Good teachers deliver a multi-dimensional learning experience, and the experience usually revolves around the content. When I say multi-dimensional, I mean that while the teacher is delivering the content, she is also assessing prior knowledge, building a positive classroom climate, establishing (high) goals for student performance, developing metacognition, dividing complex knowledge into manageable pieces, providing motivation for learning, and helping organize knowledge around key features. And all of these threads are woven into the lecture and discussion that comprises the classroom experience.
Adopting a system like ALEKS moves the content from the professor to the software, and effectively removes the primary vehicle that used to carry essential dimensions of the learning experience. The software is great at delivering content, assessing prior knowledge, and dividing complex knowledge into manageable pieces, but it is not good at classroom climate, goal setting, metacognition, motivation, and organizing knowledge around key features. And our instructors don’t know how to deliver these threads outside of a content-driven lesson.