ALEKS - Assessment and Learning

7.6 Models of Classroom Integration


There are numerous ways in which ALEKS can be and is used in concrete educational situations.

Supervised Statistics Lab
Expert supervision can be provided for the students' use of ALEKS in regularly scheduled statistics lab periods, whether or not these are part of a conventional class structure. Students benefit from the direct coaching and assistance of qualified instructors in the course of their work with ALEKS.

Statistics Lab in Structured Course
The supervised statistics lab may be part of a structure of class meetings, combined with conventional and lecture-style classes. The instructor in such a setting need not gear the sequence of topics covered in classes in any way to what the students are doing in ALEKS; the students' independent work in ALEKS will increasingly benefit their performance on quizzes and tests, as well as their understanding of lectures. ALEKS is not designed to "teach to the test," although experience has shown that students' performance on comprehensive tests improves dramatically when they have worked with ALEKS over time.

Small-Group Instruction
The recommended use of ALEKS in a classroom setting makes use of the detailed analysis of individual student knowledge provided through the Course Report page to tailor the lectures to the skills of students.

Self-Paced Learning
In this scenario students may use the college computer lab on their own, with only informal supervision. ALEKS is used in this case much as it is for distance learning, except that students have the opportunity for closer consultation with the instructor.

Distance Learning
ALEKS is used by students who may never enter the physical classroom, or may enter only on a few occasions for orientation and supervised assessments. ALEKS provides a range of features for communication between instructor and student, as well as powerful facilities for the monitoring and evaluation of student work.
Regardless of which approach is used, you can derive more benefit from ALEKS through monitoring the students' use of ALEKS and communicating with them, whether in direct contact, by email, or by messages through the ALEKS system. As discussed above, we recommend that a certain number of hours in ALEKS each week be required (Sec. 7.3); this should be made clear from the start as part of the published course syllabus and rewarded appropriately through the grading scheme. Students' progress in ALEKS should be recognized and reinforced early on; conversely, students who do not seem to make adequate progress should be contacted promptly.
The following sections of this chapter provide more information on these issues affecting the classroom use and integration of ALEKS.