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.

Gerald W. Kirn Jr. High School, Council Bluffs Community School District
Council Bluffs, IA

Grade(s): 7 - 8
Scenario: Computer Lab
Purpose: Intervention, At-Risk Students
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 80%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 3.5 hours per week, 31.5 hours per term

Cathy Stange, Instructional Strategist (SPED)/Fine Arts Teacher
I love the program and so do the students that I have using it. The fact that they are seeing immediate feedback on what they are doing is making them achieve faster.


Scenario

What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
I work with the at-risk kids that have very low scores and who were not feeling successful.

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?
42 minutes.


Implementation

How do you implement ALEKS?
We introduced the program, completed assessments, and let the students begin working.

Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
We are letting the students work in the order of their choice as we are going by levels. This seems to keep them interested.

How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
I am letting the students work independently on the program to fill gaps.

How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
I switched to using ALEKS because the program provides better feedback for both students and teachers than the previous program we used.

How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
I encourage them frequently throughout the week to work on ALEKS outside of our classroom.

How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
We have just started using the programs, so I have not had the opportunity to talk with many parents, but the ones that I have talked to are very supportive.


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?
Many of my students do not have home access, but I give plenty of time during class for them to work. At this point, I have not required them to complete ALEKS homework.

How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
We are just beginning to implement the program, so I have not decided exactly how I will break down the grading at this point. I will be implementing the percent grades by the end of this month, however.

Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
Yes, progress will be required based upon the skill levels of individual students.


Learning Outcomes

Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
I am seeing students retain knowledge better than before, and implementing it into their other math class.  


Best Practices

Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
I recommend making sure that students have a lot of computer time to work on the program.