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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Idaho Digital Learning Academy, Idaho State Department of Education
Boise, ID

Grade(s): 6 - 12
Scenario: Home Access
Purpose: Core Curriculum
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 80%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 4+ hours per week, 45 hours per term
ALEKS Course: Algebra 2

Sandy Powell, Teacher
For the most part, working with ALEKS has been a positive experience.


Scenario

What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
This is my first time teaching for this school, so I have no knowledge of prior issues.

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?
30 minutes.


Implementation

How do you implement ALEKS?
The course was designed with an ALEKS component. This is an online course using Blackboard as a content management system. Students are required to log in to ALEKS in a separate window to complete required tasks.

Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
Somewhat, but not entirely. Students that have not mastered a concept are asked to work in a specific section in ALEKS during each unit.

How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
Since course work is done by many students completely at home, they are expected to work daily from their home. Students completing our Algebra 2 course in a school computer lab are encouraged to work on ALEKS from home as needed.

How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
When teachers have asked about ALEKS, I stress the benefits of allowing students to progress at the rate that is best for them, without having to wait for others or try to keep up with those more advanced.


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?
Since the course is done from home by many students, the entire course is essentially homework.

How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
Tests given in ALEKS are weighted equal to tests taken through the Blackboard system. Completing the assigned ALEKS topics will be a separate assignment for the course equal to four exams. I can't give a specific breakdown of the percentage, but it looks to be about 70 percent of the grade.

Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
By the end of the course, students will be required to have completed that entire ALEKS course. The percent completion will be a graded assignment equal to four exams.


Learning Outcomes

Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
I cannot compare to prior courses, since this is the first time I have taught this course for this school. However, some of the students are comfortable, while others feel frustrated because they are not sure where they are supposed to be working in ALEKS at any given time. I am working to remedy this issue by providing a more detailed breakdown than was provided when the course was developed.