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.

Harrisburg Area Community College, PA
2 Year Community College

Scenario: I use ALEKS in a self-paced math study skills course.
Purpose: Core Curriculum
ALEKS Course: Basic Math

Lois B. Colpo, Assistant Professor
Students are overwhelmingly positive about ALEKS! They are more confident in their ability to be successful in Math. ALEKS helps students to build their confidence in learning math by teaching them topics that they are ready to learn and letting them work at their own pace. After using ALEKS for one semester, several students who placed in the first of our school's four levels of developmental math via placement tests were able to test into the second or third class.


Scenario

What challenges did your students or institution face prior to using ALEKS?
Even though students tested into a certain level of math, many had significant gaps in their prior math knowledge. This problem hindered students' ability to be successful in their current course.

Was ALEKS used in your course with all students or with targeted students?
ALEKS is used with all students in the course.

Number of students who used ALEKS for the course and term:
Number of sections: 2
Number of students per ALEKS section: 10
Total students enrolled in this ALEKS course: 20

How do you structure your course periods with ALEKS?
The course meets for two 75 minute sessions per week. Each session consists of approximately 50 minutes working on ALEKS and 25 minutes discussing the study skills workbook and other student success topics.

How often are students encouraged or required to use ALEKS?
Hours per week: 4
Hours per term: 56

For the sections that do NOT use ALEKS during this specific term, what do they work on in place of ALEKS?
All sections of the course use ALEKS.


Implementation

Please describe how you implement ALEKS into your course curriculum.
This course uses ALEKS to help students refresh their math knowledge and to help build confidence in being successful in math. We also use other course components such as a workbook, weekly journal entries, class discussions, videos, etcetera. These help students gain the study skills needed to be successful in their future math classes. Students are required to work a minimum of four hours per week in ALEKS which can be completed in the class or at home. We strongly encourage students to do more than the minimum number of hours. Students must also complete six ALEKS worksheets throughout the semester.

Do you cover ALEKS topics in a particular order?
Students are instructed to start on a specific piece of the ALEKS Pie and work clockwise. However, students are allowed to begin topics that ALEKS indicates they are ready to learn.

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 a few times throughout the term.

How do you incorporate ALEKS scheduled Assessments into your course?
Students work on their progress assessments whenever they are presented by ALEKS. As each student completes a progress assessment, they discuss the results with the instructor. The instructor does not schedule assessments for the students.

How do you modify your regular instructional approach as a result of ALEKS?
ALEKS is the only independent study component we have ever used since this course began two years ago, so there was nothing to modify.

How do you use ALEKS in conjunction with any other learning management systems, course management programs, etc.?
Our regular Developmental Math courses use MyMathLab along with an appropriate textbook. ALEKS is what we use in our math study skills course.


Grading

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


Best Practices

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