ALEKS - Assessment and Learning

Implementation Strategies

View a selection of implementation strategies from educators who are successfully using ALEKS to achieve dramatic learning outcomes. 

Submit your ALEKS implementation strategy by completing our online survey.

Community Home Education Program, Orange County Department of Education School District
Costa Mesa, CA

Grade(s): K - 8
Scenario: Computer Lab, Online School, Home Access
Purpose: Credit Recovery, Enrichment/Gifted and Talented, Summer School, Improve State Test Scores
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 100%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 4 hours per week, 36 hours per term
ALEKS Course: Mathematics - LV 3 (with QuickTables), Mathematics - LV 4 (with QuickTables), Mathematics - LV 5 (with QuickTables), Essential Mathematics (with QuickTables), Pre-Algebra, High School Preparation for Algebra 1, Algebra 1, High School Geometry

Celia Endsley, Teacher
I have been using ALEKS for over four years. Students using ALEKS make great progress because they are constantly reviewing and being tested on the subject matter in a particular course, as opposed to taking a single test on a topic or strand and then moving on to the next. They receive grades each quarter based on time spent online and growth in the course. They also print out weekly worksheets to keep them familiar with paper and pencil work. Students who choose to use ALEKS over the textbook love it, and so do their parents! ALEKS teaches through example, and students are able to move forward or review according to need. Most students love tackling one problem at a time and only having to complete several problems correctly before "adding a piece to their pie slice" and moving on. Younger students think QuickTables are great and are challenged to improve and earn a new game!


Scenario

What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
Our primary reason for starting ALEKS was the lack of state adopted curriculum provided for middle school students who were not yet ready for Pre-Algebra or Algebra 1. Additionally, we are now able to offer even higher level courses like Geometry and Algebra 2, courses we were previously unable to provide textbooks for.

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

What is the average length of a class period when ALEKS is used?
45-50 minutes.


Implementation

How do you implement ALEKS?
For about 30 percent of our students, ALEKS is their core curriculum.

Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
Only our Algebra 1 class has the order of topics prescribed. This is to ensure that students are prepared for the  quarterly exams which are given at the school sites.

How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
Students work at home, at school sites, and in school site computer labs.

How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
Daily.

How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
Students use their parents for support as much as necessary. We meet with parents monthly to discuss concerns and student progress.


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?
Assigned individually, but usually 100 percent unless they are only using QuickTables.

How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
For students on a graded report card, 100 percent of their grade is based on ALEKS -  33 percent for time spent online, 33 percent for progress made (growth made between comprehensive assessments assigned each quarter), and 33 percent for results of paper and pencil exams given at the school sites. For younger students, we use the ALEKS Standards Report to show progress toward meeting state standards.


Learning Outcomes

Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
Students using ALEKS make great progress because they are constantly reviewing and being tested on the subject matter in a particular course, as opposed to taking a single test on a topic or strand and then moving on to the next. They receive grades each quarter based on time spent online and growth in the course. They also print out weekly worksheets to keep them familiar with paper and pencil work. Students who choose to use ALEKS over the textbook love it, and so do their parents! ALEKS teaches through example, and students are able to move forward or review according to need. Most students love tackling one problem at a time and only having to complete several problems correctly before "adding a piece to their pie slice" and moving on. Younger students think QuickTables are great and are challenged to improve and earn a new game!


Best Practices

Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
Take the time to play around and look at all the features ALEKS has to offer. There is something in every course to help you meet the needs of every student, and you are able to individually customize by class, as well as by student.