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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Crittenden Middle School, Mountain View Whisman School District
Mountain View, CA

Grade(s): 6 - 8
Scenario: Computer Lab, Computers in Classroom, Home Access
Purpose: Intervention
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 33%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 4.5 hours per week, 70 hours per term
ALEKS Course: Mathematics - LV 3 (with QuickTables), Mathematics - LV 4 (with QuickTables), Mathematics - LV 5 (with QuickTables), Middle School Math Course 2, Middle School Math Course 3, Pre-Algebra

Susan C. Abbott, Teacher
ALEKS has allowed me to teach math more successfully in my special day class, where my students' skill levels range from third grade to Algebra.


Scenario

What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
I had many levels of student skills in my special day class, and students who really learned better with individual instruction. It was very difficult to find lessons that were standards-based for all grade levels and at the students' instructional level.

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?
50 minutes.


Implementation

How do you implement ALEKS?
I assign six students a day to use ALEKS during the math period. During the computer lab period, I give students at least 20 minutes to work in ALEKS.

Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
No, I let ALEKS determine what needs to be taught.

How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
I have a chart on my white board that lists what each student should be doing.

How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
ALEKS allows me to truly individualize my instruction, which makes my students feel successful.

How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
It is a parental decision whether or not the student works at home. However, it is obvious which students work at home due to their greater success.

How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
I share the data on students' progress reports. Last year, a student grew three grade levels in one year because of his parents' dedication to using ALEKS at home.


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 typically give homework, but I do require concentrated effort in class.

How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
I give a participation/effort/attitude grade for using the program. I am looking to develop a more data-based method of grading ALEKS.

Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
I haven't been requiring a certain amount of progress, but I would like to start doing that in the future.


Learning Outcomes

Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
I have seen a lot of growth on the state standardized testing. With ALEKS, my students are able to cover a wider range of skills, and at least be exposed to problems written in a similar way to the standardized tests. My students beg me for more time on ALEKS, because it provides them with a feeling of success that is real, which is rare for a special education student.


Best Practices

Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
I have noticed that having students help their peers is a double success for me. First, I can tell whether or not a student has a good understanding of the concept; second, it can be less emotionally difficult for students when they work together to solve a problem.