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.

Georgia Gwinnett College, GA
4 Year University / Public

Scenario: Emporium Model
Purpose: Emporium Model, Remediation

Alvina Atkinson, Assistant Dean and Assoc. Professor
We began using ALEKS in an attempt to use an innovative approach to address the problems with the traditional lecture-based model for the developmental math program. Currently, the program is used in our MATH 0099 Pre-College Algebra and MATH 0099/1111 ACCESS Math courses. There are a total of 1500 students using ALEKS. 

ALEKS exceeds other products, particularly when it comes to student assessment. ALEKS takes care of everything that I would do without me having to manually do it. I also like that the problems appear to grow in difficulty as you progress through a topic. It forces conceptual learning to take place. 


Scenario

What challenges did your students or institution face prior to using ALEKS?



How do you structure your course periods with ALEKS?
We are using an emporium model for our classes.  They are held in a computer lab, and the instructor acts as a facilitator. The class sizes are small (usually no more than a 1 to 15 teacher-student ratio). We also use professional tutors in order to maintain this ratio.



Implementation


Grading

What percent of a student's grade does ALEKS make up?
MATH 0099- 90% of the course grade is technology (ALEKS).

ACCESS MATH 0099- 60% of the course grade is technology (ALEKS).

ACCESS MATH 1111- 30% of the course grade is technology (ALEKS).



Learning Outcomes

In general, how do the students feel about their progress in ALEKS?
The majority of my students speak favorably about ALEKS. My nontraditional students are initially more reluctant in the beginning. But in the end they are really surprised at how much they are able to learn using the system. 



Best Practices

What challenges did you encounter when first implementing ALEKS and how can other instructors avoid these pitfalls?
The institution as a whole was supportive of this effort because we were a new college with a commitment to innovative approaches to learning. Instructors for the course posed the biggest challenge only because they tended toward a lecture-based model. It was difficult to switch from being a lecturer to a being a facilitator. Even now, every faculty member does not teach this course. Some students resist this model as well. But it is usually easy to convince the students to give this new approach to learning a try. Reminding them that the traditional model failed them is usually the most convincing argument.