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.

Next Step Public Charter School, Next Step Public Charter School Agency
Washington, DC

Grade(s): 9 - 12
Scenario: Computers in Classroom
Purpose: At-Risk Students, Core Curriculum, Supplement
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 25%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 1-2 hours per week, 10-20 hours per term
ALEKS Course: Mathematics - LV 4 (with QuickTables), Mathematics - LV 5 (with QuickTables), Essential Mathematics (with QuickTables), Prep for GED Mathematics

Jason Gipson-Nahman, Teacher
ALEKS has been great for our school because we serve students who have not been successful in traditional schools. Most of our students are significantly behind grade level, and our classes are made up of students with drastically different readiness levels. ALEKS has allowed us to better differentiate amongst these varying levels and meet all of our students where they are. They can progress at their own pace, and as a teacher, I can support and guide them as they move along.


Scenario

What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
I had difficulty serving students of drastically varying math readiness levels in the same classroom. I also had difficulty serving students with very poor attendance.

How many days per week is class time dedicated to ALEKS?
1-2 days per week.

What is the average length of a class period when ALEKS is used?
30-40 minutes.


Implementation

Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
For GED math, I cover topics in the order of: Place Value, Operations with Whole Numbers, Fractions, Decimals, Percentages, Probability and Statistics, Basic Algebra, and finally, Basic Geometry.

How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
Because of poor attendance, students typically work on units at their own pace. The teacher works individually with students or in small groups to explain topics/concepts. Students work on exercises individually or in groups. When students are ready, they spend a little bit of time reviewing in ALEKS, and then they take a quiz. The dynamic nature of our student population requires that we be extremely flexible with the times when students use ALEKS. There is no set time or day.

How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
ALEKS allows me to be much more flexible to better serve our dynamic population. We no longer go over the same topics as an entire class at one pace. I use individual and small-group instruction.

How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
As often as possible, but many students lack Internet access at home.

How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
Many of our students live on their own or have very unstable home environments. As a result, we have very little parental involvement.


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 not assigned as homework. ALEKS is done in class because of lack of Internet access for some students.

How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
All tests are done in ALEKS, and they represent 60 percent of students' grades. The rest of the grade is made up of other classwork and formative assessments.

Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
No.


Learning Outcomes

Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
Students have made significant progress with the help of ALEKS, sometimes improving by more than two or three grade levels in less than a year (as measured by the Test of Adult Basic Education). Students are generally pleased with their progress in ALEKS.