ALEKS - Assessment and Learning

Implementation Strategies

View a selection of implementation strategies from educators who are successfully using ALEKS to achieve dramatic learning outcomes. 

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Canyon View Elementary School, Poway Unified School District
San Diego, CA

Grade(s): K - 5
Scenario: Computer Lab, Home Access
Purpose: Enrichment/Gifted and Talented, Improve State Test Scores, At-Risk Students, Supplement
ALEKS Course: Mathematics - LV 3 (with QuickTables), Mathematics - LV 4 (with QuickTables), Mathematics - LV 5 (with QuickTables), Middle School Math Course 2, Middle School Math Course 3, Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1

Vickie Bakki, Principal
This is an unbelievable program for moving students forward in their mathematical thinking. It is self-motivating, parents love it, teachers love it, and the data speaks for itself. When used on a regular basis, students progress more quickly through the grade-level curriculum and move on to more advanced concepts beyond what is being taught in the classroom. The program keeps the students at a certain level until all concepts have been mastered, and then alerts the teacher that a course has been completed. The teacher, if they agree, has the ability to move the students to a new course. We have had so much success this year that we will be purchasing more licenses next year.


Scenario

What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
We had two groups of students we purchased licenses for this past year. The first group of students was very advanced in their skills and was performing above grade level. For this group, ALEKS gave them access to higher course curriculum where they could explore and master new skills beyond what the teacher was teaching during daily classroom lessons. The second group of students was non-proficient; ALEKS helped these students master skills which then brought them up to grade level, often closing gaps in their learning so they could be more successful.

How many days per week is class time dedicated to ALEKS?
5 days per week.


Implementation

How do you implement ALEKS?
The teacher chooses where they want the students to start. Some start below grade level with the purpose of closing gaps, while advanced students may begin course level work one to four levels above grade level. We had a third grade student this year that we started in Pre-Algebra and is now in Algebra!

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

How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
Students must spend a minimum of 30 minutes per night on ALEKS.

How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
Parents give us the money to purchase the licenses, so they are invested. The school purchases licenses for students who need it but can't afford it.


Grading

Is ALEKS assigned to your students as all or part of their homework responsibilities? If so, what part of the total homework load is it?
For some students, ALEKS is their homework.

How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
We don't use ALEKS as part of our grading system.

Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
No, students work at their own pace.


Learning Outcomes

Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
Test scores for students using ALEKS consistently have risen more sharply than for students not using the program. Since ALEKS is self-motivating, students feel successful and are more motivated to work on mathematical concepts that are difficult for them. The students feel very proud when they graduate from a course.


Best Practices

Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
As the principal, this was my first year using the program. I tracked student progress, studied the data, and talked to the students, teachers, and parents. I'm convinced that the time and money spent was well worth it. As I previously stated, we are hoping to expand our participation and will continue to learn how best to use the program.