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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Essex Jr./Sr. High School, Essex Community School District
Essex, IA

Grade(s): 7 - 12
Scenario: Computer Lab
Purpose: Intervention
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 20%
Time Spent in ALEKS: .75 hours per week, 6-7 hours per term
ALEKS Course: Middle School Math Course 2

Rhonda Almquist, Teacher
I have found the program easy to set up for the students. I like the updates on student progress and the way students can learn at their own pace. My students check their pie progress often.


Scenario

What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
Our standardized test scores seem to "bottom out" in the middle school grades. We are a small school and it is hard to diversify the classroom for all types of students.

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?
We have two teachers teaching the seventh grade. We split the class into two sections and alternate computer time. I go into the lab with the students while the other teacher remains with the non-ALEKS students.

Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
No. The students work through the topics as they are presented by ALEKS.

How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
The students work independently on the program while I circulate around the room. I help them as they need it.

How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
I try to make connections with topics addressed in class and the ALEKS program. I ask the students if they have seen the problem before. I like the review component of the program. For example, we are working with algebra right now. I appreciate the fact that they are still exposed to other areas of math during the week as well.

How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
Rarely. Not all of our students have computers at home.

How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
We discuss progress at parent/teacher conferences.


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?
I did not assign ALEKS homework the first quarter, but I may try it for the second quarter.

How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
Since this is the first time I have used it, I do not use it for a grade. I was not sure how it would work out.

Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
I can tell how much time they are on task because I go to the lab with them. I make regular checks on their progress.


Learning Outcomes

Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
ALEKS is great for motivating all types of learners. I think it is a valuable tool for presenting all aspects of math. Middle school learners need exposure to different categories of math, which is difficult to do in the regular classroom. The students are very proud of the amount of their pie that is filled in.