Instructor`s Manual

Instructor`s Manual
Instructor’s Manual
for Math Prep for Accounting
Advanced Customer Solutions
ALEKS Corporation
ALEKS Instructor’s Manual for Math Prep for Accounting, Version 3.18.
Copyright © 2013 ALEKS Corporation.
Revised March 26, 2013.
Prepared by Advanced Customer Solutions, ALEKS Corporation.
®
ALEKS is a registered trademark of ALEKS Corporation.
Contents
List of Figures
xiii
Preface
xvii
1 Introduction [intro]
1
1.1
What is ALEKS? [aleks] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
1
1.2
The ALEKS Instructor’s Manual [manual] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
1
2 Quick Start [quick]
3
2.1
Obtaining a Course Code [obtainingcoursecode] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
3
2.2
Registering Students [registeringstudents] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
4
3 Setup Guide for Instructors [setup]
5
3.1
Instructor Preparation [preparation] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
5
3.2
System Requirements [technical] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
5
3.3
Installation [installation] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6
3.4
Instructor Module [instructormoduleintro] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
7
3.5
Lab Check [labcheck] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
7
3.6
Student Orientation [orientation] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
8
3.7
Registration [registration]
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
8
3.8
Tutorial [tutorial] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
9
3.9
First Assessment [firstassessment] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
9
3.10
Report Tutorial [reporttutorial] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
9
3.11
Beginning the Learning Mode [beginninglearningmode] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
iii
iv
CONTENTS
4 Assessment Mode [assess]
11
4.1
Assessments in ALEKS [assessments] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
4.2
Guidelines for Assessments [assessmentrules] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
4.3
How Assessments are Triggered [assessmentscheduling] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
4.3.1
Initial Assessment [initialassessment] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
4.3.2
Automatic Assessments [automaticassessments] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
4.3.3
Scheduled Assessments [scheduledassessments] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
4.3.4
Requested Assessments for a single student [requestedassessments] . . . . . 14
4.4
Buttons [assessbuttons] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
4.5
Answer Editor [ansed] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
4.6
Manipulators for Mathematical Expressions [manipulators] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
4.7
4.6.1
Basic Input [basicinput] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
4.6.2
Basic Editing Tools [basiceditingtools] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
4.6.3
Selecting Input [selectinginput] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
4.6.4
Clear and Undo [clearandundo]
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
Mathematical Expressions [boxes] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
4.7.1
Entering Expressions from the Keyboard [enteringexpressions] . . . . . . . 18
4.7.2
Using the Answer Editor Keypad to Structure Simple Expressions [keypad] 18
4.7.3
Entering Complex Expressions [complexexpressions] . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
4.7.4
Alternate Ways of Entering Expressions [alternateways] . . . . . . . . . . . 18
4.7.5
Other Mathematical Signs [othermathematicalsigns] . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
4.7.6
The Asterisk for Multiplication [asterisk] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
4.7.7
Mixed Numbers [mixednumbers] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
4.8
Types of Mathematical Expressions [expressions] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
4.9
Advanced Mathematical Expressions [advancedexpressions] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
4.10
The Answer Editor for Graphing [graphing] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
4.11
Assessment Report [report] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
4.11.1
Interpreting the Pie Chart [reportinterpreting] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
4.12
Ready to Learn [readytolearn] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
4.13
Progress Bars [progressbars] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
CONTENTS
v
5 Learning Mode [learning]
25
5.1
The ALEKS Learning Mode [learningmodule] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
5.2
Interface Features [learnbuttons] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
5.3
5.2.1
Ending an ALEKS Session [exitbutton] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
5.2.2
Options [optionsbutton] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
5.2.3
Report [reportbutton] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
5.2.4
Dictionary [dictionarybutton] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
5.2.5
Calculator [calculator] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
5.2.6
Review [reviewbutton]
5.2.7
Gradebook [gradebookbutton] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
5.2.8
Calendar [calendarbutton] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
5.2.9
Worksheet [worksheetbutton] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
5.2.10
Assignments [assignmentsbutton] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
5.2.11
Inbox [messagebutton]
5.2.12
Help [helpbutton] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
5.2.13
MyPie [mypiebutton] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
The Learning Mode Interface [learninginterface] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
5.3.1
Practice Page [practice] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
5.3.2
Explanation Page [explanation] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
5.3.3
Wrong Answer Page [wrong] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
5.4
Feedback in Learning Mode [learningfeedback] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
5.5
Review [review] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
5.6
Worksheet [worksheet] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
5.7
Ask a Friend [friend] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
6 Basic Instructor Module [im2basic]
6.1
37
Instructor account [courselist] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
6.1.1
My Account Settings [myaccountsettings] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
6.1.2
Student View [studentview] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
6.1.3
Course Forum [courseforumim2basic] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
6.1.4
Inbox [inbox] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
vi
CONTENTS
6.2
6.3
6.1.5
ALEKS Community [alekscommunity] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
6.1.6
ALEKS Training [alekstraining] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
6.1.7
Archiving Classes and Instructors [archiving] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
6.1.8
Use Advanced Instructor Module [useadvancedim2] . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
6.1.9
Sign Out [signout] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
6.1.10
Course Home Page [home] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
Reports [reports] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
6.2.1
Available Reports [availablereports] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
6.2.2
Download Report Data [downloadreportdata] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
6.2.3
Send Message To Selected Students [sendstudentmessage] . . . . . . . . . . 46
6.2.4
Viewing Student History Across Multiple ALEKS courses [studenthistorydata] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
6.2.5
Interpreting Bar Graphs [interpretingbargraphs] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
6.2.6
ALEKS Pie (Average Report) [averagereport] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
6.2.7
ALEKS Pie Report (Individual) [reportparticularstudent] . . . . . . . . . . 50
6.2.8
Objective Pie View [objectivepiereport] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
6.2.9
Progress Bar Reports [progressbarreports] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
6.2.10
Learning progress since latest assessment [learningreport] . . . . . . . . . . 53
6.2.11
Total progress (Overall progress) [overallreport] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
6.2.12
Detailed progress history - Class [detailedreport] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
6.2.13
Progress report for a single student in this course [progressparticularstudent] 56
6.2.14
Time and Topic Report [timeandtopicreport] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
6.2.15
Knowledge Per Slice [knowledgeperslice] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
6.2.16
Assignment Reports [assignmentreports] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
6.2.17
Homework, Quiz, and Test Results [homeworkreport] . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
6.2.18
Scheduled assessment report [scheduledreport] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
Course Creation and Configuration [addeditcourse] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
6.3.1
Basic Information [basicinformation] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62
6.3.2
Textbook Integration, Custom Objectives, and Modules [selecttextbook] . 62
6.3.3
Select Objectives [selectchapters] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64
6.3.4
Objective Completion [objectivecompletion] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
CONTENTS
6.4
6.5
6.6
vii
6.3.5
Objective Completion Assessment [objectivecompletionassessment] . . . . . 66
6.3.6
Objective Pie View [objectivepieview] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
6.3.7
Using the Custom Objective Tool [customobjectives] . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
6.3.8
Edit Content [editcontent] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69
6.3.9
Section Level Content [sectionlevelcontent] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70
6.3.10
Supplementary Textbook Topics [supplementarytextbooktopics] . . . . . . 70
6.3.11
Core Readiness Topics in the Content Editor [readinessreviewchapters] . . 70
6.3.12
Edit Course [editcourse] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71
Assignments [homeworkquiztest] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72
6.4.1
Homework [homework] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72
6.4.2
Add Homework [addhomework] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73
6.4.3
Basic Information [assignmentbasic] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73
6.4.4
Content [assignmentcontent] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74
6.4.5
Gradebook Settings [assignmentgrbksettings] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75
6.4.6
Advanced Options [assignmentadvoptions] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77
6.4.7
Grading Scale [assignmentgrscale] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77
6.4.8
Edit Homework [edithomework] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78
6.4.9
Assessments [assessmentsim2basic] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79
6.4.10
Scheduled Assignment Behaviors [sysresponsetoscheduledassignment] . . . 80
6.4.11
Edit all Assignment Dates [editallassignmentdates] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80
6.4.12
Worksheets [worksheets] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81
6.4.13
Course Calendar [coursecalendar] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82
Gradebook [gradebook] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83
6.5.1
Gradebook Interface [gradebookinterface] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84
6.5.2
External Assignments [externalassignments] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85
6.5.3
Adjust Student Scores [adjustscoresgradebk] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86
6.5.4
Gradebook Log [gradebooklog] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86
6.5.5
Gradebook Setup [gradebookweighting] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87
6.5.6
Grading Scale for Total Grade [gradingscaletotalgrade] . . . . . . . . . . . 88
Administrator Center [administratorcenter] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89
6.6.1
View Course Roster [viewcourseroster]
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89
viii
CONTENTS
6.6.2
Student Account Preferences [studentaccountpreferences] . . . . . . . . . . 89
6.6.3
Move a Student from this Course to Another [moveastudenttoanothercourse] 90
6.6.4
Unenroll a Student from this Course [unenrollastudentfromthiscourse] . . . 90
6.6.5
Access this Course Forum [accessthiscourseforum] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90
6.6.6
Delete this Course [deletethiscourse] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90
6.6.7
Financial Aid Code [financialaidcode] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90
6.6.8
Student Groups [studentgroups] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91
6.6.9
Share Course Access [sharecourseaccess] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92
6.6.10
Course Resources [courseresources] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92
6.6.11
View all your Courses and Courses Codes [viewallyourcoursesandcoursecodes] 93
6.6.12
Create a new Instructor Account (Admin only) [createnewinstructor] . . . 93
6.6.13
Password Issues (Admin only) [passwordissues] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94
6.6.14
Instructor Account Preferences (Admin only) [editinstructor] . . . . . . . . 94
6.6.15
Move a Course from One Instructor to Another (Admin only) [moveacoursefromoneinstructor] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94
6.6.16
Delete an Instructor Account (Admin only) [deleteaninstructoraccount] . . 94
7 Advanced Instructor Module [im2advanced]
95
7.1
Selector Window [selectorwindow] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96
7.2
Instructor Folder [instructorfolder] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97
7.3
7.4
7.2.1
Edit Instructor [editinstructorinadv] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97
7.2.2
Cleanup Tool [instructorcleanuptool]
7.2.3
Send Message [im2sendmessage] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99
7.2.4
Instructor Resources [instructorresources] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98
Course Home [coursehome] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99
7.3.1
Course Options [courseoptions] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100
7.3.2
Advanced Options [advancedoptions] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101
7.3.3
Actions [actions] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101
7.3.4
Enroll Students [enrollstudentsinstructor] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101
Reports [im2advreports] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102
7.4.1
Course Reports [classreportim2adv] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102
CONTENTS
ix
7.4.2
Individual Student Reports [indreportim2adv] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102
7.4.3
Available Reports [availablereportsim2adv] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103
7.4.4
Assign Learning Rates [assignlearningrates] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103
7.5
Course Gradebook [coursegradebook] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103
7.6
Course Homework [coursehomework] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103
7.6.1
Duplicate Homework [duplicatehomework] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105
7.6.2
Print Homework [printhomework] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105
7.7
Course Quizzes [coursequizzes] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106
7.8
Course Test [coursetest] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106
7.9
Course Assessments [courseassessments] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107
7.9.1
Assessment Options [assessmentoptions] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107
7.10
Course Worksheets [courseworksheets] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108
7.11
Student Home [studenthome] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108
7.11.1
Move Student By Drag and Drop [movestudentbydragdrop] . . . . . . . . . 108
7.11.2
Unenroll from class [unenrollfromclass] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109
7.12
Student Gradebook [studentgradebook] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109
7.13
Student Homework [studenthomework] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109
7.14
Student Quizzes [studentquiz] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110
7.15
Student Tests [studenttest] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111
7.16
Student Assessments [studentassessments] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111
7.16.1
Request Assessment [requestassessment] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111
7.16.2
Cancel Current Assessment [cancelcurrentassessment] . . . . . . . . . . . . 112
7.17
Student Worksheets [studentworksheets] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112
7.18
Master Templates [mastertemplate] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112
7.18.1
Getting Started [mastertemplategettingstarted]
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 113
7.18.2
Master Template Summary [mastertemplatesummary] . . . . . . . . . . . . 114
7.18.3
Define Template Basics [definetemplatebasics] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114
7.18.4
Additional Options in Part 1 [additionaloptionsinpart1] . . . . . . . . . . . 115
7.18.5
Create Assignments in Master Template [part2createassignments] . . . . . 117
7.18.6
Create Linked Courses [part3createlinkedcourses] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118
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CONTENTS
7.18.7
Create a Master Template based on an Existing Course [createmastertemplatebasedonexistingcourse] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119
7.18.8
Edit Master Template [editmastertemplate] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120
7.18.9
Duplicate Master Template [duplicatemastertemplate] . . . . . . . . . . . . 120
7.18.10 Delete Master Template [deletemastertemplate] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121
7.18.11 Courses to be assigned [coursestobeassigned] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121
7.18.12 Master Template Reports [mastertemplatereports] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 122
7.19
Administrator Account [administratoraccount] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 123
7.19.1
Edit College [editcollege] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 124
7.19.2
Search College [searchcollege] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 124
7.19.3
Learning Management System (LMS) Integration [lmsintegration] . . . . . 125
7.19.4
Add Instructor [addinstructor] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 126
7.19.5
Instructor Resources [instructorresourcesadmin] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 126
7.19.6
Archive Options [adminarchiveoptions] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 126
7.19.7
View Course Codes [viewcoursecodesadmin] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 127
7.19.8
Schedule Domain Upgrade [scheduledomainupgrade] . . . . . . . . . . . . . 127
7.19.9
Enrollment List [enrollmentlistadmin] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 127
7.19.10 Edit Subscription [editsubscription] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128
7.19.11 Reports [serverreports] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128
8 Teaching with ALEKS [teaching]
131
8.1
The ALEKS Educational Paradigm [paradigm] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 131
8.2
The Instructor and ALEKS [teacherandaleks] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 132
8.3
Planning the ALEKS Course [planning] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 133
8.4
Preparing Your Students [preparingstudents] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 134
8.5
Focused Instruction with ALEKS [focusedinstruction] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 135
8.6
Models of Classroom Integration [integration] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 137
8.7
Monitoring Student Use [monitoringuse] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 138
8.8
Monitoring the Progress of a Course [monitoringcourseprogress] . . . . . . . . . . . 138
8.9
Monitoring Individual Progress [monitoringindividualprogress] . . . . . . . . . . . . 138
8.10
Ordering Assessments [orderingassessments] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 139
CONTENTS
xi
8.11
Independent Study and Distance Learning [independentstudy] . . . . . . . . . . . . 139
8.12
The ALEKS Knowledge Structure [structure]
8.13
Learning Rates in ALEKS [learningratesinaleks] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 140
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 140
9 Knowledge Spaces and the Theory Behind ALEKS [theory]
143
9.1
History [history] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143
9.2
Theory [spaces] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143
9.3
9.2.1
Domain, Items, and Instances [domain] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143
9.2.2
Knowledge States [states] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 144
9.2.3
Knowledge Structures and Knowledge Spaces [structures] . . . . . . . . . . 145
9.2.4
Inner and Outer Fringes of a Knowledge State [fringes] . . . . . . . . . . . 147
9.2.5
Assessment [statesassessment] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 147
Selected Bibliography [bibliography] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 148
10 Frequently Asked Questions [ifaq]
157
10.1
General [ifaqgeneral] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 157
10.2
Technical [ifaqtechnical] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 158
10.3
Theory [ifaqtheory] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 159
10.4
Assessments & Reports [ifaqassessreport] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 161
10.5
Learning Mode [ifaqlearning] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 162
10.6
Educational Use [ifaqeducational] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 163
11 Support [support]
165
APPENDICES
167
A ALEKS Student User’s Guide [users]
167
A.1
Preface [ugintroduction] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 167
A.2
Quick Start Instructions [ugquickstart] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 168
A.3
Registration and Installation [ugregistration] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 170
A.4
Student Account Home [studentaccounthome] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 172
A.4.1
Account Management [accountmanagement] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 172
xii
CONTENTS
A.4.2
Course Management [coursemanagement] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 174
A.4.3
Switching to a New Course [switchingtoanewcourse] . . . . . . . . . . . . . 175
A.4.4
Suspend Account [suspend] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 175
A.4.5
Leave of Absence [leave]
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 176
A.5
Tutorial [ugtutorial] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 177
A.6
Assessments and Learning [ugassessmentsandlearningmode] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 177
A.6.1
Assessments [ugassessments] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 177
A.6.2
Results [ugresults] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 178
A.6.3
Learning Mode [uglearning] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 178
A.6.4
Progress in the Learning Mode [ugprogress] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 178
A.6.5
Additional Features [ugfeatures] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 179
A.6.6
ALEKS Inbox [uginbox] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 180
A.7
Guidelines for Effective Use [ugguidelines] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 181
A.8
Frequently Asked Questions [sfaq] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 181
A.9
Troubleshooting [trouble] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 186
B Syllabi in ALEKS [domains]
B.1
189
Math Prep. for Accounting [finac] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 189
List of Figures
3.1
System Requirements [setuptechnical] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
5
3.2
The ALEKS Website [website] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6
4.1
The Answer Editor for Mathematical Expressions (Assessment) [assessmentmodule] 15
4.2
Mathematical Expressions Produced by the Answer Editor [mathexpressions]
4.3
Using Special Keys in the Answer Editor [specialkeys] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
4.4
Assessment Report [report] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
5.1
The Options Page [options] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
5.2
Dictionary [dictionary] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
5.3
The Help Menu [help] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
5.4
Practice Page [practice] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
5.5
Explanation Page [explain] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
5.6
Wrong Answer Page [wrong] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
5.7
Review [review] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
5.8
Worksheet [worksheet] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
6.1
Course List [courselist] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
6.2
My Account Settings [myaccountsettings] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
6.3
Compose Message [inbox] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
6.4
Class List [classlist] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
6.5
Archiving Options [archivingoptions] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
6.6
Messaging Archive Classes [messagingarchiveclasses] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
6.7
Course Home Page [home] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
xiii
. . . 16
xiv
LIST OF FIGURES
6.8
Reports [reports] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
6.9
Student History [allresultstab] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
6.10
ALEKS Pie (Average Report) [averagereport] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
6.11
Report for a single student in this course (pie chart) [reportparticularstudent] . . . 50
6.12
Individual pie chart Report [piehistoryreport] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51
6.13
Objective Pie View when End Dates in use [objpiewithenddates] . . . . . . . . . . . 52
6.14
Objective Pie View when Mastery Levels in use [objpiewithoutenddates] . . . . . . 52
6.15
Progress Bar Reports [progressbar] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
6.16
Learning progress since latest assessment [learningreport] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
6.17
Overall progress in assessments [overallreport] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
6.18
Detailed progress history [detailedreport] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
6.19
Progress report for a single student in this course [progressparticularstudent] . . . . 56
6.20
Time and Topic report [timeandtopic] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
6.21
Time and Topic Learning Log [timetopiclearninglog] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
6.22
Knowledge Per Slice [knowledgeperslice] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
6.23
Homework Results [homeworkreport] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
6.24
Scheduled assessment report [scheduledreport] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
6.25
Basic Information [basicinformation] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62
6.26
Select Textbook [selecttextbook] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
6.27
Chapter-based Objectives [selectchapters] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
6.28
Objective Completion Options and Objective Pie View [objectiveassessmentpie] . . 67
6.29
Custom Objectives [customobjectives] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68
6.30
Objectives Editor [objectiveeditor] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68
6.31
Edit Content [editcontent] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69
6.32
Edit Course [editcourse] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71
6.33
Homework Status [homework] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73
6.34
Add Homework [addhomework1] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74
6.35
Add Homework (cont.) [addhomework2] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76
6.36
Add Homework (cont.) [addhomework3] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76
6.37
Create Extension [assignmentextension] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78
6.38
Add an Assessment [addassessment] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79
LIST OF FIGURES
xv
6.39
Worksheet Options [worksheetoptions] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81
6.40
Course Calendar [coursecalendar] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82
6.41
Gradebook [gradebook] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83
6.42
Gradebook Setup [gradebookweighting] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87
6.43
Administrator Center [administratorcenter] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89
7.1
Selector Window and Instructor Resources [instructorresources] . . . . . . . . . . . 96
7.2
New Course [instructornewcourse] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97
7.3
Edit Instructor [editinstructorinadvfig] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98
7.4
Cleanup Tool [instructorcleanuptool] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99
7.5
Edit Course [editcourseim2adv] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100
7.6
Report Options [reportsim2adv] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102
7.7
Gradebook Weighting [gradebooktabim2adv] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104
7.8
Homework List [homeworklist] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104
7.9
Duplicate Homework [duplicatehomework] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105
7.10
Print Homework [printhomework] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106
7.11
Scheduled Assessment List [scheduledassessmentlist] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107
7.12
Edit Student [editstudent] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108
7.13
Student Gradebook [studentgradebookipsum] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110
7.14
Request Assessment [requestassessment] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111
7.15
Worksheet [worksheetipsum] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112
7.16
Master Template Home [mthome] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 113
7.17
Getting Started [mtgettingstarted] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 113
7.18
Master Template Summary [mtsummary] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114
7.19
Define Template Basics [mtpart1definetemplate] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115
7.20
Define Template Basics - Confirmation [mtpart1advancedoptions] . . . . . . . . . . 116
7.21
Create Assignments in Master Template [mtpart2createassignments] . . . . . . . . . 117
7.22
Create Linked Courses [mtpart3createlinkedcourses] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118
7.23
Create Master Template Based on Existing Course [mtcreatefromexisting] . . . . . 119
7.24
Manage Master Template [mtmanagetemplates] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120
7.25
Courses to be Assigned [mtcoursestobeassigned] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121
xvi
LIST OF FIGURES
7.26
Master Template Reports [mtreports] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 122
7.27
Administrator Home Tab [adminhometab] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 123
7.28
Search College [searchcollege] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125
7.29
Learning Management System (LMS) Integration [lms] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125
7.30
Add Instructor [addinstructor] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 127
7.31
Schedule Domain Upgrade [scheduledomainupgrade] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128
7.32
Administrator Reports [adminreportstab] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 129
9.1
Domain of Basic Math [domain] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 144
9.2
Knowledge State [state] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 145
9.3
Learning Path [path] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 146
9.4
Outer Fringe of a Knowledge State [outerfringe] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 146
9.5
Inner Fringe of a Knowledge State [innerfringe] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 147
10.1
System Requirements [ifaqtechnical] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 159
A.1
The ALEKS Website [website] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 170
A.2
Course Code [coursecode] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 171
A.3
Access Code [accesscode] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 172
A.4
Student Account Home main screen [studentaccounthomemain] . . . . . . . . . . . 173
A.5
Student Account Home settings [studentaccounthomesettings] . . . . . . . . . . . . 173
A.6
The Answer Editor (Tutorial) [tutorial] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 177
A.7
Assessment Report [report] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 178
Preface [preface]
Welcome to ALEKS, one of the most powerful educational tools available for learning
mathematics. ALEKS combines advanced learning technology with the flexibility of
the Internet, and provides an interactive tutoring system with unmatched features and
capabilities.
The innovative features of ALEKS open new horizons for educators and learners alike in
any educational context. The ALEKS course management system enables instructors to
efficiently monitor student progress and provide focused instruction. With its unprecedented use of Artificial Intelligence, ALEKS determines quickly and precisely what your
students know and what they need to learn, guiding them down individualized learning
paths to mastery. The syllabi used are customizable, letting you conveniently add or
subtract topics. As ALEKS is accessed on the Internet, no complicated technical preparation is needed—and your students can work at any time, from home, from work, or
from the classroom! ALEKS can be integrated with a variety of ALEKS Corporation
textbooks.
The benefits of using ALEKS are dramatic. Students work in a dynamic, interactive
learning environment on precisely those materials that they are individually ready to
learn, building momentum toward mastery. Students are successful when using ALEKS
because they can work on their own schedule on what they need to learn right now. It
is the personalized, “just-in-time” learning system.
ALEKS may be used in a variety of classroom situations—whether in a traditional
classroom or in a self-directed or distance-learning environment.
ALEKS is sold to the student as a subscription. The student purchases a User’s
Guide with Student Access Code, usually through a bookstore or online. Using the
Student Access Code along with the Course Code provided by the instructor, the student
registers in the ALEKS system at the ALEKS website.
ALEKS can be adopted in one of two ways:
ˆ ALEKS may be adopted as a supplement to a McGraw-Hill textbook. In this case,
the student subscription cost is similar to the cost of a traditional print supplement,
such as a study guide or student solutions manual. Students will need to purchase
a McGraw-Hill textbook bundled with the User’s Guide with Student Access
Code.
xvii
xviii
PREFACE
ˆ ALEKS may be adopted as a stand-alone item. In this case, the instructor adopts
ALEKS alone, and the students purchase the User’s Guide with Student Access
Code for about the cost of a traditional textbook.
This Instructor’s Manual is intended to provide complete information on the functioning of ALEKS. A description of its contents can be found in Chapter 1.
Please also take time to explore the ALEKS website; it is a valuable source of information
(http://www.aleks.com, Fig. 3.2). The website includes tours, overviews of ALEKS
course products, troubleshooting and support information, training resources and user
guides. It also contains information on the theory and research behind ALEKS, forums
for the exchange of ideas with other educators, and brief, recorded on-line training
segments. To find the resources specific to the educational field you are in, click on the
appropriate link on the ALEKS home page.
Chapter 1
Introduction [intro]
1.1
What is ALEKS? [aleks]
The ALEKS system is the product of years of cutting-edge research into the mathematical modeling of human knowledge (Chap. 9). The creators of ALEKS are cognitive scientists, software engineers, and university professors. In designing ALEKS,
their goal is to achieve the utmost simplicity of use without compromising the depth,
rigor, or richness of instruction at its inspirational best. ALEKS is a tool to empower
both instructors and learners. It opens doors into the assessment and representation of
knowledge, and it breaks down barriers to success by recognizing the vast diversity of
paths that lead to mastery. The ALEKS system can make a radical difference in how
learning is experienced.
ALEKS is an online system for the assessment and individualized teaching of a variety of
subjects. It can be accessed on the Internet from virtually any computer and is designed
to allow the monitoring and management of students and courses at the instructor,
college, and system levels.
The core of the system is an efficient, adaptive assessment engine that determines quickly
and precisely what an individual student knows. Based on assessment data, the system
is able to offer material that the student is ready to learn.
The ALEKS Learning Mode includes explanations and algorithmically generated practice problems, ongoing assessment of student knowledge, an online dictionary, and facilities for review and collaborative help. It can be used on an independent basis or as
a supplement to classroom instruction.
1.2
The ALEKS Instructor’s Manual [manual]
The purpose of the ALEKS Instructor’s Manual is to provide instructors with
complete information on the operation of the system. ALEKS is not complex, however,
1
2
CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION [INTRO]
and it can be used with no documentation whatsoever. At the same time, we wish to
offer instructors a clear idea of everything ALEKS does, how it works, and where to
find answers to questions.
ALEKS is designed to be used without help from the Instructor’s Manual.
Feel free to use the system now. If questions arise, or if you want to learn
more about ALEKS, this Instructor’s Manual is intended as a convenient
and comprehensive reference.
NOTE. For a brief, comprehensive overview of ALEKS, please turn directly to the
“Frequently Asked Questions” in Chapter 10.
ˆ The first chapters are those most likely to be used by instructors new to ALEKS.
Chapter 2, “Quick Start,” contains a concise checklist for those new to ALEKS.
Chapter 3, “Setup Guide for Instructors,” provides all of the information necessary
for preparing to use ALEKS with one or more courses. This ranges from technical
and installation requirements through the students’ first ALEKS session (which
typically involves registration, tutorial, the Initial Assessment, and entry into the
Learning Mode). Much of the information here is the same as that in Appendix A.
ˆ Chapters 4 through 7 contain descriptions of the principal parts of the ALEKS
system: Assessment Mode, Learning Mode, and the Instructor Module.
ˆ The Instructor Module is discussed in two chapters: Chapter 6 presents the Instructor Module generally; Chapter 7 covers the Advanced Instructor Module.
ˆ Chapter 8 is a brief guide to teaching with ALEKS, describing a range of scenarios
and the ALEKS features that support them.
ˆ Chapters 9 through 11 provide additional information that may be necessary or
of interest to instructors using ALEKS. Chapter 9, “Knowledge Spaces and the
Theory Behind ALEKS,” explains the history of Knowledge Space theory and its
fundamental concepts, along with the evolution of ALEKS itself. Also included
is a Bibliography for those seeking to understand the theory behind ALEKS in
greater depth. Chapter 10 provides answers to frequently asked questions about
ALEKS. Chapter 11 gives the information necessary for obtaining technical and
other support.
ˆ The ALEKS User’s Guide is available to all students from the ALEKS website.
The User’s Guide is reproduced here in Appendix A. Unlike the other chapters
of the ALEKS Instructor’s Manual, Appendix A is addressed to student users
of the system. It covers technical requirements, installation, registration, the Tutorial, and ordinary use of the system, as well as guidelines for effective use and
troubleshooting tips. Appendix A can be used by instructors to obtain a brief
but complete picture of how the system is used. Appendix B contains content
summaries for ALEKS course products.
Chapter 2
Quick Start [quick]
The purpose of this chapter is to provide a summary of the steps involved in starting a
course with ALEKS.
2.1
Obtaining a Course Code [obtainingcoursecode]
In order to use ALEKS with your course, you will need to have at least one Course
Code. This code should be given to students to use in registration, together with their
Student Access Code (below). When they register, they will receive a Login Name
and Password. Students should not use the Student Access Code and Course Code to
register a second time, as they will not be able to create a new account this way.
You can have as many courses and sections as you need or want in ALEKS. For each
course or section, there is one unique Course Code. Students who register using this
code will be enrolled in the corresponding course. Students who accidentally enroll in
the wrong course can easily be moved to the right one at any time. (Please note that
moving a student from one course to another in ALEKS may trigger a new assessment.)
To obtain the Course Code for any course, log on to your instructor account,
click on “Administrator Center” (upper right), and click on “View all your
courses and course codes” (Sec. 6.6.11). In the Advanced Instructor Module, simply
select the name of the course and click “Edit Course,” under the Home tab (Fig. 7.5).
The Course Code will appear in the upper right-hand part of the screen.
You will normally be provided with an instructor Login Name and Password by ALEKS
Corporation; otherwise, a colleague at your college with Administrator privileges in
ALEKS can also create an instructor account for you. Once you are logged on to
ALEKS as an instructor, you can create one or more courses through “Add a Course”
(upper right).
3
4
2.2
CHAPTER 2. QUICK START [QUICK]
Registering Students [registeringstudents]
Students should use the following steps to register.
1. Go to the ALEKS website.
http://www.aleks.com
2. Click on the link for “SIGN UP NOW!” to the left of the page, under the space
for Registered Users. (This is the only time they will click on that button.)
3. On the page that follows, enter the Course Code in the spaces provided for “Using
ALEKS with a Class?” (to the left of the window). Do not use the button on
the right-hand side.
4. Confirm enrollment information.
5. Indicate whether you are a new or an existing ALEKS user.
6. Enter the Student Access Code.
7. Enter other information as prompted and choose a password.
8. Record the Login Name provided by the system.
9. Begin using ALEKS by taking the student tutorial and an initial assessment.
Students will subsequently use their Login Name and Password to enter their accounts.
Chapter 3
Setup Guide for Instructors [setup]
3.1
Instructor Preparation [preparation]
ALEKS has been designed to be user-friendly, with no previous experience required.
Taking the time to study all materials provided to you, however, including the Instructor’s Manual, and trying out the system on your own, can provide valuable insight into
the system’s functioning and underlying ideas. The administrator for ALEKS can contact ALEKS Customer Support for assistance at any time, preferably in advance of the
first session (Chap. 11).
3.2
System Requirements [technical]
The following table presents the system requirements for ALEKS in summary form.
Operating System
Processor
RAM Memory
Browser
PC
Windows
Any
64+ MB
Explorer 7.0+, Firefox 3+, Chrome 4+
Screen Resolution
1024x768
Macintosh
MacOS 10.4+
Any
64+ MB
Safari 4+, Firefox
3+
1024x768
Figure 3.1: System Requirements [setuptechnical]
NOTE. Any kind of Internet connection (cable, ISDN, DSL, or wireless) usually available in a computer lab is adequate for use with ALEKS. If your computer lab has
security safeguards in place, you will need the cooperation of your LAN administrator,
system administrator, or lab technician to install the ALEKS plug-in.
5
6
3.3
CHAPTER 3. SETUP GUIDE FOR INSTRUCTORS [SETUP]
Installation [installation]
Figure 3.2: The ALEKS Website [website]
Installation of the ALEKS plug-in takes place from the ALEKS website (Fig. 3.2):
http://www.aleks.com
NOTE. You must use this URL to access ALEKS. You may wish to mark this website
in your browser with a “Bookmark” or “Favorite” or by creating a shortcut of some
kind.
Close all applications other than your web browser before beginning installation.
Installation of the ALEKS plug-in is automatic. If you attempt to use the system
directly by clicking on “Free Trial” or on “SIGN UP NOW!,” the system will automatically check to see whether your computer has a recent plug-in installed. If no plug-in is
detected, the system will ask for your permission to install one.
When you grant permission, the plug-in will be installed. Following installation you
must close and reopen your browser application. Installation is also automatic for
registered users.
If you need to download and install the plug-in and this does not occur automatically,
click on “DOWNLOADS” (upper right), then on the green “>>Download” button.
NOTE. This is not a high-risk operation for your computer. The ALEKS plug-in is a
small library of Java classes which are used by your browser when you are logged on
to ALEKS. They are inactive at other times and do not do anything except provide
functionality for ALEKS. They can easily be removed from the computer with no other
3.4. INSTRUCTOR MODULE [INSTRUCTORMODULEINTRO]
effect except that ALEKS ceases to be usable on that computer. ALEKS Corporation
Customer Support will be happy to answer any questions about the plug-in.
