ALEKS - Assessment and Learning

Implementation Strategies

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

Shuksan Middle School, Bellingham School District
Bellingham, WA

Grade(s): 6 - 8
Scenario: Laptop Carts
Purpose: Intervention, At-Risk Students, Supplement
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 5%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 2.5 hours per week, 200 hours per term
ALEKS Course: Essential Mathematics (with QuickTables), Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1

Michael Zimmerman, Teacher
Students are engaged and have improved their basic math skills using ALEKS. The program is a good form of practice because it is self-paced, and students can pick topics from their ALEKS Pie according to what they want to work on during a given class period.


What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
Students with poor basic skills as eighth graders still head into the high school. Students are not ready for Algebra.

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?
35 minutes.


How do you implement ALEKS?
Students are engaged, so it is easier to work with individual students who may need help on a specific topic.

Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
No, I let students pick the topics they want to work on.

How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
It varies. At times we start with math review and practice problems on the board. Lately we have had very different schedules, so students have been working for most of the period on ALEKS.

How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
I offered, but I don't think our eighth graders understand the value of self-study yet. When I taught high school, students were more open to that.

How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
I send home progress reports for ALEKS, but since they are not my regular math class students, I don't engage their parents.


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?

How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
The support class is graded "S" for satisfactory. Our kids try, so most are successful to differing degrees.

Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
Yes, at times I challenge them and offer rewards. Recently, I told students that I will be checking their daily progress and that if they are working, we might go outside the following week. At times I also tell them to try to finish one piece of their pie.

Learning Outcomes

Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
Students don't complain about working on ALEKS, and they show improvement on scheduled assessments.

Best Practices

Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
Make sure students get in the habit of having a pencil and paper next to the computer so that they can work out calculations.