View a selection of implementation strategies from educators who are successfully using ALEKS to achieve dramatic learning outcomes.
Valley Christian High School, Private
San Jose, CA
Grade(s): 9 - 12
Scenario: Computer Lab, Computers in Classroom, Laptop Carts
Purpose: Enrichment/Gifted and Talented, Supplement
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 8-10%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 1.25 hours per week, 16 hours per term
ALEKS Course: Algebra 1, High School Geometry, Algebra 2, PreCalculus, AP Statistics (Quantitative), Math Review for AP Calculus
Claudia Smith, Teacher and Math Honors Advisor
My experience with ALEKS has been very positive. This is our second year of using ALEKS with almost 100 high school students. Ninety percent of our students are putting in their required time, and many are doing far more than required.
What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
Some students were not retaining concepts they had learned in previous years. We don't have extra class time to do extensive review without sacrificing time to teach new material.
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?
How do you implement ALEKS?
Students took the first assessment while being supervised in class and in the computer lab.
Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
We have no class time in PreCalculus, but I do bring up the class reports to show them how the class is progressing.
How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
I am able to spend less time on review concepts.
How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
Every week, they should total at least 75 minutes. We recommend at least 30 minutes in one sitting.
How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
Parents are informed about ALEKS through back-to-school nights, newsletters, open houses, teacher websites, and the syllabus.
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 one-third of the total homework in PreCalculus.
How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
For PreCalculus, ALEKS counts for five percent of their overall grade.
Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
Yes, progress is measured by items attempted and achieved as displayed on their weekly log reports. I also consider the percentage increase in their pies.
Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
Students light up when we are discussing a problem in class and they say, "I remember this from ALEKS!" Students with weak skills are able to catch up to the class by putting more time into ALEKS. They are very motivated to finish their pies. It is almost like a contest to see who can finish it by the end of March.
Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
Provide incentives and expectations when you begin ALEKS, and allow students to make up time if they miss a week due to a busy schedule.