There is also a “streaming” plug-in which can be used in situations where it is not
possible to download or install a plug-in on the local computer. To utilize the streaming
plug-in, go to the following website:
http://www.aleks.com/plugin
The ALEKS home page will appear. Log on to ALEKS as you normally would. On
the screen you will see text that reads “Downloading ALEKS Streaming Plug-in.” After
a few moments, depending on your internet connection, the plug-in will finish loading
into memory and you will be able to use ALEKS.
NOTE. If the browser window being used to navigate ALEKS is closed, the streaming
plug-in will need to be downloaded again by returning to www.aleks.com/plugin before
signing into ALEKS again.
Important: The “streaming” plug-in should NOT be used in a school or college
computer lab, or any other location where more than one person is using ALEKS at
the same time. In any educational lab setting, the regular ALEKS plug-in MUST
be installed. If the “streaming” plug-in is used in a lab setting, it may disrupt the
functioning of the network.
3.4
Instructor Module [instructormoduleintro]
To enter the ALEKS Instructor Module, log on to ALEKS with your Instructor Login
Name and Password. The Instructor Module lets you monitor and manage your ALEKS
courses. The Instructor Module is designed for ease of use; it guides users through the
steps needed to accomplish tasks in such a way that no separate training is needed
and mistakes or confusion are unlikely. See Chapter 6 for a complete description of the
Instructor Module.
After you are familiar with the features of the Basic Instructor Module, you may wish
to try the Advanced Instructor Module, which is somewhat more complex than the
standard interface but offers greater efficiency and convenience for some operations
(Chap. 7).
3.5
Lab Check [labcheck]
To ensure the best possible experience of ALEKS for your students, we recommend that
you check the computer lab in which ALEKS will be used before the first session. This
means installing and testing the plug-in on some or (preferably) all of the computers
in the lab. If security measures are in effect, you will need the cooperation of the lab
7
8
CHAPTER 3. SETUP GUIDE FOR INSTRUCTORS [SETUP]
administrator to install the plug-in. For instructions on how to install and test ALEKS,
see Sec. 3.3.
If the ALEKS plug-in is not preinstalled and tested in this way, it will be installed when
your students first access the system. This will take away a certain amount of time from
their use of the system. Also, if there is some problem in the lab that makes installation
difficult, it is better to resolve it before the students arrive.
3.6
Student Orientation [orientation]
It is strongly recommended that the first ALEKS session be conducted under supervision, perhaps with another instructor on hand to help your students get started. It is
not generally necessary to schedule a separate orientation meeting before the students
begin using the system. Students can access the ALEKS User’s Guide from the
ALEKS website. Encourage students to familiarize themselves with this brief guide.
You should remind your students to bring their Student Access Code to the first session
of class. It is also advisable for students to have pencil and paper for assessments in
ALEKS. A calculator is included in ALEKS when needed. Remind your students that
help is not permitted during the assessment, because this will impair the accuracy of
the results, and consequently hinder that student’s progress in the Learning Mode.
If possible, the students’ first session with ALEKS should allow them to complete their
assessments and begin work in the Learning Mode. If the students are unable to finish
their assessments during this time, ALEKS will automatically keep their place. The
next time the students log on to ALEKS they may continue without any loss of work.
3.7
Registration [registration]
Students register with ALEKS by going to the ALEKS website and clicking on “SIGN
UP NOW!” This will be expedited if the browsers used by the students have “Bookmarks” or “Favorites” pointing to the website (Sec. 3.3).
NOTE. In order to register, all students must have both their Student Access Code
and the Course Code for the course that you are teaching. The Course Code will either
be sent to you by ALEKS Corporation or be obtained when you create the course
(Sec. 6.3). You are responsible for giving this code to the students at the time of the
first session (Sec. 2.1).
The student registration process is described in detail in the User’s Guide (Appendix A).
There are complete online instructions for every step of this simple procedure. Among
other information, students can supply their Student ID number (if you wish to have
this in the system). Special care should be taken in entering the latter, as the system
cannot detect mistyping. Student ID is optional information.
3.8. TUTORIAL [TUTORIAL]
Near the conclusion of Registration students receive a Login Name and choose a Password. These should be noted carefully, as they will be essential for all further work
with ALEKS. Students should choose a password they will remember easily but that
will be hard for others to guess. Login Name and Password can be typed with upper
or lower-case letters. Neither may contain spaces or punctuation. The Password must
contain at least 6 characters.
3.8
Tutorial [tutorial]
Following Registration, the students enter a brief tutorial on the use of ALEKS input
tools, also called the Answer Editor Tutorial (Sec. 4.5). There are separate tutorials
for different subjects, since the specific tools for them differ somewhat. The ALEKS
Tutorial provides ample feedback to ensure that students complete it successfully.
NOTE. The Tutorial is not intended to teach mathematical knowledge, but rather to
train students in using the system tools. If students need a “refresher” on the use of
the system tools, it is always possible to click on the “Help” button, which gives access
to the sections of the Tutorial (Sec. 5.2.12).
3.9
First Assessment [firstassessment]
Immediately after the Tutorial, students proceed to their Initial Assessment (Chap. 4).
To reiterate, no help of any kind should be given to students being assessed, not even
rephrasing a problem. It is also advisable for students to have pencil and paper for
assessments in ALEKS. A calculator is included in ALEKS when needed.
The ALEKS assessment is adaptive and variable in length. Some students will have
shorter assessments, whereas others will have longer ones. Consistency of effort and
concentration may influence the length of an assessment.
NOTE. All students will be assessed on their first use of the system. This will provide
you with a baseline picture of your class and of each individual student.
3.10
Report Tutorial [reporttutorial]
At the conclusion of the Initial Assessment, the student is given a brief Tutorial on how
to interpret the Assessment Report. This will be in the form of a color-coded pie chart,
with accompanying textual information (Sec. 4.11).
Explain to students that subsequent assessments will produce only the pie chart. The
pie chart also appears in the Learning Mode each time a new concept is mastered and
“added to the pie.” If the student wishes to choose a new topic, the pie can always be
accessed by clicking the “MyPie” button.
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CHAPTER 3. SETUP GUIDE FOR INSTRUCTORS [SETUP]
3.11
Beginning the Learning Mode [beginninglearningmode]
Students enter the Learning Mode by clicking on one of the topics contained in their
pie chart (topics they are “ready to learn”). If at all possible, the students should be
given sufficient time in their first ALEKS session to use the Learning Mode and begin to
“add concepts to their pie.” If they have this experience, their interest in using ALEKS
will be more favorable. You should also be present to answer questions regarding the
Learning Mode and to help your students familiarize themselves with its varied features.
This is particularly important for when they will have to use ALEKS unsupervised.
Chapter 4
Assessment Mode [assess]
The Assessment Mode is the heart of the ALEKS system. The program quickly and
accurately determines a student’s knowledge, in order to deliver individualized instruction on the exact topics the student is ready to learn. In ALEKS, learning is powered
and optimized by assessment.
4.1
Assessments in ALEKS [assessments]
The ALEKS assessment uses open-ended problems (no multiple-choice questions). The
assessment uses adaptive questioning, so that problem types are selected based on all
the previous answers the student has given. It is impossible to predict which types
of problems will appear, or in what order. Moreover, the problems themselves are
generated algorithmically, with randomly-selected values (as is the case also in the
Learning Mode). Consequently, students cannot “learn the assessment”, teachers are
unable to “teach to the assessment,” and cheating is impossible. In the unlikely event
that two students sitting next to one another were given the same problem-type at the
same time, the problem parameters and values would be different, and so would the
correct answer. Certain assessments should be supervised, however, such as the first,
midterm, and final assessments in a course. Without supervision, students could use
a textbook, receive systematic help, or have someone else take the assessment in their
place. (There is no reason for a student who has begun using ALEKS to cheat on a
“progress” assessment, as this will simply cause the system to suggest problems that
are too difficult, and thus hinder the student’s own work.)
The student takes an Initial Assessment immediately following completion of the Tutorial (Sec. 3.9). The student is clearly informed that the assessment is beginning. Next
a series of problems is posed to the student. The student provides the solution to each
problem using the Answer Editor (or clicks “I don’t know”). In Assessment Mode, the
system does not inform the student whether their answer is correct or incorrect. The
assessment continues until the system has determined the student’s precise knowledge
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12
CHAPTER 4. ASSESSMENT MODE [ASSESS]
of the course materials, at which time the assessment ends and a report is presented
to the student. The number of questions asked cannot be known in advance, although
consistent effort and attention may contribute to shorter assessments.
4.2
Guidelines for Assessments [assessmentrules]
ALEKS assessments are an important part of the ALEKS program. It is essential that
assessments be conducted according to certain guidelines. If there is an atmosphere
permitting disturbances or distractions, students may not do their best. If assessment
results are inaccurate, the system will give the student inappropriate problems and
progress will initially be impaired. The system will recover and find the right level,
but the student may still experience a degree of frustration. In order to avoid this,
it is strongly recommended that the first assessment be taken under the instructor’s
supervision (Sec. 3.9).
All students being assessed need paper and pencil. A basic calculator is part of ALEKS,
and will be available when appropriate. It is important that no assistance be given to
the student. Explaining or rephrasing a problem should be avoided; this is considered
inappropriate help. Students should be instructed to use the “I don’t know” button
only when they are completely unfamiliar with the topic. It is not possible to return to
previous assessment questions. Students should not click their browser’s “Back”
or “Forward” buttons when using ALEKS.
4.3
How Assessments are Triggered [assessmentscheduling]
All ALEKS assessments work in much the same way, though they are triggered for
different reasons, as explained in the following.
4.3.1
Initial Assessment [initialassessment]
The Initial Assessment takes place at the outset of students’ use of ALEKS, immediately
after Registration and the ALEKS Tutorial (Sec. 3.9). We strongly recommend that
this Initial Assessment, which has the character of an orientation to the system for
student users, take place in a supervised computer lab setting to ensure that students
do not receive help or collaborate. In creating or editing a class account, the instructor
can stipulate that the Initial Assessment be allowed only from school
(Sec. 7.9.1). In order for this to take effect, the IP address must be entered in ALEKS
by the college Administrator (Sec. 7.19.1).
4.3. HOW ASSESSMENTS ARE TRIGGERED [ASSESSMENTSCHEDULING]
4.3.2
Automatic Assessments [automaticassessments]
Additional assessments after the Initial Assessment are triggered automatically by the
system based on the student’s rate of progress and on the amount of time the student
has spent working in ALEKS. ALEKS triggers the following automatic assessments:
ˆ Progress Assessment, when the student has mastered approximately 20 topics
in the Learning Mode and spent at least 5 hours working in ALEKS since the last
assessment.
ˆ Login Time Assessment, when the student has spent 10 hours working in the
Learning Mode since the last assessment.
ˆ Periodic Assessment, when 60 days have passed since the last assessment.
ˆ Objective Completion Assessment, when the student completes the material of a textbook chapter or objective or reaches the assigned Mastery Level
(Sec. 6.3.3).
ˆ Goal Completion Assessment, when the student has completed the final topic
of the pie chart. If the assessment does not confirm the student’s mastery of the
course materials, the student will return to the Learning Mode. Consequently, more
than one Goal Completion Assessment is possible, but ALEKS will not reassess
the student if a only small number of topics need to be relearned.
These are all “progress” style assessments. Some modification of the parameters given above is possible; please contact ALEKS Corporation Customer
Support for assistance if you would like to adjust them.
Note that a Progress, Login Time, or Periodic Assessment “resets the clock”,
so that assessments do not occur one on top of another. In general, ALEKS
will avoid triggering unnecessary re-assessments.
Progress made by the student through the Learning Mode, or as the result of an assessment, periodically updates the list of available topics, displaying a new pie chart and
new choices of concepts the student is “ready to learn.” The automatic assessments
check the students’ retention of recently learned material, and may also include a few
topics the student is ready to learn.
4.3.3
Scheduled Assessments [scheduledassessments]
Instructors can schedule assessments for the entire class or for specific students, using
the “Add Assessment” option (in the Basic Module) or “New Scheduled Assessment”
option (in the Advanced Module). For example, the instructor, department, or college
may wish to have “midterm” assessments under supervision to guarantee reliable results.
They have the option to select the style of assessment as progress or comprehensive.
Progress assessments are slightly shorter and focus on the student’s most recent learning
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14
CHAPTER 4. ASSESSMENT MODE [ASSESS]
history; comprehensive assessments are slightly longer and probe more deeply into the
student’s overall knowledge of the course content.
ALEKS allows the instructor to control the availability of the scheduled assessments by
specifying a date and time and how students access that assessment when it becomes
available. Also among the options for a scheduled assessment is one to prevent automatic assessments within a certain number of days prior to the scheduled assessment.
Note that any assessment scheduled by the instructor “resets the clock” for automatic
assessments, so that students will not be assessed too frequently.
For additional information about scheduled assessments, see Secs. 6.4.9 and 7.9.
4.3.4
Requested Assessments for a single student [requestedassessments]
As an instructor, you can also request an assessment for a single student using the
“Request Assessment” option (in the Advanced Module). When a requested assessment is triggered, the assessment will take place immediately the next time the student
logs in (compared to the scheduled assessment, where the student is only prompted to
take the assessment after the date or time specified by the instructor). Similar to the
scheduled assessment, a requested assessment for a single student also “resets the clock”
for automatic assessments. The results of this assessment will not be included in the
Gradebook.
The style of a requested assessment can also be set to progress or comprehensive.
Progress assessments are slightly shorter and focus on the student’s most recent learning
history; comprehensive assessments are slightly longer and probe more deeply into the
student’s overall knowledge of the course content.
For additional information about requested assessments, see Sec. 7.16.1.
4.4
Buttons [assessbuttons]
The Assessment Mode (Fig. 4.1) has a reduced set of active menu buttons. The student
being assessed is able to leave the system, by clicking on their name (top right) followed
by “Log out”, or get help on use of the Answer Editor using the “Help” button. Other
buttons appear, but they are disabled. All of the ALEKS menu buttons are enabled in
the Learning Mode (Sec. 5.2).
The two aspects of the ALEKS interface relevant to work in the Assessment Mode are
the Answer Editor and the Assessment Report (Sec. 4.11).
4.5
Answer Editor [ansed]
Input to the ALEKS system is always in the form of proper expressions and constructions, never multiple choice. A critical reason for this is to check students’ knowledge
4.6. MANIPULATORS FOR MATHEMATICAL EXPRESSIONS [MANIPULATORS]
15
Figure 4.1: The Answer Editor for Mathematical Expressions (Assessment) [assessmentmodule]
accurately.
The general term for the input tools used in ALEKS is the “Answer Editor.” This encompasses a variety of actual modes for user input: an Answer Editor for mathematical
expressions, an Answer Editor for the numberline, and an Answer Editor for graphing
in the Cartesian plane (with x and y coordinate axes). A student beginning to use
ALEKS is trained in how to use the features of the Answer Editor that are relevant to
the subject (Sec. 3.8).
In much of what follows in the tutorial, emphasis is on the “Answer Editor for mathematical expressions,” as this is the section which involves the greatest degree of interplay between mouse, keyboard, and on-screen buttons and icons.
4.6
Manipulators for Mathematical Expressions [manipulators]
The Answer Editor for mathematical expressions consists of two parts: a rectangular
field where mathematical expressions are entered (the “entry field”) is to the left, and a
“keypad” made of buttons with mathematical symbols is to the right (Fig. 4.1). These
buttons have labels in the Tutorial, but not afterwards. Mathematical expressions are
entered and edited using the buttons of the Answer Editor keypad, as well as the basic
keyboard, the Left and Right arrow keys, the Tab, Enter, and Backspace keys, and the
mouse.
NOTE. Buttons are displayed to correspond with the kind of problem being solved.
The selection is made in such a way as to avoid giving a hint to the correct answer.
Keyboard shortcuts (Fig. 4.2) work only when the corresponding button is displayed.
16
CHAPTER 4. ASSESSMENT MODE [ASSESS]
Expression
Square Root
Fraction
Answer
Editor keypad button
p
[ ] [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
Keyboard equivalent
(none)
/
Mixed Number
Repeating Decimal
Absolute Value
List of Expressions
Exponent
Multiplication Expression
Percentage
Greater-Than
Less-Than
Greater-Than-or-Equal-To
Less-Than-or-Equal-To
Equal-To
Not-Equal-To
AND
OR
[ ] [[ ]]
[ ][ ]
[ ] |[ ]|
[ ], [ ], . . .
[ ][ ]
[ ]×[ ]
%
[ ]>[ ]
[ ]<[ ]
[ ]≥[ ]
[ ]≤[ ]
[ ]=[ ]
[ ] 6= [ ]
AN D
OR
(none)
(none)
(none)
,
∧ (before exponent)
∗
%
>
<
(none)
(none)
=
(none)
(none)
(none)
Figure 4.2: Mathematical Expressions Produced by the Answer Editor [mathexpressions]
Key
Right arrow Tab - Enter
Left arrow
Backspace
Effect
moves the cursor one place to the right
(ahead)
moves the cursor one place to the left (back)
deletes input immediately preceding (to the
left of) the cursor and moves the cursor one
place to the left (back) OR deletes selected
input
Figure 4.3: Using Special Keys in the Answer Editor [specialkeys]
4.7. MATHEMATICAL EXPRESSIONS [BOXES]
4.6.1
Basic Input [basicinput]
When a new page is opened and contains a problem whose solution is a mathematical expression, the entry field initially contains at least one blue box. Each blue box
represents a mathematical expression forming part of the complete answer. To enter a
mathematical expression the student must first click on a blue box. When this is done,
the cursor (or “caret”) appears inside the box. The cursor marks the point at which
something is entered. Material can be entered using the basic keyboard or the buttons
of the keypad. Individual digits can be entered only from the keyboard. Symbols can
be entered using the buttons of the keypad or sometimes from the keyboard (Fig. 4.2).
4.6.2
Basic Editing Tools [basiceditingtools]
The cursor, showing the point at which material is entered, can be moved using the
Left and Right arrows and the Tab and Enter keys. It can also be positioned using the
mouse. Input can be deleted using the Backspace key (Fig. 4.3).
4.6.3
Selecting Input [selectinginput]
It is possible to select a continuous portion of input by dragging the pointer with the
mouse button held down. A segment that has been selected by dragging in this way
can be deleted by pressing Backspace, replaced by typing, or replaced by clicking the
buttons of the Answer Editor keypad. It can also be inserted into a mathematical
expression such as a fraction or a square root (the selected portion is placed in the
numerator position or under the square root sign, respectively).
4.6.4
Clear and Undo [clearandundo]
After material has been entered, the field can be returned to its empty state by clicking
“Clear.” Clicking “Undo” cancels the most recent action. Clicking “Undo” a second
time restores the effect of the canceled action (including a “Clear” command).
4.7
Mathematical Expressions [boxes]
The purpose of the Answer Editor for mathematical expressions is to process user input
in the form of correct mathematical expressions. One important way in which the
Answer Editor guides the user in constructing such expressions is by means of the blue
boxes. If a blue box remains on the screen, you know that the input typed so far is not
yet complete.
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CHAPTER 4. ASSESSMENT MODE [ASSESS]
4.7.1
Entering Expressions from the Keyboard [enteringexpressions]
For expressions that do not require the use of the Answer Editor keypad, the user can
place the cursor within a blue box and enter the mathematical expression from the
keyboard. For many expressions, however, the Answer Editor keypad must be used.
Some types of expressions can be entered by either keypad or keyboard (Fig. 4.2).
4.7.2
Using the Answer Editor Keypad to Structure Simple Expressions [keypad]
To form a simple mathematical expression, the user places the cursor in an empty
blue box and clicks on the appropriate button from the Answer Editor keypad. The
initial blue box disappears and new blue boxes may appear (depending on the button),
accompanied by all of the necessary signs. The user can now fill in the new boxes.
4.7.3
Entering Complex Expressions [complexexpressions]
Sometimes it is necessary to enter more complex mathematical expressions, where multiple boxes are used. By placing the cursor in one of these boxes, an expression can be
entered from the keyboard, or, by clicking on a button of the Answer Editor keypad,
replace it with the structure of a new mathematical expression. Expressions of any
degree of complexity can be created in this way.
NOTE. The Answer Editor does not supply parentheses automatically. The user must
know when they are necessary. In particular, when there is an expression consisting of
more than one symbol that must be raised to a power, the student may need to enclose
it in parentheses, just as in writing; otherwise, only the final symbol (the one just before
the exponent) will be raised to the given power.
4.7.4
Alternate Ways of Entering Expressions [alternateways]
The buttons of the Answer Editor keypad can be used in other ways as well. In particular, users can select some portion of the input in the entry field which constitutes
a complete mathematical expression, and then click on a keypad button. This will
create a new mathematical expression within which the expression selected is one component. The same basic rule applies: the minimum unit of manipulation is a complete
mathematical expression.
4.7.5
Other Mathematical Signs [othermathematicalsigns]
The following mathematical signs can be entered only from the keyboard:
ˆ The plus sign (+).
4.8. TYPES OF MATHEMATICAL EXPRESSIONS [EXPRESSIONS]
19
ˆ The minus sign (-), both for connecting the two parts of a subtraction expression
and for designating a negative number.
ˆ The period (.) used in decimals.
ˆ The comma (,) used to punctuate numbers of more than three places.
4.7.6
The Asterisk for Multiplication [asterisk]
This is a special case. The “x” character on the keyboard cannot be used to enter a
multiplication sign. Only the asterisk (*) serves this purpose. (The multiplication sign
on the Answer Editor keypad, however, is the traditional x-shaped symbol.)
4.7.7
Mixed Numbers [mixednumbers]
This is another special case. Although fractions can be entered from the keyboard
using the front slash character (/), mixed numbers cannot be entered this way. In
other words, the Answer Editor does not automatically regard a whole number followed
by a fraction as a mixed number. The mixed number button on the Answer Editor
keypad must be used to enter mixed numbers.
4.8
Types of Mathematical Expressions [expressions]
The following set of directions is intended to illustrate the variety of ways in which
mathematical expressions can be entered using the Answer Editor.
Here, “Button” will always refer to a button on the Answer Editor keypad. By “select”
we mean drag the mouse over the expression to be selected with the mouse button
depressed.
Percentage
48%
Here you can use either the Answer Editor keypad or the regular keyboard to enter
signs:
ˆ Enter the expression you wish to express as a percentage and click on the
percent button; OR
ˆ Enter the expression you wish to express as a percentage and then enter the
(keyboard) percent sign.
Fraction
Fractions can be entered at least three ways:
7
10
ˆ Enter the numerator, enter a (keyboard) forward slash character, and enter
the denominator; OR
20
CHAPTER 4. ASSESSMENT MODE [ASSESS]
ˆ Enter the numerator, click on the fraction button, and enter the denominator;
OR
ˆ Click on the fraction button, enter the numerator, then click on the blue square
in the position of the denominator and enter the denominator.
Mixed Number
5 78
Mixed numbers can be entered in more than one way, but each way requires use
of the mixed number button:
ˆ Enter the whole number part, click on the mixed number button, enter the
numerator, press Enter, and enter the denominator; OR
ˆ Click on the mixed number button, enter the whole number part, press the
right arrow, enter the numerator, move the cursor to the denominator position,
and enter the denominator (i.e., fill in the boxes).
Repeating Decimal
1.27
ˆ Enter all digits that precede the repeating pattern, including the decimal point
(a period on the keyboard) and any decimal places preceding the pattern, click
on the bar button, and enter the repeating pattern; OR
ˆ Enter all digits, including the decimal point (a period on the keyboard) and
all decimal positions following it, select the repeating pattern only, and click
on the bar button.
q
5
Fraction in square root followed by multiplier
8 ×3
For this example only one input method is given, but others could be suggested:
ˆ Click on the square root sign button, click on the fraction button, enter the
numerator, tab, enter the denominator, then tab, enter an asterisk (from the
keyboard), and enter the multiplier.
List
1, 2, 3
For the purposes of the following example, assume that there is a list consisting of
three components to be entered:
ˆ Enter the first expression, click on the list button (or press the keyboard
comma), enter the second expression, click on the list button, enter the third
expression, click on the list button, and enter the fourth expression; OR
ˆ Click on the list button (or press the keyboard comma) twice, click on the first
blue box, enter the first expression, move the cursor right, enter the second
expression, move the cursor right, and enter the third expression.
Answers with Units
10 cups
There are also some cases where the Answer Editor does part of the formatting.
For example, in problems where answers must be expressed in some kind of units,
such as dollars or candies, the unit expression needed may appear in advance.
4.9. ADVANCED MATHEMATICAL EXPRESSIONS [ADVANCEDEXPRESSIONS]
Square Root
21
√
81
ˆ Click on the square root button and enter the expression into the square root
sign; OR
ˆ Enter the expression you wish to appear under the square root sign, select it,
and click on the square root button.
In the simple example just given the second method reverses the sequence of steps
of the first method. Such complementary methods are typical.
Absolute Value
Another pair of complementary methods:
| − 6|
ˆ Click on the absolute value button and enter the expression whose absolute
value you wish to express; OR
ˆ Enter the expression whose absolute value you wish to express, highlight the
entire expression, and click on the absolute value button.
Exponent
32
ˆ Enter the expression you wish to raise to a power, click on the exponent button,
and enter the exponent; OR
ˆ Click on the Exponent button, enter the base, then move the cursor to the
exponent box and enter the exponent.
NOTE. If the number you wish to raise to a power is more complex, it may need
to be enclosed in parentheses (Sec. 4.7.3).
√
Square Root Preceded by Multiplier
2 6
With more complex expressions, you can use the mouse to place the cursor in the
needed position, as in the second method:
ˆ Enter the multiplier, click on the square root button, and enter the expression
you wish to be under the square root sign; OR
ˆ Click on the square root button, click to the left of the square root sign, enter
the multiplier, tab (or press the right arrow, or press Enter, or click on the
blue box under the square root sign), and enter the expression you wish to be
under the square root sign.
4.9
Advanced Mathematical Expressions [advancedexpressions]
The following types of mathematical expressions occur in more advanced subjects.
To create a matrix, the user clicks on an icon corresponding to the dimensions desired
(2 × 2, 2 × 3, etc.), then fills in the cells with appropriate values.
22
CHAPTER 4. ASSESSMENT MODE [ASSESS]
For topics involving set notation, there will appear icons for each of the special symbols required, such as curly braces, “belongs to,” “such that,” the real numbers, the
integers, and so forth.
4.10
The Answer Editor for Graphing [graphing]
The Answer Editor for graphing consists of a Cartesian plane with x− and y− coordinate
axes and a selection of other tools for graphing lines and regions of the plane.
To graph a line, use the pencil tool to plot two points. Then, align the straightedge
(ruler) on the two points (it is a “grabby” tool and will jump to a point when it
is near it). Then use the pencil tool to draw the line. Note that the effect of the
straightedge continues past its ends, so there is no need to move it to make a line
going from edge to edge of the depicted plane. The line should be started within the
graph area, however.
To fill in a region, first, draw all the lines defining the region. Then use the region
tool and click in the desired region of the plane. In order for one or more of the lines
defining a region to be dotted (as in the graph of a system containing one or more
strict inequalities), click on the line with the dotted line tool. This may be done
before or after the region is filled.
To draw a graph, use the pencil tool to plot a point. Then, click on the Plot point
button twice.
To plot a point where the coordinates are non-integers, use the Plot point button.
Using the keyboard, type the numerical values into the coordinate boxes and click
“Plot point.”
To draw a graph requiring an asymptote, use the asymptote tool (broken horizontal
or vertical line) to place the asymptote as needed. A slanted asymptote may be
placed by first drawing two points and then using the tool with a broken diagonal
line. Plot the additional points needed for the graph, and then click on the graph
button (curved line connecting “X”s).
For each type of conic section, there is a special tool allowing the construction of its
graph. Normally, the user clicks once with the tool to establish the center or vertex
of the graph, and then one or more additional times to determine its final form.
4.11. ASSESSMENT REPORT [REPORT]
As with the numberline, select the eraser tool and click on any part of a line, arc, or
other component to remove it.
4.11
Assessment Report [report]
At the conclusion of an assessment, the system presents the Assessment Report. The
interpretation of this report is the same as for pie chart displays found in other places
within ALEKS (such as in “MyPie”). The standard report format is used for all assessment reports (Fig. 4.4).
Figure 4.4: Assessment Report [report]
4.11.1
Interpreting the Pie Chart [reportinterpreting]
A pie chart expresses the results of a given assessment. It contains the following types
of information:
ˆ The topics included in the syllabus.
ˆ The relative size of the parts of the syllabus.
ˆ To what extent the student has attained the knowledge for each part of the syllabus,
according to the assessment.
Each color-coded slice of the pie chart refers to a particular part of the syllabus, such
as “Whole Numbers” or “Proportions and Percents.” The portion of the chart taken
up by any one area (slice) reflects the size of that area relative to others in the given
syllabus.
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CHAPTER 4. ASSESSMENT MODE [ASSESS]
The degree to which each slice is filled by darker color shows the extent to which the
student has mastered that area.
By placing the pointer over one of the slices of the pie chart, the slice expands out of
the pie, displaying a list of concepts the student is currently ready to learn. Not every
slice necessarily contains such a list, even if the slice has not yet been fully mastered.
This is because a student may not be ready to learn a concept in a given slice before
concepts in another slice have been mastered. Clicking on any one of these concepts
takes the user into the Learning Mode to begin working on that concept.
4.12
Ready to Learn [readytolearn]
The concepts given as most “ready to learn” do not represent a casual selection of
concepts that the student has not yet mastered. By resuming study with one of these
concepts, the student is following the most efficient path to mastery of the complete
course (Chap. 9).
4.13
Progress Bars [progressbars]
Another graphic expression of the student’s progress is given by the bar graphs at the
bottom of the report (“History”). These represent the general extent of the student’s
mastery:
ˆ The blue portion of each bar represents material that was learned as of the given
assessment.
ˆ The green portion represents material mastered in the Learning Mode since that
assessment.
ˆ The yellow portion represents material belonging to the curriculum for the given
level that has yet to be learned.
When the bar is entirely blue, or a combination of blue and green, the student has
completed the curriculum for that course.
Chapter 5
Learning Mode [learning]
5.1
The ALEKS Learning Mode [learningmodule]
The purpose of the Learning Mode is to assist students in mastering mathematical
concepts. Students using ALEKS choose which concepts they wish to work on from the
pool of available topics in the pie slices. This list of available topics is constantly being
updated through progress made by the student in learning mode or as the result of an
assessment. As students are only presented with material the system has determined
they are most ready to learn, the benefit of their work is maximized.
In the Learning Mode students always work on one concept at a time. The Learning
Mode provides students with a rich array of resources to help in mastering concepts.
This includes explanations, references to a textbook if one has been integrated with
ALEKS, links to supplemental tutorial material and interactive applications, practice
problems, diagnostic feedback on problem solutions, and access to a student dictionary.
Moreover, the Learning Mode is designed to monitor the progress made by students toward mastery of a given concept and advise them on continuing or changing concepts. A
student is required to solve an appropriate number of practice problems correctly before
the system will conclude that the concept has been mastered. (If the student makes
mistakes, additional practice will be required.) Once the concept has been mastered,
the student is encouraged to choose a new concept from the (updated) pie chart, but
more practice is available if desired.
If the student has difficulty, the system may suggest that the student pay closer attention
to the explanations or offer the name of a classmate who has recently mastered this
concept (Sec. 5.7). A new selection may also be encouraged. The student continues to
work in the Learning Mode until a new assessment is triggered, either by the instructor
or automatically.
Automatic assessments are triggered when the student has either spent a certain amount
of time in ALEKS, or made a certain amount of progress since the last assessment
(Sec. 4.3.2).
25
26
CHAPTER 5. LEARNING MODE [LEARNING]
5.2
Interface Features [learnbuttons]
The student has a variety of interface features for using their account. These features
allow the student to edit personal information related to their account, view reports
and gradebook information, and access helpful tools such as the ALEKS Dictionary,
Calculator, and Review.
Students also have the ability to print certain screens in ALEKS. The “Print” feature
will be available when the student generates a worksheet, views their reports and utilizes
the “Explain” page in learning mode. More detailed explanations of these options can
be found below.
5.2.1
Ending an ALEKS Session [exitbutton]
Students can end a session with ALEKS in two ways: click on their name (top right),
followed by “Log out,” or simply close the browser window. Also, if no input is supplied
to the system for 30 minutes, the session is terminated automatically. Whichever way
you exit, the system will return you to the same place when you next log in to ALEKS.
5.2.2
Options [optionsbutton]
Figure 5.1: The Options Page [options]
The “Options” link in ALEKS contains user and course information specific to the
student. A checkbox for joining “Ask a Friend” may be available, depending on
the student’s course (Sec. 5.7).
5.2. INTERFACE FEATURES [LEARNBUTTONS]
The “Report” link connects the student to a menu of all assessment reports (Sec. 5.2.3).
The “History” link displays a list of concepts the student has worked on recently, indicating the level of mastery achieved and providing the opportunity to return to that
concept for further practice.
The “Options” page includes the time the student has currently spent in the ALEKS
course. Subscription information is displayed, including the beginning and expiration
dates of the account (Fig. 5.1). To return to Learning Mode, click on the “Done” button.
5.2.3
Report [reportbutton]
Clicking on the “Report” link displays a drop-down menu of all past assessments
and time(s) in learning mode. Any assessment or learning mode session can be
selected (by date) from the menu. Click “OK” to see the results. The results will
include a pie chart, a list of topics recently learned, a list of topics the student is
ready to learn, and progress bar graphs (Sec. 4.13). Some ALEKS course products
include a Common Core Standards report in the student’s account. This report
displays the student’s mastery of the Common Core Standards in the ALEKS
course. The student also has the Time and Topic Report available under their
“Report” link. This report displays the amount of time spent each day in ALEKS
as well as the topics the student has attempted and mastered each day. (The
number of topics attempted does not include topics the student worked on in
Review mode.) To return to Learning Mode, click on the “Done” button.
