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.

Mercer University, GA
4 Year University / Private

Scenario: I use ALEKS in a traditional course with a textbook.
Purpose: Supplement, Homework
ALEKS Course: Intermediate Algebra

Gloria Bass, Adjunct Instructor
ALEKS made a big improvement: 86 percent passed the course and 21 percent earned A's. Students like how evident their progress is in ALEKS. ALEKS' methodology of not allowing a student to continue on to topics for which they are not prepared to learn is a tremendous asset for student performance.


Scenario

Number of students who used ALEKS for the course and term:
Number of sections: 2
Number of students per ALEKS section: 14
Total students enrolled in this ALEKS course: 14

How often are students encouraged or required to use ALEKS?
Days per week: 5
Hours per week: 3

For the sections that do NOT use ALEKS during this specific term, what do they work on in place of ALEKS?
All sections use ALEKS.


Implementation

Please describe how you implement ALEKS into your course curriculum.
Students are expected to complete the entire pie. ALEKS includes all of the topics I cover in lectures and the textbook.

Do you cover ALEKS topics in a particular order?
Yes, I identify for students the ALEKS topics we will cover. In class, I point out where we are in the textbook and where they should be in their ALEKS homework. I encourage them to work ahead, but not randomly; students know exactly which slice of the pie to go to next at all times.

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

How do you modify your regular instructional approach as a result of ALEKS?
I encourage students to come to class with questions based on their work in ALEKS. I now go over ALEKS questions rather than lecturing on previously decided topics.

How do you use information from ALEKS to focus your teaching?
I use ALEKS to communicate with students on how long it is taking them to complete their goals. Students' pie percentage completion is always telling.


Grading

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

How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
Assessments and ALEKS homework each make up 15 percent of the final course grade.

Is ALEKS assigned to your students as all or part of their homework responsibilities?
ALEKS makes up 100 percent of the students' homework responsibilities.

Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
Yes, I measure students' progress through the ALEKS assessments, which I schedule periodically throughout the course.

How do you track student progress in ALEKS?
I use the Individual Learning Progress Since Latest Assessment Report to track performance goals of each student throughout the course. In addition, I reference the time to completion and current learning rates when meeting with students. I also use the individual and class pie charts.

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?
Generally, I could not, which is not always the case. However, the abilities of these students is so varied; they come with such varied backgrounds that some need more review than others.

Would you attribute any improved student performance in the course to ALEKS methodology or to some other factor?
ALEKS methodology of not allowing a student to continue on to topics for which they are not prepared to learn is a tremendous asset for student performance. Some students do not like that aspect of ALEKS, but it is an important aspect and certainly does help them during the course and in later courses.


Learning Outcomes

Please describe the learning outcomes your students have achieved using ALEKS.
ALEKS made a big improvement: 86 percent passed the course and 21 percent earned A's.  Overall, 57 percent of students earned a D by using ALEKS.


Best Practices

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