ALEKS - Assessment and Learning

A.2 Quick Start Instructions


  1. System Requirements
    1. PCs must have at least 64 MB of RAM and Windows. Compatible browsers are Internet Explorer 7.0 or higher, Firefox 3 or higher, and Chrome 4 or higher.
    2. PowerMacs or iMacs must have at least 64 MB of RAM and operating system Mac 0S 10.4 or higher. Compatible browsers are Safari 4 or higher and Firefox 3 or higher.
  2. Internet Access Requirements
    1. ALEKS is used over the Internet. It functions well with a connection of at least 56K.
  3. Java Installation
    1. Java must be installed and enabled in order for ALEKS to function. For best performance, there should be a single installation of a recent version of Java.
  4. The ALEKS Plug-in
    1. The ALEKS plug-in is required for the use of ALEKS. It is normally installed as an automatic part of the registration or login process. The ALEKS plug-in can also be downloaded from the ALEKS website by clicking on "DOWNLOADS."
  5. The ALEKS Tutorial
    1. The ALEKS Tutorial shows how to input answers in ALEKS. Taking the time to learn this is important in order to use ALEKS efficiently.
  6. Initial Assessment
    1. Your first ALEKS assessment will determine what topics you already know, the topics that you don't yet know, and, most importantly, those you are ready to learn.
    2. Here is some additional information about the assessment:
      1. It consists of about 20-30 open-response questions (not multiple choice).
      2. It has no time limit. You may take breaks or stop the assessment and return to ALEKS at another time.
      3. You should have a pencil and paper with you in order to work through the problems.
    3. You should not seek or receive any help during assessments. If you receive help, ALEKS will get a wrong idea of what you are most ready to learn, and will present you with material you are not ready to learn. This will hold up your progress in ALEKS.
    4. You should do your best on all questions. Do not click the "I don't know" button when answering a question unless you truly have no idea how to do the problem. When you click the "I don't know" button, ALEKS assumes that you don't know how to do the problem type and possibly some of its prerequisite topics.
    5. You should not use your browser's "Back" and "Forward" buttons while logged on to ALEKS. Doing so will not help you make progress and may cause temporary software errors.
    6. ALEKS will not provide feedback when you are taking the Initial Assessment in ALEKS. No messages will be displayed indicating whether you answered correctly or incorrectly during any of the assessment questions in ALEKS.
    7. External calculators should not be used; the ALEKS Calculator button will become active when calculator use is appropriate.
  7. Assessment Results
    1. Assessment results are presented in the form of a color-coded pie chart.
    2. Slices of the pie chart correspond to parts of the syllabus.
    3. The relative size of the slices reflects the importance of each topic area for the syllabus.
    4. The darker part of each slice indicates the portion of the topics already mastered. The lighter part of each slice indicates the portion of topics still to be learned.
    5. The topics that you are ready to learn will be listed as you place the mouse pointer over each slice.
    6. Not all slices will contain available concepts at any given time. They may have been mastered already, or work may need to be done in other slices before they become available.
    7. You may choose any topic listed and begin learning.
  8. Learning Mode
    1. Clicking on the "MyPie" icon, in the upper left corner of your screen, will display your pie chart and allow you work in the ALEKS Learning Mode. Topics you are ready to learn will appear in the pie slices.
    2. It is possible your ALEKS class will include chapters/Objectives that should be completed by a specific date. The chapter/Objective will include topics in your pie chart indicated by white dotted lines in some or all of your pie slices. ALEKS will display a message under your pie chart indicating how many topics you have remaining in the chapter/Objective and when it is due.
  9. Guidelines for Effective Use
    1. You should have pencil and paper ready for all assessments and for use in the Learning Mode.
    2. The basic calculator included in ALEKS will only become active and available for use when appropriate.
    3. To maximize successful learning, ALEKS should be used regularly, and for at least three hours per week.
    4. You will be given additional assessments each time you have learned about 20 topics or spent about 10 hours in ALEKS (since the previous assessment).