5.2.4
Dictionary [dictionarybutton]
The online dictionary provides scientific and mathematical terms and definitions
used in the course. Clicking on the “Dictionary” button produces a new browser
window tab, with a list of section(s) correlated to the pie chart. Students can also
access the Dictionary by clicking on underlined words (hypertext links) anywhere
in the Learning Mode. Click on any section(s) to access the definition of terms used
in that section. Dictionary definitions are designed to present concepts in their
simplest form first, moving into greater depth as the definition proceeds (Fig. 5.2).
The Dictionary screen also includes a text entry field to quickly search for key terms
and a link to access the Complete Mathematics Dictionary. Selecting the “Complete
Mathematics Dictionary” link gives access to an index of all the Dictionary’s headings
and subheadings. Beneath the index is the Dictionary entry, with links to other entries
and graphic illustrations as appropriate. Close the Dictionary window to return to the
Learning Mode.
5.2.5
Calculator [calculator]
27
28
CHAPTER 5. LEARNING MODE [LEARNING]
Figure 5.2: Dictionary [dictionary]
The Calculator button is available for topics where ALEKS permits use of a calculator. Click on this button to use the online calculator.
5.2.6
Review [reviewbutton]
The “Review” button gives a list of concepts the student has recently worked on in
the Learning Mode. The link “Click here for more review” gives a comprehensive
list of all topics mastered by the student. For more information see Sec. 5.5.
5.2.7
Gradebook [gradebookbutton]
The student can access the Gradebook for the course by clicking on the “Gradebook” button. For more information see Sec. 6.5.
5.2.8
Calendar [calendarbutton]
The student can access the Calendar for the course by clicking on the “Calendar”
button. For more information see Sec. 6.4.13.
5.2. INTERFACE FEATURES [LEARNBUTTONS]
5.2.9
Worksheet [worksheetbutton]
The student may obtain an individualized, printable homework sheet by clicking
“Worksheet.” The questions on the worksheet are based on the student’s most
recent work in ALEKS. For more information see Sec. 5.6.
5.2.10
Assignments [assignmentsbutton]
The student can complete an assignment (Homework, Quiz, Test, or Scheduled Assessment) assigned by the instructor or check the results of assignments by clicking
on the “Assignments” button. If assignments are currently available, the student
will see an orange burst on the “Assignments” button. If the assignment has been
scheduled by the instructor, so that the student must begin the assignment as soon
as it becomes available, the student will be “forced” into the assignment on login
to ALEKS (Sec. 6.4.2).
5.2.11
Inbox [messagebutton]
The Inbox allows the student to send messages to the instructor requesting assistance with a topic in ALEKS, help with a specific problem, or for other purposes.
The student can compose a message by clicking on “Compose.” It is possible to
include mathematical notation and illustrations in the message as follows:
1. Click the “math” symbol at the right end of the tool bar. This will switch the
user into the “Enhanced message editor,” with its robust set of math input
tools.
2. Click the “Graphs” tab for graphing tools, or on “Algebra,” “Trig,” “Matrix,”
or “Stat” for symbolism specific to these areas.
While working in the Learning Mode, the student can message a specific problem
type they are working on to their instructor. This message will contain a link to a
screenshot of the practice problem. With the practice problem on the screen, the
specific problem may be attached to the email as follows:
1. Click on the “Inbox” link. This will take you into the ALEKS Message
Center.
2. Click on the “Compose” button.
3. Below the body message section, check the box next to “Attach Page.”
4. Click on the “Send” button to send the message.
29
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CHAPTER 5. LEARNING MODE [LEARNING]
It is possible to include attachments up to 2MB in size (Secs. 6.1.4). It is also
possible to send messages directly to ALEKS Corporation. Click on “Done” to
return to the Learning Mode.
5.2.12
Help [helpbutton]
Figure 5.3: The Help Menu [help]
The “Help” button in the Assessment and Learning Modes provides detailed assistance with use of the Answer Editor (Fig. 5.3). The Help Menu contains a list
of questions on how to use the various icons of the Answer Editor; clicking on one
of the items will take you through a brief tutorial on the use of the icon. The
“Help” screen includes a link to the ALEKS User’s Guide.
5.2.13
MyPie [mypiebutton]
Clicking on “MyPie” produces a pie chart display reflecting the current state of
the student’s mastery in the Learning Mode (Sec. 4.11). The student can use this
button to select a new concept to work on from among those currently most “ready
to learn.”
5.3. THE LEARNING MODE INTERFACE [LEARNINGINTERFACE]
5.3
The Learning Mode Interface [learninginterface]
The ALEKS Learning Mode allows students to practice topics they are ready to learn.
When students successfully solve a series of problems of the same type, ALEKS will
add this problem type or “topic” to the student’s pie chart. If a student experiences
difficulty with a topic, ALEKS will attempt to help the student in several ways. Different
examples of how to solve the problems will be displayed on the “Explain” pages. The
“Explain” pages provide definitions of terms, a comprehensive mathematics dictionary,
a “Help” option, and immediate feedback on the answers.
5.3.1
Practice Page [practice]
Figure 5.4: Practice Page [practice]
Clicking on the name of a topic from the student’s pie chart will display a page containing
an instance of the problem, followed by the Answer Editor. This is where a solution
to the problem can be attempted (Fig. 5.4). All practice problems are generated by
algorithms, with randomly selected numerical values, so that the variety of problem
instances for any topic is very high.
Below the Answer Editor are buttons labeled “Next” and “Explain.” Clicking on “Next”
has the same effect as described for the Assessment Mode: it submits the answer. Here,
however, the user is given immediate feedback on their answer (Sec. 5.4). If correct, the
student will receive a congratulatory message. Next, a new problem is presented. In
the case where the topic is considered mastered, the student will receive two options;
the student can choose to click “Done” to move on to a different topic, or they can click
“More Practice” to practice the topic further.
When the student enters an incorrect answer, ALEKS will return the presentation of
the original problem with feedback on the student’s error. Students can then click on
the “Explain” button.
31
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CHAPTER 5. LEARNING MODE [LEARNING]
5.3.2
Explanation Page [explanation]
Figure 5.5: Explanation Page [explain]
The explanation page (Fig. 5.5) begins with the title of the current item and an instance
of that item. The answer to the problem is given at the end of the explanation.
When ALEKS is used with textbook integration, a reference will appear at the bottom of
the explanation page showing the chapter and section of the textbook where additional
information about the concept may be found (Sec. 6.3.2). Additional tutorial material
and interactive applications may also be found through links at the bottom of the
explanation page.
Here again, mathematical terms are linked to dictionary definitions. The system may
suggest looking up certain key terms to help with the explanation (especially if the
explanation has already been visited). At the bottom of the page is the “Practice”
button. Clicking on this button produces a new instance of the same problem-type.
Sometimes there may also be a button for “Additional Explanation” or “Detailed Explanation.” You can also return to the pie chart to choose a different topic by clicking
on the “MyPie” icon.
5.3.3
Wrong Answer Page [wrong]
The wrong answer page will appear only after an incorrect answer has been submitted
on the practice page (Fig. 5.6). The system may explain why the answer is incorrect
5.4. FEEDBACK IN LEARNING MODE [LEARNINGFEEDBACK]
Figure 5.6: Wrong Answer Page [wrong]
and may offer advice on the error. Underlined words (hypertext links) may also appear
on the screen for students to look up in the Dictionary.
The old, incorrect answer appears in the Answer Editor, where it can be corrected and
resubmitted. Again, clicking on “Explain” is an option that leads to an explanation
of the problem. Please note that the system may also take the student directly to the
“Explain” page if an item is missed too many times.
5.4
Feedback in Learning Mode [learningfeedback]
In the Learning Mode feedback is integrated into a sophisticated system of guidance
for the student. Some errors prompt ALEKS to give specific hints and suggestions
(Fig. 5.6). For example, it may say that a fractional answer needs to be reduced or that
a list of expressions is incomplete. After a correct answer, the system will ask a limited
number of questions for the same concept before judging that it has been mastered. If
an item is missed too many times, however, a new topic will be suggested. If a concept
has been left without mastery being attained the system may suggest returning to it
after one or two other topics have been covered.
5.5
Review [review]
A student using ALEKS can review topics recently worked on in the Learning Mode
by using the “Review” button (Fig. 5.7). Clicking on any of these topics provides the
chance for additional practice; this is particularly useful when the student knows that a
new assessment is imminent. “Click here for more review” gives a comprehensive list of
all topics mastered by the student. ALEKS will periodically offer a student the option
33
34
CHAPTER 5. LEARNING MODE [LEARNING]
Figure 5.7: Review [review]
of reviewing past material at the time of login. The student can select a topic to review
from these recently mastered topics. Clicking on the “Done” button will return the
student to the Learning Mode.
In Review, a student can sort course topics either by “Objectives View” or by “ALEKS
View.” “Objectives View” organizes topics based on the textbook integration or intermediate objectives set up by the instructor. “ALEKS View” organizes topics based on
the pie slices.
NOTE. Work done in Review mode does not affect the student’s pie chart or records
of progress.
5.6
Worksheet [worksheet]
Clicking the “Worksheet” button generates an individualized, printable homework sheet
(in PDF format) containing a number of questions based on the student’s most recent
work in ALEKS (Fig. 5.8). When the student does this, a sheet containing answers
for this individual worksheet (labeled with the student’s name and the date) is sent to
the instructor via the ALEKS message system (Sec. 6.1.4). The instructor may permit
students access to their worksheet answers (Sec. 6.4.12).
A record will be kept on the Worksheet page of all worksheets produced by the student.
The student can click on the link for any past worksheet in order to obtain that work-
5.7. ASK A FRIEND [FRIEND]
Figure 5.8: Worksheet [worksheet]
sheet again. If the instructor has permitted access to worksheet answers, there will also
be links on this page to answer keys for each of the worksheets.
NOTE. In order to view or print documents in PDF format, such as the ALEKS worksheet, Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Acrobat Reader must be installed on your computer.
Most computers have this software. If for any reason your computer does not, there is
a link on the ALEKS Worksheet page to download it. Also, because the worksheet is
opened in a new browser window, it may be necessary to disable your pop-up blocker
temporarily in order to view or print the ALEKS worksheet.
5.7
Ask a Friend [friend]
The Ask a Friend feature, if enabled, allows students who are having trouble mastering
a topic to know the name of a student in the course who has already mastered that
particular topic. The student then has the option of asking the other student for
assistance.
The student can choose to participate in this feature via the Options link. A button
marked “Ask a Friend” will appear at the bottom of the page in the Learning Mode, if
the following conditions are met:
ˆ The student was unsuccessful in answering the concept.
35
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CHAPTER 5. LEARNING MODE [LEARNING]
ˆ There is another student in the course who has successfully mastered the concept
in an assessment and who has also chosen to participate in the “Ask a Friend”
feature.
Chapter 6
Basic Instructor Module [im2basic]
Figure 6.1: Course List [courselist]
The ALEKS Instructor Module enables instructors to quickly and easily manage their
courses and monitor student progress. It puts powerful and flexible tools for course
customization in the instructor’s hands, making possible a closer coordination between
an ALEKS course and the range of integrated textbooks. Like earlier versions of the
Instructor Module, it is based on the “Wizard” principle, meaning that all actions are
broken into clear, logical steps for easy use even by those new to the system. For experienced users, there is an Advanced Instructor Module that uses the familiar Selector
panel and object-based functionality (Chap. 7).
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38
CHAPTER 6. BASIC INSTRUCTOR MODULE [IM2BASIC]
6.1
Instructor account [courselist]
When logging on to your Instructor account, you will be prompted to create a course
if there is none yet created. If there is only one course under your name, you will see
the Home page for that course (Sec. 6.1.10). If there is more than one course, you will
see a list of your courses and be able to click on the name of a course in order to begin
working with it (Fig. 6.1). Clicking on the name of a course brings you to the Home
page for that course. The course can also be chosen from the “Class” drop-down menu
in upper left of the screen. A new course can be created by clicking “Add a Course” to
upper right or lower left (Sec. 6.3).
If you have Administrator status, this page will also provide access to the courses of
other instructors at your college.
See Sec. 6.6 for information regarding the Administrator Center.
6.1.1
My Account Settings [myaccountsettings]
Figure 6.2: My Account Settings [myaccountsettings]
Click on “My Account Settings” to check and modify your ALEKS Instructor account
data: name, title, password, email, and automatic log out time (Fig. 6.2). You can also
set options affecting the message system and the use of your email address (Sec. 6.1.4).
6.1.2
Student View [studentview]
The Student View is a tool to allow instructors to see exactly what the student experiences in a particular course. Instructors can take the tutorial, take an ALEKS
6.1. INSTRUCTOR ACCOUNT [COURSELIST]
Assessment, view a pie chart, or complete an assignment. The Student View is not included on the instructor’s roster, and no scores from it will be reported in the Gradebook
or reports. A Student View option is provided for each course under the instructor’s
account.
To access the Student View, select the course, then click on the link at the top of the
screen that says “Student View.” The next page will show a summary of the feature
and how to use it.
To receive the maximum benefit from the Student View, instructors should already have
set up homework, quizzes or tests. Clicking on the “Reset the Student View” button
will delete any previous work done in that Student View.
From the Welcome page, instructors can choose to fast-forward through the ALEKS
tutorial and Initial Assessment by clicking on the “Next>>” button. To log out of the
Student View, instructors should click on the “Exit” link in the upper right-hand corner
of the window. Instructors returning to the Student View, after previously working as a
student in the course, will be taken to the screen where they left off, unless they checked
the “Reset the Student View” box on the summary page.
6.1.3
Course Forum [courseforumim2basic]
The Course Forum is a feature in ALEKS that allows the instructor to share ideas with
their students, post the course syllabus, and maintain an open channel of discussion.
Students can also use the Course Forum to post questions and ideas.
The Course Forum is specific to a particular course and must be authorized by the
instructor for each course where it is to be used. To authorize the Course Forum, select
the course, then click on Course Forum (upper right) and select “Authorize This Course
Forum.”
Postings in the Forum can be displayed either by topic or by date. The instructor
can monitor the postings and selectively hide messages. The Course Forum can be
deactivated by the instructor at any time in the Advanced Instructor Module. To
deactivate the Course Forum, select the course and then click on the Home tab. Next,
click on the Course Options link, and then the Access Options link. Here you can
uncheck ”Allow access to this Course Forum.”
6.1.4
Inbox [inbox]
The ALEKS system contains a full-featured internal message system (Sec. 5.2.11). Instructors access the system through the “Inbox” icon in the upper part of the Instructor
interface. After clicking this icon, you will see your Inbox with all current messages. The
messages can be viewed and managed using the features of the message system, which
resemble those of a standard email client. To compose a message, click “Compose.”
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Figure 6.3: Compose Message [inbox]
The features of the message editor page also resemble those of standard email programs.
In order to include mathematical
notation and illustrations in your messages, click the “math” symbol at the right end of
the tool bar. This switches you to the “Enhanced Message Editor,” with a robust set of
input tools (Fig. 6.3). Click on the “Graphs” tab for graphing tools, or on “Algebra,”
“Trig,” “Matrix,” or “Stat” for symbolism specific to these areas.
After composing the message, the instructor can check the box next to “Mark as urgent”
if desired. When students receive a message marked as urgent, they will see “URGENT
Message” displayed above their ALEKS INBOX icon.
You also have the option to include attachments in your messages. The attachments can
be up to 2MB in size. By default, messages sent to you through the ALEKS message
system will be copied to your email address (if provided). This option and others
affecting the message system can be changed under “My Account Settings” (Sec. 6.1.1).
6.1.5
ALEKS Community [alekscommunity]
The ALEKS Community is a discussion forum for instructors to share ideas, discuss
best practices, and ask questions. All ALEKS instructors are members of the ALEKS
Community and are encouraged to post new topics or comment on existing discussion
threads.
You can join the discussion by clicking on the ALEKS Community button when logged
6.1. INSTRUCTOR ACCOUNT [COURSELIST]
into ALEKS with your instructor login name. Instructors will be prompted to click
the box stating that they have read and agree to the terms of the Community, prior
to obtaining access to the forum. Instructors can also access the ALEKS Community
from the ALEKS website under Instructor Resources. When instructors join the ALEKS
Community, they will receive a daily email summary of the approved messages discussed
in the forum.
NOTE. The ALEKS Community forum is for ALEKS instructors only. Students do
not have access to this forum. This forum should not be confused with the ALEKS
Course Forum for students (Secs. 6.1.3, 6.6.5).
6.1.6
ALEKS Training [alekstraining]
The ALEKS Training link connects you to the online Instructor Training Center, where
you can learn more about ALEKS features and how to use them. The website includes
pre-recorded videos and printable tutorials with step-by-step instuctions for commonly
used features in ALEKS.
6.1.7
Archiving Classes and Instructors [archiving]
Figure 6.4: Class List [classlist]
Instructors can archive their own classes to simplify their Instructor Module display so
that only relevant classes appear. Administrators can archive other instructors’ classes
and accounts. This feature is especially helpful for instructors and administrators who
manage a large set of classes and instructors.
Archiving does NOT delete or deactivate classes, shared course access, or instructor
accounts. Archived classes and instructor accounts are simply moved to archived folders
to aid organization, but are still accessible to administrators, instructors, and students.
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Figure 6.5: Archiving Options [archivingoptions]
Options After logging into your ALEKS account, click on the “Archive Options” link
(Fig. 6.4). Alternatively, you can access the feature by first clicking on the “Class” link
located to the left of the class selection drop-down menu (Fig. 6.4). Once on the Archive
Options screen, each course is listed in a separate row with a checkbox under the column
heading “Archive Instructors” or “Archive Classes” (Fig. 6.5). As you scroll through the
list, each row appears highlighted in the color yellow to indicate the checkbox applicable
to the class.
On the Archive Options screen, you can do the following:
1. To archive, check the box next to the desired class (or instructor).
OR
To unarchive, uncheck the box next to the desired class (or instructor).
2. Click on the “Save” button to save your changes.
Once you have archived classes, you will see a section called “Archived Classes” at the
bottom of your class list. Administrators will see other archived instructors on that list.
The class drop-down menu does not contain any archived classes by default. However, if
you view an archived class after selecting it from an “Archived Classes” folder, the class
will then be shown in the class drop-down menu and “(Archived)” will be displayed next
to the class name. Once you select another class in the drop-down menu, the archived
class will no longer be displayed.
NOTE. If administrators archive other instructors’ classes, this will affect the Instructor Module display for those instructors. Instructors will see an “Archived Classes”
section at the bottom of their class list after logging into their ALEKS account. If administrators check the box under the “Archive Instructor” column, this will only archive
the instructor account, but not the classes.
6.1. INSTRUCTOR ACCOUNT [COURSELIST]
Automatic Archiving. When creating a new class, instructors can check the box
next to “Automatically archive this class after the end date” to automatically archive
the class following the selected end date (Fig. 6.25). Instructors who wish to keep only
active classes in their class list should check this box each time they create a new class.
Figure 6.6: Messaging Archive Classes [messagingarchiveclasses]
Messaging. Through the ALEKS “Inbox” Instructors (or administrators) can still
send messages to students (or instructors) when their classes have been archived.
When the instructor has at least one archived class, an “Archived Classes” folder will
appear. Clicking on the “+” sign next to the “Archived Classes” folder will expand the
archived classes list and display the list of students in the archived class.
If at least one instructor has been archived, administrators will see an “Archived Instructors” folder at the bottom of the instructor list. Clicking on the “+” sign will
expand the “Archived Instructors” folder.
6.1.8
Use Advanced Instructor Module [useadvancedim2]
To switch to the Advanced Instructor Module, click on “Use Advanced IM-2” at upper
right. The Advanced Instructor Module has much the same functionality as the Basic
Instructor Module, but the interface is simplified to provide more efficiency for users
who are familiar with the system. See Chap. 7 for complete information.
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6.1.9
Sign Out [signout]
To exit your Instructor account, click on “Sign Out” at upper right. You can also just
close the browser window to end the session. It is a good idea to close the session when
done, to avoid accidentally exposing student data.
6.1.10
Course Home Page [home]
Figure 6.7: Course Home Page [home]
Once a course has been selected, all features of the Instructor Module become available
(Fig. 6.7). In particular, the tabs “Reports, Gradebook, Homework, Quizzes,” etc.,
become active. Also, in the right-hand margin, there is a box showing upcoming due
dates for assignments in this course; at the bottom of the box is a link to the Course
Calendar (Sec. 6.4.13).
The Home page for a course displays a pie chart for the average progress of students in
the course (similar to “ALEKS Pie Average Report,” Sec. 6.2.6), and a list of the students with their current individual progress (similar to “Learning progress since latest
assessment,” Sec. 6.2.10). Other frequently-used reporting options are also available directly from this page; in order to access all reporting options, click “Reports” (Sec. 6.2).
6.2. REPORTS [REPORTS]
45
Figure 6.8: Reports [reports]
6.2
Reports [reports]
The Reports page displays the ALEKS reports that are available for the current class.
Each report is represented by an icon and includes a “Class” link and an “Individual”
link just below the icon (Fig. 6.8). Instructors can access the Reports page by selecting
a class and clicking on the “Reports” tab.
6.2.1
Available Reports [availablereports]
ALEKS offers a wide range of dynamic, automated reports that display individual
student and class data in a variety of ways. Instructors can use these reports to track
usage, progress, grading, and attendance.
Although individual student data is also available through the class reports, the individual link should be used when looking at reports in the presence of a third party (such
as a student), to avoid violating the privacy of other students who would also appear
in the class reports.
The reports are organized by the following report types:
ˆ ALEKS Pie
ˆ Progress Bar
ˆ Time and Topic
ˆ Knowledge Per Slice
ˆ Assignments
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NOTE. The report icons will not appear on the Reports page when they are not
applicable to the course. Also, when there are no students in the course, the report
icons will appear on the page but will not be active.
Beside each report type is a “?” icon. Instructors can click on this icon to see a
description of the report type. To run a class report, click on the “Class” link below
the report icon. To run an individual student report, first click on the “Individual”
link below the report icon, and then click on the name of the student. Alternatively,
students can be viewed by Login Name or Student ID, using the toggles below the list
of names.
6.2.2
Download Report Data [downloadreportdata]
Reporting data can be printed or downloaded from any of the report styles. Use the
ALEKS Print icon to print, or the link marked “Download Excel Spreadsheet” at upper
right to download in Excel format.
6.2.3
Send Message To Selected Students [sendstudentmessage]
Instructors can send messages to selected students from most class reports and from the
Gradebook. To select students, click on the numbered icons next to students’ names.
The icons will change from grey to yellow to indicate which students are selected. By
clicking on “All,” instructors can select all students in the report. To deselect a student,
instructors click on the associated yellow icon (which turns the icon back to grey).
After selecting the students, click on the “Send Message to Selected Students” link.
This opens a message in the ALEKS Inbox, and the students’ names will automatically
appear in the “Bcc” field of the email message. (When “Bcc” is used, students who
receive the message will not know the names of other students to whom it was sent.)
After composing the message, the instructor can check the box next to “Mark as urgent”
if desired. When students receive a message marked as urgent, they will see “URGENT
Message” displayed above their ALEKS INBOX icon.
NOTE. Instructors can quickly select all the students from one number to another by
using the “Shift” key. For example, to select all the students from 1 to 4, they can do
the following:
1. Click on number 1.
2. Hold down the “Shift” key while clicking on number 4.
6.2.4
Viewing Student History Across Multiple ALEKS courses [studenthistorydata]
This feature allows administrators and instructors to view student history across multiple ALEKS courses. This comprehensive view can be used to easily identify each
6.2. REPORTS [REPORTS]
Figure 6.9: Student History [allresultstab]
student’s progress history, and to preserve a record of their work after they have been
moved to a new ALEKS course. This feature can be found in the following reports:
ˆ ALEKS Pie for an individual student (Sec. 6.2.7).
ˆ Progress Bar for the class (Full progress)(Sec. 6.2.12)
ˆ Progress Bar for an individual student (Sec. 6.2.13)
To see the student history data available click on the “All Results” tab in the report.
Moving the cursor over the “i” next to the course name will display the number of topics
and instructor name of that course (Fig. 6.9). The ”All Results” tab will not be active
if students were not in a prior ALEKS course.
NOTE. Depending on the options selected by the administrator at the school, instructors are able to see report history for only the courses they have taught or report history
for all courses taken by the student (Sec. 7.19.1). Administrators can see all report history for all students. This feature will display student history from August 1, 2012
through the present day; performance prior to this date may appear as a grey bar.
6.2.5
Interpreting Bar Graphs [interpretingbargraphs]
Bar graphs are used in several of the ALEKS report styles. Although the meaning of
the bar graphs varies by report style, there are some common features.
Bar Graph Colors
The colors used to fill the bar indicate the level of mastery of the course contents
at a particular time. The bar is filled from left to right.
ˆ
ˆ
ˆ
ˆ
Blue means that mastery was shown on assessment.
Green that tentative mastery was achieved in Learning Mode.
Yellow indicates the part of the course material not mastered.
Blank (white) indicates an assessment is in progress.
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ˆ Grey means the student was moved from a different course product; any
assessments from the earlier course product will appear greyed out in the new
course. Student performance prior to August 1, 2012 may appear as a grey
bar.
ˆ Aquamarine shows progress made between the first and latest assessment.
ˆ An asterisk by a greyed-out bar graph or any other color, in some reports,
indicates that a new assessment is underway.
Values underneath Bar Graphs
Underneath the bar are percentages corresponding to the like-colored portion of the
bar graph; for example, a “25%” in dark blue under the bar graph indicates that the
dark blue portion of the bar is 25% of its total length. Instead of percentages, you
can view student progress by the number of topics. Simply click on the “Percent”
or “Topics” link in the Course Mastery column to toggle between the two views.
Multiple Bar Graphs
Where there is more than one bar graph per student, the bar graphs represent
different points in the student’s learning history, generally associated with assessments taken by the student. Bar graphs showing a segment of the student’s
learning history are stacked, with the earliest on the bottom and the
most recent at the top.
More Features
There are several ways of accessing student data using reports:
ˆ The list of students in a bar-graph report can be sorted on any of the report
columns by clicking on the text in the header for that column. Clicking on
the text in the header section of the column will bring up an ascending or
descending arrow, which can then be used to sort the column.
ˆ You can navigate to other kinds of reports by clicking on hyperlinked names or
dates. Clicking on a student’s name takes you to the detailed learning history
for that student (Sec. 6.2.13).
ˆ Clicking on the date for an assessment takes you to a detailed (pie chart)
report for that assessment (Sec. 6.2.7).
NOTE. On some reports, if students have been in a different ALEKS course previously,
it is possible to toggle between viewing their total time in ALEKS and their total time
in the current course. This toggle will appear below the report. For students who have
only been in one ALEKS course, the displayed time will be the total time in the current
course.
6.2.6
ALEKS Pie (Average Report) [averagereport]
The ALEKS Pie Report features a color-keyed pie chart showing the breakdown
of student learning for the average of all students in the course, letting instructors
6.2. REPORTS [REPORTS]
Figure 6.10: ALEKS Pie (Average Report) [averagereport]
see at a glance how the students are meeting the course goals. This report allows
instructors to group students easily based on their prerequisite knowledge and to
direct instruction according to what students are ready to learn (Fig. 6.10).
You can use the “Show” drop-down box to filter the report by “Current Learning,”
“Most Recent Assessment,” or “Initial Assessment.” The “Current Objective” title
and the dotted lines on the pie chart are displayed only when “Current Learning” is
selected and the course is set up with intermediate/chapter objectives. Complete details
on which topics students have mastered, not mastered, and are ready to learn in the
course are available in the section below the pie chart and can be viewed by Objectives
(if you are using textbook integration, Objectives, or Modules in the course) or by
ALEKS Table of Contents (Secs. 6.3.2).
In either the ALEKS Table of Contents tab or the Objectives tab (when present), you
can toggle between viewing and hiding topics. To preview a sample problem of a topic,
click on the topic name. ALEKS generates a new instance of the problem each time
you click on a topic name.
If you click on a percent link for a topic you will see a breakdown of student mastery
of that topic. You can send a message to students directly from this report, and view
additional topics that a group of students is ready to learn. The topics with the highest
numbers of students “Ready To Learn” are the ones ripest for classroom presentation;
trying to teach topics with low numbers in this display is more likely to produce boredom
and frustration, because most students either have learned them already or are not yet
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ready for them (Sec. 8.5).
NOTE. Students who have not taken an Initial Assessment will not be shown in this
report, but they will be shown in the Excel spreadsheet downloads. The Excel spreadsheet (sub-slice) download shows the number of topics each student has mastered and
the number of topics they are ready to learn for each sub-slice of the ALEKS Pie. If
Objectives or Modules are used in the course, a third download link will be available to
“Download Excel Spreadsheet (Objective).”
6.2.7
ALEKS Pie Report (Individual) [reportparticularstudent]
Figure 6.11: Report for a single student in this course (pie chart) [reportparticularstudent]
The pie chart report for a particular student shows the student’s current progress toward mastery of the curriculum (Fig. 6.11). There is also a menu giving access to earlier
points in the student’s progress; the menu choices are dates with the notations “Assessment” (meaning the pie chart represents the student’s knowledge immediately after
the assessment on the given date) or “Learning” (meaning the pie chart represents the
student’s knowledge just before the next assessment).
Objective Pie View. When instructors are viewing a student’s latest learning result,
they can toggle their view from the full ALEKS Pie view to the Objective Pie view by
clicking on the “Switch to Objective Pie” link. For more details about this feature see
Sec. 6.2.8.
6.2. REPORTS [REPORTS]
Figure 6.12: Individual pie chart Report [piehistoryreport]
Beneath the pie chart is a list of concepts the student has recently mastered (“What
student’s name Can Do”) and another list of concepts the student is currently (as of
the given assessment) ready to begin learning (“What student’s name is ready to learn
next”). To see a complete list of topics mastered by the student, click on the link “and
many other more elementary concepts.”
Show me what the student sees. This link will be available for a student who has
completed the current objective in a course where Objectives with end dates are in use.
By default, this report uses the current textbook chapter or objective for the course
as a frame of reference, that is, the last chapter or objective whose due date has not
passed. To switch to the frame of reference for a student working ahead of the current
objective, click on “Show me what the student sees.”
In courses where Objective completion by Mastery Level (without end dates) is
in use, the instructor and the student will always have the same frame of reference. For
more details about Objectives with End dates and Mastery Levels please see Sec. 6.3.4.
At the bottom of the page there will be a “History” section that contains the student’s
progress for the current course (Fig. 6.12). The assessment currently being viewed is
indicated with an orange dot. To view the student’s progress in other courses, the
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CHAPTER 6. BASIC INSTRUCTOR MODULE [IM2BASIC]
instructor can click on the “View” link under “Previous Results” (if applicable). Student progress history can also be viewed on a student’s pie report by clicking on any
assessment date link from a current or previous course (Sec. 6.2.4).
6.2.8
Objective Pie View [objectivepiereport]
Figure 6.13: Objective Pie View when End Dates in use [objpiewithenddates]
Figure 6.14: Objective Pie View when Mastery Levels in use [objpiewithoutenddates]
Objectives with End Dates
The Objective Pie encompasses all the topics in the current Objective and contains only two
slices (Fig. 6.13). Goal topics are all the topics the student must master for the current
Objective. Prerequisite topics are those that will help the student learn some or all of the
goal topics.
Objectives with Mastery Levels (without End Dates)
The Objective Pie encompasses all the topics in the current Objective and contains only
6.2. REPORTS [REPORTS]
53
three slices (Fig. 6.14). Goal topics are all the topics the student must master for the current
Objective. Prerequisite topics are those that will help the student learn some or all of the
goal topics. The Other topics slice shows topics from earlier Objectives that have not yet
been mastered.
6.2.9
Progress Bar Reports [progressbarreports]
Figure 6.15: Progress Bar Reports [progressbar]
Using the Progress Bar reports, instructors can view student progress on assessments
and in Learning Mode at various time intervals. Instructors can change the report
view by making a selection in the “View” drop-down menu and then clicking on the
“Show” button (Fig. 6.15). A description of the selected report will be displayed
below the drop-down menu.
NOTE. If you navigate away from a Progress Bar report and return at a later time,
the report that was last selected will remain in effect.
6.2.10
Learning progress since latest assessment [learningreport]
This report shows each student’s progress in Learning Mode since the most recent
assessment. Students are listed with their total hours spent in ALEKS, the date of
their last login, the date of their last assessment, and a bar graph indicating their
current level of mastery of all course materials (Fig. 6.16). If Textbook Integration or
Objectives (Sec. 6.3.2) are used, the column to the right of the bar graphs will show
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CHAPTER 6. BASIC INSTRUCTOR MODULE [IM2BASIC]
Figure 6.16: Learning progress since latest assessment [learningreport]
the percentage of the material the student has completed in the current chapter or
Objective.
If the instructor is utilizing Objectives without End Dates (Sec. 6.3.3), the Objective
number will be displayed above the percentage.
If the “Learning Rates” feature is used, there may also be a “grade” column (Sec. 7.4.4).
Additional columns to the right may contain other statistical information; links at the
top of the columns permit the user to choose among types of statistics (“Topics learned
since last assessment,” etc.). For additional information regarding the interpretation of
the bar graphs, see Sec. 6.2.5.
6.2.11
Total progress (Overall progress) [overallreport]
Here is another variant on the bar-graph style of report, intended to show the overall
gain made by students in a course, as confirmed by assessment (Fig. 6.17). There is
one bar graph per student; the blue portion shows the level of mastery shown on the
student’s Initial Assessment, the aquamarine portion shows the level of mastery shown
on the student’s most recent assessment. Note that any progress made by the student
in Learning Mode since the most recent assessment is not shown in this report.
