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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Prairieview-Ogden Junior High School, Prairieview-Ogden Community Consolidated School District #197
Thomasboro, IL

Grade(s): 7 - 8
Scenario: Computer Lab
Purpose: RtI, Enrichment/Gifted and Talented, Improve State Test Scores, Core Curriculum
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 50%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 2 hours per week
ALEKS Course: Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, High School Geometry

Bryan Hartman, Teacher
I have had a very positive experience with ALEKS. I hear a lot of "Oh, I learned this on ALEKS" when we cover new topics in class. Although students ask about other programs, I tell them we're sticking with ALEKS because it's tied to state standards and actually requires students to work on the problems then input an answer. ALEKS also helps me cover a lot of topics, which students should have learned, in a short period of time. Initial assessments give me a good feel for the strengths and weaknesses of each class and student.


Scenario

What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
Geometry is really a struggle with my incoming seventh graders.

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

What is the average length of a class period when ALEKS is used?
40 minutes.


Implementation

How do you implement ALEKS?
I have a math lab class where we play strategy and math games half the days and ALEKS the other half. I require a certain number of topics be completed each week for a grade.

Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
No, I let students work individually. I may require some topics as test preparation.

How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
An entire class period is devoted to ALEKS. Students can also use it when they are finished with their homework.

How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
I focus more on Geometry because the assessment results were showing large deficiencies.

How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
Each week, the top ALEKS performers receive a bonus. We also have a summer program where we encourage students to stay sharp over the summer by using ALEKS occasionally.

How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
We talk about it in terms of Response to Intervention (RtI) for both low and high level students. Test results are shown to parents during parent-teacher conferences.


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?
Whatever they can't get done out of ten topics per week is homework. It's usually little to no homework.

How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
It's 50 percent of their math lab (elective) grade.

Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
Yes, ten topics per week usually. I print a report every Monday morning, and the number of topics out of ten is their percent.


Learning Outcomes

Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
I hear a lot of "Oh, I learned this on ALEKS" when we cover new topics in class. Although students ask about other programs, I tell them we're sticking with ALEKS because it's tied to state standards and actually requires students to work on the problems then input an answer.