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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Kahuku High and Intermediate School, Hawaii Department of Education
Kahuku, HI

Grade(s): 7 - 12
Scenario: Computers in Classroom
Purpose: Core Curriculum
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 80%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 1.8 hours per week
ALEKS Course: Pre-Algebra, Foundations of High School Math, Algebra 1, High School Geometry, Algebra 2

Daniel Hwang, Teacher
The students enjoy using ALEKS, and they learn skills in ways they normally wouldn't in an average classroom setting.


Scenario

What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
How to teach students who have widely-varied levels of ability in the same class.

How many days per week is class time dedicated to ALEKS?
4-5 days per week.

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


Implementation

How do you implement ALEKS?
I use it to act as the primary instructional tool, with my assistance (if they have questions) in class. We also do projects and other common assessments based on the state standards.

Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
Not at the moment.

How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
At the beginning of class, we discuss any important class announcements or key topics that a majority of students struggle with. Students then login to ALEKS and work for the remainder of the period. Students earn points for participation and lose points for any off-task behavior.

How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
I have reduced the number of group work assignments and the time of large group instruction significantly. Students tend to work on their own a lot (something I want to change, but don't quite know how).

How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
Only if they miss class. A lot of students do not own computers, or don't have Internet access at home.

How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
It's mostly awareness. It's new and unknown to the community. I have a small handful of classes that use it, and currently am the only one that uses it regularly. During all parent meetings, I discuss the nature of ALEKS and how I use it in the class.


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.

How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
Daily participation makes up about 35 percent of the overall grade. ALEKS assessments makes up 35 percent and projects and other outside assessments makes up 30 percent of a student's grade.

Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
No. I do measure progress, but not specific amounts until the end of the quarter where the students should be about 25 percent, 50 percent and 75 percent of the way through the course.


Learning Outcomes

Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
ALEKS students can do some things that I've never seen a student be able to do in regular a classroom setting. For example, I saw a student use a protractor to draw an angle by himself, whereas most students struggle with reading one in the first place. Another was able to make a parallelogram with a compass and ruler, where many students wouldn't even know where to begin. ALEKS makes them stronger in many aspects.