6.2. REPORTS [REPORTS]
Figure 6.17: Overall progress in assessments [overallreport]
Figure 6.18: Detailed progress history [detailedreport]
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6.2.12
Detailed progress history - Class [detailedreport]
“Detailed progress history” is an expanded version of “Learning progress since latest
assessment” (Fig. 6.18). It shows the student’s learning history, with one bar graph for
each assessment taken by a student. The bar graphs are stacked, the earliest on the
bottom and the most recent at the top. To the left of each bar, there is the date of the
assessment and a notation indicating the reason for the assessment (see Sec. 4.3).
In other parts of ALEKS, this style of report may be called “Full progress.” Above
the report is a menu from which you can select the period of time for which the report
should be compiled (that is, how far back in time the report should go).
Clicking on the “All Results” tab will display all students’ current and previous class
progress results (if applicable) (Sec. 6.2.4). The current class can be distinguished by
the “(Current Class)” label. Clicking on a student’s name will take the instructor to
the individual progress report for the student (Sec. 6.2.13). Clicking on an assessment
date link will take the instructor to the individual student’s pie report, displaying their
progress at that point in time (Sec. 6.2.7).
6.2.13
Progress report for a single student in this course [progressparticularstudent]
Figure 6.19: Progress report for a single student in this course [progressparticularstudent]
This report shows bar graphs for each of the assessments taken by the student (Fig. 6.19);
for interpretation of the bar graph display, see Sec. 6.2.5. Also displayed are the student’s enrollment date, last login date, and total hours spent working in ALEKS.
6.2. REPORTS [REPORTS]
Clicking on the “All Results” tab will display the student’s current and previous class
progress results (if applicable) (Sec. 6.2.4). Clicking on an assessment date link will
take the instructor to the individual student’s pie report, displaying their progress at
that point in time (Sec. 6.2.7).
6.2.14
Time and Topic Report [timeandtopicreport]
Figure 6.20: Time and Topic report [timeandtopic]
Figure 6.21: Time and Topic Learning Log [timetopiclearninglog]
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The Time and Topic Report allows instructors to view quickly the amount of time
spent by each student in ALEKS as well as the topics the student attempted and
mastered. (The number of topics attempted does not include topics the student
worked on in Review mode.)
The report can be generated for all students in the class or for individual students by
clicking on the “Class” or “Individual” link below the “Time and Topic icon.”
Class View
The class-wide report will display a list of the students’ names, their total time
in the course, possibly the total time spent in ALEKS from college, the last login
date, the total time spent in ALEKS for this date range, and a listing of the number
of topics attempted and mastered daily over the last week (Fig. 6.20). The date
range for the report must be be a minimum of one week, with a maximum range
of up to 20 weeks, using the link directly over the table (“Change Date Range”).
You can set a custom date range using the “From Date” and “To Date” drop-down
selections, or check the “Date Range” drop-down menu to select a certain number
of weeks to display. You can also choose how the information is broken down, by
clicking on the daily, weekly, and monthly boxes. More than one selection may be
included in the same report if desired.
Individual Student View
Clicking on individual student names in the report gives you detailed information
on the topics each student has attempted and mastered. Each topic attempted or
added to the Pie can be viewed with an example of that problem type. To see the
student’s Learning Sequence Log on a certain date, click on the date link. The
Learning Sequence Log will display the time and result of the attempted topic.
By clicking on the “Result” link (Wrong, Correct, or Added to Pie), it is possible
to see specific problems the student worked on, along with their answer and the
solution (Fig. 6.21).
If a student has spent some time on an ALEKS assessment during that day, the
session will be marked with a blue triangle in the top right hand corner. The total
amount of time shown for a specific day includes time worked in learning mode, as
well as any quizzes, homework, review problems, or assessments the student has
done.
Instructors can also see the total time spent in ALEKS when viewing the Individual
Time and Topic Report. This provides a more comprehensive view of a student’s
progress in the program, and includes the last login date, enrollment date, total
hours in ALEKS, and hours per week. This information is also added in the Excel
download for use with your external gradebook.
If the student wishes to view their Time and Topic Report, they simply click the Report
link at the top of their page and select the tab for the appropriate report.
6.2. REPORTS [REPORTS]
6.2.15
Knowledge Per Slice [knowledgeperslice]
Figure 6.22: Knowledge Per Slice [knowledgeperslice]
The Knowledge Per Slice report allows instructors to view students’ overall progress
in each slice of the pie chart independently. This report is viewed by clicking the
Reports tab and then selecting the “Class” or “Individual” link below the “Knowledge Per Slice” icon.
The class report will show a list of the students’ names and their overall course mastery
as seen in the general Progress Report (Fig. 6.22). The remaining columns show the
names of pie slices and the percentages for each student’s mastery in each. The bar
graphs show the student’s mastery as of their most recent assessment and their most
recent progress in learning mode through the blue and green segments, respectively.
6.2.16
Assignment Reports [assignmentreports]
These are the reports which show the results of instructor-created assignments:
Homework, Quizzes, Tests, and scheduled assessments. An assignment table provides instructors with quick access to Homework, Quiz, Test, and scheduled assessment results. Click on the name of the assignment to see the detailed class or
individual results.
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6.2.17
Homework, Quiz, and Test Results [homeworkreport]
Figure 6.23: Homework Results [homeworkreport]
Fig. 6.23 shows the report page for Homework; the report pages for Quiz and Test are
practically identical. For each student, we see the date the assignment was submitted,
the percentage score, and the grade (if a grading scale was assigned). Clicking on
the student’s name gives a menu of all Homework (resp. Quiz, Test) results for that
student; clicking on the submission date gives a detailed report on the assignments for
the student, with access to the actual questions and the student’s answers, showing
the point values awarded. Point values can be adjusted manually by the instructor if
necessary. At the bottom of the detailed results view is a link to delete the results; if
this is done and the assignment is still active, the student will be able to retake the
assignment.
Above the main display and to the right, ALEKS shows the average score for the course
and the number of students who have submitted the assignment out of the total in
the course. Also, there are links at the top left to “Per Question Results,” with a
breakdown of the students’ overall success on each question of the assignment, and
“Detailed Student Results,” which summarizes success or failure on each question for
each student. Results are analyzed to considerable depth; keep on clicking the hyperlinks
in this area to see all the available connections.
6.3. COURSE CREATION AND CONFIGURATION [ADDEDITCOURSE]
Figure 6.24: Scheduled assessment report [scheduledreport]
6.2.18
Scheduled assessment report [scheduledreport]
The report for scheduled assessments (those requested deliberately by the instructor,
Sec. 6.4.9) is another bar-graph reporting style (Fig. 6.24). The difference from other
such reports is that these show assessment results only, not work in the Learning Mode,
so that there is only a dark blue bar showing the level of the student’s mastery. Reports
of this type may contain gaps; where no bar graph appears for a given student, this
means that the student has not taken the assessment yet, or, if the period of availability
is over, that the student did not take it before it was due.
Above the display of assessment results is a menu of all scheduled assessments for the
course.
NOTE. These assessment results are also included in all other reports where assessment
results are displayed.
6.3
Course Creation and Configuration [addeditcourse]
Courses are added (created) and edited in ALEKS through the same basic interface.
To edit a course, select that course from the list, then click “Edit this Course” in the
upper part of the window; the page that follows gives a list of course areas that may
be modified (click on “edit” to modify, Fig. 6.32). To create a course, click “Add a
Course.”
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The procedure for creating or editing a course includes the setup of Textbook Integration
and content customization (if these are desired). It does not include creating Homework,
Quizzes, Tests, or Scheduled Assessments, but these steps may then be completed later.
6.3.1
Basic Information [basicinformation]
Figure 6.25: Basic Information [basicinformation]
Administrator accounts can assign the course to another instructor when setting up the
course.
The course is required to have a name; this name can be the name appearing in your
institution’s course catalogue or anything else you wish (Fig. 6.25). The Section Name is
optional. Including the term and year in the section name makes it easier to keep track
of ALEKS courses over time (e.g., “F 2011”). The ALEKS Course is the course product
that will be used for the course (e.g., “Pre-Algebra”). This should not be changed after
the course has begun unless absolutely necessary, as doing so will be disruptive to the
students’ learning and to the course reports and records. Other values on this page can
usually be changed without disruption.
The Course Dates are used to configure the Course Calendar, and should include the
entire period of time that the students will be using ALEKS. Instructors can also check
the box “Automatically archive this class after the end date” to automatically archive
the class following the selected course End Date (Sec. 6.1.7).
6.3.2
Textbook Integration, Custom Objectives, and Modules [selecttextbook]
ALEKS provides a flexible range of options for organizing the material of a course, with
or without the support of a textbook. These options may be chosen either when a
course is created (“Add a Course”) or added to an existing course (“Edit this Course”).
6.3. COURSE CREATION AND CONFIGURATION [ADDEDITCOURSE]
Figure 6.26: Select Textbook [selecttextbook]
In the Course Set-Up Wizard, immediately following the Basic Information page, is the
page for Textbook Integration, Custom Objectives and Modules. Here you can make
several choices about the structure of your course, the first being whether to integrate
a textbook or not.
Textbook Integration. If you choose the option to use a textbook with ALEKS, you
must choose this textbook from the list of available choices using the dropdown window.
ALEKS will automatically place chapter and section references to this textbook on the
explanation pages.
One choice in the list of textbooks is the “ALEKS curriculum,” which is a division
of the topics based on the slices of the ALEKS pie chart rather than chapters of a
textbook. This choice enables student learning to be structured without the use of a
specific textbook.
Next you must choose from one of the following three options (all three options automatically include textbook references and, with ALEKS Corporation books, media assets
on the Explain pages):
Chapter-based Objectives with optional Custom Objectives
If this option is selected, you will be able to choose entire chapters from the
textbook as objectives for your course, and set due dates for these objectives
(Sec. 6.3.3). This is the most efficient way of directing student learning in ALEKS.
You can also create custom objectives to split chapters into multiple objectives or
combine material across multiple chapters into single objectives.
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Both these types of objectives will include all ALEKS topics that correspond with
the chapter.
All Modules (Custom Objectives)
If this option is selected, you will need to create all of the objectives for your course
manually. This option provides the instructor with the greatest control over the
course structure.
No Objectives or Modules of any kind
If this option is selected, students will see references to the textbook, but the
textbook will not direct their learning.
NOTE. If you choose any of the options for structuring objectives in your course,
whether by textbook chapters, custom objectives, or a combination of these, topics will
not be included in the course unless they are included in one of your objectives. It
will be possible, however, to remove topics after they have been included as part of a
chapter or custom objective (Sec. 6.3.8). This is relevant when you wish to structure
your course based on textbook chapters, but do not want to include everything that
ALEKS would normally have as the content of a particular chapter. If only Custom
Objectives are used, it will not usually be necessary to do further customization of the
content.
Without Textbook Integration. If no textbook is integrated within the course, no
textbook will be referenced in ALEKS and you will only have the choice of the following
two options:
All Modules (Custom Objectives)
If this option is selected, you will need to create all of the objectives for your course
manually.
No Objectives or Modules of any kind
If this option is selected, student learning will be guided by ALEKS without objectives.
See the following sections for additional detail on the choices outlined above.
6.3.3
Select Objectives [selectchapters]
Chapter Selection and Order. Initially, all textbook chapters appear in their normal
order and all are checked for inclusion in the course (Fig. 6.27). You can remove chapters
by unchecking the box in the Include column. Chapters can be reordered by clicking
on the up and down arrows in the “Include” column. Chapters can also be reordered
by clicking on the chapter name or start date and dragging and dropping the chapter
to a different position.
ALEKS permits you to order chapters freely, but a reasonable and conventional ordering
of the materials should be maintained. ALEKS will move topics among chapters in
6.3. COURSE CREATION AND CONFIGURATION [ADDEDITCOURSE]
Figure 6.27: Chapter-based Objectives [selectchapters]
order to maintain prerequisite relations among specific topics, with the result that an
unusual ordering of the chapters may not produce the best results for your course
structure. The default ordering of chapters may be the best choice for a smooth ALEKS
implementation.
Creating Custom Objectives. To create an objective that does not correspond exactly to a textbook chapter, use the button marked “Create a New Custom Objective,”
located below the list of textbook chapters.
This tool can be used to:
ˆ Divide a chapter into parts.
ˆ Combine material across multiple chapters.
ˆ Create review modules with material from a sequence of chapters.
See Sec. 6.3.7 for the use of the custom objective tool.
6.3.4
Objective Completion [objectivecompletion]
When setting up objectives for your ALEKS course, you can choose to define end dates
or set a Mastery Level for each objective. When using Mastery Level for objective completion (Objectives without End Dates), no objective end dates are defined. Instructors
will select a final day when all objectives will be due.
ˆ End Dates for Objectives. When an End Date is assigned to an objective,
students should do their best to complete the objective before this date. After
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this date, students will be moved to the next objective, and the material in the
past objective will not be available unless it is prerequisite for current learning.
Completion dates are assigned by clicking the box in the End Date column and
choosing a date from the popup calendar. The Start Date for the first chapter is
always the start date of the course, set under Basic Information. The Start Date
for any other chapter is one day after the End Date of the previous chapter. Start
Dates cannot be set manually, chapters cannot overlap in the calendar, and each
chapter included must have an End Date.
ˆ Mastery Levels for Objectives (Objectives without End Dates). If you
choose this option, students will be moved to the next objective when they meet
the mastery level set for the current objective. They will still be able to access
the remaining unmastered topics from all previous objectives via their pie chart.
To access previous objective topics, click on the black arrows, adjacent to the pie
slices. To use Mastery Level, completion click on the “Switch to Objectives without
End Dates” link. You can set the Mastery Level for each objective (90% is the
default setting). Also, a final due date must be set for all objectives, when scores
for all objectives will be sent to the gradebook. The default setting for this date
is the course end date.
6.3.5
Objective Completion Assessment [objectivecompletionassessment]
When students complete an objective assignment before the scheduled end date, or
reach the assigned Mastery Level (for objectives without end dates) they can either
be automatically assessed on their mastery of this material or be moved to the next
objective without an assessment. To complete the configuration of the objectives, you
must indicate your preference in the box below the “Create a New Custom Objective”
button (Fig. 6.28).
Based on the experience of many ALEKS users, it is recommended that you choose
to have the students assessed. The additional review will benefit their retention and
comprehension of the material. Students who do not complete the objective material
before the due date, or who do not meet the Mastery Level, will not have an assessment
triggered by this option. As with all assessments, once the student has started the
assessment, they must complete it, even if the due date for the objective has passed.
The assessment score will not affect the student’s score for the objective completion in
the Gradebook. This assessment will reset the “assessment clock” so that the student
will not have two assessments in quick succession.
NOTE. To avoid over-assessment of students, ALEKS will prevent all automatic assessments for students with 10 items or less remaining in an objective in the 48 hours
preceding the end date of the objective. If there is no end date for the objective, automatic assessments will be prevented for students with 10 items or less remaining to
complete the current objective, regardless of the mastery levels set.
6.3. COURSE CREATION AND CONFIGURATION [ADDEDITCOURSE]
Figure 6.28: Objective Completion Options and Objective Pie View [objectiveassessmentpie]
6.3.6
Objective Pie View [objectivepieview]
The last choice on the Objectives Editor page is to enable the Objective Pie view for
students in this course (Fig. 6.40). If this feature is enabled, students will be able to
change their view from the full ALEKS Pie view to the Objective Pie view, focusing
their attention on the goal topics needed for the current Objective. Instructors can see
the Objective Pie View using the link on the ALEKS Pie Report for individual students
(Sec. 6.2.7).
6.3.7
Using the Custom Objective Tool [customobjectives]
To create a new Custom Objective, click on the “Create a New Custom Objective” button in the Select Objectives window (Fig. 6.29). A new window will open, in which you
can select the chapters, sections, and topics that you would like to include (Fig. 6.30).
If a textbook is integrated with the course, you will see tabs for Textbook View and
ALEKS Slice Table of Contents View. The Textbook View allows you to select content
based on the structure of the textbook. The ALEKS Slice Table of Contents View
allows you to select content based on the structure of the ALEKS pie.
ˆ Click on the plus sign (+) to the left of each folder to view its contents.
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Figure 6.29: Custom Objectives [customobjectives]
Figure 6.30: Objectives Editor [objectiveeditor]
6.3. COURSE CREATION AND CONFIGURATION [ADDEDITCOURSE]
ˆ Check the box to the left of a topic name to include that topic in your objective.
ˆ Check the box to the right of a folder icon to include all topics in that folder.
A running count of the number of included topics will be displayed just above the
directory window.
ˆ Use the “Custom Objective Name” field to change the name assigned to the objective.
ˆ Click the “Done” button when you have finished customizing the objective.
The new objective will appear in the table of objectives. You should now schedule an
End Date for this objective. This procedure can be repeated to create additional custom
objectives. Objectives can be reordered by clicking on the up and down arrows in the
“Include” column. Objectives can also be reordered by clicking on the objective name
or start date and dragging and dropping the objective to a different position.
To edit a Custom Objective, click on the “Edit” link next to the objective in the Select
Objectives window. To delete a custom objective, select “Delete this Custom Objective”
link.
Before continuing to the next step of the course set-up, you will need to choose whether
or not students will be assessed on early completion of an objective (Sec. 6.3.3).
6.3.8
Edit Content [editcontent]
Figure 6.31: Edit Content [editcontent]
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Textbook integration tailors the contents of the ALEKS course to the content of the
textbook, so that some topics normally included in a given ALEKS course product may
be omitted. Even though ALEKS allows relative freedom to determine the content
of your course, caution should be used regarding deep cuts to the content, as these
may cause ALEKS to function incorrectly. Only minor adjustments should be made to
the content once students have begun working, to avoid unexpected disruption of the
students’ work.
In the Edit Content window:
ˆ All topics that are checked are currently included in the course.
ˆ Unchecked topics are excluded from the course.
ˆ Topics may be checked to include them in the course, or unchecked to remove
them.
ˆ To see a sample problem for any topic, double-click on the topic name.
NOTE. In courses that are configured with objectives, the Content Editor will only
display topics contained and structured according to those objectives. As course content
can be modified through the objectives themselves, the Content Editor is mainly for
use in courses where objectives are not in use. If an instructor removes a substantial
number of fundamental topics from the course, ALEKS will display a warning.
6.3.9
Section Level Content [sectionlevelcontent]
For certain textbooks, the ALEKS items displayed in the Content Editor are organized
not only by chapter, but also by section, making it more convenient to customize content
on the basis of the textbook structure. Where available, section-level organization is
also visible when you are choosing topics to include in Homework, Quizzes, and Test
assignments.
6.3.10
Supplementary Textbook Topics [supplementarytextbooktopics]
When textbook integration is used, you can also choose to include supplementary course
topics available in ALEKS for certain textbooks. These supplementary topics are not
specifically covered in the textbook, but can logically be associated with particular
chapters. These supplementary topics are excluded from the course by default and
must be manually selected to be included. Not all ALEKS courses have supplementary
topics.
6.3.11
Core Readiness Topics in the Content Editor [readinessreviewchapters]
For some textbooks integrated with ALEKS, there is an initial chapter, preceding Chapter 1, that may be called a “Readiness Chapter.” (The exact name of the Readiness
6.3. COURSE CREATION AND CONFIGURATION [ADDEDITCOURSE]
Chapter can vary across books.) This chapter contains material that is not strictly part
of the course coverage, but is important as foundational material.
If you would like the Readiness/Review chapter to be a distinct unit in the student’s
work, it should be assigned a completion date, like other chapters. If no separate
completion date is assigned to this chapter, its core material will still be included, but
as part of the first chapter.
For courses not using textbook integration, these topics will be listed in the Content
Editor under the section “Core Readiness Topics,” and you may remove as many of these
topics as you wish. The other (non-core) topics coming from the Readiness Chapter are
also shown in the Content Editor under the section “Other Topics,” but these topics
will not be included in the course.
NOTE. If custom objectives are used, ALEKS will automatically include core material
if at least 50% of the topics from the first regular chapter (or from the second pie slice)
are included in the course coverage.
6.3.12
Edit Course [editcourse]
Figure 6.32: Edit Course [editcourse]
To edit the course details, select a course and then click on ”Edit this Course.” You
will see a screen listing all of the course creation areas. Click on “edit” for any area
to go back and revise your choices. Click “Save” to complete the process. The course
configuration can be altered at any time, but it is better to finalize your choices before
the students begin working in ALEKS.
To access the automatic archive class option, click on “edit” for Course Name, Section
Name, ALEKS Course, Start Date, or End Date (Sec. 6.1.7).
ALEKS Course Syllabus
Also on this screen is a link to download the ALEKS Course Syllabus. You will
have the choice of two formats, an HTML webpage or a PDF document. The
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ALEKS Course Syllabus contains a detailed summary of your course as it has
been configured.
6.4
Assignments [homeworkquiztest]
The following kinds of assignments can be created in ALEKS: Homework, Quizzes,
Tests, and Scheduled Assessments. All are optional: ALEKS can be used without
any of these, but they may enhance the effectiveness of ALEKS in certain instructional contexts. Homework, Quizzes, and Tests are similar in how they are configured.
The process of creating a Homework assignment will be described below in full detail;
Scheduled Assessments will be treated more briefly, focusing on how they differ from
Homework, Quizzes, and Tests.
All assignments are separate categories in the ALEKS Gradebook (Sec. 6.5), and so it
is helpful to keep them distinct from the viewpoint of course management and grading.
6.4.1
Homework [homework]
If Homework assignments have been created for this course, clicking on the Homework
tab will display a table listing these assignments (Fig. 6.33). The table includes the
following information: The Homework Name, Start Date, Due Date, Status of the
Homework, and an Action drop-down menu.
Possible Status values are:
ˆ Current. The Homework assignment is currently available.
ˆ Enabled. The Homework assignment will be available at a future date.
ˆ Completed. The Homework assignment due date has passed.
ˆ Disabled. The Homework assignment has been set up as Disabled in Step 1 on
the Homework setup screen.
Available Actions are:
ˆ Edit Homework. Instructors can modify an existing Homework in the course.
ˆ Disable/Enable Homework. Instructors can block or allow student access to
the Homework after the start date.
ˆ View Homework Report. Instructors can view a report showing each student’s
result on a Homework assignment.
ˆ Duplicate Homework. Instructors can copy the configuration of an existing
Homework.
ˆ Print Homework. Instructors can print up to five instances of the Homework.
ˆ Delete Homework. Instructors can delete a Homework assignment.
6.4. ASSIGNMENTS [HOMEWORKQUIZTEST]
Figure 6.33: Homework Status [homework]
6.4.2
Add Homework [addhomework]
Instructors can create a new Homework assignment by clicking on the Add Homework
button under the “Homework” tab (Fig. 6.33). The following steps are needed to
complete the assignment creation process (Fig. 6.34):
ˆ STEP 1: Name and Date. Basic information about the homework assignment
is entered such as a name and date that it will be available (Sec. 6.4.3).
ˆ STEP 2: Content. In this step content is added to the assignment (Sec. 6.4.4).
ˆ STEP 3: Gradebook Settings. Instructors can specify when students can see
their grades, or if multiple attempts are permitted for the assignment (Sec. 6.4.5).
ˆ STEP 4: Advanced Options. In this step instructors can control student access
to the assignment (Sec. 6.4.6).
ˆ STEP 5: Grading Scale. A grading scale can be set for the assignment, with
options for how this score is visible to students (Sec. 6.4.7).
6.4.3
Basic Information [assignmentbasic]
STEP 1. This step allows the instructor to select a start date and time and end date
and time for the Homework. The Homework will be available to the students during this
period. By default, the start date and time is when you begin creating the Homework;
the end date and time is 11:59 PM of the same day.
ˆ Name. A sequential name for the Homework will be generated (e.g., Homework
1, Homework 2, etc.), or the instructor can choose a name.
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Figure 6.34: Add Homework [addhomework1]
ˆ Status. Normally, the Homework will be left “Enabled”; if you wish to keep it
hidden for the time being, change the Status to “Disabled” using the drop-down
menu.
ˆ Time Limit. By default, there is no time limit on a Homework, but one may be
assigned.
ˆ Allow students to save this assignment for later and go back to Learning
Mode. By checking this box, instructors can allow students to start an assignment
and then save it to complete later. This will permit students to work in Learning
Mode or on other assignments before finishing the started assignment. This option
is not available for timed assignments.
ˆ Publish this Homework to the student calendar. The assignment is normally
published to the student calendar, but this can be disabled.
ˆ Location. If IP addresses are used to restrict access to assignments to within the
college, a Location drop-down menu will be available (Sec. 7.19.1).
ˆ Allow student access to “Worked Example” while working on this Homework. By default, students will be allowed to access a “Worked Example” while
working on the Homework. Uncheck the box to disable this feature.
6.4.4
Content [assignmentcontent]
STEP 2. There are several ways to select the topics that the Homework assignment
6.4. ASSIGNMENTS [HOMEWORKQUIZTEST]
will cover.
ˆ Using the directory on the left-hand side of the Selector window, select the topics
you wish to include, and click on the “Add” button underneath the Selector. Shift
and Ctrl can be used for easy selection of multiple topics. The directory may be
organized by the textbook, if Textbook Integration is used (Sec. 6.3.2); otherwise,
it will be organized using ALEKS’s own categories.
ˆ Select the All Assignments tab to create a Homework that contains the same topics
used in another Homework assignment, Quiz, or Test.
ˆ Another way to add questions is to specify the number of questions and the chapter
from which they are to be taken, then click “Add” above the Selector window. The
questions will be chosen at random from the chapter you specify. You can also
do this for different chapters, then “Shuffle” them if desired. The total number of
questions on the Homework cannot be less than 1 or greater than 60.
ˆ To remove topics from the Homework, select them on the right-hand side and click
the “Remove” button. The order of topics can be changed by dragging them in
the list, or by selecting them and using the up and down arrows. Or, you can
randomize the order by clicking the “Shuffle” button.
Instructors can modify the points assigned to each topic, ranging from 1 point up to 99
points. This allows some topics to be weighted more heavily on the assignment than
others.
To see a sample question for a topic, double-click on the name of the topic. This is
not the question that your students will see; the actual questions appearing on the
assignment will be generated algorithmically at the time the Homework is taken. Each
student will see a different question, but it will be equivalent to the sample question in
topic and difficulty.
6.4.5
Gradebook Settings [assignmentgrbksettings]
STEP 3. You can choose whether the students will see their scores and grades immediately (default), or only after the end date (Fig. 6.35). You can also specify whether
the assignment may be taken once or multiple times. If you click the option “This
Homework can be taken multiple times,” a window will open in which you can select a
number of attempts, as well as options for which score should appear in the Gradebook
(the best score, the final score, or the average of all attempts). Also in this window you
can choose one of the following retake options:
Full Retake
Students must retake all problems (default).
Quick Retake
Students only retake incorrect problems.
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Figure 6.35: Add Homework (cont.) [addhomework2]
Figure 6.36: Add Homework (cont.) [addhomework3]
6.4. ASSIGNMENTS [HOMEWORKQUIZTEST]
6.4.6
Advanced Options [assignmentadvoptions]
STEP 4. The Prevent automatic assessments option allows you to postpone
automatic assessments for up to 7 days prior to the beginning of the assignment (defaults
to 5 days). Postponed automatic assessments will occur as soon as the assignment is
completed or its end date passes.
The instructor can choose whether to assign the Homework to the entire class or only
to some students in the class (including a single student, or no students). If you click
the option for “specific student(s),” you will see a list of the names of students in the
class with checkboxes.
NOTE. When an assignment is scheduled for some students, rather than the entire
class, the assignment will be considered extra credit in the ALEKS gradebook. This
ensures that the assignment will not hurt any students’ grades.
Next you will be given the choice of how your students will access the Homework
assignment. There are two options:
Students choose when to start Homework assignment after it is available
Students have the flexibility to choose when to start the Homework assignment so
they can continue to work in other parts of ALEKS without being forced into the
assignment.
Included in this option is the ability to password-protect the Homework assignment, providing more control of when and where the Homework assignment can
be taken.
Students must begin the Homework assignment as soon as it is available
Students are “forced” into the Homework assignment as soon as they log in, after it
becomes available. With this option, students will not be able to work in any other
areas of ALEKS until they have completed the Homework assignment. Sec. 6.4.10
for examples of how ALEKS will behave when this option is used.
6.4.7
Grading Scale [assignmentgrscale]
STEP 5. By default, no grading scale is used, and the students see only a percentage
score. If the grading scale is used, its default is a conventional A, B, C, etc. scale using
standard percentage breakpoints. The sliders on the scale, however, can be moved and
renamed; you can also add or remove sliders to set practically any scale desired. The
labels on the sliders, which are used as grade notations, are limited to a few letters or
numbers; to set the label, click on the existing label, type in the new label, then press
“Return.”
Use the “Display Options” under the grading scale to set whether the scale will be
used. Even if the scale is not used, the graph will be populated as a histogram once
the students begin taking the Homework, giving a useful illustration of the students’
performance.
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NOTE. You can choose to apply the settings on this screen to all future assignments
created in this category, in the course by checking the box underneath the display
options. This will not include the name, content, and start and end dates.
To complete the process, click “Next” at the bottom of the New Homework page, check
the specifications of the Homework, then click “Back” to revise or “Save” to finalize. If
you do not wish to save the Homework Assignment, click the “Cancel” button.
6.4.8
Edit Homework [edithomework]
Figure 6.37: Create Extension [assignmentextension]
Clicking on the Homework tab displays the Homework Status screen, listing previously
created Homework assignments for this course. Homework can be modified up to the
moment when the first student begins to take it; extensions can be created at any time.
Edit a Homework assignment by clicking on the “edit homework” link under the Homework assignment name (or choose “Edit Homework” from the Action menu for that
assignment). STEP 1 through STEP 5 can be edited on this screen. Also, at the bottom of the Edit Homework screen is a “Delete this homework” button. Clicking this
button will delete the Homework assignment.
Create Extension. The feature is available in the Edit Homework page. Extensions
can be created for one or more students. To create the extension, click on the “Create
Extension” button, make the desired changes, choose the student(s) who will be given
the extension, and click the “Create Extension” button (Fig. 6.37).
6.4. ASSIGNMENTS [HOMEWORKQUIZTEST]
6.4.9
Assessments [assessmentsim2basic]
Figure 6.38: Add an Assessment [addassessment]
Scheduled assessments have many of the same options as Homework, Quizzes, and Tests
(Fig. 6.38). The fundamental difference is that you do not specify the content of an
assessment; the assessment is produced by ALEKS automatically, as with all other
assessments (Sec. 4.3).
Scheduled Assessment features:
ˆ When creating a scheduled assessment, the instructor has a choice between a
“Progress” style assessment and a “Comprehensive” style assessment. Progress
assessments are slightly shorter and focus on the student’s most recent learning
history; comprehensive assessments are slightly longer and probe more deeply into
the student’s overall knowledge of the course content.
ˆ Scheduled assessments will not allow access to worked examples, integrated eBooks,
or multiple attempts.
ˆ It is helpful to block automatic assessments for a number of days prior to the
scheduled assessment, using the Prevent automatic asessment option. A scheduled
assessment will “reset the clock” for automatic assessments, so that the “blocked”
assessments do not kick in when the assessment is completed.
Assessments and Grading. The score for all ALEKS assessments, including those
scheduled as assignments, is always a percentage representing the student’s knowledge
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of the entire course contents. Assessments do not measure the students’ knowledge of
a particular chapter, unit, or other portion of the course contents. Many instructors
prefer not to use scheduled assessment results as part of the grading scheme. If scheduled
assessments are used for grading, the grading scale should be set carefully, to reflect
your expectation of what the students will have learned at the time the assessment is
taken. For more information on setting a goal percentage for a scheduled assessment,
see Sec. 6.5.5.
6.4.10
Scheduled Assignment Behaviors [sysresponsetoscheduledassignment]
The following are several examples of how the ALEKS system will behave when a
student must begin a scheduled assignment as soon as it becomes available in ALEKS.
ˆ If a student is currently working on any kind of assessment, and a scheduled test or
scheduled quiz becomes available, the system will interrupt the assessment, and the
student will be prompted to take the scheduled test or quiz immediately. After the
student completes the scheduled test or quiz, the assessment will continue where
the student left off.
ˆ If a student is working on any kind of assessment, and a scheduled assessment
becomes available, the system will stop and discard the current assessment. The
student will see a message that says the assessment was canceled. The student will
be prompted to take the schduled assessment immediately.
ˆ If a student is currently working on a homework, quiz, or test, and another homework, quiz, test, or scheduled assessment becomes available, the system will not
interrupt the student’s work. The system will wait until the student has completed the current assignment before prompting the student to take the scheduled
assignment.
6.4.11
Edit all Assignment Dates [editallassignmentdates]
Instructors can edit one or more of the course assignment dates by clicking on the “Edit
all assignment dates” link. This link is available when clicking on any of the following
buttons from the instructor’s homepage: Homework, Quizzes, Tests, Assessments, or
Course Calendar. The “Edit all assignment dates” link will display a page that includes
all the assignments in the course. Using the “Show” drop-down menu allows you to
filter by assignment type.
Quick Shift. To shift the start and end date on a group of assignments, first select
the assignments. Next, use the Quick Shift tool to specify the number of days to shift
forward or back. Then, click on the “Apply to selected” button to see your changes in
the table below. After you have reviewed your changes, click on the “Save” button.
Edit Individual Assignment Dates. To change the start or end date on an individual
assignment, use the calendar drop-down menus to enter a new date. Click the “Save”
6.4. ASSIGNMENTS [HOMEWORKQUIZTEST]
button near the bottom of the screen to save the changes.
6.4.12
Worksheets [worksheets]
Figure 6.39: Worksheet Options [worksheetoptions]
This tab lets you create individual worksheets for students in the course, or view worksheets that have been created in the past. Students also have the ability to print their
own worksheets (Sec. 5.2.9).
To create a worksheet for a single student, select a student from the list.
Worksheet Options. Located to the right of the Manage Worksheets screen is the
“Worksheet Options” link. There are several options available for worksheets in ALEKS
(Fig. 6.39). Worksheets consist of 16 questions; by default, these are drawn from the
student’s recent learning history, but optionally four of the 16 may be chosen from
material that the student may be working on soon (“Ready to Learn Questions”).
