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.

Robert J. Lister Academy, Portsmouth School Administrative Unit 52
Portsmouth, NH

Grade(s): 9 - 12
Scenario: Computer Lab
Purpose: At-Risk Students
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 20%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 0.75 hours per week, 6 hours per term
ALEKS Course: High School Preparation for Algebra 1, Mastery of SAT Math

Christine Stilwell, Special Education Teacher
ALEKS has been an amazing addition to my curriculum. The program allows students to work at their own pace in the areas that they have gaps. This program helps improve students' scores on standardized tests as well. Students get excited as they complete pie pieces and see their total score go up. I look forward to continuing to use this program in my classroom for years to come. I have tried other online programs and ALEKS is by far the best.


Scenario

What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
I work with at-risk, low achieving students who come to me with gaps in their math skills at all different levels. Before ALEKS, it was difficult to find ways and time to teach kids individually to help narrow those gaps. ALEKS has created a way for these students to work on their individual skills. I can teach my traditional required courses and still give the students a chance to fill in some of those gaps. I have tried other online programs and ALEKS is by far the best.

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?
45 minutes.


Implementation

How do you implement ALEKS?
ALEKS is used as a program designed to tighten students' mathematical gaps.

Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
No, I just use the order created by the program.

How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
Every Monday the students do ALEKS for the entire class period, and the rest of the week I work on the regular curriculum. They also can use ALEKS at home for homework or during their study hall.

How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
When topics that are touched upon in ALEKS are also touched upon in my regular curriculum, I am able to make more connections.

How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
They are encouraged to use ALEKS at home to make up for missed classroom assignments or for extra credit.

How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
Unfortunately, there is minimal parent involvement at my school.


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?
They do not have regularly assigned homework.

How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
I grade my students on a daily basis based on their participation in class. Their participation grade is fully based on how they do in class on ALEKS one day a week. Participation makes up 50 percent of my grading system. So ALEKS makes up 20 percent of the weekly grade which then gets averaged into 50 percent of their overall quarter grade.

Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
Sometimes I require a minimal completion amount for a student so that they can get credit for the class, because they are a bit unmotivated.


Learning Outcomes

Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
Every time my students take a scheduled or assigned ALEKS assessment, they improve their overall percentage from the last time they took an assessment. The students are able to make connections between what they see in ALEKS and what we are doing in class. They are motivated to complete their pie pieces and are excited every time they increase their score. My students love to see their progress on their pie charts. I also created an excel sheet that is displayed near the computer lab that shows how many topics they have completed. Each week I use a different color to color in the new topics learned. Many students have used this as a motivating factor to catch up to other students or see how far they are from completing all the topics. They get a sense of accomplishment when they see their pie pieces get filled in.