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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William Henry Harrison High School, Tippecanoe School Corporation
West Lafayette, IN

Grade(s): 9 - 12
Scenario: Computer Lab
Purpose: Special Education
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 90%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 3 hours per week; 55 hours per term
ALEKS Course: Mathematics - LV 3 (with QuickTables), Mathematics - LV 4 (with QuickTables), Mathematics - LV 5 (with QuickTables)

Deborah Simpson, Teacher
This was our first year using ALEKS. ALEKS is used 2-5 times a week and the students were assessed every 7-10 days. The students are constantly asking questions and working throughout the class time. I monitor the students' progress daily and they are encouraged to use the Explain button before asking for help. All students' progress improved more than when they were working in the classroom out of textbooks.


Scenario

What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
Motivating students to do math.

How many days per week is class time dedicated to ALEKS?
3-5 days per week.

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


Implementation

How do you implement ALEKS?
We go to the computer lab to use ALEKS and on Fridays we do worksheets in the classroom.

Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
I tell the students to start at the top of the pie. I tell them to think of it as a clock and begin at the 12, and then work clockwise through the pie. I suggest that they do the first two pieces of the pie completely before going on to the other pieces. Also, they should begin at the top of the list within the pie piece and work their way down the list of topics as the topics build on each other.

How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
Students choose the topics they want to cover based on their pies. I walk around the room to help students and explain concepts on an individual basis. I assess the students after they show at least three percent progress, but not more than 12 percent progress.

How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
I teach to individual students as the need arises.

How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
I do not require the students to do ALEKS at home, because not all of my students have computers at home.

How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
I inform parents about ALEKS and let them know that each student can use ALEKS at home. Some of my students choose do this and get extra credit.


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?
No.

How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
The students earn 10 points daily. This is based on the number of topics completed out of the number of topic attempted. The assessments are graded by the percent the student actually achieves based on the achievement ALEKS says the student should reach.

Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
The students are to complete three topics daily for a C, four topics for a B, and five topics for an A.


Learning Outcomes

Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
All students have seen more progress on ALEKS than when we worked out of the textbooks daily. The students get excited when they complete a level or complete QuickTables. They are also glad to go on to the next level. I have never seen this enthusiasm with students.


Best Practices

Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
Students love computers and seem to enjoy doing math in this format, so get them started as soon as you can.