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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Cheney High School, Cheney School District
Cheney, WA

Grade(s): 9 - 12
Scenario: Laptop Carts
Purpose: Improve State Test Scores
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 15-20%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 1.7 hours per week, 20 hours per term
ALEKS Course: Essential Mathematics (with QuickTables), Foundations of High School Math

Patricia Emerson, Math Teacher and Math Department Chair
I have used ALEKS for the past three years, primarily in classes where students are behind.


Scenario

What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
Students who did not pass the state assessment needed a vehicle to help them find and fill gaps in their math knowledge.

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

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


Implementation

How do you implement ALEKS?
Students work on ALEKS two days per week in the classroom instead of other tasks, and are encouraged to work on ALEKS outside of the school, either at home or in the after school tutoring program.

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

How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
Students choose which topics to work on and proceed as needed.

How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
The classes I teach are planned to include ALEKS as a part of the curriculum.

How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
Currently we do not require it, but I have asked them to spend 20 minutes per day, five days per week working on ALEKS outside of school.

How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
We initiate phone calls and parent conferences that explain the program.


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?
It is most of the homework load, but I find it difficult to tell if they have worked on ALEKS at home outside of class.

How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
In order to determine grades, I calculate the class average for concept completion. I also incorporate the percentage of improvement from the initial ALEKS assessment, and then average these two scores together to get a total percentage point for the class.

Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
Only as it affects their grade. There is always a student who will set the high end of the curve, and unfortunately, there is sometimes a student who is absent too frequently and does not work on ALEKS outside of class that pulls the class average down.


Learning Outcomes

Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
Students have shown significant growth as measured by the MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) Test. They also express their enjoyment in ALEKS, and especially love to see their pie grow.


Best Practices

Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
I would love to learn how others are using ALEKS and would be happy to share how I am using the program.