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.

San Diego Mesa College, CA
2 Year Community College

Scenario: I use ALEKS in an online course without a textbook.
Purpose: Remediation, Online Course
ALEKS Course: Trigonometry

Brian Shay, Mathematics Instructor
I am quite pleased with ALEKS. I find the interface very easy to follow. The customer support received from ALEKS staff is impeccable; my students and I receive quick responses to technical problems. I think the artificial intelligence ALEKS uses to diagnose students' skills and learning is truly magnificent. That is the key to the success of this program in our course!


Scenario

Was ALEKS used in your course with all students or with targeted students?
All students who are enrolled in our course are required to use ALEKS, as the entire course is taught through ALEKS.

Number of students who used ALEKS for the course and term:
Number of sections: 1
Number of students per ALEKS section: 20
Total students enrolled in this ALEKS course: 20

How do you structure your course periods with ALEKS?
The entire course is done through ALEKS. There is no lecture component. Students work independently through ALEKS and increase the completion of their pies.

How often are students encouraged or required to use ALEKS?
Days per week: 7
Hours per week: Approximately 7-20
Hours per term: 80


Implementation

Please describe how you implement ALEKS into your course curriculum.
ALEKS is our course curriculum. The standards we choose mirror the traditional course that ALEKS is being used to replace.

Do you cover ALEKS topics in a particular order?
Yes. First students need to pass prerequisite skills (mostly Algebra) , then they have to work on Trigonometry.

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 daily throughout the term.


Grading

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

How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
If students earn a grade of 90 percent in ALEKS, they pass the course. Otherwise they receive a no-credit grade. 

Is ALEKS assigned to your students as all or part of their homework responsibilities?
The entire course is done through ALEKS.

Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
I only require students to reach 90 percent by the end of the four week course. Students work at their own pace.

How do you track student progress in ALEKS?
I mostly use the ALEKS Detailed Progress Reports. I really like seeing the students' assessed progress and where they are with their learning and development. I find that this helps me learn more about the students than the overall class average option.

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. This course is completely done in ALEKS, therefore students need a lot of time in ALEKS to earn a grade of 90 percent.

Would you attribute any improved student performance in the course to ALEKS methodology or to some other factor?
I think the artificial intelligence ALEKS uses to diagnose students' skills and learning is truly magnificent. That is the key to the success of this program in our course!


Learning Outcomes

Please describe the learning outcomes your students have achieved using ALEKS.
Our students use ALEKS to test out of a prerequisite course. We require students to earn 90 percent in ALEKS to be allowed to take the next course. Of all our students who take ALEKS and then move on to the next course, nearly all pass!

In general, how do the students feel about their progress in ALEKS?
Students seem to enjoy the program. I know some students underestimate the time needed to earn a higher percentage in ALEKS, so it is time consuming....but very rewarding.


Best Practices

What challenges did you encounter when first implementing ALEKS and how can other instructors avoid these pitfalls?
I did not encounter any problems. I think our model of implementation made it natural and easy to implement.

What will you do differently when you implement ALEKS in your future course(s)?
I would love to make ALEKS part of a traditional course where all of the homework is done through ALEKS.

Which ALEKS course product(s) have you used in the past?
Pre-Algebra, Beginning Algebra, High School Geometry, Intermediate Algebra, Trigonometry

What best practices would you like to share with other instructors who are implementing ALEKS?
I think transitioning into ALEKS is a good idea. We started with a completely online course in ALEKS so all faculty could see its progress and not feel forced to use it. I think all faculty can now see its power and usefulness.