ALEKS - Assessment and Learning

Implementation Strategies

View a selection of implementation strategies from educators who are successfully using ALEKS to achieve dramatic learning outcomes. 

Submit your ALEKS implementation strategy by completing our online survey.

Tosa School of the Trades, Wauwatosa School District
Wauwatosa, WI

Grade(s): 11 - 12
Scenario: Computers in Classroom, Home Access
Purpose: Core Curriculum, Supplement
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 98%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 4 hours per week, 72 hours per term
ALEKS Course: Algebra 1, High School Geometry, Algebra 2, PreCalculus

Neal Storey, Instructor/Advisor
Our students have progressed in their self-directed coursework as we expected. Most students welcome the change from a lecture-based class with consistent homework assignments to the more specific, targeted training that ALEKS offers.


Scenario

What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
Before ALEKS, the school's math training was more of a one-room school model with all levels of students doing the same assignments. It was difficult to differentiate lessons effectively. Higher level students were bored while lower-performing students tended to shut down after getting behind.

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?
50 minutes.


Implementation

How do you implement ALEKS?
Students are given login information and directed to the ALEKS website. Students then receive their "schedule" for ALEKS, number of hours expected to be completed, and topics covered.

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

How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
Timing is flexible. Students can work in ALEKS when they choose; however, we do give reminders.

How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
All math instruction, except for trade-specific math topics, is addressed in ALEKS.

How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
When we see student productivity dropping, we meet with the student and parents to discuss what we expect the student to complete during home hours.

How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
Students must present student progress reports to their parents for a signature.


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?
ALEKS is not scheduled as homework.

How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
ALEKS is graded as a percent following our grading scale, broken down by the number of topics mastered divided by the total number of topics in the course.

Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
We expect a minimum of 25 hours completed in ALEKS per quarter. We also expect at least 25 percent of the topics in the course mastered per quarter.


Learning Outcomes

Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
Most students welcome the change from a lecture-based class with consistent homework assignments to the more specific, targeted training that ALEKS offers. Once students understand how the program works, we see continual progress. Students quickly find their own pace and are able to catch up or schedule their time appropriately when instructors dedicate large chunks of the day to ALEKS.


Best Practices

Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
Use worksheets often. They are a good resource for checking understanding and are also great for small group work.