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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Eagle's Landing Middle School, Henry County Schools
McDonough, GA

Grade(s): 6 - 8
Scenario: Computer Lab
Purpose: Special Education, Intervention
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 85%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 1-2 hours per week
ALEKS Course: Middle School Math Course 2, Middle School Math Course 3

Je-Nita Villines, Special Education Teacher
My experience with ALEKS has been great. I like the immediate results the program offers and I like that students can track and monitor their own progress.


Scenario

What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
There is constant struggle each year with covering everything that is going to be on state assessments. In addition, we re-teach concepts from previous years that give students the most trouble.  

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?
45 minutes.


Implementation

How do you implement ALEKS?
ALEKS was implemented into our Students with Disabilities Study Skills class and curriculum. The study skills class is set up to be a support class for all academic classes; however, students with disabilities struggle with meeting standards on the state assessment, which makes ALEKS a great program to help our students improve their scores on state assessments.

Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
Yes; I start with whole numbers and integers. From there, I review, re-teach, and remediate according to each student's pie chart or progress report.

How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
Three days per week my classes go the ALEKS computer lab for an entire class period. The other days, I re-teach and remediate in the classroom. I also use those days to help students in their other academic classes.

How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
I modified my regular teaching approach a lot, in terms of classroom time and teaching time. I don't teach half as much as I used to, because the students are in the ALEKS Lab three days each week. I would rather be in the classroom, but I understand why and how ALEKS works. I've given up instructional time, to a certain degree, to ensure my students are successful in math and on state assessments.

How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
My students are not required to work on ALEKS at home, as I do not assign homework. However, they are encouraged to work on ALEKS at home. They are completely aware of how their subscriptions work.

How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
I cultivate parental involvement and support by making parents aware of the program and how it works. I inform parents via information on my webpage for the school and in our school newsletter.


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?
I do not assign homework.

How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
I grade the students on participation, improvement, and growth. On a weekly basis, students are expected to learn at least five concepts. For other students, the expectations are 8-10 concepts learned. I calculate and monitor their growth rate over a week's time. If at the end of the week a student who is expected to learn five concepts increases his concepts learned by five, she receives a 100 percent for that week's class work grade. Class work is worth 50 percent of the student's total grade in my class.

Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
Yes, I require students to make regular progress in ALEKS. Overall, the progress expectation is individually based.


Learning Outcomes

Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
Since the start of ALEKS, students are more concerned with their progress and how they learn. They are very aware of their abilities and like to improve upon them. The immediate feedback has been very beneficial in motivating students to participate in ALEKS.