View a selection of implementation strategies from educators who are successfully using ALEKS to achieve dramatic learning outcomes.
Mountain Pointe High School, Tempe Union High School District
Grade(s): 9 - 12
Scenario: Computer Lab
Purpose: Intervention, Improve State Test Scores, At-Risk Students, Core Curriculum
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 20%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 1 hour per week, 9 hours per term
ALEKS Course: Algebra 1
Eric Hitsman, Teacher
My overall experience with ALEKS has been good. The course I teach is for students who did not succeed in Algebra 1-2. Some are lazy, some never did homework, and some just don't get it. Due to these varying reasons, the skill ranges between the students is massive. In the classroom, if I go slow, I lose the attention of my more skilled students. If I go to fast, I leave my less skilled students behind. The ALEKS system is nice because it is self-paced, allowing each student to take the time they need to master each topic. Using ALEKS is like having thirty tutors in the room.
What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
The ability to meet the needs of all the students was the hardest part. Their skill levels were too far apart, making it impossible to address all of their needs.
How many days per week is class time dedicated to ALEKS?
1 day per week.
What is the average length of a class period when ALEKS is used?
How do you implement ALEKS?
It has been easy for us. We just dedicated one day a week to use the program. Our curriculum is flexible enough to allow this.
Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
No, I do not.
How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
We all meet in the computer lab on Fridays. While the students are waiting for the computers to log in, I take role and do a warm-up. For the rest of the period I monitor the students as they progress through the program.
How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
I haven't needed to.
How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
We encourage home use, but have never made it a requirement.
How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
We let them know about the program and how it can help the students improve their abilities.
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?
We just use it as classwork. It accounts for five percent of their total grade.
How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
It counts as five percent of their total grade.
Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
No, I do not. I hold them accountable by monitoring the effort they put into the class and encouraging them to keep making progress.
Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
The students enjoyed seeing their pie charts grow. I love it when students show me all the topics they have mastered. Walking around the room, I have been surprised to see how many students are working on topics that exceed the scope of the class. ALEKS is also good for the slower paced students who needed extra practice to master a topic.
Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
Ask your students what they mastered or what they are currently working on mastering. They like to see that you care and they like to boast about their progress.