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.

Essex County College, NJ
2 Year Community College

Scenario: I use ALEKS in a traditional course with a textbook.
Purpose: Supplement
ALEKS Course: Pre-Algebra

Ines Figueiras, Instructor
ALEKS is an excellent learning tool. I have higher pass rates using ALEKS, versus a traditional course with only lecture and textbook homework problems. The topics I choose in ALEKS are more aggressive than the dictated course, which allows some students to move ahead to the next course. Overall, most students love ALEKS; they tell me that using ALEKS is addictive. Students feel more confident with math as a result of working with ALEKS.


Scenario

What challenges did your students or institution face prior to using ALEKS?
Teaching students how to use computers and scheduling lab time were challenges.

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: 2
Number of students per ALEKS section: 22
Total students enrolled in this ALEKS course: 43

How do you structure your course periods with ALEKS?
The course consists of two lectures followed by one lab per week.

How often are students encouraged or required to use ALEKS?
Days per week: 1


Implementation

Please describe how you implement ALEKS into your course curriculum.
ALEKS is 10 percent of the overall course grade.

Do you cover ALEKS topics in a particular order?
Yes, I covered topics in the following order: Whole Numbers, Integers, Fractions, Decimals, Variable Expression, Equations, Percents, Rates, Ratios and Proportions.

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 periodically throughout the term.

How do you modify your regular instructional approach as a result of ALEKS?
With ALEKS, I am able to move at a faster pace during my lectures.

How do you use information from ALEKS to focus your teaching?
My students have changed how they learn; many are ahead in ALEKS.


Grading

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

How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
ALEKS is 10 percent of the overall grade.

Is ALEKS assigned to your students as all or part of their homework responsibilities?
ALEKS is part of the homework responsibilities. Students also have homework from the textbook

Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
No.

How do you track student progress in ALEKS?
I use the individual pie charts and the detailed progress reports.

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. Most students who passed the course completed at least 40 percent of their pie.

Would you attribute any improved student performance in the course to ALEKS methodology or to some other factor?
Yes.


Learning Outcomes

Please describe the learning outcomes your students have achieved using ALEKS.
In the first section, 74 percent of students passed the course. Out of the students who did not pass, only two were consistently using ALEKS. In the second section, 69 percent of students passed the course. Out of the five students who did not pass, none of them were using ALEKS consistently throughout the semester.

In general, how do the students feel about their progress in ALEKS?
Overall, most students love ALEKS. They tell me that using ALEKS is addictive. Students feel more confident with math as a result of working with ALEKS.


Best Practices

What challenges did you encounter when first implementing ALEKS and how can other instructors avoid these pitfalls?
Students have a tendency to jump into pie slices that they feel more comfortable with. It would be helpful to students to use ALEKS in conjunction with a text book with deadlines that are in-line with the lectures. 

What will you do differently when you implement ALEKS in your future course(s)?
I am using ALEKS this semester and have linked it to the textbook I am using.

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

What best practices would you like to share with other instructors who are implementing ALEKS?
A scheduled lab period is essential to the success of using ALEKS with a developmental course like Pre-Algebra.