2. The Instructor and ALEKS
ALEKS is often used in regular classroom settings.
The instructor in an ALEKS class need not be collecting,
correcting, or distributing papers, organizing groups, managing materials,
giving instructions, or supervising activities. The instructor in an
ALEKS class may be just as busy teaching mathematics to individual learners: getting one student
started on a new topic, checking another student's work, responding
to questions, suggesting alternate methods and explanations, making or
reinforcing connections among concepts, and congratulating those who add an
item to their pie. ALEKS provides comprehensive support to the
student in every phase of its use; the instructor will find that
the additional direct support given this way is especially
productive. The relation of teacher and student is based
on knowledge and discovery, not management and sanction. No one is
"behind" in ALEKS; setbacks are readily addressed and overcome;
every student can expect to make progress and be recognized.
It is important, especially in the early stages of an ALEKS
class, to be generous in recognizing student
progress. Students need to understand that when they add an item to
their pie, or show progress in a new assessment, it is an achievement. At
the same time, formal rewards for the effective use of ALEKS need
to be built into the class structure and made clear from the outset
Students will be assessed at the beginning of their use of ALEKS
(following Registration and the Tutorial), and at regular intervals
after that. The instructor does not need to supervise all ALEKS
assessments; normally, students will be using ALEKS both in and out
of the classroom, and taking assessments at various times and locations.
Once the students realize that the purpose of the ALEKS assessment
is to provide appropriate material in the Learning Mode, there will be
little reason to get help, use the textbook or calculator inappropriately,
or in any other way achieve inaccurate assessment results.
We recommend supervising the Initial Assessment. The students
may need assistance in their first use of the system, they will need
to be reassured that the assessment is not for a grade, and it is
important to get valid results on this Initial Assessment, so that that
the students' work in the Learning Mode will be productive from the start.
For the instructor's own information, other supervised assessments may
also be held at regular intervals to provide accurate "snapshots"
of overall progress by the class (Sec. 11).
We suggest that such supervised assessments be scheduled at the midpoint
and end of the class. Also, any assessment results which may be used as
a component in the students' grades should, of course, be obtained
from supervised assessments.
NOTE. In cases where students do not seem to be making adequate progress
in ALEKS, the student may have received help, or inappropriately
used a calculator on an unsupervised assessment, skewing the assessment
results and leading to inappropriate material in the Learning Mode.
This can be corrected by requesting a new assessment for the student.