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.

Oregon Institute of Technology, OR
4 Year Baccalaureate-Granting College / Public

Scenario: I use ALEKS in an online course without a textbook.
Purpose: Core Curriculum
ALEKS Course: Intermediate Algebra

Bud Hart, Professor
ALEKS is outstanding. Overall, students have performed well in the ALEKS course. More than half of the students completed a course at a level higher than their math placement test scores suggested they could; additionally, no students failed this class.


Scenario

What challenges did your students or institution face prior to using ALEKS?
Students had poor math placement test scores. Students believed that their math background was better, and the placement test provided an opportunity to validate that belief.

Was ALEKS used in your course with all students or with targeted students?
ALEKS was used for all students in the course. However, this is a special course titled Accelerated Algebra; students self-select into this course in hopes of completing a higher level course than permitted by their test score recommendations.

Number of students who used ALEKS for the course and term:
Number of sections: 1
Number of students per ALEKS section: 26
Total students enrolled in this ALEKS course: 26

How do you structure your course periods with ALEKS?
The course consists of one day of lecture followed by one day of lab. The course meets two days per week, Tuesday and Thursday.

How often are students encouraged or required to use ALEKS?
Days per week: 7
Hours per week: 8
Hours per term: 80


Implementation

Please describe how you implement ALEKS into your course curriculum.
All students start in Beginning Algebra. Students can then move into Intermediate Algebra once they have completed 100 percent of the Beginning Algebra pie chart. Students can move up again into College Algebra upon 100 percent completion of Intermediate Algebra.

Do you cover ALEKS topics in a particular order?
No.

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 frequently throughout the term.

How do you incorporate ALEKS scheduled Assessments into your course?
I utilize the comprehensive final assessment at the end of the course to determine if a student is ready to move into the next course. I also schedule a mid-term assessment and final assessment in ALEKS.

How do you modify your regular instructional approach as a result of ALEKS?
I do not give lectures. The lecture meetings for the course only serve to answer ALEKS questions from students. I also select examples, based on the Class Average Ready to Learn report, to review when students do not have questions.

How do you use information from ALEKS to focus your teaching?
I base my lectures on my evaluation of the Class Average Ready to Learn reports.


Grading

What percent of a student's grade does ALEKS make up?
ALEKS is 45 percent of the final grade.

How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
My grading scale is comprised of completion of ALEKS modules worth 45 percent, time on task worth 10 percent, turning in homework worth 5 percent, a written mid-term exam worth 15 percent, and a comprehensive final exam worth 25 percent of the final grade.

Is ALEKS assigned to your students as all or part of their homework responsibilities?
Yes. ALEKS is 100 percent of homework.

Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
Yes. Students must complete eight hours of work in ALEKS per week.

How do you track student progress in ALEKS?
I use the ALEKS progress report to track percent completion and hours logged on ALEKS.

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.


Learning Outcomes

Please describe the learning outcomes your students have achieved using ALEKS.
Students have performed well in the ALEKS course. More than half of the students completed a course at a level higher than their math placement test score. Additionally, no students failed this class.

In general, how do the students feel about their progress in ALEKS?
Students are generally pleased with their progress in ALEKS.


Best Practices

What will you do differently when you implement ALEKS in your future course(s)?
For my new ALEKS Trigonometry course, ALEKS Customer Support has assisted me with creating Intermediate Objectives for my students.

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