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.

Bevill State Community College, AL
2 Year Community College

Scenario: I use ALEKS in a traditional course with a textbook.
Purpose: Core Curriculum
ALEKS Course: Basic Math

Mary Emma Richardson, Instructor
ALEKS is a great remediation tool for the Basic Math and Developmental Algebra courses. Students who spend enough time on ALEKS to understand the concepts for the course are more likely to continue to the next level and be successful. ALEKS gives detailed examples and allows students to work at their own pace on materials relevant to their needs. Most of my students are adult learners and therefore tend to appreciate the self-paced aspect of ALEKS. ALEKS methods fit with the theory of Andragogy and engage adult learners in the structure of the learning experience. Assistance has always been available for me as an instructor just by sending a simple email to ALEKS Customer Support.


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: 4
Number of students per ALEKS section: 15
Total students enrolled in this ALEKS course: 60

How do you structure your course periods with ALEKS?
I structure the course with one lecture followed by one lab.

How often are students encouraged or required to use ALEKS?
Days per week: 5
Hours per term: 20


Implementation

Please describe how you implement ALEKS into your course curriculum.
ALEKS is used in conjunction with a textbook.

Do you cover ALEKS topics in a particular order?
Yes. I cover ALEKS topics according to the sequence of textbook.

Do you integrate a textbook with your course using ALEKS Textbook Integration? Please describe how you set up your chapter completion dates.
Yes. Approximately one chapter is due each month.

How often do you use the ALEKS Instructor Module?
I use the Instructor Module daily throughout the term.

How do you incorporate ALEKS Quizzes into your course?
ALEKS quizzes are incorporated periodically.

How do you incorporate ALEKS homework assignments into your course?
ALEKS homework is assigned daily.

How do you incorporate ALEKS scheduled Assessments into your course?
I incorporate the progress assessments as ALEKS automatically schedules them.

How do you modify your regular instructional approach as a result of ALEKS?
I limit my lecture time, allowing more time to answer questions.

How do you use information from ALEKS to focus your teaching?
Although I focus on the textbook, I use the ALEKS progress history reports to monitor student progress on a daily basis.


Grading

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

How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
The progress and number of hours completed in ALEKS are evaluated to determine each student's grade.

Is ALEKS assigned to your students as all or part of their homework responsibilities?
ALEKS is not required as homework because some students do not have access to a computer at home.

Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
I expect progress in ALEKS but a specific amount is not required.

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

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?
I am still working on statistics, but I have seen better student performance.

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


Learning Outcomes

Please describe the learning outcomes your students have achieved using ALEKS.
Students who spend enough time on ALEKS to understand the concepts for the course are more likely to continue to the next level and be successful.

In general, how do the students feel about their progress in ALEKS?
Most of my students are adult learners and therefore tend to appreciate the self-paced aspect of ALEKS. ALEKS methods fit with the theory of Andragogy and engage adult learners in the structure of the learning experience.


Best Practices

What challenges did you encounter when first implementing ALEKS and how can other instructors avoid these pitfalls?
Some students lacked computer skills and wanted to use calculators when first using ALEKS.

What will you do differently when you implement ALEKS in your future course(s)?
I have developed a handout that guides students through ALEKS and serves as an introduction to proper computer procedures.

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

What best practices would you like to share with other instructors who are implementing ALEKS?
Other instructors should remember that each student is an individual and all students do not learn the same way. I think variety in teaching styles is needed in any class.