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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Lakeside High School, Nine Mile Falls School District
Nine Mile Falls, WA

Grade(s): 9 - 12
Scenario: Computers in Classroom
Purpose: Special Education
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 30%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 2.25 hours per week, 42.75 hours per term
ALEKS Course: Algebra Readiness, Pre-Algebra, High School Preparation for Algebra 1, Algebra 1, High School Geometry

Erin Teterud, Special Education Teacher
I enjoy using ALEKS with my eleventh and twelfth grade Special Education students because students can work at their own pace and see progress immediately. I have seen independent, motivated students taking notes, asking for help, and doing well on assessments. Students who choose to do these things want to continue with the ALEKS program because they find success. Students can see progress every day they work on ALEKS. The sections are short enough to get though 2-4 topics per day, and they like to see their pies fill up.


Scenario

What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
I struggled with keeping all different levels of students busy at the same time with one curriculum. Using ALEKS was an easy way to challenge all students and allow them to work independently at their individual levels.

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

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


Implementation

How do you implement ALEKS?
I choose a math level for each student according to the Curriculum Based Assessment (CBA). They take the assessment at that level. If the math is too hard or too easy, I am able to adjust for each student. I expect students to work on ALEKS three days per week. The other days we work on other math skills (Financial Algebra). I expect students to keep a journal or notebook to keep track of notes and work.

Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
No.

How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
I use ALEKS as the main curriculum for eleventh and twelfth graders three times per week. I have students take notes in journals and encourage students to ask questions.

How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
I work one-on-one with my students because they might all be working on different skills or topics or at different math levels.

How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
They are not required to work at home, but some students do by choice.

How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
It's not required for my class to do ALEKS at home. Parents are involved in the discussion to put their child in the ALEKS class, but I cultivate parental involvement through the Individualized Education Program (IEP) process, not through ALEKS.


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.

Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
Yes, I have the semester broken into percentages of completion. Because I have students work on ALEKS three out of five days a week, I expect students to complete 60 percent for a passing grade.


Learning Outcomes

Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
I have seen independent, motivated students taking notes, asking for help, and doing well on assessments. Students who choose to do these things want to continue with the ALEKS program because they find success. Students can see progress every day they work on ALEKS. The sections are short enough to get though 2-4 topics per day, and they like to see their pies fill up.


Best Practices

Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
The students who take good notes and ask for help seem to do better on assessments than students who don't.