ALEKS - Assessment and Learning

Implementation Strategies

Our success stories encompass a wide variety of implementation models and best practices, from lecture-based to emporium labs to course redesigns. The flexibility of ALEKS made it simple and effective for these schools to improve their student success rates, and they are willing to share their strategies.

Montana State University -- Havre, MT
4 Year University / Public

Scenario: I use ALEKS in a semi-traditional course.
Purpose: Core Curriculum
ALEKS Course: Intermediate Algebra

Robert L. Johnke, Assistant Professor


Scenario

What challenges did your students or institution face prior to using ALEKS?
We had three courses of Basic Math, Beginning Algebra, and Intermediate algebra. Placement within the three courses was difficult and essentially any student testing into the Basic Math portion was required to complete three semesters of pre-college level non-graduation credit mathematics prior to eligibility for any beginning college level course. If a student had been misplaced into, for example, Basic Math, and completed considerable work early, he/she would have to wait until the next semester to take the next level course up in the sequence.

Was ALEKS used in your course with all students or with targeted students?
We target students who score lower than 22 on their ACT, or an equivalent score from another test.

Number of students who used ALEKS for the course and term:
Number of sections: 5
Number of students per ALEKS section: Approximately 16
Total students enrolled in this ALEKS course: 40-125

How do you structure your course periods with ALEKS?
We do not offer regular lectures aside from introductions and announcements. Students attend two hour labs per week for a total of four ALEKS hours with an instructor present. Some students are requested to put in additional time outside of scheduled lab time, either at home or some other location.

How often are students encouraged or required to use ALEKS?
Days per week: 2
Hours per week: 4
Hours per term: 64


Implementation

Please describe how you implement ALEKS into your course curriculum.
Any student that places below college level by our criteria of less than an ACT score of 22 is placed into an ALEKS section. Four years ago we set the system to have each student start with Basic Arithmetic with eight instructor hours per week. After considerable observation, we made a decision to alter the system to include four lab hours and for our students to begin with Beginning Algebra instead of Arithmetic. We are still compiling data to determine the success of this change.

Do you cover ALEKS topics in a particular order?
No. We let the student select from available topics. In some cases, the class room instructor may counsel a student to move to a new or more advanced topic area as some students want to stay in a comfort zone once content is mastered.

How often do you use the ALEKS Instructor Module?
I never use the Instructor Module.


Best Practices

Which ALEKS course product(s) have you used in the past?
Pre-Algebra, Beginning Algebra, Intermediate Algebra