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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John Young Middle School, School City of Mishawaka
Mishawaka, IN

Grade(s): 7 - 8
Scenario: Laptop Carts
Purpose: Enrichment/Gifted and Talented
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 25%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 1.5 hours per week, 15 hours per term
ALEKS Course: Middle School Math Course 2, Middle School Math Course 3

Rebecca Crocker, Teacher
Overall, I am very pleased with ALEKS. Since starting ALEKS, I cannot believe the progress some of my students have made. Students that are normally non-committal and blasé about math suddenly can't wait for our "ALEKS day." I have even had several students work on the program at home without being asked, just so that they could see their pie grow! My students are proud of themselves regarding their progress and several students have had contests to see who has made the most progress.


Scenario

What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
Since I use ALEKS with my gifted and talented students, they really didn't face any challenges except the normal lethargy and non-caring that middle school students sometimes possess.

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?
88 minutes.


Implementation

How do you implement ALEKS?
I use ALEKS as a way to accelerate some topics with my students.

Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
There is no specific order.

How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
We have ALEKS days where students take a laptop off of the cart and work individually. Often, I create quizzes for the students that are aligned to what we are working on in the regular class curriculum.

How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
The only modifications I have made are dedicating an entire class period to individualized ALEKS time. I also sometimes use ALEKS days as a lesson plan for when I am absent. The students are well-trained in the procedures, so it is an easy transition for them to make.

How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
My students are encouraged to work at home as much or as little as they like. Because I have dedicated ALEKS days, they have plenty of time to work and show growth on their pie chart.

How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
The parents in our school corporation are VERY behind the use of ALEKS and they believe it is a great program. Most of this results from the hard work that our district curriculum coordinator has put into advertising the ALEKS program.


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 only use the quizzes that ALEKS generates in my grading system. If I had to use a percentage breakdown, it is probably 20 percent.

Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
I do not require them to make regular amounts of progress. However, if I notice that a student is making no progress (easily seen by the teacher), then I work with or talk to the student individually to find out what is holding him or her back.


Learning Outcomes

Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
Since starting ALEKS, I cannot believe the progress some of my students have made. Students that are normally non-committal and blasé about math suddenly can't wait for our "ALEKS day." I have even had several students work on the program at home without being asked, just so that they could see their pie grow! My students are proud of themselves regarding their progress and several students have had contests to see who has made the most progress.


Best Practices

Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
I really believe in the ALEKS program! Although I use it with gifted and talented students, I believe that it can also serve as a remediation program. The students love the individualized approach and they always enjoy a topic when they can integrate technology.