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.

Western Texas College, TX
2 Year Community College

Scenario: I use ALEKS in a traditional course with a textbook.
Purpose: Supplement
ALEKS Course: Beginning Algebra

Leonard Jansa, Math Instructor
Students enjoy using ALEKS and learn more. ALEKS is a different approach and the material is reinforced. Students really like to see their progress in their pies.


Scenario

What challenges did your students or institution face prior to using ALEKS?
Students do not spend the time needed to complete the course.

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: 5
Number of students per ALEKS section: 20
Total students enrolled in this ALEKS course: 100

How do you structure your course periods with ALEKS?
I use a textbook for class time and ALEKS is supplemental. We allow students class time during the semester to work on ALEKS. If students encounter problems, we ask them to print the problem and bring it to class.

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

For the sections that do NOT use ALEKS during this specific term, what do they work on in place of ALEKS?
All sections use ALEKS.


Implementation

Please describe how you implement ALEKS into your course curriculum.
Students complete ALEKS at their own speed and on their own schedule. ALEKS is part of the overall grade.

Do you integrate a textbook with your course using ALEKS Textbook Integration? Please describe how you set up your chapter completion dates.
No. We use a textbook for the in-class course but do not integrate ALEKS directly into the classroom schedule.

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

How do you incorporate ALEKS Quizzes into your course?
I use quizzes to check the weekly progress of our online students.

How do you incorporate ALEKS homework assignments into your course?
ALEKS hours and progress comprise part of the students' grade.

How do you modify your regular instructional approach as a result of ALEKS?
I try to discuss ALEKS topics in the classroom.

How do you use information from ALEKS to focus your teaching?
When students struggle as a class, we offer a special session to address that particular problem.


Grading

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

How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
We request that in-class students work on ALEKS for three hours and that online students work on ALEKS for six hours. Additionally, we require the students to complete certain parts of their pie as part of the grade.

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

Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
Yes, we require three hours per week for in class students and six hours for online students. We also require students to complete certain parts of the pie based on the course materials.

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

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?
It appears that students who spend more time on ALEKS perform better in the course.

Would you attribute any improved student performance in the course to ALEKS methodology or to some other factor?
Students appear to enjoy doing ALEKS since it is on a computer. They enjoy using the computer.


Learning Outcomes

Please describe the learning outcomes your students have achieved using ALEKS.
We have better success with ALEKS. Overall, students seem to accept and enjoy using the program.

In general, how do the students feel about their progress in ALEKS?
Students really like to see their progress in their ALEKS pies.


Best Practices

What challenges did you encounter when first implementing ALEKS and how can other instructors avoid these pitfalls?
Setting up the benchmarks for students to know how far they should progress was initially a challenge, as well as determining how and when to assign assessments.

What will you do differently when you implement ALEKS in your future course(s)?
Monitor ALEKS progress weekly. Contact students to stress the importance of pie completion and regular ALEKS usage.

Which ALEKS course product(s) have you used in the past?
Beginning Algebra

What best practices would you like to share with other instructors who are implementing ALEKS?
Allow students to work on ALEKS during class time.

Additional Insights:
Set up an all ALEKS based course and allow students to move on to the next course level once they complete their pie.