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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University High School, Weld County School District 6
Greeley, CO

Grade(s): 9 - 12
Scenario: Computer Lab, Home Access
Purpose: Intervention, Special Education
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 100%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 3-4 hours per week, 62 hours per term
ALEKS Course: Foundations of High School Math

Jeff Petersen, Teacher
I feel my implementation and working with ALEKS has gone well. Many of my students have seen gains in their knowledge and filled in some of their skills gaps.


Scenario

What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
The students who came to high school without the basic skills to be successful in Algebra, were the students who were facing some challenges.   

How many days per week is class time dedicated to ALEKS?
2-3 days per week.

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


Implementation

How do you implement ALEKS?
We started using ALEKS as a supplement for special education students, students who needed skills gap remediation, and students who needed extra support for their current math class.

Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
I allow the students to pick.

How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
I have the students set goals for what they want to accomplish, and then support them in reaching those goals.

How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
ALEKS allows me to work with each student at their level. I like being able to work one on one with students.

How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
I encourage it as often as I can, but I am thinking about making it a requirement.

How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
The student group that I am working with unfortunately does not have a lot of parental support.


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?
ALEKS is 100 percent of student homework.

How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
I started by setting a certain number of topics that the student had to complete to get points for the week. Now, I have moved to having the students set a percent goal that they will complete by the end of the trimester, and their weekly points will be based on the completion of that goal. These goals are set up so they will complete the course by the end of the year. Overall, my grades are based on total points.

Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
The students must complete the course by the end of the year. To do this, we break it into small chunks. We are on a trimester system, so we break that overall goal into trimesters and then break down into a weekly goal based on percentages.


Learning Outcomes

Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
I have only been using it for eight weeks, but I have seen many students experience personal successes while learning math. I think it is nice that they can constantly monitor and see their growth and what they still have to learn.


Best Practices

Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
Having the students set personal goals seems to be helpful. It allows the students to take some personal responsibility for their learning.