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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Arvin High School, Kern High School District
Arvin, CA

Grade(s): 9 - 12
Scenario: Computers in Classroom
Purpose: Special Education, At-Risk Students
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 25%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 1 hour per week, 20 hours per term
ALEKS Course: California Algebra 1

Matthew Kelley, Teacher
I have been using ALEKS in my Resource Math class as a circular review. We cover Algebra concepts in class and ALEKS allows my students to review at their own pace, while as the teacher, I must move on to cover more of the curriculum. The students enjoy getting on the computers and working in the ALEKS program.


Scenario

What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
The class faces the challenge of learning and retaining mathematical concepts because the students are labeled as Special Education.

How many days per week is class time dedicated to ALEKS?
2 days per week.

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


Implementation

How do you implement ALEKS?
I told the students we would be starting a new computer-based intervention program to help them with their math.

Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
No, I allow the students to work at an individualized pace.

How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
The class is structured with the teacher giving a lesson on a specific topic and students working on assignments for that topic. This usually lasts 45 minutes. When students are finished with the class lesson, they are instructed to go in ALEKS and work at their own pace.

How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
I opened up time in my lesson planning for students to work in ALEKS.

How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
I encourage all of my students to work in ALEKS at home. I assign time to be completed in ALEKS during breaks.

How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
I try to speak to the parents about the need to practice math every day.


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?
It is only homework during breaks.

How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
ALEKS is ten percent of the grade. The rest of the grade is made up of quizzes for 20 percent, exams for ten percent, and classwork for 60 percent.

Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
I do not require regular amounts of progress. I try to examine each individual student and determine if they are progressing adequately.


Learning Outcomes

Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
Through using ALEKS, I have seen Special Education students retain more of the mathematical concepts that have been taught in the class because they are constantly using these concepts in ALEKS.


Best Practices

Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
Having a program where you can watch all students on the computers at the same time and work on the students' computers remotely has allowed me to supervise each student and keep them on-task better.