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.

William Paterson University, NJ
4 Year University / Public

Scenario: I use ALEKS in an online course with a textbook.
Purpose: Core Curriculum, Online Course
ALEKS Course: Basic Math

Leonard Presby, Professor
ALEKS makes learning more enjoyable. Students have an overall improvement in course grade, demonstrate an understanding of the material, and have increased interaction with the professor and fellow students. Students recognize and solve problems using analysis and technology to communicate information. They think more critically, and work in a timely manner.


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: 30
Total students enrolled in this ALEKS course: 30

How do you structure your course periods with ALEKS?
It is a hybrid course; I meet with students 20 percent of the time.

How often are students encouraged or required to use ALEKS?
Days per week: 5
Hours per week: 10
Hours per term: 50


Implementation

Please describe how you implement ALEKS into your course curriculum.
It is the students' choice to use ALEKS since it is an online course.

Do you cover ALEKS topics in a particular order?
I use ALEKS in the order of my textbook.

Do you integrate a textbook with your course using ALEKS Textbook Integration? Please describe how you set up your chapter completion dates.
Yes. I suggest chapters that are due every week.

How often do you use the ALEKS Instructor Module?
I never use the Instructor Module.

How do you incorporate ALEKS scheduled Assessments into your course?
I give ALEKS scheduled assessments two or three times during the semester, and use one as part of their final grade. Students must be present to complete the exam that counts towards their grade.

How do you modify your regular instructional approach as a result of ALEKS?
I use the textbook only part of the time.

How do you use information from ALEKS to focus your teaching?
I review concepts that students performed poorly on.

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


Grading

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

How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
I count the time spent on ALEKS, how often they access it, and use assessments as tests.

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

How do you track student progress in ALEKS?
I review the students' progress daily.

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.

Would you attribute any improved student performance in the course to ALEKS methodology or to some other factor?
Definitely. When students know I am monitoring their performance with ALEKS, they take the course more seriously.


Learning Outcomes

Please describe the learning outcomes your students have achieved using ALEKS.
ALEKS makes learning more enjoyable. Students have an overall improvement in course grade,  demonstrate an understanding of the material, and have increased interaction with the professor and fellow students. Students recognize and solve problems using analysis and technology to communicate information. They think more critically, and work in a timely manner.

In general, how do the students feel about their progress in ALEKS?
Overall, students feel positive about their ALEKS experience.


Best Practices

What challenges did you encounter when first implementing ALEKS and how can other instructors avoid these pitfalls?
Instructors must lay out all the rules, requirements, and expectations from day one.

What will you do differently when you implement ALEKS in your future course(s)?
 I will assign more textbook material to count towards the students' grade.

Which ALEKS course product(s) have you used in the past?
Basic Math, Business Statistics

Additional Insights:
Be prepared on the first day with course codes and explain to the class what they need to know to use ALEKS effectively.