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.

Buena High School, Sierra Vista Unified School District #68
Sierra Vista, AZ

Grade(s): 9 - 12
Scenario: Computers in Classroom, Home Access
Purpose: Special Education
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 60%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 2.5 hours per week, 20 hours per term
ALEKS Course: Mathematics - LV 3 (with QuickTables), Mathematics - LV 4 (with QuickTables), Mathematics - LV 5 (with QuickTables), Essential Mathematics (with QuickTables), Pre-Algebra, High School Preparation for Algebra 1, Algebra 1, Traditional Algebra 1, High School Geometry, Algebra 2

Brenda Gail Farmer, Special Education Teacher
This is the second school where I have used ALEKS to meet the needs of the Special Education population. With this program, I am able to educate more than 96 students ranging in ability from Grade 3 to Algebra 2. I have had several students progress through more than one grade level and have increased their district diagnostic scores by up to four grade levels. They like having the immediate feedback and being able to see their progress through their pie and Time and Topic Report. In addition, ALEKS allows for flexibility in scheduling, which would never have been possible otherwise. I think the program is wonderful and highly recommend it!


Scenario

What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
Placing special needs students into general curriculum math classes, which could not close the gaps in their skills.

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?
30 minutes.


Implementation

How do you implement ALEKS?
My class was initially stand-alone; no other material was covered until this semester.

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

How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
My students come in and begin bell work, followed by a mini lesson on topics the students had difficulty with the previous week. They then work on ALEKS for approximately 30 minutes. I require them to complete a minimum of four topics daily. If this is completed by the last ten minutes of class, they are allowed to play online math games on pre-approved sites. If they complete their requirement before the last ten minutes of class, they must continue working in their pie or work in QuickTables.

How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
Since the students are all working at varying levels and their curriculum is student-driven, I derive my mini lessons from the areas they are having the most difficulty with.

How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
Daily, if they do not complete at least four topics at school or are absent, in order to make up those topics.

How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
I give out the ALEKS link at the beginning of the year and have it posted on my webpage. I also send home progress reports or homework requests with the website address.


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 homework is given, unless topics are missed.

How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
My students get a participation grade each week, an online worksheet grade that focuses on their Individualized Education Plan (IEP) goals, and then an ALEKS progress grade. The ALEKS portion makes up 33.33 percent of their grade.

Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
Four topics daily. They are encouraged to look at their Time and Topic Report to monitor their progress, although some prefer to track this via the "Review" tab. I then use the Time and Topic Reports to see how much work was accomplished at the end of each week.


Learning Outcomes

Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
I have had several students progress through more than one grade level and have increased their district diagnostic scores by up to four grade levels. They like having the immediate feedback and being able to see their progress through their pie and Time and Topic Report.