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.

Irvine Valley College, CA
2 Year Community College

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

Jo Ann Noyes, Instructor
I am very impressed with the way students enjoy math instruction using ALEKS. Most students report that it's almost fun and agree that ALEKS is an excellent learning program that allows them to actually progress beyond the course expectations. I like the fact that students can progress at their own pace. 


Scenario

What challenges did your students or institution face prior to using ALEKS?
The range of student knowledge is a challenge.

Was ALEKS used in your course with all students or with targeted students?
Students are able to choose if they want to use ALEKS.

Number of students who used ALEKS for the course and term:
Number of sections: 1
Number of students per ALEKS section: 58
Total students enrolled in this ALEKS course: 41

How do you structure your course periods with ALEKS?
Students work on ALEKS outside of class. 

How often are students encouraged or required to use ALEKS?
Hours per week: 6

For the sections that do NOT use ALEKS during this specific term, what do they work on in place of ALEKS?
All students took the in-class tests and completed homework from the textbook.


Implementation

Please describe how you implement ALEKS into your course curriculum.
Students must complete 75 percent of their pie in order to pass the course. They also complete a weekly worksheet and must complete a homework assignment on every chapter covered.

Do you cover ALEKS topics in a particular order?
Work is covered based on the textbook.

Do you integrate a textbook with your course using ALEKS Textbook Integration? Please describe how you set up your chapter completion dates.
Yes, I assign one chapter every three weeks.

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

How do you incorporate ALEKS homework assignments into your course?
Homework assignments are given at the beginning of the term and can be completed an unlimited number of times until students earn a 90 percent or higher.

How do you modify your regular instructional approach as a result of ALEKS?
Instead of regular lectures, I now have time to help students individually.


Grading

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

How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
Students must complete 75 percent of the course topics in order to pass.

Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
Students must complete 75 percent to pass.

How do you track student progress in ALEKS?
I use the Instructor Module every day.

Would you attribute any improved student performance in the course to ALEKS methodology or to some other factor?
Yes, students like to do their work independently and they like to use technology.


Learning Outcomes

Please describe the learning outcomes your students have achieved using ALEKS.
Three students were able to skip a course level because they used ALEKS. Another student was able to skip ahead two courses.

In general, how do the students feel about their progress in ALEKS?
Most students agree that ALEKS is an excellent learning program and progress beyond the course expectations.


Best Practices

What challenges did you encounter when first implementing ALEKS and how can other instructors avoid these pitfalls?
I did not understand how to implement ALEKS; talking to other instructors helps.

What will you do differently when you implement ALEKS in your future course(s)?
At this point I am pleased with my choices, but as I use ALEKS more, I will make changes as needed.

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