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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Edward Hynes Charter School, Orleans Parish Schools
New Orleans, LA

Grade(s): 6 - 8
Scenario: One-to-One Laptop Program
Purpose: Intervention
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 20%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 2 hours per week

Ana Riehlmann, Teacher
My students are allowed to learn according to their own pace. The assessment is very important because it gives them a real perspective of their accomplishments. For me as a teacher, it is a perfect way to address many students at once without compromising their learning; each receives their individualized instruction and each has my support at the same time.


Scenario

What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
It was difficult to implement an effective intervention program before since students had different levels of difficulties.

How many days per week is class time dedicated to ALEKS?
1-2 days per week.

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


Implementation

How do you implement ALEKS?
ALEKS started after the school year had already begun. Once we detected students in need for intervention, we started using ALEKS so we could reach more students effectively. Each teacher focused on a group of 4-5 students at a time, and closely monitored each student's progress. Sometimes I had to use supplemental sources to help students.

Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
I try to cover number sense and number relations first. After that, I allow a certain flexibility so students don't get bored.

How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
Sometimes students just log in to continue working on a previous skill, other times students focus on a standard that connects to the current class work, and other times students will work on basic skills needed in order to move on.

How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
I was able to recognize each student's difficulty. Once I figured out the student's weakness, I was able to address it.

How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
I expected them to use it at home at least once per week.

How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
Parents were contacted initially when the program was implemented. After the initial contact, parents are reminded often to encourage their child to use the program at home.


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?
I did not use it for grades.

Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
They controlled their progress by checking the pie.


Learning Outcomes

Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
Many students have been able to cover the gaps that existed in their understanding of math, giving them more confidence when back in the regular classroom. Most students started to recognize the validity of the program once they saw the impact it caused on their learning.


Best Practices

Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
It is very important to monitor them closely. The use of the tool needs to be clear and efficient in order to promote positive results. Students should not be left to use the program without the teacher's observation.