View a selection of implementation strategies from educators who are successfully using ALEKS to achieve dramatic learning outcomes.
Hancock County High School, Hancock County Public Schools
Grade(s): 9 - 12
Scenario: Computer Lab
Purpose: Core Curriculum
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 33%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 2 hours per week, 20 hours per term
ALEKS Course: High School Geometry
Michele Aron Roberts Nevitt, Teacher
I use ALEKS with one of my Geometry blocks. We try to go to the computer lab for 30 minutes each day to work on the program. During our ALEKS time I do three things: First, I encourage students by congratulating the top five who learn the most topics per hour and the top five who need the least amount of time to finish the curriculum. Second, I monitor student work and help them individually with topics. Third, I use the reports to view the topics that students are ready to learn, and provide small group instruction based on that information. I provide them some examples and opportunities to ask questions, and then send them back to the computer. GREAT! What are the results?! I currently have three Geometry blocks. I give each class a practice ACT assessment at the beginning, middle and end of the semester. On average, my class using ALEKS improved their ACT scores more than either of the other two classes (including my class with several advanced students). WOW!!!
What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
Geometry is my last period class, so students are tired and unmotivated to work.
How many days per week is class time dedicated to ALEKS?
4 days per week.
What is the average length of a class period when ALEKS is used?
How do you implement ALEKS?
I use ALEKS as a supplement to direct instruction. I also provide direct instruction to students who are ready to learn certain ALEKS topics. The ALEKS curriculum is well-aligned to our Geometry curriculum.
Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
We go to the computer lab for the last 30 minutes of our class period.
How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
Students love choices. They get to choose which topics to learn. ALEKS allows differentiation of learning that I've never been able to provide before. Even though I continue to use direct instruction to make sure each student receives information regarding curriculum topics, ALEKS allows students to review topics taught in class as well as move ahead to topics not yet discussed.
How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
Students are encouraged to work in ALEKS at home.
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?
How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
I told the students that if they reach 75 percent mastery of the complete Geometry curriculum, then they will receive a 100 percent test score on two tests. Any student scoring below the 75 percent will receive a proportional test score.
Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
Many practice ACT scores have improved since using ALEKS. Students have improved confidence, and my more advanced students appreciate the ability to move at their own pace. My lower-level students appreciate that ALEKS teaches them topics they've previously missed, while advancing them through the on-level curriculum. What other program does that so efficiently or provides such individualized instruction and feedback?
Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
Give the students a goal to strive for. This provides motivation for the student.