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.

Augsburg College, MN
4 Year Baccalaureate-Granting College / Private

Scenario: I use ALEKS in an online course without a textbook.
Purpose: Online Course
ALEKS Course: Introduction to Statistics

Marc Isaacson, Assistant Professor
We use ALEKS in a slightly unconventional manner. Rather than have students take a math prep course for our MBA program, students needing or wanting a quantitative refresher sign up to work independently in ALEKS. Our surveys of ALEKS students show that they do believe the opportunity to refresh their math skills independently has helped them in their MBA course work.


Scenario

What challenges did your students or institution face prior to using ALEKS?
The timing of sessions for math prep students caused challenges. The online courses were attempted but were difficult to manage and maintain effectively.

Was ALEKS used in your course with all students or with targeted students?
Students entering the MBA program are either required or recommended to take ALEKS based on their interview and transcript evaluation.

Number of students who used ALEKS for the course and term:
Number of sections: 1
Number of students per ALEKS section: 15
Total students enrolled in this ALEKS course: 15

How do you structure your course periods with ALEKS?
All work is completed in ALEKS independently by students.

How often are students encouraged or required to use ALEKS?
Hours per week: 3
Hours per term: 32


Implementation

Please describe how you implement ALEKS into your course curriculum.
We use the ALEKS course as a supplemental pre-requisite for the MBA program. The students entering are either required or recommended to complete the course prior to beginning the quantitative courses of the degree.

Do you cover ALEKS topics in a particular order?
No. Students are allowed to complete any topic that ALEKS thinks 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. Although we did have textbooks available as a supplemental review resource, most students never asked for the textbook as they were able to complete ALEKS solely based on the online materials.

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

How do you incorporate ALEKS homework assignments into your course?
Students simply work through ALEKS independently.

How do you incorporate ALEKS scheduled Assessments into your course?
We do not schedule assessments. Students use periodic ALEKS assessments to verify their retention of the materials reviewed.

How do you modify your regular instructional approach as a result of ALEKS?
The entire math review is done online in ALEKS.

How do you use ALEKS in conjunction with any other learning management systems, course management programs, etc.?
ALEKS is used solely by itself. All of the ALEKS content is separate from our usual Moodle system.


Grading

What percent of a student's grade does ALEKS make up?
The math prep course is not graded.

How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
The course is simply pass or fail.

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

Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
Students are allowed flexibility to complete the course at their own pace within designated completion deadlines.

How do you track student progress in ALEKS?
Typically, I reference the individual student pie chart reports throughout the term.


Learning Outcomes

Please describe the learning outcomes your students have achieved using ALEKS.
While I don't have any actual data, I know that we certainly have seen that students completing the ALEKS math prep course have entered the MBA course better prepared than compared with our previous methods.

In general, how do the students feel about their progress in ALEKS?
Our surveys of ALEKS students show that they do believe the opportunity to refresh their math skills independently has helped them in their MBA course work.


Best Practices

What challenges did you encounter when first implementing ALEKS and how can other instructors avoid these pitfalls?
The only challenge was orientating the students to ALEKS. We now have an instructor guide students through the steps of the program over the phone.

Which ALEKS course product(s) have you used in the past?
Introduction to Statistics