Hill's ALEKS adaptive software. The Precalculus course is the second math course in the Global Freshman Academy (GFA) that uses ALEKS’s artificial intelligence to create a personalized learning experience for students.

In April 2016, ASU’s GFA introduced a College Algebra & Problem Solving course that uses ALEKS and that has attracted 51,000 students across 196 countries in its first year. The College Algebra course continues to enroll about 500 new students each week. ALEKS’s artificial intelligence has assessed more than 1,450,000 math skills for the 30,000 most active students in the GFA course. It has helped these students learn and master more than 382,000 new skills, and more than 613 students have mastered all of the College Algebra curriculum.

“We’re honored to have teamed up with Arizona State University to create these math courses for the groundbreaking Global Freshman Academy,” said Stephen Laster, Chief Digital Officer of McGraw-Hill. “College math is often the most formidable barrier to success for students entering college. By using ALEKS in the Global Freshman Academy, we’re helping open new doors of access to higher education and giving students a powerful learning experience that increases their chances of passing math and succeeding in college.”

ALEKS (Assessment and LEarning in Knowledge Spaces) provides an individualized experience for K-20 students based on their unique strengths and weaknesses. Through powerful artificial intelligence, ALEKS provides personalized instruction, delivering the exact instruction students need, right when they need it. The ability to assist students at all levels using real-time feedback and inherent motivators results in significant improvements in retention, success and confidence.

“Working with ALEKS in GFA’s College Algebra course has been an extremely positive and successful experience for our students, and we look forward to implementing the same technology in the new pre-calculus course,” said Adrian Sannier, Chief Academic Technology Officer for EdPlus at Arizona State University. “The ALEKS technology allows us to meet students where they are academically through the use of adaptive learning. This gives us a better understanding of the student’s skill level and which areas they need more help in order to be successful.”

Like other courses in the GFA, the Precalculus course is free for anyone to take. Upon completion with a grade of C or better, students can pay $600 for course credit from ASU. The Global Freshman Academy is a partnership between ASU, the largest public research university in the U.S., and massive open online course (MOOC) provider edX. All courses in the Global Freshman Academy are taught online – open to anyone, anywhere – and allow students to earn university credit simply and with little risk.

ALEKS is the product of thirty years of research by software engineers, mathematicians, and cognitive scientists in the application of Knowledge Space Theory. With support from the National Science Foundation, the research efforts by New York University and University of California, Irvine have been transformed into a groundbreaking artificial intelligence engine designed to improve student performance in math. In 2016, there were 3.3 million paid activations of ALEKS across K-12 and higher education.

About McGraw-Hill

McGraw-Hill is a learning science company that delivers personalized learning experiences that help students, parents, educators and professionals drive results. McGraw-Hill has offices across North America, India, China, Europe, the Middle East and South America, and makes its learning solutions available in more than 60 languages. Visit us at or find us on Facebook or Twitter.

About Arizona State University

Arizona State University has developed a new model for the American Research University, creating an institution that is committed to excellence, access, and impact. ASU measures itself by those it includes, not by those it excludes. As the prototype for a New American University, ASU pursues research that contributes to the public good and assumes major responsibility for the economic, social and cultural vitality of the communities that surround it. For two straight years, ASU has been named the nation’s No. 1 “most innovative” university by U.S. News & World Report. For more information, visit


Tyler Reed
(646) 766-2951

Carrie Lingenfelter
EdPlus at Arizona State University
(480) 884-1541