ALEKS - Assessment and Learning

Efficacy & Success Stories

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Journal of Chemical Education: Publication Date (Web): August 14, 2013

Online Homework Put to the Test: A Report on the Impact of Two Online Learning Systems on Student Performance in General Chemistry.
Jack F. Eichler and Junelyn Peeples, University of California, Riverside, CA

"Students who completed the online homework activities performed significantly better on a common comprehensive final exam than students who did not participate. More specifically, students who completed a precourse assignment in ALEKS could expect, on average, their final exam score to increase by over 13 points. Students who worked in ALEKS for the entire quarter saw even greater gains. . . These findings suggest responsive online homework in general, and a responsive-adaptive learning system driven by knowledge space theory in particular, has a significant positive impact on student performance.

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The Chemical Educator: Abstract Volume 18 (2013), pp 074-079

Online Homework and Student Success in Preparatory Chemistry. 
Professors David Saiki and Andreas Gebauer, California State University Bakersfield, CA

"Adoption of ALEKS and subsequent inter-departmental coordination of assignments and deadlines led to increased student success . . . As a result of our efforts, we were able to increase the pass rate for this course from 60.8% in the fall quarter 2009 to 73.9% in the fall quarter of 2012. The average GPA in CHEM 101 increased from 1.96 to 2.42. At the same time, students scores on the ACS 2009 Toledo Examination improved from an average of 27 (+6.0) in the pre-test to 34 (+6.8) in the post-test. This represents an improvement from the 25 to the 59 percentile compared to national data."

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Campus Technology: Online System Brings Individualized Learning to Colorado State Chem Lectures, by Linda L. Briggs. 06/24/09

ALEKS has replaced traditional homework in Professor Dysleski's classes with Web-based individual study programs. . . The result: Students can't share homework answers because ALEKS is assigning completely different questions based on skills and abilities. Dysleski, who was skeptical until her department tested ALEKS last summer, has seen other benefits as well. "I love that my students are more prepared during lectures," she said. "I love that they're actually doing homework on their own. I love that they're coming to office hours with good questions."  

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"Honestly, the results were so strong that they even surprised me. We worked really hard to try to separate whether we were just identifying motivated students who were willing to work hard or the actual benefit of students learning prerequisite topics before starting class. The evidence was quite clear that that it was the actual topics that they learned in ALEKS that was important to their success."

- Dr. Jane Greco, Associate Teaching Professor, Johns Hopkins University, MD

"The single most important effect that ALEKS has had is a fundamental shift in my office hours. Students are no longer asking me basic questions, but are instead asking about the very difficult, multi-concept, end-of-chapter questions. Even my weaker students are able to get to and focus on the more challenging questions. ALEKS is obviously helping students learn the background concepts, and I can now spend time in office hours and lecture integrating multiple concepts and going deeper into the material."

- Dr. Douglas Mulford, Senior Lecturer and Director of Undergraduate Studies, Emory University, GA

"My students have become better problem solvers since I have implemented ALEKS into my Introductory Chemistry course. They ask fewer questions regarding the logistics of solving problems in chemistry, and more in-depth meaning-making questions. I have also seen an improvement in their success on exams."

- Associate Professor Rebecca Krystyniak, St. Cloud University, MN

"Online homework had a significant and positive impact on final exam performance for all students, and for underrepresented groups in particular. ALEKS had a significantly larger positive impact than Mastering Chemistry."

- Dr. Jack Eichler, Lecturer, University of California Riverside, CA

"What stands out is the performance of several students who failed the readiness test by a few points but were allowed to stay in Physics 111 because they demonstrated a good proficiency level in ALEKS. Two such students ended up getting A grades in the course, and one of these was in the top 8% of the class.  Three other students in this category received B grades. Without ALEKS, these students would have been dropped from the course. These five students all put in 15-20 hours or more with ALEKS, and it is fairly clear that they benefited from that work."

- Professor James M. Lockhart, San Francisco State University, CA

"ALEKS has been a tremendous asset to my classroom. Students only work on concepts that they have proven they are ready to learn, allowing for a customized learning experience for each student. This is ideal for classrooms such as mine where students have diverse science and math backgrounds. ALEKS helps students to not only learn the material but to retain the knowledge. Students are able to put in as much or as little time as individually needed to MASTER the material. I have seen an increase in not only exam averages, but also final exam scores thanks to this program.

- Professor Robbie Montgomery, University of Tennessee Martin, TN