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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Warden High School, Warden School District
Warden, WA

Grade(s): 9 - 12
Scenario: Computer Lab
Purpose: Intervention
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 50%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 4.5 hours per week
ALEKS Course: Mathematics - LV 5 (with QuickTables)

Chris Rust, Principal
25 percent of our 275-student high school performs three or more grade levels below their current grade level; this is the equivalent of the 20th percentile or less on norm-referenced testing. We took 14 of our lowest performing students in ninth and tenth grades and gave them a second period of math instruction each day using ALEKS. By the end of the semester, nine of the 14 students had improved their score on the norm-referenced test to above the 20th percentile. One student made the equivalent of three years growth in a semester. All students reported that they improved in math and felt more confident in their math class. We plan to expand to two full sections of math intervention using ALEKS next year and serve approximately 50 students.


Scenario

What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
Providing individualized instruction, motivating activities and lessons, and research validated instruction for several students.

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?
45 minutes.


Implementation

How do you implement ALEKS?
We were able to free a teacher to teach an additional period each day. We identified students who had elective classes during the same period and moved them to the ALEKS class. Our IT department set up the computer lab which we shared with another class. The teacher utilized the online training materials provided by ALEKS to prepare himself.

Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
All students were assigned to Mathematics - LV 5 with QuickTables. We did this to ensure initial success for students. Students took the Initial Assessment and then began working on their pies.

How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
ALEKS is taught for one school period. Students in the ALEKS class also have another period of math each day.

How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
Not at all. Most of our students do not have Internet access outside of the school day.

How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
We have not done this.


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 course is graded on effort and progress. It is a credit/no credit evaluation only.

Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
Yes, we require students to attend class daily, on time, and to log time online during the class. The teacher monitors student activity.


Learning Outcomes

Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
Most students involved have made more than one year's growth in a year. Students who did not attend school were the only students in the class who did not experience success. The students report more confidence with math, and many have asked to move to grade-level math courses next year. For all of them, this will be their first experience of math at grade-level since elementary school.


Best Practices

Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
Assess student achievement at the beginning and at the end. Follow the progress monitoring in the program to determine whether students are progressing adequately during the course.