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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Webb School of Knoxville, Private
Knoxville, TN

Grade(s): K - 12
Scenario: Computers in Classroom, Laptop Carts
Purpose: Supplement, Core Curriculum
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: Varies
Time Spent in ALEKS: Varies
ALEKS Course: Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, High School Geometry, Algebra 2

Jami Benson, Teacher
Wonderful! We use ALEKS in sixth, seventh and eighth grade. Our sixth and seventh graders use the Middle School Geometry course one day a week to supplement their current program. I also have seventh and eighth grade classes that use ALEKS as their academic program (no textbook). They use the Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, and High School Geometry courses.


Scenario

What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
Students that were able to move more quickly in a subject area were hindered by waiting for the class to move forward. These students are now self-paced on ALEKS and moving through programs at a much quicker pace. Also, we are an Algebra based middle school, so the exposure to Geometry was limited. We use the Middle School Geometry course to fill in the gaps.

How many days per week is class time dedicated to ALEKS?
1-5 days per week.

What is the average length of a class period when ALEKS is used?
40 minutes.


Implementation

How do you implement ALEKS?
Some students spend one day a week in Middle School Geometry to supplement the textbook. Other students use ALEKS full time with no textbook. However, they must take very good notes and keep up with them.

Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
No, I allow the students to work independently in ALEKS.

How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
In the regular classes, they have one day a week that they go to the math computer lab. For the full time ALEKS students, they have class in the math computer lab every day.

How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
In my full time ALEKS classes, I do not teach the class. I work with the students individually as they need help.

How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
Students work 20-30 minutes at home.

How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
The parents are introduced to ALEKS at Parent Night Orientation.


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 my full time ALEKS students, 100 percent of their homework is in ALEKS. For those students that only use ALEKS once a week, they are only required to complete 30 minutes of ALEKS homework.

How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
For students in the regular textbook class, ALEKS counts for 10-20 percent of their grade as a quiz grade.  For the full-time ALEKS students, it counts for 100 percent of their grade.

Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
Yes, 15-25 percent growth each grading period for the textbook students. The full time students have to reach a certain percentage for an A, B, C, etc., depending on what class or grade they are in.


Learning Outcomes

Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
Wonderful! Those in the full-time ALEKS class love it. I have seventh and eighth-grade classes that use ALEKS 100 percent as their academic program. They use the Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, and High School Geometry courses.  I have seen how students must master a skill before being able to move forward. Conversely, in a textbook-only class they continue to the next skill without the mastery of the previous skill which can prove unsuccessful.