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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Searsport District High School, Maine School Administrative District 56
Searsport, ME

Grade(s): 9 - 12
Scenario: One-to-One Laptop Program
Purpose: Intervention
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 5%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 1.66 hours per week, 14+ hours per term
ALEKS Course: Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, Algebra 2

Jean Lawlis, Math Teacher
I have implemented ALEKS into four classes including three integrated math classes for high school juniors and one PreCalculus class. Overall, I use ALEKS for the algebra skills.


Scenario

What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
My students have low-level algebra skills which affect their ability to participate in higher level math and science classes. Additionally, we have a number of students that require review for the math portion of the SAT, and even into their freshman year in college.

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

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


Implementation

How do you implement ALEKS?
We started ALEKS as a planned remediation program, but it has expanded to be our Algebra curriculum for most juniors and sophomores. We do still cover geometry, trigonometry, and statistics with Core Plus programs.

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

How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
Periods are 80 minutes long. Most classes, we do a few geometry and trigonometry problems and then use the second half of class for ALEKS.

How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
I spend less time on remediation, as I assume kids will eventually get this instruction when they are ready in ALEKS.

How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
I require at least one hour a week, but many kids are doing more (and many are doing less). We will be keeping kids after school in a few weeks for Academy if they have fallen behind on percentage completion goals.

How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
I tell parents when I meet with them how easy it is for them to monitor progress. I have also sent letter home on ALEKS for some classes.


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?
70 percent.

How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
We use a standards-based grading system. When students complete their assigned course, they will be marked as meeting their algebra requirement.

Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
Their goal is to grow their pie by 5 percent per week.


Learning Outcomes

Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
The students feel great. It is a little too early to see the effects of the program, but we are awaiting our students' PSAT and SAT scores!


Best Practices

Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
My students like being in control of what they study, and they all say they are learning a lot. Give them as much time on it as you can! My students are capable of working for an 80 minute block productively; where a regular class is hard to sustain for that length.  It is also important to notice when they are making a sustained effort or significant progress. They appreciate being recognized.