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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San Marcos High School, San Marcos Unified School District
San Marcos, CA

Grade(s): 9 - 12
Scenario: Computer Lab
Purpose: At-Risk Students, Supplement
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 20%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 1 hour per week, 15 hours per term
ALEKS Course: California Algebra 1, Traditional Algebra 1

Bob O'Neill, Teacher
My better students made progress and enjoyed the early phases of using ALEKS. The better students also liked to share their success.


Scenario

What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
The students are very challenged. Some are special needs, some have low mathematical ability, and some are just not highly motivated.

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?
50 minutes.


Implementation

How do you implement ALEKS?
It was intended to be an alternative and supplemental approach to solidify key concepts and provide differentiation.

Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
Not specifically. Students were allowed to explore different topics with guidance from ALEKS based on their progress assessments. Students were required to complete certain topics along the way, but then had freedom of choice for others.

How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
I first had the students take the ALEKS Initial Assessment to identify their individual areas of need. We used ALEKS once per week in the computer lab where the students worked at their own pace on a set of topics. ALEKS supplemented our core instruction; for some students, it allowed them to work on basic skills, and for others, to learn something new.

How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
I dedicated an hour per week for the first semester to working in the lab with the program. Rather than using the games and websites we normally access to practice skills and concepts, we used ALEKS.

How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
I encouraged them but could not require them to because not everyone had access from home.


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, not all students had access from home.

How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
ALEKS participation was graded along with other classwork assignments. Students were given goals for each ALEKS session. The overall percentage of credit was relatively small.

Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
I varied it based on the students. I gave them targets based on their ability.


Learning Outcomes

Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
My better students made progress and enjoyed the early phases of using ALEKS. The better students also liked to share their success.