Instructors can also manually select their own worksheet combination by using the
drop-down menus to specify the number of “Review Questions” or “Ready to Learn
Questions,” to include in the worksheet. If this option is chosen, worksheets must have
at least one question.
By default, the instructor always receives messages in ALEKS with the answers to
worksheets that students have generated independently. This option can be turned off.
Other options are: to remind the students to print a worksheet at the end of an ALEKS
session; to let students see the answers to their own worksheets; and always to “refresh”
the worksheet content when a new worksheet is printed (by default, it is refreshed only
if the student has done some work in Learning Mode).
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Figure 6.40: Course Calendar [coursecalendar]
6.4.13
Course Calendar [coursecalendar]
The Course Calendar can be accessed from any page in the Instructor Module where
a course has been selected, by clicking “Course Calendar” in the Upcoming Due Dates
box in the right-hand margin. It is similar to the Course Calendar viewed by students, but also permits you to create and modify assignments (Secs. 6.4-6.4.9). The
Course Calendar shows all “assignments” in the course, with their start and end dates
(Fig. 6.40).
The Course Calendar provides a link to the “Edit all assignment dates” page (Sec. 6.4.11).
Date Range. Hovering your mouse pointer over either a start date or an end date will
highlight both the start date and the end date for the assignment. Clicking on either a
start date or an end date will open an information box containing links for editing or
viewing more details about the assignment. New assignments can be created from the
menu just above the Calendar display.
Calendar and Gradebook. The Course Calendar is parallel to the Gradebook, as
it is based on ALEKS assignments. All assignments appearing in the Calendar may
be included in the course grading scheme. Assignments do not have to be graded,
however, to appear in the Calendar. All assignments, graded or not, will appear in the
Calendar unless deliberately excluded (each type of assignment has the option of not
being displayed in the Calendar). The contents of the Calendar can also be shown in
simple list format by using the link “view as list” to upper left.
6.5. GRADEBOOK [GRADEBOOK]
Calendar Notes. It is also possible to add arbitrary notes to the Calendar by clicking
the link, “Add note to Calendar” (upper right).
6.5
Gradebook [gradebook]
Figure 6.41: Gradebook [gradebook]
The Gradebook is central to the course management capacities of the ALEKS Instructor
Module. There are currently six types of data that can be used by the Gradebook:
Quizzes, Tests, Homework, Scheduled Assessments, Objectives (Chapter Completion),
and External Assignments. These are what we call “assignments” in discussing the
Gradebook features. When configuring the Gradebook for a course, the instructor can
choose any selection of these types of data (or none, if the Gradebook is not being
used). Also, it is possible to use these kinds of assignments and not include them in the
Gradebook configuration; for example, the instructor may choose to set up a series of
Homework assignments for the course to prepare students for Quizzes or Tests, but not
make the Homework assignments part of the grade.
NOTE. The full benefit of the ALEKS Gradebook will be obtained if the configuration
is thought out carefully before the beginning of the course, and then left unchanged
while the course is in progress. In particular, if the students have begun to complete
assignments, and grades for the assigments appear in the Gradebook, changes to the
configuration may be confusing to students who check their Gradebook data.
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6.5.1
Gradebook Interface [gradebookinterface]
The main Gradebook interface is shown in Fig. 6.41. Several options are available for
this display. By default, all gradebook data is displayed, but the “Show” menu lets you
select one specific category of data for separate display.
Display Options. The menu lets you choose to see the grading information in terms of
points (based on the points allotted for each category in the Gradebook configuration)
or by percentage of the total points possible; it also lets you set a date range for the
display. For any changes to the display to take effect, you must click the “Update
Display” button.
Full Screen View. Click on the link to view the Gradebook in an expanded screen.
Send Message to Selected Students. Instructors can quickly send a message to
students while viewing the Gradebook. There is a number icon by each student’s name
that gives the position of the student in the sorted list. Since the default sort is by
student name, the numbers will reflect the position of the student in the alphabetical
list. If instructors sort on a different column, the numbers will show the position of the
student relative to the new sort. By sorting on a column and then using this feature,
you can quickly send messages to groups of students who have high or low values for
any column. Furthermore, you can send messages without having to navigate through
the ALEKS Message Center or lose your place within the Gradebook.
Download to Excel. As with other reporting displays in ALEKS, the contents of the
Gradebook can be downloaded into an Excel spreadsheet for use outside of ALEKS.
It is recommended that you download the Gradebook into Excel on a regular basis in
order to have a backup file on hand. This can be useful in the event of a discrepancy
or if edits need to be made to student scores.
Students are listed in the left-hand column; there are also options to show their ALEKS
Login Names or student ID numbers instead of names.
Total Grade. The Total Grade column appears when choosing “Show: All” from
the drop-down menu. It shows a computation of the student’s current grade based on
assignments completed or for which the due date has passed. This column attempts to
predict or approximate the student’s grade for the course based on any work to date;
for example, if the course is half completed and a student has 70% in this column, it
means that if the student’s work continues at the same level for the remainder of the
course, it is likely that the final grade will be around 70%. If a particular category (e.g.
Quizzes) is chosen rather than “All,” it shows the grade to date based on that category
of assignments. If a date range is specified other than the entire period of the course,
the display will use only the assignments whose dates fall within that range.
Gradebook Setup. To view or set the configuration of the Gradebook, click on the
“Gradebook Setup” button (Sec. 6.5.5).
Specific assignments are displayed in the remaining columns in chronological order by
due date. Each assignment has a name, is color-coded by category, and shows its due
6.5. GRADEBOOK [GRADEBOOK]
date. As the students complete the assignments, values are inserted into the corresponding cells. Cells where the student has not completed the assignment are empty
or, if the due date has passed, contain a value of 0. If the student has completed the
assignment but the due date has not passed, the value appears in grey, and it is not
used in computing the current “Total Grade.” For some types of assignments (e.g.,
Homework with multiple attempts, Sec. 6.4.5), students have the option of redoing or
retaking the assignment, so that values in grey may change before the due date.
If you click on the heading for the “Students” or “Total Grade” column, the list will
be sorted on the values in that column. If you click on the “[Edit]” link in any column
for a specific assignment, a box will open containing options to edit and view student
results. These are similar to the analytical options in the regular report views for similar
assignments (Sec. 6.2.17).
Students using ALEKS have access to Gradebook information for their own work, similar to the information described here.
NOTE. The Chapter or Objective Completion score in the Gradebook is received from
the Textbook Integration or Objective features (Sec. 6.3.2). In these features, each
chapter or objective has a due date by which students are expected to complete the
material in that unit. If a student completes the chapter or unit before the due date,
a grade of 100% is entered into the student’s cell for that assignment. The score will
appear in grey, and it will not be used to compute the Total Grade until the due date
has passed. It is not, however, subject to change; even if the student loses material in
a subsequent assessment, the 100% score will remain. If the student does not complete
the unit by the due date, the percentage of unit material that the student did complete
will appear in the cell as the student’s score.
6.5.2
External Assignments [externalassignments]
The External Assignment feature is ideal for including student scores on assignments
or exams completed outside of ALEKS. To access, click on the Gradebook tab. Then,
click on “Add External Assignment” to the upper right.
Creating the External Assigment. Enter the name of the assignment, adjust the
assignment date if necessary, assign a maximum score, and click on the “Set Maximum
Score” button.
Entering Student Scores. Either type in the scores for each student in the table,
or paste in the scores from a spreadsheet. To paste the scores in from a spreadsheet,
follow these steps:
1. Download the student roster by clicking on this link: Excel template (this includes
the entire student roster for this course).
2. Instead of clicking on “Open” in pop-up file window, click on “Save” and save the
file to your desktop.
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3. Open the file. If you receive a warning message from Excel, click on “Yes.” Follow
the instructions included in the Excel document to enter your students’ scores into
the ALEKS Gradebook.
Unlimited Categories. If you have more than one External Assignment category,
you can add additional categories and rename them. This enhanced feature allows you
to use the ALEKS Gradebook to capture and grade various non-ALEKS assignments
more accurately within the ALEKS Gradebook. Instead of recording all non-ALEKS
assignments in the catch-all “External Assignments” category with a single weight towards the grade, you can create an unlimited number of external assignment categories,
each with a different weight.
To access:
ˆ Select a course and, under the Gradebook tab, click on the “Gradebook Setup”
button.
ˆ To change the name of an external assignment category, click on the “Edit Name”
link.
ˆ To add an assignment to a particular category, assign an overall weight to the
category and click on the “Add External Assignment” link.
ˆ If you wish to delete an external assignment category, click on the “Edit Weight
for Each Assignment” link, delete the assignments and then click on the “Delete
Category” link.
6.5.3
Adjust Student Scores [adjustscoresgradebk]
Instructors can adjust student scores for ALEKS assignments and external assignments
directly through the Gradebook.
To access:
1. Click on the “Gradebook tab.”
2. Click on “Edit” for the assignment you want to adjust.
3. Click on “Edit Student Scores.”
4. Edit the scores as necessary.
5. Click the “Save” button.
6.5.4
Gradebook Log [gradebooklog]
The Gradebook Log is a record of any adjustments made to student scores in the ALEKS
Gradebook. Adjustments may be made to Gradebook scores by you, the primary instructor, teaching assistants, or other instructors who have edit privileges for the course
6.5. GRADEBOOK [GRADEBOOK]
Gradebook. This feature can also be used to monitor adjustments made to the Gradebook by anyone with Shared Course Access (Sec. 6.6.9). This feature can be accessed
through a link just above the main Gradebook table, to the right.
6.5.5
Gradebook Setup [gradebookweighting]
Figure 6.42: Gradebook Setup [gradebookweighting]
For each of the six grading categories (Quizzes, Tests, Homework, Assessments, Objectives, and External Assignments), a total percentage can be assigned (Fig. 6.42). If a
value of 0 is assigned, that category is not included in the Gradebook. For categories
whose Total Weight is greater than 0, the percentage determines the total weight of
that category.
Assignment Weights. The assignments within each Gradebook category can also
have different weights. The weight of each individual assignment can be assigned by
clicking on the link “Edit Weight for Each type of assignment.” When entering the
weight for each assignment, you have the option to click on the link “Show Details” of the
weight of each assignment. These details include the percent value of each assignment
within the category and the percent value of the assignment relative to all assignments
within the overall Gradebook.
Dropping Low Scores. Suppose you have defined ten ALEKS Quizzes for the term
and have specified that the two lowest scores be dropped. ALEKS will do nothing with
that specification until the 9th Quiz has been completed by the students. At that time,
the lowest of the nine scores is determined and it is dropped when ALEKS computes
the overall score for the Quiz category in the Gradebook. When the 10th Quiz has
been completed by the students, the two lowest of the 10 scores are determined, and
they are dropped when ALEKS computes the overall score for the Quiz category in the
Gradebook. ALEKS recommends that you wait until the end of the course to drop the
lowest score(s).
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Extra Credit. Instructors can designate assignments to be for extra credit. Students
who do not complete the extra credit assignment will not be penalized. (Students who
do complete the assignment can only improve, never hurt, their grades.) Extra credit
assignments are differentiated from regular assignments by a “+” next to the score.
NOTE. In ALEKS, assignments not assigned to the entire class are by default flagged
as Extra Credit. This ensures that the assignment will not hurt the grades of other
students.
Assessments. In the Gradebook, assessments refer only to Scheduled or Requested
Assessments; results from other assessments cannot be used in the Gradebook (Sec. 4.3).
Each scheduled assessment in the course can be assigned a goal percentage. The “Goal”
is the percentage of the course that grades on the assessment are based on. For example,
midway through the course, the goal for an assessment might be set at 50%. Then, a
student who assessed as knowing 40% of the entire course would get a score of 80% on the
assessment. (Exceeding the goal percentage gives a score of 100% for the assessment.)
Disable Gradebook. You can choose to disable to the course Gradebook. You will
find this feature by clicking on the “Gradebook Setup” button under the Gradebook
tab. Clicking on the “Hide the Gradebook for this course” link will do the following:
ˆ Hide the contents below the Gradebook Setup.
ˆ Hide the course Gradebook from you and the students in the course; the “Gradebook” tab will still be visible, however.
ˆ The “Hide the Gradebook for this course” link will turn into a “Show the Gradebook for this course” link.
You have the option to reactivate the Gradebook at any time.
Total Grade Display Settings. By default, the option “Show total grades to students” will be selected in this section of the Gradebook setup. If desired, you can elect
to hide the total grades from students by selecting “Hide total grades from students.”
6.5.6
Grading Scale for Total Grade [gradingscaletotalgrade]
The Grading Scale for Total Grade allows the instructor to assign a grading scale for
the total course grade. By default, no grading scale is used, and the students see only a
percentage score. The default grading scale is a conventional A, B, C, etc., scale using
standard percentage breakpoints. The sliders on the scale, however, can be moved and
renamed; you can also add or remove sliders to set practically any scale desired. The
labels on the sliders, which are used as grade notations, are limited to a few letters or
numbers; to set the label, click on the existing label, type in the new label, then press
your “Return” key.
Use the options above the grading scale to set whether the scale will be used or not,
and who will see it. Even if the scale is not used, the graph will be populated as a
histogram, giving a useful illustration of the distribution of students’ scores.
6.6. ADMINISTRATOR CENTER [ADMINISTRATORCENTER]
6.6
Administrator Center [administratorcenter]
Figure 6.43: Administrator Center [administratorcenter]
The Administrator Center is used for the management of student enrollment in your
courses (Fig. 6.43). You can edit student account information, unenroll students or
move them to new courses, and delete empty courses. You can also obtain a list of all
courses and course codes.
6.6.1
View Course Roster [viewcourseroster]
To see a list of students enrolled in this course, click “View course roster.” This list
includes the student name, login name, and the date that the student account will
expire. You can print the course roster by clicking on the “Print” icon, or download it
to an Excel spreadsheet. The number of students in the course is displayed at the top
of the list.
NOTE. Passwords are not included in the roster. A column for “Student ID” will
be displayed if at least one student in the course entered a student ID during the
registration process in ALEKS. If there are more than 200 students in the course, up to
200 students will be displayed per page, and you can use the links provided to see the
remaining students.
6.6.2
Student Account Preferences [studentaccountpreferences]
Student Account preferences allows you to make corrections or changes to a student’s
name and email address. To edit a student’s account preferences, click “Student Account
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preferences” and then click the student account to be edited.
6.6.3
Move a Student from this Course to Another [moveastudenttoanothercourse]
To move a student from the current course to another course click “Move a student
from this course to another.” Click the name of the student to be moved. Select the
course from the list displayed. If you are an ALEKS Administrator at the college, all
courses at the college will be displayed in the list.
6.6.4
Unenroll a Student from this Course [unenrollastudentfromthiscourse]
To unenroll a student from this course, click “Unenroll a student from this course.”
Click the box next to the student(s) to be unenrolled. To checkmark all the students,
check the box next to “select all.” There is also a check box for “select none” of the
students listed. After the student or students are selected to be unenrolled, click “Next.”
Click “Confirm” to proceed with unenrolling the student or students from the course.
If a student is accidentally unenrolled from a course, an instructor can re-enroll the
student using the Advanced Instructor module. The process of enrolling students, previously unenrolled or in another course, is explained in the next chapter (Sec. 7.3.4).
6.6.5
Access this Course Forum [accessthiscourseforum]
The course forum can be accessed either through the Administrator Center or by clicking
on the “Course Forum” link, in the upper part of the screen on the course Home page
(Sec. 6.1.3). Through the Administrator Center, click on “Access this course Forum”
to access the forum. If the course forum has not been previously authorized, you will
be prompted to authorize it. You can use the Course Forum to share ideas with your
students, post your course syllabus, and maintain an open channel of discussion in
ALEKS.
6.6.6
Delete this Course [deletethiscourse]
Courses with no currently enrolled students can be deleted. Click “Delete this course”
to delete the course in ALEKS. This link will not be active if there are students currently
enrolled in the course.
6.6.7
Financial Aid Code [financialaidcode]
A Financial Aid Access code can be requested to allow students enrolled in the course
free temporary access to ALEKS. The code is valid for a period of 2 weeks. If the
6.6. ADMINISTRATOR CENTER [ADMINISTRATORCENTER]
course is set for 6-week access codes only, the Financial Aid Access Code is valid for
two days after activation. The Financial Aid Access code is designed to assist students
experiencing financial aid delays.
To request a Financial Aid Access Code for your course, click on Administrator Center. Next, click on the Financial Aid Code link. (If this link is not available in the
Administrator Center, please contact ALEKS Customer Support to have it enabled for
your college.) Click on the “Request a Financial Aid Code” button; you will receive a
message in your ALEKS Message Center Inbox containing your course code, Financial
Aid Access Code, and instructions for the students on how to register with ALEKS. It
is recommended that you print out the email or forward it to the students who need
it. The code can be used by any number of students in the course, but only for that
course. This process should be completed for each course where the Financial Aid Code
is needed.
NOTE. When students purchase their access code, the time used in ALEKS with the
Financial Aid Access code will be subtracted from the time available on the purchased
access code; in other words, using the Financial Aid Access code does add two
weeks to the total length of an account.
6.6.8
Student Groups [studentgroups]
Instructors have the option of dividing their courses into Student Groups. These Student
Groups can then be used to filter reports and Gradebook scores. This feature is available
in the Administrator Center after the Instructor selects a course. Click on the option
that says “Student Groups,” then click on “Add Student Group” to create a new group.
Students can be added to more than one Student Group; in other words, Groups can
overlap. Instructors can enter a name for the group or use the default name, then select
the students to be added to the group and click the “Save” button.
Instructors can edit, view, or delete existing Student Groups. To edit or modify an
existing Student Group, the Instructor clicks on the “edit student group” link; an
action column will appear. Click on “Save” for changes to take effect. Using “Show
all students and groups” will show all students and the groups they belong to. Each
column can be sorted in ascending or descending order by clicking on the column title.
Instructors can choose “View Student Group” to filter the different Student Groups
using a drop down menu which will contain “All Students,” “Students not in any group,”
and the Student Groups already created and named. Instructors can filter reports by
Student Groups using the “Show” drop-down menu to select from the currently created
Student Groups. Instructors can also filter Gradebook scores by using the “Group
Filter” drop-down menu to display the Gradebook scores for the selected group.
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6.6.9
Share Course Access [sharecourseaccess]
Instructors can share access to their courses with TAs (Teaching Assistants) and other
instructors by assigning access levels through the Share Course Access feature. Clicking
on the Share Course Access feature will pop up a window displaying a summary of how
to use this feature. This pop-up window will continue to appear each time the feature is
selected, until the instructor assigns access levels. Only TAs and Instructors who have
been setup in ALEKS will be included in the list of instructors to share the course with.
The instructor of the course will have three options for assigning an access level:
Read Only
TAs and instructors can review and download reports in ALEKS. Read Only access
will prohibit modifications to the Gradebook, assignments, or any other course
settings.
Gradebook
TAs and instructors can review reports in ALEKS. Gradebook access will allow
changes to Gradebook scores. No other course modifications are allowed.
Full
TAs and instructors can modify the Gradebook, assignments, and many other
course settings. Only a few settings cannot be modified, such as “Delete Course”
and “Move Course.”
When an instructor or TA shares a course with another instructor, the course will be
displayed on the Home tab in ALEKS, with the instructor’s name in italics.
NOTE. College administrators always have full access to all courses within the school.
6.6.10
Course Resources [courseresources]
Instructors can add Course Resources to their courses. Course Resources are shared
files and links to aid student learning. An example of a Course Resource is an online
video that relates to a particular topic in ALEKS.
Uploading a file:
1. Click on the “Course Resources” link. (The first time you click on this option, you
will be prompted to agree to the terms of the ALEKS Course Resources.)
2. Click on the “Add Resource” button.
3. Enter the name for the resource.
4. Select the “Upload a file” option.
5. Click on the “Browse” button to upload a file into ALEKS.
6. Click on the “Add Resource” button.
6.6. ADMINISTRATOR CENTER [ADMINISTRATORCENTER]
93
After a file has been uploaded, you can edit its name. You can also delete the file or
preview the file after uploading.
NOTE. The file upload size is limited to 4MB per file. The total amount of resources
that instructors can upload in each course is limited to 30MB. Many file extensions are
accepted for upload.
Adding an Internet Link:
1. Click on the “Course Resources” link. (The first time you click on this option, you
will be prompted to agree to the terms of the ALEKS Course Resources.)
2. Click on the “Add Resource” button.
3. Enter a name for the resource.
4. Select the “Paste a link” option.
5. Enter the URL in the textbox provided.
6. Click on the “Add Resource” button.
NOTE. Valid URLs must begin with http://, https:// or www. There is no limitation
on the number of links that instructors can add as Courses Resources.
When more than one resource has been added to a course, you can use the arrows in
the “Reorder” column to move the resource into the desired position.
6.6.11
View all your Courses and Courses Codes [viewallyourcoursesandcoursecodes]
The option to view all your courses and courses codes displays a table showing each
course, how many students are enrolled in the course, and the corresponding course
code. ALEKS administrators will see all ALEKS courses, for each instructor at the
college, in the list.
6.6.12
Create a new Instructor Account (Admin only) [createnewinstructor]
Instructors with administrator privileges can create new instructor accounts using this
link. Fill in the new instructor’s name, email address, and instructor account type. The
following is a list of instructor account types:
Instructor
Can create, configure, and view their own courses only.
Instructor and Administrator
Can create, configure, and view their own courses and those of other instructors;
can create new instructor accounts.
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TA (Instructor)
Has no courses of his or her own; can access only the courses of other instructors, based on access and permission levels that the other instructors provide
(Sec. 6.6.9).
6.6.13
Password Issues (Admin only) [passwordissues]
The Password issues link allows ALEKS administrators to reset their own ALEKS
password or any other instructor’s password.
6.6.14
Instructor Account Preferences (Admin only) [editinstructor]
ALEKS administrators can edit the accounts of other instructors using ALEKS. Along
with the data that instructors can edit (Sec. 6.1.1), the administrator can also set the
permissions for the instructor account (Sec. 6.6.12).
The Instructor Account Preferences screen has options relating to ALEKS messaging.
These options can be set or adjusted for the instructor.
6.6.15
Move a Course from One Instructor to Another (Admin only) [moveacoursefromoneinstructor]
ALEKS administrators can move a course from one instructor to a another instructor.
This will move the ALEKS course and all the students enrolled in the course to the
new instructor. Prior to clicking on “Move a Course from One Instructor to Another,”
verify that the course displayed in the “My Course” drop-down is the course you want
to move. Next, click on “Move a Course from One Instructor to Another.” This will
display a list of instructors. Choose the instructor to whom you wish to move the course.
6.6.16
Delete an Instructor Account (Admin only) [deleteaninstructoraccount]
You can delete an instructor with no courses by clicking on the link “Delete an Instructor
Account.” Select the name of the instructor you wish to delete. You will not be able to
delete an instructor account if any courses are set up for that instructor, even if these
courses contain no students; the courses should be deleted first.
Chapter 7
Advanced Instructor Module
[im2advanced]
The Advanced Instructor Module in ALEKS provides alternative, more efficient access
to essentially the same features as are found in the Basic Instructor Module. The
fundamental technique in using the Advanced Instructor Module is to select a course,
instructor, or student from the Selector window, then click on an action or operation
from those offered underneath the Selector window (and organized by tab: “Home,”
“Reports,” etc.). The action or operation will affect the account selected. Users with
Administrator privileges have greater scope (Sec. 7.19).
For the most part, the actions carried out in the Advanced Instructor Module are
identical to those in the Basic Module. This chapter will not repeat the details from the
previous chapter, but rather provide references to the corresponding sections. There
are some functions, however, that do not appear in the Basic Instructor Module. Here
is a list for quick reference:
ˆ Cleanup Tool (Sec. 7.2.2)
ˆ Instructor Resources (Sec. 7.2.4)
ˆ Course Options (Sec. 7.3.1)
ˆ Duplicate Course (Sec. 7.3.3)
ˆ Assessment Options (Sec. 7.9.1)
ˆ Student Gradebook (Sec. 7.12)
ˆ Request Assessment (Sec. 7.16.1)
ˆ Cancel Current Assessment (Sec. 7.16.2)
A number of functions exclusive to the Advanced Instructor Module are associated with
the Administrator privilege level:
ˆ Master Templates (Sec. 7.18)
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ˆ Edit College (Sec. 7.19.1)
ˆ Search College (Sec. 7.19.2)
ˆ LMS Integration (Sec. 7.19.3)
ˆ Add Instructor (Sec. 7.19.4)
ˆ Schedule Domain Upgrade (Sec. 7.19.8)
ˆ Enrollment List (Sec. 7.19.9)
ˆ Edit Subscription (Sec. 7.19.10)
ˆ Server Reports (Sec. 7.19.11)
These areas are fully described in the current chapter.
7.1
Selector Window [selectorwindow]
Figure 7.1: Selector Window and Instructor Resources [instructorresources]
The Selector window is divided vertically into two sections (Fig. 7.1). Selecting any
account in the left-hand or right-hand section displays contained accounts in the righthand section. For example, selecting a course account displays the students contained
in that course. The institution account contains instructors, the instructor account
contains courses, and the course account contains students. Selecting any one of these
displays the corresponding actions (organized by tab) in the space below the Selector.
Only instructors with Administrator privileges can see accounts above the instructor
level.
7.2. INSTRUCTOR FOLDER [INSTRUCTORFOLDER]
Here is an alternative technique for navigating the Selector: click the plus sign (“+”)
for any group to expand the group, or the minus sign (“-”) for any group to collapse
the group.
7.2
Instructor Folder [instructorfolder]
Figure 7.2: New Course [instructornewcourse]
Selecting the Instructor account displays the following actions under “Home” (Fig. 7.2):
ˆ Edit Instructor (Sec. 6.6.14 and Sec. 7.2.1)
ˆ Archive Options (Sec. 6.1.7)
ˆ Delete Account (Adminstrators only, and only when there are no courses or students for that instructor)
ˆ New Course (Sec. 6.3)
ˆ View Course Codes (Administrators only, Sec. 7.19.7)
ˆ Cleanup Tool (Sec. 7.2.2)
ˆ Send Message (Administrators only, Sec. 7.2.3)
ˆ Instructor Resources (Sec. 7.2.4)
7.2.1
Edit Instructor [editinstructorinadv]
Clicking on “Edit Instructor” allows you to modify your instructor account data: name,
title, password, email, log out time, and messaging options.
Archive Account. Check this option to archive your ALEKS instructor account. If
the option is checked, your Instructor Module display will not be affected. It will affect
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Figure 7.3: Edit Instructor [editinstructorinadvfig]
the administrator display, however, by moving your instructor folder (and classes) to
the “Achived Instructors” folder.
7.2.2
Cleanup Tool [instructorcleanuptool]
The Cleanup Tool should be used with extreme caution. The actions shown here are
not reversible and may cause great disruption to your course. Most instructors do not
need to use these tools and can disregard them.
ˆ Clear Stats removes all records of time spent by your students in the system,
along with any statistics that involve time.
ˆ Clear Records removes all records of student work.
ˆ Unenroll Students removes all student accounts from your course.
ˆ Clear Stats (second) removes all records of time spent by your students in the
system, along with any statistics that involve time, and unenrolls them.
ˆ Clear Records (second) removes all records of student work and unenrolls them.
ˆ Delete Students destroys the students’ accounts.
7.3. COURSE HOME [COURSEHOME]
Figure 7.4: Cleanup Tool [instructorcleanuptool]
In particular, when these tools are used with the instructor account selected, they will
have effect for all courses under that instructor. This kind of cleanup is very risky and
seldom needed.
7.2.3
Send Message [im2sendmessage]
Clicking on this link enables you to send messages to different ALEKS users depending
on the level from which it is accessed under the Home tab. Selecting the course folder
and then clicking “Send Message” will send the message to the entire class. Selecting a
student’s name and then clicking “Send Message” will send the message to the selected
student. An instructor can check the box next to “Mark as urgent” if desired. When
students receive a message marked as urgent, they will see “Urgent Message” displayed
above their ALEKS INBOX icon. If you have Administrator privileges in ALEKS,
clicking on an instructor’s folder and then “Send Message” will send the message to
that instructor.
7.2.4
Instructor Resources [instructorresources]
This link provides convenient access through the Instructor account to a set of informational and training resources (also available directly from the ALEKS web site)
(Fig. 7.1).
7.3
Course Home [coursehome]
Selecting a course account and clicking the “Home” tab displays the following actions
(Fig. 7.5):
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Figure 7.5: Edit Course [editcourseim2adv]
ˆ
ˆ
ˆ
ˆ
ˆ
ˆ
ˆ
ˆ
ˆ
ˆ
ˆ
ˆ
ˆ
ˆ
ˆ
7.3.1
Edit Course (Sec. 6.3)
Course Options (Sec. 7.3.1)
Advanced Options (Sec. 7.3.2)
Actions (Sec. 7.3.3)
Textbook Selection (Sec. 6.3.2)
Objectives Editor (Sec. 6.3.3)
Course Content (Sec. 6.3.8)
Enroll Students (Sec. 7.3.4)
Cleanup Tool (Sec. 7.2.2)
Financial Aid Code (Sec. 6.6.7)
Course Roster (Sec. 6.6.1)
Course Forum (Sec. 6.1.3)
Course Calendar (Sec. 6.4.13)
Course Resources (Sec. 6.6.10)
Send Message (Sec. 7.2.3)
Course Options [courseoptions]
Clicking on Course Options gives you the following choices:
Access Options
These options allow you to close enrollment to the course or constrain the students’
access to it: Regular (assessment and learning), or Denied (no access). This screen
also allows you to close or open enrollment in the course.
Learning Options
These options allow you to choose the learning options available to students and
ask for notification (to yourself and to the student) of Objective completion. See
Sec. 6.3.2 for a description of Chapters and Objectives.
7.3. COURSE HOME [COURSEHOME]
Archive Options
This option allows instructors to archive their own classes. After selecting this
option, instructors check the box next to “Archive this class” and then click on
the “Save” button. An “Archived Classes” folder will appear at the bottom of the
instructor’s class list. Clicking on the “+” sign will expand the “Archived Classes”
folder.
To unarchive a class, first navigate to “Archived Classes” and then select a class
folder. Click on “Edit Course” and choose Archive Options. Uncheck the box next
to “Archive this class” and click on the “Save” button.
7.3.2
Advanced Options [advancedoptions]
The items on the Advanced Options link are all comprehensively discussed in the previous chapter.
ˆ Share Course Access (Sec. 6.6.9)
ˆ Student Groups (Sec. 6.6.8)
7.3.3
Actions [actions]
Selecting the Actions link displays the following operations:
New Course. See Sec. 6.3 for a detailed explanation of how to use the Course Set-Up
Wizard.
Move Course. To move a course, select the instructor who is going to teach the course.
This option is available only to instructors with Administrator privileges.
Duplicate Course. Use this link to create a duplicate of the selected course. After
duplication, you will be able to modify the new course in any way you wish. This is
a good, time-saving way to create multiple sections based on a course, especially when
there has been much customization to the master or template course. For instructors
with Administrator privileges, see also Master Templates, Sec. 7.18.
Delete Course. This link will only be available if no students are enrolled in the
course.
7.3.4
Enroll Students [enrollstudentsinstructor]
Using this link, you can click on a course in the Selector window to see a list of students
currently enrolled at the college. Students highlighted in grey are enrolled in the current
course. Students highlighted in green are enrolled in another course. Instructors with
Administrator privileges will also see any students not highlighted in any color, who are
unenrolled. Instructors without Adminstrator privileges therefore are unable to enroll
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students, but they can move enrolled students from another course into the current
course.
7.4
Reports [im2advreports]
Figure 7.6: Report Options [reportsim2adv]
Selecting a course account and clicking the “Reports” tab will display icons for the
available reports in the blue navigation bar (Fig. 7.6). Hovering over an icon will
display a description of the report.
7.4.1
Course Reports [classreportim2adv]
If instructors want to run a course report, for example the ALEKS Pie report, they first
select the course name folder, and then click on the “Reports” tab. Finally, they click
on the ALEKS Pie icon.
7.4.2
Individual Student Reports [indreportim2adv]
If instructors want to run an individual student report, for example the ALEKS Pie
report, they first select the class name folder, then click on the name of the student for
whom they want to run the report. Then, they click on the “Reports” tab. Finally,
they click on the ALEKS Pie icon.
7.5. COURSE GRADEBOOK [COURSEGRADEBOOK]
7.4.3
Available Reports [availablereportsim2adv]
The reports are organized by the following report types:
ˆ ALEKS Pie (Secs. 6.2.6, 6.2.7)
ˆ Progress Bar (Secs. 6.2.9, 6.2.10, 6.2.11, 6.2.12, 6.2.13)
ˆ Time and Topic (Sec. 6.2.14)
ˆ Knowledge Per Slice (Sec. 6.2.15)
ˆ Assignments (Sec. 6.2.16, 6.2.17, 6.2.18)
7.4.4
Assign Learning Rates [assignlearningrates]
Some of the report styles in the Advanced Instructor Module have a link in the upper
right of the screen, “Assign Learning Rates.” This link will bring you to a page where
you can set three types of “grading” scales for the students’ work. If they are used, the
values will appear on relevant report pages. The three types of “grading” scales are:
percentage of course goals mastered, total hours spent in ALEKS, and the average items
gained per hour of use. Note that this feature is unrelated to the ALEKS Gradebook
and does not feed data to the Gradebook (Sec. 6.5). For additional information on
Assign Learning Rates, see Sec. 8.13.
7.5
Course Gradebook [coursegradebook]
Selecting a course account and clicking the “Gradebook” tab displays the following
actions (Fig. 7.7):
ˆ Course Gradebook (Sec. 6.5)
ˆ Gradebook Setup (Sec. 6.5.5)
ˆ Gradebook Log (Sec. 6.5.4)
ˆ External Assignments Weights (Sec. 6.5.2)
ˆ Edit External Assignments (Sec. 6.5.2)
ˆ Add External Assignment (Sec. 6.5.2)
Please see Sec. 6.5 for a complete discussion of the Gradebook features.
