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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Antelope Valley Learning Academy, Independent
Palmdale, CA

Grade(s): K - 8
Scenario: Home Access
Purpose: Intervention, Supplement
Time Spent in ALEKS: 3 hours per week
ALEKS Course: Mathematics - LV 3 (with QuickTables), Mathematics - LV 4 (with QuickTables), Mathematics - LV 5 (with QuickTables), Middle School Math Course 2

Karen Walters, Supervising Teacher
ALEKS helps students achieve mastery and also assists parent educators with instruction. The response from the families has been positive. All are excited to see the students' pies grow! The bar graphs for the assessments show steady growth. This is an example of the progression: 23, 33, 39, 49, 56, 63, 71, 77! Not only do math scores improve, but student self-confidence blossoms. Students communicate with me through the ALEKS message system; they show me their work, as well as notes showing their excitement about their accomplishments. Our school uses ALEKS as a supplement to our core math program. Most students, however, prefer to learn with ALEKS. It helps them feel independent when they achieve their math goals with ALEKS.


Scenario

What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
Some texts were not completely aligned with the state standards; supplementing with ALEKS solves that problem. I have requested that ALEKS be approved as a core curriculum for next school year. Our school uses a math testing system for benchmarks, but ALEKS provides frequent results and easily printable reports for an improved picture of growth.

How many days per week is class time dedicated to ALEKS?
Varies.

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


Implementation

How do you implement ALEKS?
Teachers held meetings where they demonstrate ALEKS to the students and their parents. Our school asked parents to sign a Supplemental Materials Contract, agreeing to use ALEKS three hours per week in addition to the student's core math program.

Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
No, each student is given permission to choose their next learning topic.

How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
ALEKS is always available to our home study students according to each family's schedule.

How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
For three hours per week.

How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
I use the ALEKS videos as a demonstration. I recommend the program to parents, citing student successes and the availability of QuickTables as key features.


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 optional. However, for those with a subscription, three hours of ALEKS use is required in addition to the five hours of math work from the core curriculum.

Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
No specific percentage of progress is required, just a time requirement. The good news is that by spending time learning in ALEKS, progress is practically a guarantee!


Learning Outcomes

Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
The bar graphs for the assessments show steady growth. This is an example of the progression: 23, 33, 39, 49, 56, 63, 71, 77! Not only do math scores improve, but student self-confidence blossoms. Students communicate with me through the ALEKS message system; they show me their work, as well as notes showing their excitement about their accomplishments. Our school uses ALEKS as a supplement to our core math program. Most students, however, prefer to learn with ALEKS. It helps them feel independent when they achieve their math goals with ALEKS.


Best Practices

Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
Families like that I print monthly progress reports to share with them at meetings. The standards reports are helpful for determining goals with families.