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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York Community High School, Elmhurst Community Unit District 205
Elmhurst, IL

Grade(s): 9 - 12
Scenario: Computers in Classroom
Purpose: Special Education, RtI
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 100%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 5 hours per week; 90 hours per term
ALEKS Course: MS RtI Tier 3

Dina Higginbotham, Special Education Teacher
I see great progress with my students. They are able to explain to me why they get a certain answer when they see it. This task has been very difficult for my students using a textbook.


Scenario

What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
My students have varying disabilities that all impact their ability to succeed in regular mathematics.

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

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


Implementation

How do you implement ALEKS?
ALEKS was given to me as the curriculum for the students to work through for the semester.

Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
Yes. I open new skills as we increase in level. For example, in Lesson 5, I open decimals. In Lesson 6, they also have fractions. The skills progress as the levels progress.

How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
The students work on ALEKS all period each day. I reset the default to meet 10 different levels. I have students take a pre-assessment, then work on the skills until they feel ready or they have close to 100 percent completed. I then send them a post-assessment. If they score 80 percent or above, I move them up to the next level with the added skills.

How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
I am able to sit one-on-one with students as they work on new skills.

How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
I mentioned it to students but do not require it.

How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
I just give them information for the website.


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 all in class. It is not homework.

How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
I give daily participation grades. I use the pre-assessment but weight the grade at 50 percent. I use the post-assessment grade and weight it 100 percent. If students do poorly on the post-assessment, they may work more and retake it when ready and I will change their grade.

Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
Not yet. Some students that have an assessment that day will show less progress since there's less time to work on progress.


Learning Outcomes

Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
I see great progress with my students. They are able to explain to me why they get a certain answer when they see it. This task has been very difficult for my students using a textbook. They LOVE that they can track their own progress. They actually continue to practice skills until they "get it" so that they are ready for an assessment.