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.

Universidad Iberoamericana Ciudad de Mexico, Mexico
4 Year University / Private

Scenario: I use ALEKS in an online course without a textbook.
Purpose: Remediation
ALEKS Course: Basic Math

Salvador Carrillo Moreno, Professor
At the beginning of the course, the mean student performance was 31 percent; at the end of the course, the mean student performance was 60 percent. That's a 29 percent overall improvement. Students worked for approximately 34 hours, and some students worked for more than 100 hours! This is impressive since most students did not have a home computer at home and the university did not have many computers for the students to use. I also saw improvement in the students' mathematical skills in subsequent courses. The students felt challenged by ALEKS but were able to advance and understand the program.


Scenario

What challenges did your students or institution face prior to using ALEKS?
The university is small and was not prepared to teach remedial mathematics. Many of our students were also first-time computer users. 

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

Number of students who used ALEKS for the course and term:
Number of sections: 1
Number of students per ALEKS section: 27
Total students enrolled in this ALEKS course: 27

How do you structure your course periods with ALEKS?
This is an online remedial course so students work at their own pace.

How often are students encouraged or required to use ALEKS?
Hours per term: 25


Implementation

Please describe how you implement ALEKS into your course curriculum.
ALEKS is an important tool for teaching remedial math to our entering students. We request that each student show a thirty percent improvement and log twenty five hours.

Do you cover ALEKS topics in a particular order?
No, students choose the order of topics to they will cover.

Do you integrate a textbook with your course using ALEKS Textbook Integration? Please describe how you set up your chapter completion dates.
No, it is an online course.

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

How do you modify your regular instructional approach as a result of ALEKS?
ALEKS is our first successful online course.

How do you use information from ALEKS to focus your teaching?
We use the Detailed Progress Report to follow the advancement of each student.


Grading

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

How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
We request that each student show a thirty percent improvement and log twenty five hours.

Is ALEKS assigned to your students as all or part of their homework responsibilities?
ALEKS is assigned as 100 percent of the students' homework responsibilities.

Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
The student is expected to show a 30 percent improvement by the end of the course.

How do you track student progress in ALEKS?
I use the weekly ALEKS progress reports.

Would you attribute any improved student performance in the course to ALEKS methodology or to some other factor?
I attribute student improvement entirely to the methodology used by ALEKS.


Learning Outcomes

Please describe the learning outcomes your students have achieved using ALEKS.
At the beginning of the course, the mean student performance was 31 percent; at the end of the course, the mean student performance was 60 percent. That's a 29 percent overall improvement. Students worked for approximately 34 hours, and some students worked for more than 100 hours! This is impressive since most students did not have a home computer at home and the university did not have many computers for the students to use. I also saw improvement in the students' mathematical skills in subsequent courses. 

In general, how do the students feel about their progress in ALEKS?
The students felt challenged by ALEKS but were able to advance and understand the program.


Best Practices

What challenges did you encounter when first implementing ALEKS and how can other instructors avoid these pitfalls?
I think that it would have been helpful to have someone that had already used ALEKS assist me with my questions.

What will you do differently when you implement ALEKS in your future course(s)?
I would like to integrate a textbook with ALEKS.

Which ALEKS course product(s) have you used in the past?
Basic Math, Pre-Algebra, Beginning Algebra, Intermediate Algebra, PreCalculus, Introduction to Statistics, Business Statistics

What best practices would you like to share with other instructors who are implementing ALEKS?
Utilize regular progress reports to identify weaker students, so they get the extra attention they need to succeed.