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.

Miami Dade College, FL
4 Year Baccalaureate-Granting College / Public

Scenario: I use ALEKS in a traditional course without a textbook.
Purpose: Core Curriculum
ALEKS Course: Beginning Algebra

Alina Coronel, Assistant Professor
We have incorporated ALEKS into a number of our programs, including the Bridges program, our high school intensive math courses, and our developmental math courses. The students enjoy working on ALEKS. They like the fact that ALEKS pinpoints their weakness and continues to assess their retention. I can see that ALEKS has helped my students remediate the basic math topics that they have not been able to master previously.


Scenario

What challenges did your students or institution face prior to using ALEKS?
My students were simply not prepared to begin the course. They were not ready to learn the material I presented in my lectures.

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: 35
Total students enrolled in this ALEKS course: 35

How do you structure your course periods with ALEKS?
I lecture three times per week and assign homework in ALEKS. Once a week I take the students to a lab where they work on their pie. Additional time spent working on their pie is counted as lab hours.

How often are students encouraged or required to use ALEKS?
Days per week: 3
Hours per week: 4
Hours per term: 50


Implementation

Please describe how you implement ALEKS into your course curriculum.
ALEKS is used in conjunction with an integrated textbook. I set up Intermediate Objectives and students complete progress assessments after each in-class test, as well as all homework assignments and weekly lab visits to work on their pie.

Do you cover ALEKS topics in a particular order?
Yes. I cover ALEKS topics according to my departmental syllabus.

Do you integrate a textbook with your course using ALEKS Textbook Integration? Please describe how you set up your chapter completion dates.
Yes. I implement textbook integration in my course, and follow chapters according to my departmental syllabus.

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?
I use the quiz feature infrequently because textbook integration offers a more robust method of review. However, when I do use the quiz feature in ALEKS, it is to administer practice tests.

How do you incorporate ALEKS homework assignments into your course?
I use ALEKS to assign homework for each in-class lecture, however, I supplement this homework with my own problems.

How do you incorporate ALEKS scheduled Assessments into your course?
I schedule a progress assessment after each test so that the students get a new pie that includes any topics they may have not retained.

How do you modify your regular instructional approach as a result of ALEKS?
I have not modified my instructional approach in any way except that we now meet in the lab once per week.

How do you use information from ALEKS to focus your teaching?
I make sure to monitor the Learning Mode reports frequently, and send emails to those students that require more time spent in ALEKS.


Grading

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

How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
ALEKS grades consist of chapter completion (20 percent) and homework completion (30 percent).

Is ALEKS assigned to your students as all or part of their homework responsibilities?
ALEKS is only part of my course homework assignments because I supplement ALEKS with problems I create.

Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
I require student progress according to my lecture topics.

How do you track student progress in ALEKS?
I monitor student progress by reviewing their assessment results, progress in the Learning Mode, and their homework grades.


Learning Outcomes

Please describe the learning outcomes your students have achieved using ALEKS.
Although this is the first semester that I have implemented ALEKS, the fact is, ALEKS has helped my students remediate in the basic math topics they have not previously mastered.

In general, how do the students feel about their progress in ALEKS?
The students are enjoying working on ALEKS. They like the fact that ALEKS pinpoints their weakness and continues to assess them on topics they have mastered.


Best Practices

What challenges did you encounter when first implementing ALEKS and how can other instructors avoid these pitfalls?
I did not experience any challenges in implementing ALEKS.

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

What best practices would you like to share with other instructors who are implementing ALEKS?
I recommend that students complete a comprehensive assessment.