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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Henry Clay High School, Fayette County Public Schools
Lexington, KY

Grade(s): 9 - 12
Scenario: Computer Lab
Purpose: Intervention
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 40%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 2.1 hours per week, 40 hours per term
ALEKS Course: Algebra 1

Elle Bloomfield, Mathematics Teacher
I have had a great experience from purchasing to implementation!


Scenario

What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
Computer lab arrangements were one of our major challenges.

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?
55 minutes.


Implementation

How do you implement ALEKS?
I use ALEKS to reinforce skills used in Algebra 1.

Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
We concentrate on covering the same topics that they are covering in Algebra, but they are allowed to work on any topics.

How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
We work for a certain number of minutes and then take a break. We repeat this cycle until the class period is over. These are lower-level students that cannot sit still for very long periods of time.

How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
We are using the bulletin board as an incentive program. I have made it into a game board and students move their pieces according to the number of concepts covered in their pie graph. Every week we use the beginning of the week to move our pieces on the game board from the accomplishments gained over the previous week.   

How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
They are not required to work at home due to lack of resources.

How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
I send out a newsletter, but parental involvement is too difficult to achieve for this type of student, as most of them do not have involvement and support on any level. 


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, it is not.

How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
ALEKS is 40 percent of their total grade.

Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
Yes, I require them to spend a certain number of minutes on the program, but I also have incentive programs that measure number of concepts mastered.


Learning Outcomes

Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
Honestly, my students were not excited about it at first. They only saw it as another thing to do in a subject they do not like. They became interested in the program when they saw their pie fill up. Consequently, I see strengthening of basic algebra skills. 


Best Practices

Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
The incentive program I have developed using the bulletin boards has proven effective.