4 Tips Every ALEKS User Should Know

by | Nov 3, 2017 | Tech Corner, Timely Tips |

Early engagement with the data in ALEKS shows students that you, the instructor, are engaged and paying attention.

  1. Always check the Initial Knowledge Check (IKC) scores for any ALEKS course as soon as students are completing them.  Select the Progress Report at the class level and review all of the IKC scores.  Everyone’s score will have important and “early in the course” meaning in your journey as an ALEKS data-driven educator.   Attention to the results of the IKC will immediately show your students that you are paying attention and are aware of their starting point for their personalized and adaptive learning in ALEKS.
  • Very Low scores could be an immediate red flag concerning the students’ foundational skills (for courses where such topics are included in the course) or simply an indicator of a student who blew off the IKC without understanding the implications.
  • Very high scores could be just the opposite – showing a student who might be ready for a higher level course (if the score is honestly attained without unauthorized assistance). Or, more often the high score might be an opportunity for the instructor to recalibrate ALEKS by having the student retake the IKC for a more honest and accurate result, so that their learning material is personalized to their lowest topic needs rather than being way beyond their capabilities.

MH_ALEKS_logo2.  Look at what’s on the second page of your dashboard!

You’ll find the tiles to Ready to Learn, Lost in Assessment, and Attempted Not Learned, which can help you to monitor student learning and focus your teaching.  Click on a topic in the tile to see an example of a problem. Or, click on % to see students.

Pacing Topics: When building Objectives, keep in mind that in order to complete one topic, the student must work through multiple questions (usually ~3-5 depending on the number of attempts.)

Those Ready for More:   Objectives with End Dates will keep your students on your schedule, and you control what happens if they are ahead of schedule.  By selecting “Open Next”, students move into the next Objective immediately. Selecting “Open All” will allow them to work on any Objective until the next one’s start date hits.  There will always be students at different points of learning, and its okay to let those that can move ahead do so.  ALEKS is also ready for those that may be struggling; the Reports will help you can diagnose where they need help.

Filters & Decoding Locked Topics:  If you use Objectives with end dates, help students learn how to filter their goal topics and understand what it means if a goal topic is locked.  Teach them to click on the lock to see what prerequisite topics they need to work on in order to unlock the goal topic. Here’s a helpful video that explains why some topics are locked that you can share with students.

3.  Lecture Launcher Best Practice: Review and use the Ready to Learn tile on your instructor dashboard. This is a great daily “lecture launcher” for a lectured-based class.  It also helps you to adapt your lectures based on what students have accomplished. Clicking on a topic from the ALEKS pie report will provide a sample problem. Clicking either Shift+F5 or Ctrl+F5 will refresh the page with another example of the problem.

4.  Student Tips to Share:

  • Are you using ALEKS to help you prepare for an upcoming exam, but you’re having trouble finding a topic you’ve already completed? Filter the topics in the Topics Carousel to include “Review” material that you already completed through practice or previous assessments. “Knowledge checks” are very important.  Share this video here to get the most out of your learning.
  • Keep the link of ALEKS How-to videos on your syllabus as well as the Student Resources page (which contains helpful resources and FAQ information).

Learn more about ALEKS and view a clickable demo: https://www.mheducation.com/highered/aleks.outcomes-tab6.html