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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Warm Springs Middle School, Murrieta Valley Unified School District
Murrieta, CA

Grade(s): 6 - 8
Scenario: Computers in Classroom, Home Access
Purpose: At-Risk Students
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 50%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 5 hours per week, 90 hours per term
ALEKS Course: Essential Mathematics (with QuickTables)

Lacey Aarsvold, Teacher
ALEKS is the main math component for students in our at-risk program. Our students feel good about their progress in ALEKS! They like seeing their Pie slices fill up.


Scenario

What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
We were having difficulty providing an individualized program for our at-risk students that would allow them to progress in a timely manner.

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?
25 minutes plus 30 minutes for homework.


Implementation

How do you implement ALEKS?
I divide the class into three groups according to the topics that they are ready to learn next. The students spend 25 minutes at each rotation, including computer time for ALEKS, skill building, and a teacher led small group.

Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
Yes.

How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
Each class period is divided into four groups consisting of whole group instruction, small group rotation with computer time for ALEKS, skill building, and teacher led groups.

How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
I use small groups extensively now.

How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
I require my students to complete 30 minutes of ALEKS per night, five nights per week as their homework.

How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
I do not include parent involvement at this time. I should, however, send emails to parents explaining how ALEKS works and how to monitor their children 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?
Yes. ALEKS is assigned as 30 minutes of homework per night, five nights per week.

How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
I have two categories for ALEKS in my grading system: ALEKS homework is worth 10 percent, and in-class computer time is worth 25 percent. To calculate these grades, I look at time spent in ALEKS and the number of topics mastered each week.

Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
I have created Intermediate Objectives to assign due dates for each slice of the ALEKS Pie. I also direct students to specific topics that I want them working on if they are not making progress.


Learning Outcomes

Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
My students feel good about their progress in ALEKS! They like seeing their pie slices fill up.


Best Practices

Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
I use the Average Report Pie Chart to determine what each student is ready to learn next in order to plan my lessons.