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.

University of Alaska Fairbanks, AK
4 Year University / Public

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

Amy Keith, Assistant Professor
I am happy with the program. Students who use ALEKS have a better understanding of the material and are more engaged in class lectures. Approximately 85 percent of my students favor ALEKS homework over the textbook homework.


Scenario

What challenges did your students or institution face prior to using ALEKS?
My institution had high student failure rates.

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: Approximately 18
Total students enrolled in this ALEKS course: 55

How often are students encouraged or required to use ALEKS?
Hours per week: 2-4


Implementation

Do you cover ALEKS topics in a particular order?
I set up ALEKS to integrate with the textbook.

Do you integrate a textbook with your course using ALEKS Textbook Integration? Please describe how you set up your chapter completion dates.
Yes. Intermediate objectives are set up and due according to the in-class exam schedule. 

How often do you use the ALEKS Instructor Module?
I use the Instructor Module a few times throughout the term.

How do you incorporate ALEKS Quizzes into your course?
I use ALEKS quizzes as makeup exams. I allow students to complete ALEKS quizzes as many times as they need, and then I average the in-class exam grade with the ALEKS quiz grade.

How do you incorporate ALEKS homework assignments into your course?
ALEKS homework comprises fifteen percent of the students' final grade.

How do you incorporate ALEKS scheduled Assessments into your course?
The students take ALEKS assessments following in-class exams.

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


Grading

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

How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
ALEKS comprises fifteen percent of the final grade, while the textbook homework and problems of the week each total 10 percent of the grade.  In-class exams (there are three) comprise 15 percent of the grade, and the final exam comprises 20 percent of the grade.

Is ALEKS assigned to your students as all or part of their homework responsibilities?
ALEKS is assigned as 60 percent of the students' homework responsibilities.

Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
I use a simple fraction in grading student completion of intermediate objectives.  For example, if a student completes fifteen out of the possible twenty topics in an intermediate objective, she will receive a grade of 75 percent.

How do you track student progress in ALEKS?
I print the intermediate objectives report for each student so they can see their progress and what they need to work on. I welcome ALEKS questions in my office hours.

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.


Best Practices

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