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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Cabrillo Middle School, Santa Clara Unified School District
Santa Clara, CA

Grade(s): 6 - 8
Scenario: Computer Lab
Purpose: Supplement
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 30%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 1.5 hours per week, 13.5 hours per term
ALEKS Course: Middle School Math Course 2, Middle School Math Course 3, Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1

Glenn Lillie, Teacher
Students are engaged and enjoy seeing the immediate feedback. I can track student progress in real time. Students like that they can get help by using the Explain button rather than by asking me.


Scenario

How many days per week is class time dedicated to ALEKS?
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?
We spend two days a week in the ALEKS lab while still covering all of the eighth grade general math standards in class. The program was introduced and supported by our district office.

Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
No.

How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
They work from beginning to end to try to meet a goal of ten topics mastered per week.

How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
We spend fewer days working out of the textbook because of the preview students get from using ALEKS. We do not need to spend as much time on background information.

How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
They are required to complete ten topics per week. Anything not completed in class must be done at home.

How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
We have one to two math nights per year for parents to come learn about the program and how they can help their child.


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 15 percent of their total grade.

How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
ALEKS is 15 percent of their grade. The rest of their grade is made up of assignments worth 20 percent, tests worth 40 percent, quizzes worth 15 percent, and participation worth ten percent.

Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
Yes, ten topics mastered per week.


Learning Outcomes

Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
Most of my students start the year at about 12-15 percent mastery of the course. By the end of the year, almost all are above 75 percent mastery. They love to track their progress using the pie. Students get excited when I introduce a topic in math that they have already worked on in ALEKS. When this happens, they are more willing to participate in the discussion.


Best Practices

Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
Constantly use the reporting features of the program to give the kids immediate feedback while in the lab. Two or three times during the hour I will read aloud every student's progress. Students are constantly asking me to read the totals for the day.