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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Corbin High School, Corbin Independent School District
Corbin, KY

Grade(s): 9 - 12
Scenario: Computer Lab
Purpose: RtI, Improve State Test Scores, At-Risk Students, Supplement
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 40%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 2-3 hours per week, 25-30 hours per term
ALEKS Course: Algebra 1, Algebra 2

Cody Philpot, Teacher
I am really pleased with my overall experience with ALEKS. The students like the change from a traditional lecture classroom and respond well to the new atmosphere. My students have used some computer-based programs before that they didn't really like, but ALEKS was well received by all of them. After using the ALEKS program for only six weeks, my RtI class of 22 students has increased their Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) scores by an average of almost eight points.


Scenario

What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
Our juniors are on pace to meet proficiency in mathematics on the Kentucky Core Content Test (KCCT). Our goal is to help them reach proficiency by providing an extra math class focused on building upon fundamentals that they may have missed.

How many days per week is class time dedicated to ALEKS?
3-4 days per week.

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


Implementation

How do you implement ALEKS?
It is the cornerstone of the RtI class because of the varying levels of the students in the class. Students range from first trimester Geometry students to second trimester Algebra 2 students. This gap is, at times, too large to cover in a whole group situation.

Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
No, the ability for students to work on one topic for a few minutes and then switch to something else if they want to seemed to be one of the benefits of the program.

How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
Some days are fully devoted to ALEKS, other days the students receive group instruction and then break off into smaller groups, allowing some to work on ALEKS, while I worked individually with others.

How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
I am more able to work on a one-on-one basis with more students on their varying levels and concentrate on what they need rather than a pre-determined subject.

How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
Students are always encouraged but never actually required, as long as they complete the assigned number of topics per week.

How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
Sadly, with the students I have in this class, parent involvement is a non-factor. That may be the reason some of the students are in the shape they are in.


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?
If they are not able to complete the number of topics they need in a week during class, they have to finish them at home.

How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
Tests are 20 percent, homework and classwork is 20 percent, participation is 20 percent, and ALEKS is 40 percent.

Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
Yes, I ask that students master at least eight topics in a full class period and require them to progress 50 percent during the trimester. If they know 20 percent after the Initial Assessment, they are required to reach 70 percent to receive full credit by the end of the trimester.


Learning Outcomes

Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
After using the ALEKS program for only six weeks, my RtI class of 22 students has increased their Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) scores by an average of almost eight points. The visual picture of the pie encourages students to keep going as they see their progress and continually strive to finish. They really enjoy and see the benefits of QuickTables, to help solidify their multiplication and division facts.


Best Practices

Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
Monitor their improvement, set intermittent goals that are reachable, and reward them with something.