ALEKS offers both flexibility and control in how you structure your content and pacing. No matter your course format—traditional lecture, online, co-requisite, lab-based, flipped classroom, or any other— ALEKS provides a simple, intuitive setup process that meet your unique course goals and saves valuable time.
Let’s build a new class to show you how you will structure course goals in ALEKS to keep students motivated and on pace for your curriculum.
The content in ALEKS is textbook-agnostic to allow for a course design that works for you. Additionally, if you choose to integrate with a textbook, the ALEKS topics will align to that textbook’s table of contents. When students work through the ALEKS topics, they will have access to these resources for additional support:
ALEKS supports all course formats. On this page, we are choosing Objectives with end dates much like we would in a traditional course because we want to keep students engaged and on pace with the syllabus. Think of your ALEKS Objectives as your homework assignments.
The Objectives editor is where you have total control over what content to include, and in what order students will move through that content. You can include and exclude given chapters, sections, and even topics in each Objective. The ALEKS topics are written at a very granular level, giving you great flexibility and control over your assignments.
You can also create your own objectives if you need to split a chapter into two or three separate assignments, or combine sections from different chapters into one. Once you have your Objectives content set, it’s simple to align to due dates that you need.
By setting due dates for each objective, you can apply the structure of the course to align with your lectures. Students will earn a grade for the assignment, or Objective, based on the number of topics they’ve learned by the due date. Here is an example of an ALEKS syllabus that students will follow. ALEKS builds this once you have chosen your content and due dates.
Students will work on their assignment, and will be presented with topics that they are ready to learn. Any topics that students do not complete before the due date will reappear as part of a future objective when it is a prerequisite for that objective. The above student example illustrates how a student will still need to work through important pre-req topics from a prior assignment that are needed to be successful in their current assignment.
Once you've selected your content, ALEKS will analyze your selection to determine if any additional prerequisite topics should be considered. This analysis is based on 20+ years of data that is continuously informing the system to ensure students are presented with the most optimal learning path for their unique skill set.
You can choose to add in the full amount of recommended prerequisite topics, the minimum prerequisite topics, or no prerequisites. Students will only work on prerequisites they haven’t mastered. Some course formats might utilize these more than others, such as co-requisite or accelerated models.
In addition to the personalized and dynamic learning path within the ALEKS Pie, ALEKS Assignments are another opportunity to assign specific content that supports your teaching style. Use ALEKS Assignments for pacing goals, test preparation, pre-lecture assignments, or deep dives into specific concepts via homework, test, or quiz assignments.
Let’s take a look at how to create an ALEKS Assignment for your students. You can find Assignments in the sub-navigation menu on the Instructor Module home page. Select Assignments to get started.
The Assignment List displays all of your assignments, which you can easily update and manage from this page. Adjust start and end dates, view reports, and more.
In the New Assignment option, you’ll see a variety of assignment types. Select the type that best fits your teaching style and your students’ learning needs. Follow the steps on the next page to build your assignment.
Knowledge Checks surface automatically throughout a student’s ALEKS experience to ensure mastery and inform the learning path that appears as the ALEKS Pie. However, you can schedule a Knowledge Check at any time to get a sense of where each student is individually at that point in the course. For example, you may want to see everyone’s mastery levels midway through the term to understand who is behind and who is ahead.
The Pacing Goals (Pie Progress Goal, Time Goal, and Topic Goal) require students to meet a specific level of progress or a minimum level of participation over a defined period of time. For example, use the Pie Progress Goal to require students to complete a percentage of the ALEKS Pie by a certain date. Or use weekly Time or Topic Goals to discourage procrastination. These goals hold students accountable to work in ALEKS consistently and can be part of the grade.
These types of ALEKS Assignments can serve as extra credit, pre-lecture assignments, exam prep, or targeted review. Though they do not affect students’ learning paths within the ALEKS Pie, they provide strong support to any implementation model.
There are many ways to customize these assignments to fit your course and your students’ needs, including choosing which resources are available to students, making grading adjustments, and choosing when and how students access the assignment.
Whether you want to assign students ALEKS topics or have them practice questions from your integrated McGraw-Hill textbook, you control what the assignment will cover. Drill down to the specific ALEKS topic or textbook question to add content to your assignment.
Whether you build an assignment from ALEKS topics or your textbook exercises, each question is algorithmically generated to ensure no two assignments are exactly alike.
The preview allows you to check each question and see the explanation that appears to students.
In addition to the personalized and dynamic learning path, ALEKS Assignments give you control of the content you can assign. Maximize your ALEKS experience with flexible homework, quizzes, and tests to support your teaching style and improve learning outcomes.
