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.

Harding University, AR
4 Year University / Private

Scenario: I use ALEKS in a traditional course without a textbook.
Purpose: Core Curriculum
ALEKS Course: Beginning Algebra

Alva Gene Dugger, Professor
Fantastic! With ALEKS, our pass rate jumped from 50 percent to 90 percent. I have used ALEKS in all of my classes for the last eight years; ALEKS is a great help to me and my students. Students have a major revelation that with ALEKS they can learn Algebra for the first time in their life. They are successful in math and feel very pleased about that.


Scenario

What challenges did your students or institution face prior to using ALEKS?
We only had a 50 percent success rate in Beginning Algebra.

Was ALEKS used in your course with all students or with targeted students?
All students.

Number of students who used ALEKS for the course and term:
Number of sections: 3
Number of students per ALEKS section: 12
Total students enrolled in this ALEKS course: 36

How do you structure your course periods with ALEKS?
Our course periods are mostly abs followed by short lectures.

How often are students encouraged or required to use ALEKS?
Days per week: In class four days, otherwise on their own.
Hours per week: Approximately 4-6
Hours per term: 80


Implementation

Please describe how you implement ALEKS into your course curriculum.
Students worked on their pie and completed monitored assessments every two weeks.

Do you cover ALEKS topics in a particular order?
Yes, on my class outline I list the slices in the order I want them completed along with the deadline dates for completion every two weeks.

Do you integrate a textbook with your course using ALEKS Textbook Integration? Please describe how you set up your chapter completion dates.
No.

How often do you use the ALEKS Instructor Module?
I use the Instructor Module daily throughout the term.

How do you incorporate ALEKS homework assignments into your course?
ALEKS is assigned as 100 percent of the students' homework responsibilities.

How do you modify your regular instructional approach as a result of ALEKS?
I build my instructional approach around the strengths of ALEKS.

How do you use information from ALEKS to focus your teaching?
ALEKS allows me to find problem areas for each student and help them on an individual basis.


Grading

What percent of a student's grade does ALEKS make up?
95 percent.

How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
I use the percent completion of the students' best monitored assessment to grade the student (70 percent =C, 80 percent =B, 90 percent =A).

Is ALEKS assigned to your students as all or part of their homework responsibilities?
All homework is in ALEKS.

Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
Students must complete one slice every two weeks.

How do you track student progress in ALEKS?
I use the ALEKS Detailed Progress report.

Do you notice that students who spend more time in ALEKS perform better in the course than those students who spend less time in ALEKS?
Yes, there is a very positive correlation.

Would you attribute any improved student performance in the course to ALEKS methodology or to some other factor?
Yes, ALEKS elevates the students' attitude and work ethic.


Learning Outcomes

Please describe the learning outcomes your students have achieved using ALEKS.
Our pass rate jumped from 50 percent to 90 percent by using ALEKS.

In general, how do the students feel about their progress in ALEKS?
Students have a major revelation that with ALEKS they can learn Algebra for the first time in their life. They are successful in math and feel very pleased about that.


Best Practices

What challenges did you encounter when first implementing ALEKS and how can other instructors avoid these pitfalls?
The major problem I see is when people try to conform ALEKS to the way they have always conducted their course. I have found that ALEKS works better if I build my teaching around the strengths of ALEKS.

What will you do differently when you implement ALEKS in your future course(s)?
I will continue to fine-tune the progress I have made in the last eight years of building every class around ALEKS.

Which ALEKS course product(s) have you used in the past?
Basic Math, Beginning Algebra, Intermediate Algebra, College Algebra, Trigonometry, Introduction to Statistics

What best practices would you like to share with other instructors who are implementing ALEKS?
Allow ALEKS to take care of all the administrative work so you can teach and coach students.