7.6
Course Homework [coursehomework]
Selecting a course account and clicking the “Homework” tab displays the following
actions (Fig. 7.8):
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Figure 7.7: Gradebook Weighting [gradebooktabim2adv]
Figure 7.8: Homework List [homeworklist]
7.6. COURSE HOMEWORK [COURSEHOMEWORK]
ˆ New Homework (Sec. 6.4.2)
ˆ Duplicate Homework (Sec. 7.6.1)
ˆ Edit Homework (Sec. 6.4.8)
ˆ Edit All Dates (Sec. 6.4.11)
ˆ Homework List (Sec. 6.4.1)
ˆ Homework Report (Sec. 6.2.17)
ˆ Print Homework (Sec. 7.6.2)
Please see Sec. 6.4 for detailed information on how to create Homework assignments in
ALEKS.
7.6.1
Duplicate Homework [duplicatehomework]
Figure 7.9: Duplicate Homework [duplicatehomework]
To duplicate a Homework assignment previously created in ALEKS, click “Duplicate
Homework.” From the folders provided, select the Homework to be duplicated (Fig. 7.9).
The Homework assignment will be created in the current course and can then be modified. Instructors who are ALEKS Administrators have the option to duplicate Homework from other instructors’ courses.
7.6.2
Print Homework [printhomework]
ALEKS allows you to print up to five different instances of a Homework (Fig. 7.10).
This may be useful if the Homework is to be taken without computers, or if a printed
version is needed for any other reason. The Homeworks are created in PDF format and
may take up to a minute to generate.
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Figure 7.10: Print Homework [printhomework]
7.7
Course Quizzes [coursequizzes]
Selecting a course account and clicking the “Quizzes” tab displays the following actions:
ˆ New Quiz (Sec. 6.4.2)
ˆ Duplicate Quiz (Sec. 7.6.1)
ˆ Edit Quiz (Sec. 6.4.8)
ˆ Edit All Dates (Sec. 6.4.11)
ˆ Quiz List (Sec. 6.4.1)
ˆ Quiz Report (Sec. 6.2.17)
ˆ Print Quiz (Sec. 7.6.2)
Please see Sec. 6.4 for detailed information on how to create a Quiz in ALEKS.
7.8
Course Test [coursetest]
Selecting a course account and clicking the “Tests” tab displays the following actions:
ˆ New Test (Sec. 6.4.2)
ˆ Duplicate Test (Sec. 7.6.1)
ˆ Edit Test (Sec. 6.4.8)
7.9. COURSE ASSESSMENTS [COURSEASSESSMENTS]
ˆ Edit All Dates (Sec. 6.4.11)
ˆ Test List (Sec. 6.4.1)
ˆ Test Report (Sec. 6.2.17)
ˆ Print Test (Sec. 7.6.2)
Please see Sec. 6.4 for detailed information on how to create a Test in ALEKS.
7.9
Course Assessments [courseassessments]
Figure 7.11: Scheduled Assessment List [scheduledassessmentlist]
Selecting a course account and clicking the “Assessments” tab displays the following
actions (Fig. 7.11):
ˆ New Scheduled Assessment (Sec. 6.4.9)
ˆ Edit Scheduled Assessment (Sec. 6.4.9)
ˆ Edit All Dates (Sec. 6.4.11)
ˆ Scheduled Assessment List (Sec. 6.4.1)
ˆ Scheduled Assessment Report (Sec. 6.2.18)
ˆ Assessment Options (Sec. 7.9.1)
7.9.1
Assessment Options [assessmentoptions]
It is possible to restrict assessments to the college network if desired. For this to take
effect, the campus IP addresses must be entered in ALEKS (Sec. 7.19.1).
By default, you will be notified if any student assesses at 100% in your course material.
This may be an indication that the student has substantially completed the material
and can be moved to a higher-level course. However, you can adjust the percentage
used here to some degree.
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7.10
Course Worksheets [courseworksheets]
Selecting a course account and clicking the “Worksheets” tab displays Worksheet Options. See Sec. 6.4.12 for a description of the Worksheet Options.
7.11
Student Home [studenthome]
Figure 7.12: Edit Student [editstudent]
Selecting a student account and clicking the “Home” tab displays the following actions
(Fig. 7.12):
ˆ Edit Student (Sec. 6.6.2)
ˆ Unenroll from class (Sec. 7.11.2)
ˆ Cleanup Tool (Sec. 7.2.2)
ˆ Course Forum (Sec. 6.1.3)
ˆ Course Calendar (Sec. 6.4.13)
ˆ Send Message (Sec. 6.1.4)
7.11.1
Move Student By Drag and Drop [movestudentbydragdrop]
Individual students can be moved from one class to another using drag and drop. Click
on the student you would like to move, hold the mouse button, move the student to the
class you would like them to be in, and then release the mouse button.
7.12. STUDENT GRADEBOOK [STUDENTGRADEBOOK]
ALEKS has a “15 Day” rule built in that affects how the system behaves when a student
is moved via drag and drop. If the student is moved less than 15 days after the account
was enrolled in the course:
ˆ The student will appear in the new course.
ˆ The student and her record/progress will no longer appear in the old course.
If the student is moved after 15 days past the enrollment date in the course:
ˆ The student will appear in the new course.
ˆ The student and her record/progress will still appear in the old course.
If the ALEKS course product for the old course is the same as the ALEKS course
product for the new course, the student’s progress will be carried forward from the old
course to the new course and they will not need to take a new initial assessment. If
the course products are different, progress will not be carried forward and a new initial
assessment will be given.
7.11.2
Unenroll from class [unenrollfromclass]
This action enables you to unenroll the selected student from the course. Click “Confirm” to complete the process.
7.12
Student Gradebook [studentgradebook]
Selecting a student account and clicking the “Gradebook” tab displays the following
actions (Fig. 7.13):
ˆ Student Gradebook (Sec. 6.5)
ˆ Course Gradebook (Sec. 6.5)
The Student Gradebook view provides detailed information on grades for the student
selected (Fig. 7.13). The features are similar to those for the course Gradebook, but for
a single student only. The Course Gradebook can also be accessed from this tab.
7.13
Student Homework [studenthomework]
Selecting a student account and clicking the “Homework” tab displays the following
actions:
ˆ New Homework (Sec. 6.4.2)
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Figure 7.13: Student Gradebook [studentgradebookipsum]
ˆ Duplicate Homework (Sec. 7.6.1)
ˆ Edit Homework (Sec. 6.4.8)
ˆ Homework List (Sec. 6.4.1)
ˆ Homework Report (Sec. 6.2.17)
All actions listed here are links to other parts of the Advanced Instructor Module. The
first four options link to the corresponding actions for Course Homework, and the last
action links to the Student Reports tab.
7.14
Student Quizzes [studentquiz]
Selecting a student account and clicking the “Quizzes” tab displays the following actions:
ˆ New Quiz (Sec. 6.4.2)
ˆ Duplicate Quiz (Sec. 7.6.1)
ˆ Edit Quiz (Sec. 6.4.8)
ˆ Quiz List (Sec. 6.4.1)
ˆ Quiz Report (Sec. 6.2.17)
All actions listed here are links to other parts of the Advanced Instructor Module. The
first four options link to the corresponding actions for Course Quizzes, and the last
action links to the Student Reports tab.
7.15. STUDENT TESTS [STUDENTTEST]
7.15
Student Tests [studenttest]
Selecting a student account and clicking the “Tests” tab displays the following actions:
ˆ
ˆ
ˆ
ˆ
ˆ
New Test (Sec. 6.4.2)
Duplicate Test (Sec. 7.6.1)
Edit Test (Sec. 6.4.8)
Test List (Sec. 6.4.1)
Test Report (Sec. 6.2.17)
All actions listed here are links to other parts of the Advanced Instructor Module. The
first four options link to the corresponding actions for Course Tests, and the “Test
Report” action links to the Student Reports tab.
7.16
Student Assessments [studentassessments]
Figure 7.14: Request Assessment [requestassessment]
Selecting a student account and clicking the “Assessments” tab displays the following
actions (Fig. 7.14):
ˆ Request Assessment (Sec. 7.16.1)
ˆ Cancel Current Assessment (Sec. 7.16.2)
7.16.1
Request Assessment [requestassessment]
This button enables you to request an assessment for a single student, effective immediately. Choosing “Progress Assessment” produces an assessment focusing on the student’s most recent learning. Choosing “Comprehensive Assessment” produces a slightly
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longer, more probing assessment of the student’s overall mastery of course materials.
You can choose, via the drop-down action menu, where the student takes the assessment. If your college has IP addresses in place at the school level, you can restrict the
assessment to be taken on campus (Sec. 7.19.1). The comment box allows the instructor
to type a message that the student will see when they log in to take the assessment.
7.16.2
Cancel Current Assessment [cancelcurrentassessment]
Using this tool will cancel any current or pending assessment for the student, until
midnight of that day. An automatic reassessment that is cancelled in this way will
become active again on the following day.
7.17
Student Worksheets [studentworksheets]
Figure 7.15: Worksheet [worksheetipsum]
Selecting a student account and clicking the “Worksheets” tab displays the Worksheet
action (Fig. 7.15). See Sec. 6.4.12 for a description of the Worksheets feature.
7.18
Master Templates [mastertemplate]
The Master Template provides an efficient way to create a master course with multiple
linked courses that mirror all settings of the master. Instructors who have Administrator privileges can create a Master Template, add assignments, and create any number
of linked courses based on the Master Template. Instructors teaching the linked courses
can edit their individual course settings and assignments, and add their own assignments. If this feature is not available in your account, please contact ALEKS Customer
Support to request that it be enabled.
7.18. MASTER TEMPLATES [MASTERTEMPLATE]
Figure 7.16: Master Template Home [mthome]
7.18.1
Getting Started [mastertemplategettingstarted]
Figure 7.17: Getting Started [mtgettingstarted]
Selecting the purple “Master Templates” folder from the Selector window and clicking
the “Home” tab displays the “Create Master Template” option (Fig. 7.16).
Clicking this action will give you two options to create a Master Template (Fig. 7.17).
From the introductory page, you can choose to:
ˆ Create a Master Template from scratch. This option allows you to customize
your own course settings and assignments. Click “Continue” to “Define Template
Basics” (Sec. 7.18.3).
ˆ Create a Master Template based on an existing course at your institution. This
timesaving option allows you to copy all course settings and assignments from the
existing course into the new Master Template. Click “create a Master Template
based on an existing course” to start the process (Sec. 7.18.7).
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Creating a Master Template is a 3-part process. After the Master Template is created,
Administrators can view it under the purple Master Templates folder in the Selector
window. The template is listed as ALEKS Course / Master Template Name.
7.18.2
Master Template Summary [mastertemplatesummary]
Figure 7.18: Master Template Summary [mtsummary]
The Master Template Summary page may be used as a guideline to show which parts
have been completed or require completion (Fig. 7.18). At the end of each part, Administrators can view or return to the Master Template Summary page by clicking on
“View Master Template Summary.” Administrators can view or edit by selecting the
appropriate link next to each part.
7.18.3
Define Template Basics [definetemplatebasics]
Part 1 of the Master Template creation process is Define Template Basics. This part
allows you to select the ALEKS course product and textbook, edit the content, and
define other course settings. Select the “Start Template Basics” button to customize
the following options (Fig. 7.19):
Basic Information
7.18. MASTER TEMPLATES [MASTERTEMPLATE]
Figure 7.19: Define Template Basics [mtpart1definetemplate]
ˆ The Master Template is required to have a name; this name can be the name
appearing in your institution’s course catalogue or anything else you wish. The
Master Template name will be a part of the linked courses’ names. ALEKS
Course is the course product that will be used.
ˆ Course Dates are used to configure the Course Calendar, and should include
the entire period of time that the students will be using ALEKS. All linked
courses created with this Master Template will have the same Start and End
dates. The option to automatically archive the linked course is also available
at this step (Sec. 6.1.7).
Textbook Integration, Custom Objectives, and Modules
For complete details, see Sec. 6.3.2.
Edit Content
For complete details, see Sec. 6.3.8.
Within the “Part 1. Define Template Basics - Review and Save” screen, you can make
changes by clicking on the “edit” link next to each item or click on “Previous Step.”
Click on “Save” to finalize your settings.
7.18.4
Additional Options in Part 1 [additionaloptionsinpart1]
Once you have completed Part 1 of the Master Template creation process, the confirmation screen will display the following options (Fig. 7.20):
Download ALEKS Course Syllabus
Click this link to see a detailed summary of your course as it has been configured.
You can download this information in HTML or PDF format.
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Figure 7.20: Define Template Basics - Confirmation [mtpart1advancedoptions]
Advanced Options
Click the “show more” link to view other relevant options for the Master Template, such as Course, Gradebook, Worksheets, or Assessment. Customizing the
settings for these options in the Master Template will apply to all linked courses.
Instructors can then edit these settings for their individual courses. Click “edit”
next to each option to customize the setting as needed:
ˆ
ˆ
ˆ
ˆ
ˆ
ˆ
Student Learning Options (Sec. 7.3.1)
Access Options (Sec. 7.3.1)
Course Resources (Sec. 6.6.10)
Gradebook Setup (Sec. 6.5.5)
Worksheet Options (Sec. 6.4.12)
Assessment Options (Sec. 7.9.1)
Lockout Options
Click on “show more” and then the “edit” link to view options to prevent instructors from editing the course content or assignments in courses linked to the Master
Template.
ˆ Course Content. If this option is selected, instructors of linked courses
cannot edit the course content for their linked courses. Additionally, if adminstrators use textbook integration or objectives with the Master Template,
7.18. MASTER TEMPLATES [MASTERTEMPLATE]
instructors of linked courses can edit the due dates for each objective, but
cannot edit the content within an objective.
ˆ Assignments. If this option is selected, instructors of linked courses cannot
edit or delete their assignments linked to the Master Template. However,
they can adjust the dates for these assignments and also create additional
assignments for the linked courses.
NOTE. If Administrators want to create external assignments in the Master Template,
they can do this after clicking on the “[edit]” link by “Gradebook Setup.” Only the
assignment name and date can be set at the Master Template level; the student grades
and maximum point values are set at the linked course level.
At the bottom of this confirmation screen, you have the option to continue to Part
2 of the Master Template creation process to create assignments, or you can do this
at another time. Selecting the “I will create assignments later” link takes you to the
Master Template Summary page. Selecting the “Part 2: Create Assignments” button
takes you to Part 2. Create Assignments - Introduction page.
7.18.5
Create Assignments in Master Template [part2createassignments]
Figure 7.21: Create Assignments in Master Template [mtpart2createassignments]
Part 2 of the Master Template creation process is Create Assignments. This part
allows you to create assignments in the Master Template. From the “Part 2: Create
Assignments - Introduction” screen, you will see two options for creating an assignment
(Fig. 7.21):
ˆ Create a new assignment. This option takes you through the ALEKS assignment creation process (Sec. 6.4).
ˆ Duplicate an existing assignment. This option allows you to duplicate an
existing assignment (Sec. 7.6.1).
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You must specify the assignment type that you wish to create or duplicate, such as
Homework, Quiz, Test, or ALEKS Assessment.
After creating assignments, you will see an Assignment list with the assignments created
in the Master Template. You have the options to change the display of assignment
categories, create another assignment, and edit, disable, duplicate, print, or delete an
assignment. You also have the option to create linked courses in Part 3 of the Master
Template creation process. To do this, click the “Part 3: Create Linked Courses”
button. Otherwise, click on “View Master Template Summary.”
7.18.6
Create Linked Courses [part3createlinkedcourses]
Figure 7.22: Create Linked Courses [mtpart3createlinkedcourses]
Part 3 of the Master Template creation process is Create Linked Courses. A linked
course contains the same content and settings as the Master Template. Once a linked
course is created, all existing course settings and assignments from the Master Template
will be applied to the linked course. Both the Administrator and the instructor assigned
to the course will receive a message in their ALEKS Message Center Inbox containing
important information about the linked courses.
To start adding linked courses, from the introductory page of Part 3, click on the “Create
Linked Courses” button (Fig. 7.22).
On the “Assign Instructor to Linked Courses” page, enter the name of the Course
CRN/Section and assign an instructor to the individual linked course. There are three
options for the “Instructor” field:
Existing ALEKS Instructor
Select this option and then use the drop-down menu to select the name of the
Instructor teaching the linked course.
7.18. MASTER TEMPLATES [MASTERTEMPLATE]
119
Instructor to be announced (TBA)
Select this option if the name of the instructor is unknown. The linked course can
be assigned at another time (Sec. 7.18.11).
Create a new Instructor
Select this option if the instructor does not have an existing ALEKS account.
Enter the title, first and last name, and e-mail address of the Instructor teaching
the linked course. ALEKS will send an email message containing login information
to the instructor. If an email address is not provided, the Administrator will need
to edit the instructor account, change the password, and send it to the instructor
at another time (Sec. 6.6.14).
A maximum of 15 linked courses can be created at a time. To add more linked courses,
click the “Create another Linked Course” button. Click the “Save” button to finish
creating the new linked course(s).
NOTE. There is no limit on the number of linked courses you can have in a Master
Template. To add more than 15 linked courses, you must return to the Master Template
Summary screen by selecting “Edit Master Template.”
At the end of Part 3, you will see a confirmation page with the linked courses created
in the Master Template. You can create another linked course, edit the linked courses,
or complete the Master Template set-up process by clicking “I am done creating linked
courses.”
7.18.7
Create a Master Template based on an Existing Course [createmastertemplatebasedonexistingcourse]
Figure 7.23: Create Master Template Based on Existing Course [mtcreatefromexisting]
After clicking on “create a Master Template based on an existing course,” use the dropdown menu to select an existing course, and then click on “Create Master Template”
(Fig. 7.23). The course template basics will show up in Part 1 and the assignments that
were copied from the existing course will be in Part 2. Administrators can click on “Go
to Master Template Summary” to create linked courses in Part 3.
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Figure 7.24: Manage Master Template [mtmanagetemplates]
7.18.8
Edit Master Template [editmastertemplate]
Selecting a Master Template course and clicking the “Edit Master Template” link (under
“Home,” Fig. 7.24) will take Administrators to the Master Template Summary page to
modify the course basic settings, assignments, or linked courses.
The effects of editing a Master Template are:
ˆ Edits to the Master Template will apply automatically to all linked courses under
the Master Template.
ˆ Updates to the Master Template will override customizations made by the instructors of the linked courses.
ˆ Instructors will receive a message in their ALEKS Message Center (Inbox) when
an Administrator has made a change to the Master Template.
Use the “Expand/Collapse” link to view all the details of each part of the Master
Template, or use the “view/edit” link to customize specific settings. You can also add
more assignments by selecting “Create Assignments,” or add more linked courses by
selecting “Create linked courses.”
7.18.9
Duplicate Master Template [duplicatemastertemplate]
Selecting a Master Template course and clicking the “Duplicate Master Template” link
(under “Home”) (Fig. 7.24) is a quick and easy way to create a new Master Template.
This action will duplicate Part 1 and Part 2 of the Master Template creation process.
The settings that will be duplicated are:
ˆ Content Editor
ˆ Textbook Integration
ˆ Grading
ˆ Assignments
7.18. MASTER TEMPLATES [MASTERTEMPLATE]
ˆ Other Miscellaneous course options
Once the Master Template is duplicated, Administrators will need to create linked
courses, assign instructors, and change the course start and end dates and assignment
dates.
7.18.10
Delete Master Template [deletemastertemplate]
Selecting a Master Template course and clicking the “Delete Master Template” link
(under “Home”) (Fig. 7.24) will remove the selected template from the system.
The effects of deleting the Master Template are:
ˆ The deletion will not delete any courses linked to the Master Template.
ˆ Settings in any of the linked courses will not be affected by the deletion.
ˆ A message will be sent to the instructors of the linked courses saying that the
Master Template has been deleted.
To proceed with the deletion, click the “Confirm” button.
7.18.11
Courses to be assigned [coursestobeassigned]
Figure 7.25: Courses to be Assigned [mtcoursestobeassigned]
The “Courses to be assigned (no instructor)” folder in the selector pane contains linked
courses that were set to “Instructor to be announced (TBA)” (Fig. 7.25). Click on the
“+” sign to expand the folder, and then click on the name of the linked course to assign
an instructor.
Under the Home tab, click on “Actions” and then choose the “Move Course” option.
Select the instructor who is going to teach the course.
Once a linked course has been assigned, the instructor assigned to the course will receive
a message about the new course information in their ALEKS Message Center (Inbox).
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Instructors will be able to view and edit their linked courses after selecting their folder
name. The Master Template name will be part of the linked Course Name; instructors
can view this information by clicking on “Edit this Course” in Basic Module and “Edit
Course” in Advanced Module.
7.18.12
Master Template Reports [mastertemplatereports]
Figure 7.26: Master Template Reports [mtreports]
Administrators can run reports quickly and easily at the Master Template level using
the Master Template Reports feature. This feature allows Administrators to generate
a single report for all courses linked to a Master Template.
For each Master Template in use:
ˆ Administrators can select from a variety of report options.
ˆ ALEKS will generate the report and email it to the Administrator as an Excel
attachment.
ˆ The report will include the students’ names, instructors’ names, class sections, and
the relevant report data.
To access the Master Template reports (Fig. 7.26):
1. From the Selector window, click on the “+” next to the purple “Master Templates”
folder.
2. Select the Master Template for which you wish to run reports.
3. Under the Reports tab, click on the “Master Template Reports” link.
7.19. ADMINISTRATOR ACCOUNT [ADMINISTRATORACCOUNT]
4. You will see a list of available reports. Click on the link of the report you would
like to generate.
5. Click on the “Email me the report” button. Alternatively, you can click on the
“Email me the report” button directly from the Sample Report window after selecting the “Example” link.
At the end of the process, you will see a confirmation message letting you know that
the request is being processed.
NOTE. Blank Excel attachments will be generated if linked courses to a Master Template do not contain students.
7.19
Administrator Account [administratoraccount]
Figure 7.27: Administrator Home Tab [adminhometab]
For instructors with Administrator privileges in ALEKS, all instructors using ALEKS
at their campus will be visible, along with their courses and students. The following
actions are available to Administrator accounts. The folder marked “All instructors” in
the far upper left of the Selector window stands for the institution or campus account
itself. Selecting “All instructors” and clicking the “Home” tab displays the following
actions (Fig. 7.27):
ˆ Edit College (Sec. 7.19.1)
ˆ Search College (Sec. 7.19.2)
ˆ LMS Integration (Sec. 7.19.3)
ˆ Add Instructor (Sec. 7.19.4)
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ˆ Instructor Resources (Sec. 7.19.5)
ˆ Archive Options (Sec. 7.19.6)
ˆ View Course Codes (Sec. 7.19.7)
ˆ Schedule Domain Upgrade (Sec. 7.19.8)
ˆ Enrollment List (Sec. 7.19.9)
ˆ Edit Subscription (Sec. 7.19.10)
Selecting “All instructors” and clicking the “Reports” tab displays a number of reports
for the college as a whole. Descriptions of these reports can be found in Sec. 7.19.11.
Administrators will also have access to the Master Template feature, located directly below the “All Instructors” folder. For information on utilizing this feature, see Sec. 7.18.
7.19.1
Edit College [editcollege]
This page can be used to modify the state and time zone settings for the institution in
the ALEKS database. Usually, these are set correctly when the institution account is
first created, and do not need to be changed.
Under College Settings are the two options for the access level to Student History
report data across multiple ALEKS courses at the College. Please see Sec. 6.2.4 for
more details about the reports available for student history.
ˆ Limited Access (Default setting). Administrators can see report data for all
courses taken by a student. Instructors can only see report data for courses they
have taught.
ˆ Full Access. Administrators and instructors can see report data for all courses
taken by student.
Under College Networking, there are spaces for entering the IP (Internet Protocol)
addresses used by computer networks at the institution. These are needed if you wish
to restrict assessments, homeworks, quizzes or tests to the campus network (Sec. 7.9.1).
Single IP School Assignment will require students to complete all assessments from
the same IP address where they began them. This reduces the flexibility of access that
students usually have to their ALEKS accounts, but in some cases it may be desired.
7.19.2
Search College [searchcollege]
Use this tool to search for a particular student, instructor, or course in your campus
accounts (Fig. 7.28).
7.19. ADMINISTRATOR ACCOUNT [ADMINISTRATORACCOUNT]
Figure 7.28: Search College [searchcollege]
Figure 7.29: Learning Management System (LMS) Integration [lms]
7.19.3
Learning Management System (LMS) Integration [lmsintegration]
You can set up Single Sign On (SSO) by integrating ALEKS with your school Learning
Management System (LMS), such as Blackboard, Desire2Learn, Moodle, etc. This will
allow instructors and students to link from your LMS to ALEKS without having to
remember separate login names and passwords. It will also remove the need to share
Course Codes by letting the LMS feed course information directly to ALEKS. LMS
integration is available for all ALEKS Higher Ed courses.
ALEKS is a Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) 1.1 compliant Tool Provider. Your
school can integrate ALEKS with any LTI compliant LMS. It is a two-part process,
which involves Part 1 - logging into ALEKS to obtain the LTI parameters, and Part 2
- logging into the school’s LMS to input the parameters.
Part 1 - Obtain Parameters. After logging into ALEKS in the Advanced Instructor
Module, administrators click on the “All instructors” folder. From the Home tab, click
on the “LMS Integration” link. You will arrive at the Learning Management System
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(LMS) page. To obtain the parameters for the college, use the drop-down menu to
select the LMS that the college is using or the mode of integration. If your LMS is
not listed, you can integrate ALEKS with any LTI compliant LMS by selecting “Basic
LTI/LTI 1.1” from the list as your mode of integration. If you wish to integrate your
LMS with ALEKS using McGraw-Hill (MH) Campus, a service that allows instructors
using a LMS to have access to McGraw-Hill educational materials within their LMS,
select MH Campus from the list.
After making a selection in the drop-down menu, the parameters for the selected LMS
or mode of integration will appear on the screen. Enabling LMS Gradebook Integration
will allow instructors to synchronize the overall score for each student in their ALEKS
gradebook with their LMS gradebook. Review the parameters carefully and then click
on the “Save” button. This will complete the first part of the integration.
Part 2 - Configure a School’s LMS with ALEKS. Administrators now log into
their college’s LMS to configure the integration with ALEKS using the parameters
obtained from the ALEKS “LMS Integration” page. Some of the LMS selections will
show one or more “?” icons on the page. Clicking on a “?” will open a pop-up with
instructions on this part.
Once the setup between the LMS and ALEKS is complete, instructors and students can
pair their LMS accounts and courses with their ALEKS courses. For detailed instructions on institution, instructor, course, and student pairing, please visit the ALEKS
Training Center.
7.19.4
Add Instructor [addinstructor]
Frequently, instructor accounts are created by ALEKS Corporation for the college. Administrators, however, are able to create them independently using this tool (Fig. 7.30).
Note that new instructors may be set up with Administrator privileges.
7.19.5
Instructor Resources [instructorresourcesadmin]
This link provides convenient access through the Instructor account to a set of informational and training resources (also available directly from the ALEKS web site)
(Fig. 7.1).
7.19.6
Archive Options [adminarchiveoptions]
This option allows administrators to archive multiple classes or instructors at once. For
a complete description of archiving classes and instructors, see Sec. 6.1.7.
7.19. ADMINISTRATOR ACCOUNT [ADMINISTRATORACCOUNT]
Figure 7.30: Add Instructor [addinstructor]
7.19.7
View Course Codes [viewcoursecodesadmin]
This action displays a complete list of courses and course codes for the institution,
organized by instructor.
7.19.8
Schedule Domain Upgrade [scheduledomainupgrade]
ALEKS Corporation periodically releases new versions of its course products. When
this occurs, there is an announcement to users of the window of time during which users
may upgrade, as well as the default date on which the upgrade will occur if no action
is taken. If the college wishes to schedule the upgrade earlier than the default date, the
Administrator can use this tool to pick the desired date. Note that there is also a great
deal of detailed information available from this page on how exactly the course product
will be changed in the upgrade. Click on the underlined name of the course product to
see the details (Fig. 7.31).
7.19.9
Enrollment List [enrollmentlistadmin]
Clicking on “Enrollment List” produces a list of all students who have been enrolled in
ALEKS at the college. (The list contains past students as well as students currently
active.) Information such as Login Name and recent usage data also appears in the list.
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Figure 7.31: Schedule Domain Upgrade [scheduledomainupgrade]
It can be downloaded in CSV (comma separated values) format using the link to upper
right. If the list is more than 1000 students long, it will be divided into “pages” of a
fixed length, which may be downloaded.
7.19.10
Edit Subscription [editsubscription]
For some purposes, it may be preferable to use “subscriptions” (or virtual account
inventory) rather than access codes for creating student accounts in ALEKS. If the
college has used subscriptions for any of its students’ access to ALEKS, a summary
of subscription activity will appear on this page: how many have been purchased,
how many used, and how many are remaining. Detailed information on the use of
subscriptions can be found by clicking the underlined numbers under “Used.”
NOTE. This page does not show the usage of access codes at the college. Many
institutions use only access codes; in such cases, no information will appear on this
page.
7.19.11
Reports [serverreports]
A number of campus-wide reports are available under this tab.
ˆ Enrollment/Activity shows the total number of students ever enrolled in ALEKS
from the institution, and the numbers of students active in the system during the
7.19. ADMINISTRATOR ACCOUNT [ADMINISTRATORACCOUNT]
Figure 7.32: Administrator Reports [adminreportstab]
last week, the last month, or the last three months (optionally 12 months). For
each of these intervals, it also shows the average number of hours spent weekly by
the students who were active.
ˆ Course Activity is a more detailed view of campus activity. For each instructor
and course, it shows the total number of students ever enrolled, then, for each of
the last six full months, the number of students active and the average hours per
week spent by active students. (Note that the current month does not appear in
this report.) Click on the instructor’s name to view that instructor’s courses, or
on the “++” at the top to see all courses for all instructors. This report can be
generated for either ALEKS or QuickTables using the drop-down menu.
ˆ Server Use: Page Hits presents a graph of page hits over time by users of
ALEKS at the college. The “Data Range” menu can be used to set the time period
that is graphed. Beneath the graph may appear summary statistics, depending on
the time span chosen.
ˆ Server Use: User Hour is similar to the “Server Use: Page Hits” report, but
graphs the number of user-hours over time.
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Chapter 8
Teaching with ALEKS [teaching]
8.1
The ALEKS Educational Paradigm [paradigm]
ALEKS is based on the understanding that students learn math in different ways, at
differing speeds. Starting from an accurate assessment of their current knowledge, students in ALEKS are only offered what they have shown themselves ready to learn. They
therefore experience less frustration (from material that is too difficult) and boredom
(from material that is too easy). Students are engaged in the learning process, and
grow in confidence and independence as they use the program. ALEKS periodically
reassesses students to test their retention of new knowledge, and if they forget what
was once learned, ALEKS smoothly and efficiently guides them through necessary review and reinforcement. With time and persistence, every ALEKS student will progress
toward mastery, in a way clearly visible to both student and instructor.
It is normal for students to be in disparate knowledge states; ALEKS puts this information clearly at the instructor’s disposal. The relative mastery attained by students
appears clearly from the “Learning Progress Since Latest Assessment” Report in the
Instructor Module. ALEKS does not require students to progress as a unified group.
ALEKS will permit a student to work on any topic in the category “ready to learn,”
a list of topics which the student has not yet learned, but has demonstrated (within
ALEKS) the readiness to begin learning.
Students using ALEKS will experience new independence and excitement in learning.
Instructors also may find different opportunities for optimizing their role in the learning
process, with a greatly expanded ability to accurately monitor and effectively promote
their students’ learning. The role of the instructor is critical in providing structure,
support, and reward for the students’ effective use of ALEKS. If ALEKS is used properly,
the instructor’s scope for individual coaching and small-group instruction will be greatly
expanded, as will the freedom to teach math in a broader and richer way.
ALEKS gives the instructor a set of powerful resources. Various styles of use of ALEKS
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structors a sense of the possibilities offered by ALEKS’s extensive library of tools.
8.2
The Instructor and ALEKS [teacherandaleks]
ALEKS is often used in regular classroom settings.
The instructor in an ALEKS course need not be collecting, correcting, or distributing
papers, organizing groups, managing materials, giving instructions, or supervising activities. The instructor in an ALEKS course may be just as busy teaching mathematics
to individual learners: getting one student started on a new topic, checking another
student’s work, responding to questions, suggesting alternate methods and explanations, making or reinforcing connections among concepts, and congratulating those who
“add an item to their pie.” ALEKS provides comprehensive support to the student in
every phase of its use; yet the instructor will find that the additional direct support
given this way is especially productive. Suddenly the relation of teacher and student is
based on knowledge and discovery, not management and sanction. No one is “behind”
in ALEKS; setbacks are readily addressed and overcome; every student can expect to
make progress and be recognized.
It is important, especially in the early stages of an ALEKS course, that the instructor be
generous in recognizing student progress. Students need to understand that when they
add an item to their pie, or show progress in a new assessment, it is an achievement.
Soon this will become second nature and learning will be its own motivation. At the
same time, formal rewards for the effective use of ALEKS need to be built into the
course structure and made clear from the outset (Sec. 8.3).
Students will be assessed at the beginning of their use of ALEKS (following Registration
and the Tutorial), and at regular intervals after that. The instructor does not need to
supervise all ALEKS assessments; normally, students will be using ALEKS both in and
out of the classroom, and taking assessments at various times and locations. Once the
students realize that the purpose of the ALEKS assessment is to provide appropriate
material in the Learning Mode, there will be little reason to get help, use the textbook
or calculator inappropriately, or in any other way achieve inaccurate assessment results.
