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.

Florida Community College of Jacksonville, FL
2 Year Community College

Scenario: I use ALEKS as part of a lab-based approach to teaching Beginning Algebra.
Purpose: Emporium Model
ALEKS Course: Beginning Algebra

Jerry E. Shawver II, Professor
Very wonderful experience. This is my first attempt at lab-based education and what a success it is. Each student gets to start where they belong and go at their own pace - this is very motivating for my students. Several students were skeptical on the first day, but after taking the ALEKS Assessment and seeing their progress through their pies, it is amazing how their attitudes have changed. The intrinsic motivation generated by ALEKS really is something to see. Try ALEKS - the hardest part of this concept is stepping away from the board and letting ALEKS do most of the work.


Scenario

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: 1
Number of students per ALEKS section: 22
Total students enrolled in this ALEKS course: 22

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.
ALEKS is the curriculum. I worked with another professor and we spent the summer customizing ALEKS to meet our college's needs. We had a book as a supplement that I helped write, but basically the whole course was taught using ALEKS.

Do you cover ALEKS topics in a particular order?
ALEKS determines the order.

Do you integrate a textbook with your course using ALEKS Textbook Integration? Please describe how you set up your chapter completion dates.
No. Our text is simply a supplement for the course. It is not integrated within ALEKS.

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

How do you incorporate ALEKS Quizzes into your course?
ALEKS quizzes are a portion of the students' grade.

How do you modify your regular instructional approach as a result of ALEKS?
This was a totally new approach.

How do you use ALEKS in conjunction with any other learning management systems, course management programs, etc.?
We use ALEKS in conjunction with Blackboard.


Grading

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

How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
ALEKS makes up 45 percent of the course grade; quizzes account 15 percent and the mid-term accounts for 30 percent. Otherwise, the discussion board in Blackboard makes up 15 percent, and the final exam makes up 40 percent.

Is ALEKS assigned to your students as all or part of their homework responsibilities?
Homework is considered lab work.

Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
One chapter a week is recommended.

How do you track student progress in ALEKS?
I use the Detailed Progress History Report and the students' quiz results. 

Would you attribute any improved student performance in the course to ALEKS methodology or to some other factor?
The artificial intelligence that correctly places a student on the first day through the initial assessment is good for both the student and professor. Each student gets to start where they belong and go at their own pace. This is very motivating for my students. The reassessment feature is great for retention; we can't afford for our students to forget anything because we give a state exit exam.


Learning Outcomes

Please describe the learning outcomes your students have achieved using ALEKS.
77 percent of students passed the course. Only one student withdrew from the course.

In general, how do the students feel about their progress in ALEKS?
Several students were skeptical on the first day, but after taking the ALEKS Assessment and seeing their progress through their pies, it is amazing how their attitudes have changed. The intrinsic motivation generated by ALEKS really is something to see.


Best Practices

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