Once you choose your course topics, the Initial Knowledge Check will adjust to support your curriculum. Your ALEKS implementation manager will then consult on how best to structure your course content and pacing. If you are teaching a face-to-face course you may add more due dates to keep students on pace. If you are teaching in a lab, you might pace students based on mastery instead of due dates.
McGraw-Hill has a dedicated team of experts and a library of online resources to help you get the most out of your ALEKS experience. In addition to your local rep, here is what you can expect:
With traditional online homework systems, you often have to wait for the first exam’s results to see where students are struggling. ALEKS works to help you gauge students’ true conceptual understanding of the course concepts in real-time. Being able to identify a student’s strengths and weaknesses is critical to capturing their attention, effectively monitoring their progress, and supporting them throughout the entire course.
ALEKS Insights alert you when students might be at risk of falling behind so you can take immediate action. Insights show students who exhibit at least one of four negative behaviors that may require intervention. In addition to Insights, you can leverage just-in-time reporting to address the struggles of the class and of individual students in a much more efficient and effective way.
ALEKS Insights simplify the reporting experience by summarizing four key problematic student behaviors revealed by the ALEKS reports. Instructors will receive a weekly email each Sunday evening that lists the students falling into each category and can access the Insights upon login.
Insights are available via the Instructor Dashboard or the ALEKS Menu. Instructors can view Insights across all their sections or one section at a time.
The four ALEKS Insights are:
Failed Topics indicate that ALEKS has detected students experiencing difficulties while learning these topics. These topics have been attempted multiple times without success, and you can view each attempt the student made within the Learning Sequence. You can also select the affected students and message them from the Insights report. This report is updated in real time and captures the top failed topics over the past seven days.
The Decreased Learning Insight identifies students whose learning rate has decreased significantly despite continual work in ALEKS. This may mean that a student is “hitting a wall” and may need instructor intervention.
The Unusual Learning Insight identifies students whose learning rate has increased significantly compared to their usual pace. This signifies that a student may not be doing his or her own work. Like other Insights, instructors can view a report from the dashboard or message the student, but they can also schedule a Knowledge Check for that student. Any topics that a student hasn’t learned and retained will resurface in their ALEKS Pie.
The Procrastination & Cramming Insight in ALEKS identifies students exhibiting extremely long periods of inactivity followed by possible cramming.
With ALEKS, you can leverage the just-in-time reporting to address class struggles and individual student struggles in a much more efficient and effective way.
The ALEKS Pie Report, for example, shares exactly what your class is ready to learn based on their current knowledge and progress.
The ALEKS Pie Report shows the class progress for each objective and for each topic. Specifically, it shows the percentage of students who have mastered each topic, who are ready to learn each topic, and who attempted, but did not yet learn each topic. This report can inform your lecture on where you might adjust your coverage of topics. How could this impact your class time?
You can view the Pie Report data at the class level to inform class time. But it is also available at the individual student level. See a breakdown of each student’s progress at the objective and topic levels.
The Time and Topic Report shows daily, weekly, and monthly time on task. Within this report, the Learning Sequence Log provides insight into how each student learns and their study habits, which enables more timely one-on-one interactions. When are students working? How quickly are they learning and what might be tripping them up?
Select a day on the Learning Sequence Log to see which topics a student attempted, learned, and struggled with. The circles indicate each attempt at that practice problem and the result—whether they got it right, wrong, or needed an explanation. If you select an attempt, you can see how much time the student spent on the problem, the answer, and the correct answer. How does this compare with your current system?
How do you know a student has really learned a topic? ALEKS recognizes that each student will have a different learning path through each topic. Some students may only need to practice a topic 3-4 times. Others may need to practice the topic 6-7 times. ALEKS allows for all paths as it personalizes the learning to drive student mastery.
The ALEKS Progress Report highlights student progress throughout the semester. You can see student knowledge growth between each ALEKS Knowledge Check and explore the rate at which they learn topics. Get a feel for time spent vs. overall mastery to gauge which students are getting ahead and which ones are falling behind.
You can view a Progress Report at the individual student level as well. See a student’s results vs. time spent on each Knowledge Check to ensure the student’s mastery and learning is consistent over time.
In the ALEKS gradebook, you can weigh the categories and assignments according to your needs. We recommend the learning in ALEKS and the Knowledge Checks total at least 20-30% of your overall grade. Your ALEKS Implementation manager can help you determine additional topic or time goals that support your needs.
We provide industry-leading uptime and superior customer support. Our ALEKS uptime is 99.98% and compares with Google. ALEKS instructors and students can spend more time teaching and less time troubleshooting.
The ALEKS reports and gradebook are designed to give you more clarity on your students’ progress and to enable more meaningful 1-on-1 interactions. Our goal is to help you facilitate those lightbulb “aha” moments, helping students overcome their challenges and unlock their potential.