We recommend that the Initial Assessment be supervised. The students may need
assistance in their first use of the system, they will need to be reassured that the assessment is not for a grade, and it is important that the results of this Initial Assessment
be valid, so that that the students’ work in the Learning Mode be productive from
the start. For the instructor’s own information, other supervised assessments may also
be held at regular intervals to provide accurate “snapshots” of overall progress by the
course (Sec. 8.10). We suggest that such supervised assessments be scheduled at the
midpoint and end of the class. Also, any assessment results which may be used as
a component in the students’ grades should, of course, be obtained from supervised
assessments (Sec. 8.13).
NOTE. In cases where students do not seem to be making adequate progress in ALEKS,
8.3. PLANNING THE ALEKS COURSE [PLANNING]
the student may have received help, or inappropriately used a calculator on an unsupervised assessment, skewing the assessment results and leading to inappropriate material
in the Learning Mode. This can be corrected by requesting a new assessment for the
student.
8.3
Planning the ALEKS Course [planning]
Planning a course with ALEKS can be simpler than planning other kinds of courses.
The instructor has complete freedom in planning lectures, lessons, and assignments,
while ALEKS ensures that students can progress toward mastery regardless of their
level of preparation. It is not necessary for the instructor to constrain the interactions
of the ALEKS system with individual students. To the extent that students will be
working independently in ALEKS, the content of lab classes is provided by their work
in ALEKS. Instructors can, however, plan focused small-group instruction from week
to week (Sec. 8.5).
It is important to make ALEKS an integral part of the course requirements and grading
scheme. The main factor influencing the success of students using ALEKS is the time
that they spend in it. This means that the students must be required to spend a
suitable amount of time in ALEKS on a weekly basis. (A minimum of three hours is
recommended.) They should be informed of this at the beginning of the course, and
the instructor should monitor their fulfillment of this obligation. The amount of time
required must be reasonable and in balance with other requirements for the course; the
instructor should not simply include an ALEKS requirement without reducing the other
requirements that the students have to fulfill. For example, the quantity of homework
problems may be reduced, as the students will be solving problems in their ALEKS
sessions.
These are only suggestions, and experienced instructors may well choose approaches
that will be more effective with their own students. The underlying idea is that there
must be clear, formal support for the use of ALEKS.
One approach is to provide a certain number of points toward the final grade for each
week that the student fulfills their required hours. It is advisable to reward each week,
so that the student does not fall into the expectation that all of the required hours can
be done at the end; consistency should be rewarded, along with total hours. If a student
falls short of the specified hours during a particular week, that week is not rewarded,
but neither is the “deficit” carried forward; the next week begins with a clean slate (the
primary concern is regular use of the system; for this reason a surplus is also not carried
forward). Proportional rewards can also be used; each hour spent has a point value, up
to the required minimum.
In order to effectively monitor the students’ use, the instructor should check the hours
on the “Learning progress since latest assessment” page or the “Time and Topic” report.
This page can be printed out every week for record-keeping. In rare cases, students may
try to fool ALEKS by logging on to their accounts and doing something else; this can
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be seen when the number of items gained per hour is far too low. ALEKS will log the
student off if there is no activity after a certain amount of time. Instructors can obtain
a precise record of a student’s actual work in ALEKS by viewing the student’s Report
(“Report for a particular student in this course (pie chart)”), under “Learning Log,”
or, better, the “Time and Topic” report.
The students’ achievement in ALEKS (as opposed to their use of the system) may also
be used as a component in their final grade. For information on how to do this, see
Sec. 8.13.
8.4
Preparing Your Students [preparingstudents]
The following considerations may be useful in preparing your students to begin to use
ALEKS.
Difficulty of Assessment Questions
The ALEKS Initial Assessment is always comprehensive, in order to achieve the
highest accuracy and reliability. In the course of the assessment, some questions
may be too easy or too difficult for some students. The students should be told
to click the “I don’t know” button if a question is completely unfamiliar to them;
otherwise they should do their best to answer. As the assessment proceeds, the
questions will focus more and more closely on the outer limits of the student’s
actual knowledge. In Learning Mode (following the assessment), students will be
provided only material that they are prepared to learn.
Length of Assessments
The number of questions asked in an ALEKS assessment varies. Normally, an
assessment in Math Prep for Accounting requires between 20 and 30 questions.
Occasionally, the number of questions asked may be greater than this.
No Help in Assessments
Explain to the students that they will need paper and pencil for answering assessment questions, but that no help or collaboration whatsoever is permitted during
assessment. If the teacher or anyone else helps the student during assessment, even
just explaining or rephrasing a question, assessment results may be inaccurate and
the student’s learning in ALEKS may initially be hindered. Be sure students understand that the purpose of the Initial Assessment is to gain a precise, detailed
understanding of what they know, so that in Learning Mode they are given material they are ready to learn. It is not a “test” to pass or fail, and they will not
receive a grade on an ALEKS assessment (unless the instructor chooses to use
assessments for grading).
8.5. FOCUSED INSTRUCTION WITH ALEKS [FOCUSEDINSTRUCTION]
8.5
Focused Instruction with ALEKS [focusedinstruction]
The features of the Instructor Module make it possible to prepare students for specific
topics that they are going to work on, and to reinforce and expand on knowledge
that students have recently acquired. This involves either guiding lectures or focused
instruction to small groups of students based on data obtained from ALEKS. These
are powerful features of ALEKS, and their use constitutes a proactive integration of
ALEKS with the course structure.
The two kinds of “teaching opportunities” cued by ALEKS come from two types of
information maintained by the system for students over the entire time that they use
it: the set of items a student is “ready to learn” (or “outer fringe” of the student’s
knowledge state), and the set of items most recently learned (“what students can do,”
the “highest” topics in the student’s knowledge state, called the “inner fringe”). (See
the Instructor’s Manual under “Inner and Outer Fringes of a Knowledge State,” in
the chapter “Knowledge Spaces and the Theory Behind ALEKS”.) The items “ready to
learn” are the topics a student may normally choose to work on in ALEKS; the items
recently learned (“what a student can do”) are considered the least secure and most
likely to need review or reinforcement. (These items can be reviewed by clicking the
“Review” button.) When the students are logged on to ALEKS, these two types of
information are used automatically to guide and manage their learning. The instructor,
however, can also view the inner and outer fringes in a convenient format to plan focused
instruction that will parallel, supplement, and enhance the individual work that their
students are doing in ALEKS.
To find this information for a course, the instructor can enter the Instructor Module
and select the course, then click on “Reports” and select the “ALEKS Pie” report. This
report represents the average student in the given course, and displays the weaknesses
and strengths of the course as a whole. The “Show” drop-down box can be used to filter
the report by “Current Learning,” “Most Recent Assessment,” or “Initial Assessment.”
Complete details on which topics students have mastered, not mastered, and are ready
to learn in the course are available in the section below the pie chart and can be viewed
by Objectives (if textbook integration or intermediate objectives are being used) or
ALEKS Table of Contents.
Using the Average Report we can see a breakdown of student mastery for each topic,
send messages directly to students, and view additional topics that a group of students
is ready to learn. The purpose of this analysis is that the instructor may pick one or
more topics from the list and schedule small-group sessions of focused instruction.
The following are examples that illustrate how these features may be used.
Example 1: Basic
On a Friday evening, the instructor sits down to plan lessons for the following
week. He or she logs onto ALEKS, selects the name of a course in Math Prep
for Accounting, selects “Reports”, and clicks “ALEKS Pie” to access the Average
report. A pie chart appears showing the average profile of mastery in the course.
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The “slice” of the pie chart for Whole Numbers is full to about 90 percent; the
slices for Fractions, Decimals, and Proportions and Percents are filled much less,
ranging between 20 and 40 percent. This indicates that lessons for the week may
focus profitably on the most advanced Whole Numbers topics as well as on topics
of moderate difficulty in Fractions, Decimals, and Proportions and Percents.
Example 2: Intermediate
On a weekend afternoon, the instructor logs on to ALEKS, selects the name of
a course in Math Prep for Accounting, and then opens the “Average report (pie
chart).” After a look at the pie chart, the instructor selects “Current Learning”
from the “Show” drop-down box, and clicks “OK.” Next the instructor clicks on
the “View all topics” toggle, in either the ALEKS tab or the Objectives tab, and
when the list of topics appears, the instructor scans this list for items of particular
difficulty. “Ordering Numbers with Exponents” has 16 students currently able to
choose this topic from their pie charts. The instructor notes this topic down for
class discussion early in the week. With the benefit of some timely preparation,
the students can be expected to master this troublesome topic with little or no
difficulty.
Example 3: Advanced
On a Monday morning, the instructor logs on to his or her ALEKS account, selects
the name of a course in Math Prep for Accounting, and then opens the “Average
report (pie chart).” After a look at the pie chart, the instructor selects “Current
Learning” from the “Show” drop-down box, and clicks “OK.” Next the instructor
clicks on the “View all topics” toggle, in either the ALEKS tab or the Objectives
tab, and the list of topics appears, clearly showing what students have mastered,
not mastered and are ready to learn. The experience and expertise of the instructor
are used to used to plan with this information. Suppose that there is only time
in the week’s schedule for two small group sessions. (The ALEKS class has only
one hour in the lab, and ten minutes are set aside to speak with each small group;
the remaining 40 minutes are for helping students in the lab.) The instructor will
look over the topics with two questions in mind: which topics have the greatest
numbers of students, and which are pedagogically most worth discussing.
For example, looking at the list of topics “Ready to learn,” the instructor sees
“Solving a Linear Equation with Absolute Value: Problem Type 1.” The instructor
knows from experience that students have difficulty with the concept, and that they
are more successful with it if they have had a chance to review. This topic has 12
students out of 30 in the class. The instructor uses the message feature to send
a note to these students, asking them to meet in the front of the room at the
beginning of the lab; the students will receive this note the next time they log on
to ALEKS, no later than the beginning of that lab.
Looking over the list of topics “Mastered,” the instructor sees “Marking a point
in the coordinate plane,” with 10 students. Although the number of students is
less than for other topics, this one seems to the instructor richer in its content of
mathematical culture than the others; students who have just worked on this topic
8.6. MODELS OF CLASSROOM INTEGRATION [INTEGRATION]
are may be using the coordinate plane for the first time. Thus this is chosen as
the second topic, and a second message is sent to these students, to meet at the
front of the room, ten minutes into the lab.
8.6
Models of Classroom Integration [integration]
There are numerous ways in which ALEKS can be and is used in concrete educational
situations.
1. Supervised Math Lab
Expert supervision can be provided for the students’ use of ALEKS in regularly
scheduled math 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.
2. Math Lab in Structured Course
The supervised math 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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 though
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
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above, we recommend that a certain number of hours in ALEKS each week be required
(Sec. 8.3); 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.
8.7
Monitoring Student Use [monitoringuse]
In the day-to-day use of ALEKS by a class, a principal concern of the instructor is to
monitor that students are using ALEKS regularly and for at least the required amount
of time. The most convenient place to find this information is the “Time and Topic
report for all students” (under “Reports”). Each student’s name is displayed on this
page along with the total number of hours that student has spent logged on to the
system. There is also a breakdown of how much time the student has spent in ALEKS
on a daily basis. Students can see this same breakdown of daily usage in their own
accounts by using the “Report” link.
It is also important that critical assessments be supervised by the instructor, to ensure
that valid results are received (Sec. 8.2).
8.8
Monitoring the Progress of a Course [monitoringcourseprogress]
The instructor can also use the bar graphs on the “Learning progress since latest assessment” page to see how close each student is to mastery of the subject matter. Keep in
mind that the bar graphs displayed on this page show only the students’ achievement
as of their last assessment (in blue) and any progress made in the Learning Mode since
that assessment (in green). For a more panoramic view of the progress made by a group,
select the “Total progress” report. This displays the difference between the students’
knowledge on their first and their most recent assessments.
To see each of the assessments for a given student, with that student’s progress subsequent to each assessment in the Learning Mode, the instructor should view the page
“Progress report for a particular student in this course” for the student.
8.9
Monitoring Individual Progress [monitoringindividualprogress]
On the page “Progress report for a particular student in this course” there is a line
for each assessment taken by a particular student, with bar graphs showing mastery as
of that assessment and subsequent progress made in the Learning Mode. The Initial
8.10. ORDERING ASSESSMENTS [ORDERINGASSESSMENTS]
139
Assessment is shown in the bottom line, with later assessments “stacked” upward. By
following progression from earlier to later assessments, the instructor can see very clearly
how a student is progressing toward mastery of the subject matter.
Use caution in interpreting this information. Students vary widely both in the smoothness and in the speed with which they master material. Progress made in the Learning
Mode (green bar) is not always immediately reflected in the student’s level of mastery
on a subsequent assessment. Some students progress more quickly in Assessment Mode
than in the Learning Mode. In such cases the “new” blue line is further ahead than the
green line just below it. On the other hand, many students make faster progress in the
Learning Mode than in assessment. In such cases the “new” blue line lags behind the
green line below it. It is very common for a student to master the entire subject matter
two or more times in the Learning Mode before that mastery is finally confirmed in an
assessment. Part of the power of the ALEKS system is that it does not expect students
to behave like machines, but makes allowance for individual differences.
NOTE. In cases where a student moves backward in his or her mastery, the instructor
should contact the student. If the student did not take the assessment seriously enough,
a new one can be requested.
8.10
Ordering Assessments [orderingassessments]
Following the Initial Assessment (which should be taken under the instructor’s supervision), the ALEKS system will automatically schedule other assessments as needed to
guide the students’ progress. The instructor, however, can order an individual or group
assessment at any time. It is a good practice for the instructor to schedule supervised
assessments at regular intervals (midterm and end of the course), as “snapshots” of
overall course achievement.
8.11
Independent Study and Distance Learning [independentstudy]
The ALEKS system is well suited to use in an independent study or distance learning
context. ALEKS is self-contained and adaptable to any syllabus or course materials.
Students using ALEKS under these circumstances know exactly what the course goals
are, where they stand in relation to those goals, and where to find the instructional and
practice tools to achieve them.
For the instructor administering an independent study or distance learning program,
ALEKS solves nearly every problem of management, oversight, evaluation, and communication. All of the information needed to keep track of far-flung independent learners
is at the instructor’s fingertips, through the features of the Instructor Module. The
internal message system of ALEKS puts the instructor in constant touch with students,
without dependence on telephone or email communication.
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8.12
The ALEKS Knowledge Structure [structure]
Each ALEKS subject, such as Math Prep for Accounting, has a knowledge structure
associated with it. The number of items comprised in a knowledge structure ranges
roughly between 200 and 500 topics. A knowledge state is a subset of items which may
correspond to the knowledge of an actual student (i.e., there may be a student who has
mastered exactly those items, and no others). A knowledge structure is the family of
all the knowledge states that we may encounter for a given subject.
An ALEKS structure affects virtually every aspect of ALEKS’s functioning. In the
ALEKS assessment mode it enables ALEKS to make inferences from student answers,
keeping the ALEKS assessments brief but accurate.
The structure is also crucial in the ALEKS Learning Mode. Using the structure of a
given course product, the system knows precisely which items are in the inner fringe and
outer fringe of each of the knowledge states in ALEKS. The items in the outer fringe of
a student’s knowledge state are those items that the student is the most ready to learn
next. (From a technical standpoint, an item is in the outer fringe of a state if adding
that item to the state results in a feasible knowledge state.) These items are presented
to the student in MyPie when the student moves the mouse pointer over the ALEKS
pie chart. Similarly, an item in the inner fringe of a student’s state is an item either
recently learned or one whose mastery by the student might be shaky. (Technically,
an item is in the inner fringe of a state if removing that item from the state results in
another feasible knowledge state.) They are presented to the student when the student
is having difficulty in the ALEKS Learning Mode and during ALEKS review.
An additional benefit of the proliferation of connections among items in ALEKS is its
extreme flexibility from the students’ viewpoint: for any particular topic, there is a vast
number of possible approaches, or learning paths, which may lead students to mastery
of that topic. This flexibility does not imply, however, that any order is possible. Each
learning path leading to a particular topic must contain, at a minimum, the items which
are “below” such topic in the ALEKS structure.
8.13
Learning Rates in ALEKS [learningratesinaleks]
ALEKS allows instructors to flexibly evaluate and interpret student learning. There
are three criteria, which can be used in any combination: percentage of course goals
mastered, total hours spent in ALEKS, and average items gained per hour of use. Each
can be set to “Private,” so that only the instructor sees the evaluations, to “Public,”
so that the instructor sees the evaluations for all students, and each student sees their
own, or to “Disabled,” so that no one sees them.
Instructions on how to access the learning rates feature can be found in the Instructor’s
Manual under “Assign Learning Rates,” in the chapter “Advanced Instructor Module:
Course Reports.”
8.13. LEARNING RATES IN ALEKS [LEARNINGRATESINALEKS]
Any of these criteria that is set to “Public” will be seen by the students. For example,
if the evaluation for percentage of course goals mastered is set to A for 90 percent, B for
80 percent, C for 70 percent, D for 60 percent, and Failure below that, the students will
see these letters in their accounts as long as their percentage mastery is in the ranges
given (i.e., D when it is between 60 and 69 percent). This will only make sense when
the students are close to finishing the course, and may cause confusion if the grades are
made “Public” before then.
The same proviso applies to the other kinds of evaluations available through ALEKS.
The value of using these evaluations in the “Public” mode may be greatly enhanced if
the instructor decides to set a new scale every week, or at other appropriate intervals.
This might mean, for example, that A is set to 20 percent for the first week, to 25 percent
for the second week, and so forth, with the other evaluations set accordingly. Such a
procedure requires more work by the instructor, but it certainly gives the students a
more meaningful frame of reference for their progress.
Some of the kinds of evaluations in ALEKS may be more useful for the instructor alone
than for the students. Such evaluations should be set to “Private.” The evaluation
based on average items gained per hour, for example, might be set to some minimum
value like 1 (in an Algebra class requiring 1 topic of work in ALEKS per hour as a
minimum). Now, the instructor would not want to send the message to the students
that 1 items gained per hour is “Enough,” since many students in the course may be
capable of much more. Conversely, a student whose progress falls below this rate might
not be helped by the stern notation in their account that their progress is “Not enough”;
the reasons for slow progress may be varied. At the same time, a student making slower
progress than this should be brought to the instructor’s attention for intervention of
some kind. If the evaluation is set to “Private,” the instructor will see the flag “Not
enough” appearing next to the names of students whose progress is slower than this, on
the Course Progress page, alerting them to the need for special attention.
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CHAPTER 8. TEACHING WITH ALEKS [TEACHING]
Chapter 9
Knowledge Spaces and the Theory
Behind ALEKS [theory]
9.1
History [history]
Knowledge Space Theory has been under development since 1983 by Professor JeanClaude Falmagne, who is the Chairman and founder of ALEKS Corporation, and other
scientists (especially, Jean-Paul Doignon from Belgium) in the United States and Europe.
ALEKS is the first computer system to embody Knowledge Space Theory for assessment
and teaching.
9.2
Theory [spaces]
A complete exposition of Knowledge Space Theory is not intended here. The Bibliography contains a number of references for those interested in further details (Sec. 9.3).
Knowledge Space Theory is expressed in a mathematical discipline often referred to as
“Combinatorics.” What follows here is a brief, intuitive summary introducing certain
fundamental terms employed in discussions of ALEKS.
9.2.1
Domain, Items, and Instances [domain]
An academic discipline such as Basic Math, Algebra, or Math Prep for Accounting is
represented as a particular set of problems or questions that comprehensively embody
the knowledge of the discipline. That set is called the domain, and the problems are
called items. A symbolic representation of the domain of Basic Math uses dots standing
for items (Fig. 9.1). One of the items, which might be entitled “Word problem with
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144 CHAPTER 9. KNOWLEDGE SPACES AND THE THEORY BEHIND ALEKS [THEORY]
Figure 9.1: Domain of Basic Math [domain]
percentages,” is indicated by a line. The problem in the rectangle is an instance of
that item.
Each item, or problem type, has at least dozens, more often hundreds or thousands of
instances. Full mastery of the subject implies the ability to solve problems corresponding
to all the items making up the domain.
Determining the set of items that make up the domain is the first step in constructing
a “knowledge structure” for that domain. This is done by research in instructional
materials and standards and systematic consultation with professionals. Substantial
agreement is achieved among expert pedagogues on the choice and definition of items.
The set of items finally arrived at and forming the domain must be comprehensive, that
is, it must cover all the concepts that are included in the particular academic discipline.
9.2.2
Knowledge States [states]
The knowledge state of a student is represented by the set of items in the domain
that he or she is capable of solving under ideal conditions (Fig. 9.2). This means that
the student is not working under time pressure, is not upset in some way, etc. In reality,
careless errors may arise. Also, the correct response to a question may occasionally be
guessed by a subject lacking any real understanding of the question asked. (This will
occur very rarely when using the ALEKS system, because multiple-choice answers are
not used.) An individual’s knowledge state is not directly observable and has to be
inferred from responses to questions.
9.2. THEORY [SPACES]
145
Figure 9.2: Knowledge State [state]
9.2.3
Knowledge Structures and Knowledge Spaces [structures]
It should be obvious that not all possible subsets of the domain are feasible knowledge
states. For instance, every student having mastered “long division” would also have
mastered “addition of decimal numbers.” Thus, there is no knowledge state containing
the “long division” item that does not also contain the “addition of decimal numbers”
item. The collection of all feasible knowledge states is referred to as the knowledge
structure. The very large number of states for any product means that there are
many possible ways of acquiring knowledge, i.e., many learning paths (Fig. 9.3). In
the ALEKS knowledge structure there are literally billions of such learning paths. A
“knowledge space” is a particular kind of knowledge structure.
As in many real-life applications, “noise” and errors of various sorts often creep in, which
require the elaboration of a probabilistic theory. The ALEKS System is based on such
a probabilistic theory, which makes it capable of recovering from errors. For instance,
ALEKS is capable of deciding that a student has mastered an item, even though the
student has actually made an error when presented with a problem instantiating this
item. This is not mysterious: a sensible examiner in an oral exam, observing an error to
a question about addition would nevertheless conclude that the student has mastered
addition, for example, if that student had given evidence of skillful manipulation of
fractions.
146 CHAPTER 9. KNOWLEDGE SPACES AND THE THEORY BEHIND ALEKS [THEORY]
Figure 9.3: Learning Path [path]
Figure 9.4: Outer Fringe of a Knowledge State [outerfringe]
9.2. THEORY [SPACES]
Figure 9.5: Inner Fringe of a Knowledge State [innerfringe]
9.2.4
Inner and Outer Fringes of a Knowledge State [fringes]
An item that has not yet been mastered by a student may not be immediately learnable
by that student. Learning one or more prerequisite items may be necessary. Consider
a student in a particular knowledge state K. The set of all items that may be learned
immediately by a student in that state K is called the outer fringe of the state K.
The outer fringe of a state K is defined as the set of all items, any one of which may
be the next one learned. An item is in the outer fringe of the state K if the addition
of that item to the state K forms a new, feasible knowledge state (Fig. 9.4). Typically,
the outer fringe of a knowledge state will contain between one and several items.
Similarly, an item is in the inner fringe of a state K if there is some other knowledge
state to which that item may be added to form state K (Fig. 9.5). The inner fringe
of a state K is thus defined as the set of all items, any one of which may have been the
last one learned.
These two concepts of inner and outer fringes are used in powerful ways in the Learning
Mode of the ALEKS system. For example, the system always offers a student problems
to solve that are based on items in the outer fringe of his or her state. If ALEKS judges
that a student is experiencing difficulties in learning some new item, ALEKS typically
reviews the mastery of items in the inner fringe of the student’s state that are also
related to the new item to be learned.
9.2.5
Assessment [statesassessment]
How can ALEKS uncover, by efficient questioning, the particular knowledge state of a
student? While the details of ALEKS’s method for achieving such a goal are technical,
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148 CHAPTER 9. KNOWLEDGE SPACES AND THE THEORY BEHIND ALEKS [THEORY]
the guiding intuition is straightforward. At every moment of an assessment, ALEKS
chooses a question to be “as informative as possible.” In our context, this means a
question which the student has, in the system’s estimate, about a 50 percent chance
of getting right. The student’s response (correct or false) determines a change in all
the likelihood values: for instance, if the question involved manipulation of fractions,
and the student’s response was correct, then all the knowledge states containing this
item would have their likelihood values increased. The specific way the questions are
chosen and the likelihood values altered makes it possible for ALEKS to pinpoint the
student’s state in a relatively short time. In Math Prep for Accounting, for example,
approximately 15–25 questions often suffice.
Finally, it should be noted that the assessment report given to students, instructors,
and administrators is a very precise summary of the student’s knowledge state. If
the structure is known, the outer fringe and inner fringe together completely define the
student’s knowledge state. Internally, the system registers the student’s knowledge or
non-knowledge of each item in the domain.
A more thorough but still accessible overview of Knowledge Space Theory is available
on the ALEKS website: Cosyn, Doignon, Falmagne, “The Assessment of Knowledge, in
Theory and Practice”:
http://www.aleks.com/about aleks/Science Behind ALEKS.pdf
A comprehensive treatment of Knowledge Space Theory can be found in Doignon and
Falmagne, Learning Spaces (Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2011).
A comprehensive scientific bibliography on Knowledge Spaces is maintained here:
http://css.uni-graz.at/kst.php
For a more selective bibliography, see the following section.
9.3
Selected Bibliography [bibliography]
Albert, D., editor. (1994). Knowledge Structures. Springer-Verlag, New York, 1994.
Albert, D. and Hockmeyer, C. (1997). Adaptive and dynamic hypertext tutoring systems based on knowledge space theory. In B. du Boulay and R. Mizoguchi, editors,
Artificial Intelligence in Education: Knowledge and Media in Learning Systems, volume 39 of Frontiers in Artificial Intelligence and Applications, pp. 553-555. IOS Press,
Amsterdam, 1997.
Albert, D. and Lukas, J., editors. (1999). Knowledge Spaces: Theories, Empirical
Research, Applications. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Mahwah, NJ, 1999.
9.3. SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY [BIBLIOGRAPHY]
Albert, D., Bahrick, H., Falmagne, J.-C., Witteveen, C., d’Ydewalle, G., and Toda, M.
(1992). Representation and assessment of knowledge. In B. Wilpert, H. Motoaki, and
J. Mitsumi, editors, General Psychology and Environmental Psychology, volume 2, pp.
9-98, July 1990. Proceedings of the 22nd International Congress of Applied Psychology,
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Ltd., Hove, UK, 1992.
Albert, D. and Held, T. (1994). Establishing knowledge spaces by systematical problem
construction. In D. Albert, editor, Knowledge Structures, vol. 1, pp. 78-112. SpringerVerlag, Berlin, Heidelberg, 1994.
Albert, D., Held, T., and Schrepp, M. (1992). Construction of knowledge spaces for
problem solving in chess. In G.H. Fischer and D. Laming, editors, Contributions to
Mathematical Psychology, Psychometrics, and Methodology, pp. 123-135. SpringerVerlag, New York, 1992.
Arasasingham, R., Lonjers, S., Martorell, I., Potter, F., and Taagepera, M. (2005).
Assessing the Effect of Web-Based Learning Tools on Student Understanding of Stoichiometry Using Knowledge Space Theory. Journal of Chemical Education, 82, 1251,
2005.
Arasasingham, R., Lonjers, S., Potter, F., and Taagepera, M. (2004). Using Knowledge
Space Theory to Assess Student Understanding of Stochiometry. Journal of Chemical
Education, 81, 1517, 2004.
Baumunk, K. and Dowling, C. (1997). Validity of spaces for assessing knowledge about
fractions. Journal of Mathematical Psychology, 41, 99-105, 1997.
Brandt, S., Albert, D., and Hockemeyer, C. (1999). Surmise relations between tests preliminary results of the mathematical modelling. Electronic Notes in Discrete Mathematics, 2, 1999.
Cosyn, E. (2002). Coarsening a knowledge structure. Journal of Mathematical Psychology, 46, 123-139, 2002.
Cosyn, E., Doble, C., Falmagne, J.-C., Lenoble, A., Thiéry, N., and Uzun, H. (In Preparation). Assessing mathematical knowledge in a learning space. In D. Albert, C. Doble,
D. Eppstein, J.-C. Falmagne, and X. Hu, editors, Knowledge Spaces: Applications in
Education. In Preparation.
Cosyn, E., Doignon, J.-P., Falmagne, J.-C., and Thiéry, N. (2006). The assessment of
knowledge, in theory and in practice. In B. Ganter and L. Kwuida, editors, Formal Concept Analysis, 4th International Conference, ICFCA 2006, Dresden, Germany, February
13-17, 2006, Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence, pp. 61-79. Springer-Verlag, Berlin,
Heidelberg, New York, 2006.
Cosyn, E. and Thiéry, N. (2000). A practical procedure to build a knowledge structure.
Journal of Mathematical Psychology, 44, 383-407, 2000.
Cosyn, E. and Uzun, H. (2009). Note on two necessary and sufficient axioms for a
well-graded knowledge space. Journal of Mathematical Psychology, 53(1), 40-42, 2009.
Degreef, E., Doignon, J.-P., Ducamp, A., and, Falmagne J.-C. (1986). Languages for
the assessment of knowledge. Journal of Mathematical Psychology, 30, 243-256, 1986.
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150 CHAPTER 9. KNOWLEDGE SPACES AND THE THEORY BEHIND ALEKS [THEORY]
Doignon, J.-P. (1994). Knowledge spaces and skill assessments. In G. Fischer and
D. Laming, editors, Contributions to Mathematical Psychology, Psychometrics, and
Methodology, pp. 111-112. Springer-Verlag, New York, 1994.
Doignon, J.-P. (1999). Dimensions of chains of relations. Abstract of a Talk presented
at the OSDA98, Amherst, MA, September 1998. Electronic Notes in Discrete Mathematics, 2, 1999.
Doignon, J.-P. and Falmagne, J.-C. (1985). Spaces for the assessment of knowledge.
International Journal of Man-Machine Studies, 23, 175-196, 1985.
Doignon, J.-P. and Falmagne, J.-C. (1987). Knowledge assessment: A set theoretical
framework. In B. Ganter, R. Wille, and K.E. Wolfe, editors, Beiträge zur Begriffsanalyse: Vorträge der Arbeitstagung Begriffsanalyse, Darmstadt 1986, pp. 129-140. BI
Wissenschaftsverlag, Mannheim, 1987.
Doignon, J.-P. and Falmagne, J.-C. (1988). Parametrization of knowledge structures.
Discrete Applied Mathematics, 21, 87-100, 1988.
Doignon, J.-P. and Falmagne, J.-C. (1997). Well-graded families of relations. Discrete
Mathematics, 173, 35-44, 1997.
Doignon, J.-P. and Falmagne, J.-C. (1999). Knowledge Spaces. Springer-Verlag, Berlin,
Heidelberg, New York, 1999.
Doignon, J.-P. and Falmagne, J.-C. (2011). Learning Spaces: Interdisciplinary Applied
Mathematics. Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2011.
Doignon, J.-P. and Falmagne, J.-C., editors. (1991). Mathematical Psychology: Current
Developments. Springer-Verlag, New York, 1991.
Dowling, C.E. (1991). Constructing knowledge spaces from judgements with differing degrees of certainty. In J.-P. Doignon and J.-C. Falmagne, editors, Mathematical
Psychology: Current Developments, pp. 221-231. Springer-Verlag, New York, 1991.
Dowling, C.E. (1991). Constructing Knowledge Structures from the Judgements of Experts. Habilitationsschrift, Technische Universität Carolo-Wilhelmina, Braunschweig,
Germany, 1991.
Dowling, C.E. (1993). Applying the basis of a knowledge space for controlling the
questioning of an expert. Journal of Mathematical Psychology, 37, 21-48, 1993.
Dowling, C.E. (1993). On the irredundant construction of knowledge spaces. Journal
of Mathematical Psychology, 37, 49-62, 1993.
Dowling, C.E. (1994). Integrating different knowledge spaces. In G.H. Fischer and
D. Laming, editors, Contributions to Mathematical Psychology, Psychometrics, and
Methodology, pp. 149-158. Springer-Verlag, New York, 1994.
Dowling, C. and Hockemeyer, C. (1998). Computing the intersection of knowledge
spaces using only their basis. In C. Dowling, F. Roberts, and P. Theuns, editors, Recent
Progress in Mathematical Psychology, pp. 133-141. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Ltd.,
Hillsdale, USA, 1998.
9.3. SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY [BIBLIOGRAPHY]
Dowling, C. and Hockemeyer, C. (1999). Integrating knowledge spaces obtained by
querying different experts. Abstract of a Talk presented at the OSDA98, Amherst,
MA, September 1998. Electronic Notes in Discrete Mathematics, 2, 1999.
Dowling, C. and Hockemeyer, C. (2001). Automata for the assessment of knowledge.
IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering, 13(3), 451-461, 2001.
Dowling, C., Hockemeyer, C., and Ludwig, A. (1996). Adaptive assessment and training
using the neighbourhood of knowledge states. In C. Frasson, G. Gauthier, and A. Lesgold, editors, Intelligent Tutoring Systems, volume 1086 of Lecture Notes in Computer
Science, pp. 578-586. Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 1996.
Dowling, C. and Kaluscha, R. (1995). Prerequisite relationships for the adaptive assessment of knowledge. In J. Greer, editor, Artificial Intelligence in Education, pp. 43-50.
Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Charlottesville,
VA, 1995.
Dowling, C., Roberts, F., and Theuns, P., editors. (1998). Recent Progress in Mathematical Psychology. Scientific Psychology Series. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Ltd.,
Hillsdale, USA, 1998.
Düntsch, I. and Gediga, G. (1995). Skills and knowledge structures. British Journal of
Mathematical and Statistical Psychology, 48, 9-27, 1995.
Düntsch, I. and Gediga, G. (1996). On query procedures to build knowledge structures.
Journal of Mathematical Psychology, 40, 160-168, 1996.
Düntsch, I. and Gediga, G. (1998). Knowledge structures and their applications in
CALL. In S. Jager, J. Nerbonne, and A. van Essen, editors, Language Teaching and
Language Technology, pp. 177-186. Swets and Zeitlinger, Lisse, 1998.
