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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Volcano School of Arts and Science, Hawaii Public Schools
Volcano, HI

Grade(s): K - 8
Scenario: Computers in Classroom
Purpose: Intervention, Enrichment/Gifted and Talented, Special Education, Supplement
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 25%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 2 hours per week, 50 hours per term
ALEKS Course: Mathematics - LV 3 (with QuickTables), Mathematics - LV 4 (with QuickTables), Mathematics - LV 5 (with QuickTables), Essential Mathematics (with QuickTables), Middle School Math Course 2, Middle School Math Course 3, Algebra Readiness, Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, High School Geometry

Christopher King-Gates, Special Education Teacher
ALEKS allows us teachers to differentiate in the classroom. We divide our classes into groups, and while teachers work with small groups, the other students work on their individualized ALEKS program. Diligent and motivated students excel with ALEKS, particularly those who are ahead of the grade level. ALEKS also allows us to challenge our "high flyers" (for example, we have a seventh grader working on high school Algebra), to meet the needs of those at grade level, and to provide our identified students with the interventions they need to succeed.


Scenario

What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
Students in each class were at several different grade levels in terms of math knowledge.

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?
60 minutes.


Implementation

How do you implement ALEKS?
We have banks of seven computer stations that run off of one desktop server, allowing us to have up to 14 students on ALEKS at a time even though we technically only have two desktops.

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

How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
We divide our class into level based groups and rotate the groups between co-teachers (special education and general education) and ALEKS. Most students work on ALEKS for two classes a week.

How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
We maintain our same teaching approach, but ALEKS enables us to divide our class into small groups and work closely with students.

How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
As much as they are able to work on ALEKS at home.

How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
We work with some parents to make sure their students make a certain amount of progress, since some of them are masters of wasting time on ALEKS.


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?
We sometimes have them print out practice sheets for homework.

How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
We have a separate graded category for each student's progress on ALEKS.

Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
Yes, 25 percent of a class per quarter minimum.


Learning Outcomes

Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
Diligent and motivated students excel with ALEKS, particularly those who are ahead of the grade level.


Best Practices

Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
Require students to complete a certain number of topics on ALEKS rather than spend a certain amount of time on it. It works very well for students who are high achievers or highly motivated.