Eppstein, D., Falmagne, J.-C., and Ovchinnikov, S. (2008). Media Theory: Interdisciplinary Applied Mathematics. Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2008.
Falmagne, J.-C. (1989). A latent trait theory via stochastic learning theory for a knowledge space. Psychometrika, 54, 283-303, 1989.
Falmagne, J.-C. (1989). Probabilistic knowledge spaces: a review. In F. Roberts, editor,
Applications of Combinatorics and Graph Theory to the Biological and Social Sciences,
volume 17 of IMA, pp. 283-303. Springer-Verlag, New York, 1989.
Falmagne, J.-C. (1993). Stochastic learning paths in a knowledge structure. Journal of
Mathematical Psychology, 37, 489-512, 1993.
Falmagne, J.-C. (1994). Finite markov learning models for knowledge structures. In
G. Fischer and D. Laming, editors, Contributions to Mathematical Psychology, Psychometrics, and Methodology. Springer-Verlag, New York, 1994.
Falmagne, J.-C. (1996). Errata to SLP. Journal of Mathematical Psychology, 40, 169174, 1996.
Falmagne, J.-C. (1999). ALEKS, an application of knowledge space theory. Tutorial
given at the OSDA98, Amherst, MA, September 1998. Electronic Notes in Discrete
Mathematics, 2, 1999.
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Falmagne, J.-C. and Doignon, J.-P. (1988). A class of stochastic procedures for the
assessment of knowledge. British Journal of Mathematical and Statistical Psychology,
41, 1-23, 1988.
Falmagne, J.-C. and Doignon, J.-P. (1988). A markovian procedure for assessing the
state of a system. Journal of Mathematical Psychology, 32, 232-258, 1988.
Falmagne, J.-C. and Doignon, J.-P. (1993). A stochastic theory for system failure
assessment. In B. Bouchon-Meunier, L. Valverde, and R.R. Yager, editors, Uncertainty
in Intelligent Systems, pp. 431-440. North-Holland, Amsterdam, 1993.
Falmagne, J.-C. and Doignon, J.-P. (1997). Stochastic evolution of rationality. Theory
and Decision, 43, 107-138, 1997.
Falmagne, J.-C. and Doignon, J.-P. (1998). Meshing knowledge structures. In C. Dowling, F. Roberts, and P. Theuns, editors, Recent Progress in Mathematical Psychology,
pp. 143-153. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Ltd., Hillsdale, USA, 1998.
Falmagne, J.-C., Koppen, M., Villano, M., Doignon, J.-P. and Johannesen, L. (1990).
Introduction to knowledge spaces: How to build, test and search them. Psychological
Review, 97, 201-224, 1990.
Falmagne, J.-C. and Lakshminarayan, K. (1994). Stochastic learning paths—estimation
and simulation. In G. Fischer and D. Laming, editors, Contributions to Mathematical
Psychology, Psychometrics, and Methodology. Springer-Verlag, New York, 1994.
Falmagne, J.-C. and Ovchinnikov, S. (2002). Media Theory. Discrete Applied Mathematics, 121, 83-101, 2002.
Fischer, G. and Laming, D., editors. (1994). Contributions to Mathematical Psychology,
Psychometrics, and Methodology. Springer–Verlag, New York, 1994.
Fries, S. (1997). Empirical validation of a markovian learning model for knowledge
structures. Journal of Mathematical Psychology, 41, 65-70, 1997.
Heller, J. and Repitsch, C. (2008). Distributed skill functions and the meshing of
knowledge structures. Journal of Mathematical Psychology, 52(3), 147-157, 2008.
Hockemeyer, C. (1997). Using the basis of a knowledge space for determining the fringe
of a knowledge state. Journal of Mathematical Psychology, 41, 275-279, 1997.
Hockemeyer, C. (2001). Tools and utilities for knowledge spaces. Unpublished technical
report, Institut für Psychologie, Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz, Austria, 2001.
Hockemeyer, C., Albert, D., and Brandt, S. (1998). Surmise relations between courses.
Abstract of a talk presented at the 29th EMPG meeting, Keele, UK, September 1998.
Journal of Mathematical Psychology, 42, 508, 1998.
Hockemeyer, C., Held, T., and Albert, D. (1998). RATH—a relational adaptive tutoring hypertext WWW-environment based on knowledge space theory. In C. Alvegȧrd,
editor, CALISCE’98: Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Computer
Aided Learning in Science and Engineering, pp. 417-423. Chalmers tekniska högskola,
Göteborg, Sweden, June 1998.
9.3. SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY [BIBLIOGRAPHY]
Kambouri, M. (1991). Knowledge assessment: A comparison between human experts
and computerized procedure. Doctoral Dissertation, New York University, 1991.
Kambouri, M., Koppen, M., Villano, M., and Falmagne, J.-C. (1991). Knowledge assessment: Tapping human expertise. Irvine Research Unit in Mathematical Behavioral
Sciences. University of California, 1991.
Kambouri, M., Koppen, M., Villano, M., and Falmagne, J.-C. (1994). Knowledge
assessment: tapping human expertise by the QUERY routine. International Journal of
Human-Computer Studies, 40, 119-151, 1994.
Koppen, M. (1989). Ordinal Data Analysis: Biorder Representation and Knowledge
Spaces. Doctoral Dissertation, Katholieke Universiteit te Nijmegen, Nijmegen, Netherlands, 1989.
Koppen, M. (1993). Extracting human expertise for constructing knowledge spaces: An
algorithm. Journal of Mathematical Psychology, 37, 1-20, 1993.
Koppen, M. (1998). On alternative representations for knowledge spaces. Mathematical
Social Sciences, 36, 127-143, 1998.
Koppen, M. and Doignon, J.-P. (1990). How to build a knowledge space by querying
an expert. Journal of Mathematical Psychology, 34, 311-331, 1990.
Lakshminarayan, K. and Gilson, F. (1998). An application of a stochastic knowledge
structure model. In C. Dowling, F. Roberts, and P. Theuns, editors, Recent Progress in
Mathematical Psychology, pp. 155-172. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Ltd., Hillsdale,
USA, 1998.
Lukas, J. and Albert, D. (1993). Knowledge assessment based on skill assignment
and psychological task analysis. In G. Strube and K. Wender, editors, The Cognitive
Psychology of Knowledge, volume 101 of Advances in Psychology, pp. 139-160. NorthHolland, Amsterdam, 1993.
Muller C. (1989). A procedure for facilitating an expert’s judgments on a set of rules. In
E. Roskam, editor, Mathematical Psychology in Progress, pp. 157-170. Springer-Verlag,
Berlin, 1989.
Pilato, G., Pirrone, R., and Rizzo, R. (2008). A KST-based system for student tutoring.
Applied Artificial Intelligence, 22, 283-308, 2008.
Rusch, A. and Wille, R. (1996). Knowledge spaces and formal concept analysis. In
H.-H. Bock and W. Polasek, editors, Data Analysis and Information Systems, Studies
in Classification, Data Analysis, and Knowledge Organization, pp. 427-436. SpringerVerlag, Berlin, 1996.
Schrepp, M. (1997). A generalization of knowledge space theory to problems with more
than two answer alternatives. Journal of Mathematical Psychology, 41, 237-243, 1997.
Schrepp, M. (1999). Extracting knowledge structures from observed data. British
Journal of Mathematical and Statistical Psychology, 52, 213-224, 1999.
Schrepp, M. (1999). On the empirical construction of implications between bi-valued
test items. Mathematical Social Sciences, 38, 361-375, 1999.
153
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Schrepp, M. (2001). A method for comparing knowledge structures concerning their
adequacy. Journal of Mathematical Psychology, 45, 480-496, 2001.
Schrepp, M. and Held, T. (1995). A simulation study concerning the effect of errors on
the establishment of knowledge spaces by querying experts. Journal of Mathematical
Psychology, 39, 376-382, 1995.
Stefanutti, L. and Albert, D. (2002). Efficient assessment of organizational action based
on knowledge space theory. In K. Tochtermann and H. Maurer, editors, 2nd International Conference on Knowledge Management, Journal of Universal Computer Science,
183-190, 2002.
Strube, G. and Wender, K., editors. (1993). The Cognitive Psychology of Knowledge,
volume 101 of Advances in Psychology. Elsevier, 1993.
Suck, R. (1998). Ordering orders. Mathematical Social Sciences, 36, 91-104, 1998.
Suck, R. (1999). The basis of a knowledge space and a generalized interval order.
Electronic Notes in Discrete Mathematics, 2, 1999.
Suck, R. (1999). A dimension-related metric on the lattice of knowledge spaces. Journal
of Mathematical Psychology, 43, 394-409, 1999.
Taagepera, M., Arasasingham, R., Potter, F., Soroudi, A., Lam, G. (2002). Following
the Development of the Bonding Concept Using Knowledge Space Theory. Journal of
Chemical Education, 79, 1756, 2002.
Taagepera, M. and Noori, S. (2000). Mapping Students’ Thinking Patterns in Learning
Organic Chemistry by the Use of the Knowledge Space Theory. Journal of Chemical
Education, 77, 1224, 2000.
Taagepera, M., Potter, F., Miller, G., and Lakshminarayan, K. (1997). Mapping students thinking patterns by the use of knowledge space theory. International Journal of
Science Education, 19, 283-302, 1997.
Thiéry, N. (2001). Dynamically Adapting Knowledge Spaces. Doctoral Dissertation,
University of California, Irvine, 2001.
Theuns, P. (1998). Building a knowledge space via boolean analysis of co-occurrence
data. In C. Dowling, F. Roberts, and P. Theuns, editors, Recent Progress in Mathematical Psychology, pp. 173-194. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Ltd., Hillsdale, USA,
1998.
Villano, M. (1991). Computerized knowledge assessment: Building the knowledge structure and calibrating the assessment routine. Doctoral Dissertation, New York University,
1991.
Villano, M., Falmagne, J.-C., Johannsen, L., and Doignon, J.-P. (1987). Stochastic
procedures for assessing an individual’s state of knowledge. In Proceedings of the International Conference on Computer-Assisted Learning in Post-Secondary Education,
Calgary 1987, pp. 369-371. University of Calgary Press, Calgary, 1987.
Wille, R. (1999). Formal concept analysis. Abstract of a Tutorial given at the OSDA98,
Amherst, MA, September 1998. Electronic Notes in Discrete Mathematics, 2, 1999.
9.3. SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY [BIBLIOGRAPHY]
Wille, R. (1999). Mathematical support for empirical theory building. Abstract of a
Talk presented at the OSDA98, Amherst, MA, September 1998. Electronic Notes in
Discrete Mathematics, 2, 1999.
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Chapter 10
Frequently Asked Questions [ifaq]
10.1
General [ifaqgeneral]
General questions on ALEKS concern what it is, its purpose, and what it contains.
What is ALEKS?
ALEKS is an online educational software program based on a cycle of assessment
and learning. ALEKS course products include Mathematics, Statistics, Accounting, Business, and Chemistry. By knowing exactly which concepts the student
has mastered and which are new but within reach, ALEKS enables the student to
work on those concepts the student is most ready to learn. ALEKS is a full-time
automated tutor, including explanations, practice and feedback. ALEKS interacts
closely with the student, continuously updating its precise map of the student’s
knowledge state. ALEKS combines the advantages of one-on-one instruction and
evaluation with the convenience of being on-call, on your computer, 24 hours a
day, seven days a week. The cost of ALEKS is a small fraction of the cost of a
human tutor.
What makes ALEKS different?
A great many important differences exist between ALEKS and other kinds of
“educational software,” including its finely individualized instructional features,
easy access over the Internet, rigorous and comprehensive educational content,
and full-featured course-management module for instructors and administrators.
A critical difference is the capacity of ALEKS for efficient, precise, comprehensive,
and qualitative assessment. This not only makes it a valuable tool for monitoring
educational progress, but also enables it to provide students with the material they
are most able to learn at a particular time. Students will not be given material
they have already mastered, or topics for which they have not yet demonstrated
prerequisite knowledge.
ALEKS is a self-contained learning environment, with complete sets of practice
and explanatory units needed for the subjects that it covers. The units may also
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CHAPTER 10. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS [IFAQ]
be referenced or linked to textbooks for extended treatment of concepts. There is
an online student dictionary accessed by clicking on underlined terms (hypertext
links), and a diagnostic feedback facility that, in many cases, is able to explain the
nature of misunderstandings and errors made by students.
For instructors, ALEKS offers a complete administrative and monitoring facility
through which individual and group progress can be checked, standards established, enrollment managed, and messages exchanged. ALEKS can be configured
for use with diverse educational standards.
ALEKS is not a game or “edutainment.” It is an automated educational tool with
robust, carefully-designed features for both learners and educators.
What are the parts or “modules” of ALEKS?
The principal “modules” of ALEKS are the Assessment Mode, in which student
knowledge is rigorously assessed, the Learning Mode, where students work on
mastering specific concepts, the Instructor Module, in which instructors and
administrators are able to monitor student progress and carry out administrative
functions, and the Administrator Account, which permits management and
monitoring of an arbitrary number of separate institutions, such as those making up
a multi-campus college system. There is also a Tutorial (which students take when
first registering with the system), online help, a mathematical dictionary, graphic
display of assessment results and learning progress, and many other features.
Why is ALEKS on the Internet?
ALEKS is available on the Internet so that a student who has registered with the
system can use it from any suitable computer, in any location. Very little technical
preparation is required. All you need is a self-installing, self-maintaining “plugin” obtained directly from the ALEKS website. No disks, CD’s, peripherals, or
backup facilities are required. All data is kept securely on the ALEKS Corporation
servers.
10.2
Technical [ifaqtechnical]
The technical information needed to use ALEKS is minimal. These few questions are
all that are likely to be asked, even in a large group of users.
What are the system requirements for using ALEKS?
[Sec. 3.2] Fig. 10.1 presents the technical requirements for ALEKS in summary
form.
Note that any of the kinds of Internet connection (cable, ISDN, DSL, or wireless)
that are typical in computer labs are adequate for use with ALEKS. If your computer lab has security safeguards in place, you will need the cooperation of your
technology administrator to install the ALEKS plug-in.
Where can I get more information on ALEKS? How can I try out the
system?
10.3. THEORY [IFAQTHEORY]
159
Operating System
Processor
RAM Memory
Browser
PC
Windows
Any
64+ MB
Explorer 7.0+, Firefox 3+, Chrome 4+
Screen Resolution
1024x768
Macintosh
MacOS 10.4+
Any
64+ MB
Safari 4+, Firefox
3+
1024x768
Figure 10.1: System Requirements [ifaqtechnical]
The ALEKS website provides complete information on the ALEKS system, including a Quick Tour, Free Trial use, licensing, history and theory, and technical
support.
http://www.aleks.com
10.3
Theory [ifaqtheory]
For those interested in looking beneath the surface, these questions concern the principles on which ALEKS is designed and constructed.
What is the theory behind ALEKS?
[Chapter 9] ALEKS is based on a field of Cognitive Science (Mathematical Psychology) called “Knowledge Spaces” (or “Learning Spaces”). The purpose of research in Knowledge Spaces is to model human knowledge in any subject, using
mathematical tools such as Set Theory, Combinatorics, and Markovian Processes,
so as to make possible fast and accurate assessment through interactive computer
applications. There are numerous scientific publications in the field of Knowledge
Spaces dating back to the early 1980’s. A recent, authoritative treatment (with
Bibliography) is Doignon & Falmagne, Learning Spaces (Springer-Verlag, Berlin,
Heidelberg, 2011).
What is an “item”?
[Sec. 9.2.1] In Knowledge Space theory, an “item” is a concept or skill to be
learned, the mastery of which is captured by a “problem type” serving as the basis
for specific assessment and practice problems. Thus the item “addition of two-digit
numbers without carry” might produce the problem (instance) “What is 25 plus
11?”
What is a “domain”?
[Sec. 9.2.1] In Knowledge Space theory, a “domain” is the set of all items making
up a particular subject matter, such as Math Prep for Accounting. A learner is
considered to have mastered the domain when that learner can solve problems
corresponding to all the items in the domain.
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CHAPTER 10. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS [IFAQ]
What is a “knowledge state”?
[Sec. 9.2.2] In Knowledge Space theory, a “knowledge state” is the set of items
belonging to a domain that a learner has mastered at some point in time. We speak
of knowledge states in relation to a particular learner and a particular domain.
Obviously, a learner’s knowledge changes in time, and the goal of learning is that
the knowledge state should eventually include (correspond to) the entire domain.
What is the “outer fringe” of a knowledge state?
[Sec. 9.2.4] In Knowledge Space theory, a learner’s “outer fringe” is the set of
items, any one of which can be added to the current knowledge state to make a
new, feasible knowledge state. These are the items that the student is considered
most “ready to learn.” Progress is made from one state to another through one of
the items in the first state’s “outer fringe.”
What is the “inner fringe” of a knowledge state?
[Sec. 9.2.4] In Knowledge Space theory, a learner’s “inner fringe” is the set of
items, any one of which can be taken away from the current knowledge state to
make a new, feasible knowledge state. These are the items that the student may
have learned recently, and thus whose knowledge might need reinforcement.
What is a “knowledge structure”? What is a “knowledge space”?
[Sec. 9.2.3] In Knowledge Space theory, “knowledge structure” or “knowledge
space” (the two concepts differ in a technical way) refers to the collection of feasible
knowledge states for a particular domain. It is a key point that not all sets of
items from the domain (subsets of the domain) are feasible knowledge states. For
instance, in mathematics there can be no knowledge state containing the item
“finding the square root of an integer” that does not contain the item “addition of
two-digit numbers without carry,” since no one will master the first without having
mastered the second.
How was the structure created?
The knowledge structures (or, briefly, “structures”) used by ALEKS are created by
analysis of the subject matter and extensive querying of experts. When ALEKS
assesses a student, it is actually searching the structure for knowledge states that
match the student’s present competence.
What is the educational philosophy behind ALEKS?
The educational use of ALEKS is not tied to any particular theory of education or
knowledge acquisition. A key insight underlying ALEKS is the existence of a vast
multiplicity of diverse “learning paths” or sequences of topics by which a field can
be mastered. Based on an inventory of knowledge states that numbers in the tens
of thousands (for the subjects currently covered by ALEKS) the specialized tools of
Knowledge Space theory make it possible for the system to accommodate literally
billions of possible individual learning paths implied by the relations among states.
ALEKS does not embody a particular philosophy of teaching mathematics; it is
compatible with any pedagogical approach.
10.4. ASSESSMENTS & REPORTS [IFAQASSESSREPORT]
10.4
Assessments & Reports [ifaqassessreport]
Much of the power of ALEKS comes from its capacity for accurately and efficiently
assessing the current state of a learner’s knowledge.
What is an ALEKS assessment?
[Chapter 4] An assessment by the ALEKS system consists of a sequence of problems posed to the student. The answers are in the form of mathematical expressions
and constructions produced by the system’s input tools (no multiple choice). The
student is encouraged to answer “I don’t know” where appropriate. During an
ALEKS assessment, the student is not told whether answers are correct or incorrect. The assessment is adaptive. Each question after the first is chosen on the
basis of answers previously submitted. Assessment problems (like practice problems) are algorithmically generated, with random numerical values. The length of
the assessment is variable, between 15 and 35 questions. There are no time constraints, but some assessments can take less than a half-hour and a few more than
an hour and a half. Students taking an assessment need to have paper and pencil.
Calculators are not permitted in some areas in ALEKS, but a basic calculator is
part of ALEKS.
No help whatsoever should be given to students taking an assessment, not even
rephrasing problems. Outside help can easily lead to false assessment results and
hinder subsequent work in the ALEKS Learning Mode.
Students are always assessed when they first register with ALEKS. It is advisable
that all assessments from which the instructor uses data for grading or a similar
purpose take place under the instructor’s supervision. At a minimum, the Initial
Assessment should be supervised.
How does the ALEKS assessment work?
[Sec. 9.2.5] In assessing a student’s knowledge, the system is in fact determining
which of the feasible knowledge states for that subject correspond to the student’s
current knowledge. The assessment is probabilistic, so it is not fooled by odd
careless errors. (Lucky guesses are very rare, because multiple choice answers
are not used.) Likelihood values (values for the likelihood that the student is
in a particular knowledge state) are spread out over the states belonging to the
structure. With each correct answer, the likelihood of states containing the item
for which a correct answer was given is raised and that of states not containing
the item lowered. The reverse occurs for incorrect answers or “I don’t know.” At
each step of the assessment, the system attempts to choose an item for which it
estimates, based on current likelihood values, that the student has about a fifty-fifty
chance of success; such questions are maximally informative. When the likelihood
values of a few states are extremely high and those of all the rest are extremely
low—in technical terms, when the entropy of the structure is lower than a certain
threshold value—the assessment ends and results are produced.
If a student makes a careless error or lucky guess, this will appear inconsistent
161
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CHAPTER 10. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS [IFAQ]
with the general tendency of the student’s responses, and the system will “probe”
that area of knowledge until it is sure. For this reason, inconsistent assessments
may require more questions.
How should I interpret the assessment report?
[Sec. 4.11] The results of an ALEKS assessment are shown in the form of a colorkeyed pie chart. A pie chart corresponds to a subject matter (domain) or to the
curriculum of a particular course. Each slice of the pie corresponds to a general
topic. The degree to which the slice is filled in with solid color shows how close
the student is to mastering that area.
An extremely important aspect of the pie chart is its indication of what a student is
currently most “ready to learn” (that is, the “outer fringe” of the student’s current
knowledge state). These items are listed beneath the pie chart in an Assessment
Report and are also given through the pie chart itself. When the mouse pointer is
placed over a slice of the pie, a list expands out of the pie, showing the concepts
that the student is most “ready to learn” in that part of the curriculum. Clicking
on any of these concepts takes the student into the Learning Mode.
The pie chart is displayed following assessments, after a concept has been worked
on in the Learning Mode, or when a student clicks on “MyPie” to change topics.
At any given time, a student can only choose to work on concepts that the student
is currently “ready to learn.” This number may vary between two and a few dozen,
depending on what part of the structure is involved.
10.5
Learning Mode [ifaqlearning]
Students spend by far the greatest part of their time in ALEKS in the Learning Mode.
The features of the Learning Mode are designed to provide a maximum of support to
the student’s growing mastery of course materials.
What is the Learning Mode?
[Chapter 5] The Learning Mode in ALEKS contains features to help students
practice and master specific mathematical concepts and skills. In the Learning
Mode, students are always working on a specific concept that they have chosen and
that, in the system’s estimation, they are fully prepared to master. If the learner
successfully solves an appropriate number of problems based on that concept, the
system will tentatively determine that it has been mastered and offer a new choice
of topics. If the student has difficulty, the system will attempt to diagnose and
interpret the student’s errors. It will also provide explanations of how to solve
problems and definitions of mathematical terms. It may suggest the name of a
classmate who can help. If the student is unable to master the concept right now,
or if the student wishes to change topics, a new choice of topics will be offered. After
a certain amount of time has been spent in the Learning Mode, or after a certain
amount of progress has been made, the student will be reassessed automatically.
10.6. EDUCATIONAL USE [IFAQEDUCATIONAL]
What is the relationship between the Assessment Mode and the Learning
Mode in ALEKS?
The Assessment and Learning Modes work together in a cyclical fashion, beginning
with the Initial Assessment. A student is assessed, and the results of the assessment
serve as a basis for the student’s entry into the Learning Mode (the student works
on concepts that the assessment showed that student most “ready to learn”). After
a certain time in the Learning Mode, during which the results of the previous
assessment are tentatively updated according to whether the student masters or
fails to master new concepts, the student is reassessed and the cycle begins again.
In this sense, ALEKS is an interactive learning system guided and powered by
ongoing diagnostic assessment.
10.6
Educational Use [ifaqeducational]
ALEKS also provides a full range of features for successful integration into a variety of
teaching styles and course plans.
What is the best way to use ALEKS with my course?
The greatest factor in successful use of ALEKS is regular, structured use, with
close monitoring of student progress by the instructor. We recommend scheduling regular lab sessions with ALEKS, totalling at least three hours per week, as
part of your course requirements. Not every lab session need be supervised by
the instructor, but the Initial Assessment should be. Any other interim and concluding assessments scheduled specially by the instructor normally should also be
supervised.
There has been successful use of ALEKS in a very wide variety of contexts and
structures, including independent study. ALEKS Corporation is happy to consult
with instructors on the best way to use ALEKS with their students. Also, extensive
materials on implementation strategies in ALEKS are available on the ALEKS
website.
Can ALEKS be used with handicapped and learning-disability students?
Is ALEKS a remedial tool?
ALEKS is designed to help all students who can read sufficiently to understand
what is being displayed on the screen, and who can use a computer. It has been
used successfully with students exhibiting a range of learning disabilities. Students
with reading difficulties can also use it, provided that there is someone on hand
to help them as needed. The system does not currently contain facilities for audio
output.
What burden will ALEKS place on our computer lab and Lab Director/LAN Administrator?
Normally ALEKS requires very little support from local computer technicians,
given the automatic installation and maintenance of the ALEKS plug-in. Most
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CHAPTER 10. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS [IFAQ]
of the time, however, the lab administrator will need to assist with installation in
order to overcome security obstacles (college computer labs often prevent students
from installing their own software). In some cases, the presence of a “firewall”
or other security measures may require some action on the technician’s part for
successful installation. Again, ALEKS Corporation stands ready to assist with
problems of this nature.
Does ALEKS need to be used with a particular textbook or curriculum?
ALEKS is designed to be used with any syllabus, curriculum, or textbook. The
system may also be referenced or linked to a textbook or online applications for
particular courses. The fundamental idea of the ALEKS system is to allow students
to pursue individualized paths to mastery of the subject matter. For this reason
instructors may very commonly find their students learning material that has not
yet been covered in the course. This should be regarded as a sign of the system’s
effective use.
Does ALEKS have special features for educators?
[Chapters 6, 7] Students’ use of ALEKS and their progress toward mastery can be
monitored using the facilities of the Instructor Module. The Instructor Module also
enables instructors and administrators to establish the syllabi and standards used
by ALEKS, to configure accounts, to find statistics on multi-campus college system
use, and to exchange messages. An instructor or administrator who has been
registered with ALEKS enters the Instructor Module immediately upon login.
How can I contact ALEKS Corporation Customer Support?
[Sec. 11] You can contact ALEKS Corporation using the information in Chapter
12 of this manual. Students should approach their instructor first with any questions or problems regarding the use of ALEKS. Questions the instructor cannot
answer can be brought to our attention.
Chapter 11
Support [support]
NOTE. Troubleshooting information is found in Appendix A.9 of this Instructor’s Manual. Most problems can be resolved using this brief reference.
Current information on ALEKS is available at the ALEKS website:
http://www.aleks.com
Technical support and consultation on the effective use of ALEKS is provided to educators by ALEKS Corporation. Please contact the support group via the web:
http://support.aleks.com
by telephone:
(714) 619-7090
or by fax:
(714) 245-7190
NOTE. We ask that students using ALEKS not contact us directly, but approach their
instructors first. It is hoped that the information in this Instructor’s Manual will
enable instructors to answer many of their students’ questions.
We also welcome any and all comments and feedback on ALEKS. Here is our mailing
address:
ALEKS Corporation Customer Support
15460 Laguna Canyon Road
Irvine, CA 92618
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Appendix A
ALEKS Student User’s Guide [users]
A.1
Preface [ugintroduction]
Welcome to ALEKS, one of the most powerful educational tools available for learning
mathematics.
ALEKS combines advanced learning technology with the flexibility of the Internet,
and provides an interactive system with unmatched features and capabilities. ALEKS
was developed with support from the National Science Foundation. It is based on
a field of Mathematical Cognitive Science called “Knowledge Spaces,” which models
human knowledge for precise assessment and efficient learning in interactive computer
programs.
Based on your assessment results, ALEKS will understand what you know, what you
don’t know, and most importantly, what you are ready to learn next. ALEKS provides
individualized, one-on-one instruction that fits your exact knowledge state and helps
you select among the ideal topics to work on. That way you learn concepts in the
order that’s best for you. As you learn, ALEKS constantly challenges you and supplies
extensive feedback on what you have accomplished.
Since ALEKS is available wherever you access the Internet, it is designed to fit your busy
schedule. To get started immediately, you may refer to the Quick Start Instructions
below. More detail is provided in the subsequent sections.
In addition, your instructor can assist you in registering with ALEKS and beginning to
use it. ALEKS includes online instructions and feedback and is designed for use without
help from a manual. If you need additional information, please refer to this booklet or
contact ALEKS Customer Support.
NOTE. Two or more students cannot use the same ALEKS account. ALEKS will
regard them as a single person and give incorrect guidance.
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APPENDIX A. ALEKS STUDENT USER’S GUIDE [USERS]
Quick Start Instructions [ugquickstart]
1. System Requirements
(a) PCs must have at least 64 MB of RAM and Windows. Compatible browsers are Internet
Explorer 7.0 or higher, Firefox 3 or higher, and Chrome 4 or higher.
(b) PowerMacs or iMacs must have at least 64 MB of RAM and operating system Mac 0S
10.4 or higher. Compatible browsers are Safari 4 or higher and Firefox 3 or higher.
2. Internet Access Requirements
(a) ALEKS is used over the Internet. It functions well with a connection of at least 56K.
3. Java Installation
(a) Java must be installed and enabled in order for ALEKS to function. For best performance, there should be a single installation of a recent version of Java.
4. The ALEKS Plug-in
(a) The ALEKS plug-in is required for the use of ALEKS. It is normally installed as an
automatic part of the registration or login process. The ALEKS plug-in can also be
downloaded from the ALEKS website by clicking on “DOWNLOADS.”
5. The ALEKS Tutorial
(a) The ALEKS Tutorial shows how to input answers in ALEKS. Taking the time to learn
this is important in order to use ALEKS efficiently.
6. Initial Assessment
(a) Your first ALEKS assessment will determine what topics you already know, the topics
that you don’t yet know, and, most importantly, those you are ready to learn.
(b) Here is some additional information about the assessment:
i. It consists of about 20-30 open-response questions (not multiple choice).
ii. It has no time limit. You may take breaks or stop the assessment and return to
ALEKS at another time.
iii. You should have a pencil and paper with you in order to work through the problems.
(c) You should not seek or receive any help during assessments. If you receive help, ALEKS
will get a wrong idea of what you are most ready to learn, and will present you with
material you are not ready to learn. This will hold up your progress in ALEKS.
A.2. QUICK START INSTRUCTIONS [UGQUICKSTART]
169
(d) You should do your best on all questions. Do not click the “I don’t know” button when
answering a question unless you truly have no idea how to do the problem. When you
click the “I don’t know” button ALEKS assumes that you don’t know how to do the
problem type and possibly some of its prerequisite topics. Consequently, topics will be
added to your pie chart.
(e) You should not use your browser’s “Back” and “Forward” buttons while logged on to
ALEKS. Doing so will not help you make progress and may cause temporary software
errors.
(f) ALEKS will not provide feedback when you are taking the Initial assessment in ALEKS.
No messages will be displayed indicating whether you answered correctly or incorrectly
during any of the assessment questions in ALEKS.
7. Assessment Results
(a) Assessment results are presented in the form of a color-coded pie chart.
(b) Slices of the pie chart correspond to parts of the syllabus.
(c) The relative size of the slices reflects the importance of each topic area for the syllabus.
(d) The darker part of each slice indicates the portion of the topics already mastered. The
lighter part of each slice indicates the portion of topics still to be learned.
(e) The topics that you are ready to learn will be listed as you place the mouse pointer over
each slice.
(f) Not all slices will contain available concepts at any given time. They may have been
mastered already, or work may need to be done in other slices before they become
available.
(g) You may choose any topic listed and begin learning.
8. Learning Mode
(a) Clicking on the “MyPie” icon, in the upper left corner of your screen, will display your
pie chart and allow you work in ALEKS Learning Mode. Topics you are ready to learn
will appear in the pie slices.
(b) It is possible your ALEKS course will include chapters/objectives that should be completed by a specific date. The chapter/objective will include topics in your pie chart
indicated by the white dotted lines in some or all of your pie slices. ALEKS will display
a message under your pie chart indicating how many topics you have remaining in the
chapter/objective and when it is due.
9. Guidelines for Effective Use
(a) You should have pencil and paper ready for all assessments and for use in the Learning
Mode.
(b) Basic calculators should be used only when the ALEKS Calculator button is active. A
basic calculator is part of ALEKS but is only made available for use when appropriate.
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(c) To maximize successful learning, ALEKS should be used regularly, and for at least three
hours per week.
(d) You will be given additional assessments each time you have learned about 20 topics or
spent about 10 hours in ALEKS (since the previous assessment).
A.3
Registration and Installation [ugregistration]
In order to register as an ALEKS user, you need a Student Access Code (20 characters), which may be purchased through your campus bookstore, online as part of
the ALEKS registration process, or in some other way. If this booklet was purchased
through the bookstore, the Student Access Code may be inside its back cover. You
also need a Course Code (10 characters) provided by your instructor. When you register with ALEKS, your name is entered into the database, and records of your progress
are kept. If the ALEKS plug-in has not been installed on the computer being used for
registration, it will be installed automatically as part of this procedure.
1. Go to the ALEKS website:
http://www.aleks.com
When entering this URL, pay careful attention to the spelling “aleks.”
Figure A.1: The ALEKS Website [website]
2. Click on “SIGN UP NOW!” on the left of the page, under the space for Registered
Users (Fig. A.1).
3. At the beginning of Registration you will be asked for your Course Code. The
Course Code is supplied by your instructor. Enter this in the spaces provided, on
the left-hand side of the window, and click on “>>Continue” (Fig. A.2).
A.3. REGISTRATION AND INSTALLATION [UGREGISTRATION]
Figure A.2: Course Code [coursecode]
4. Next, ALEKS will check your Account Status. You will be asked if you have ever
used ALEKS before. Check the appropriate response and click on “>>Continue.”
If you have used ALEKS before, you will be prompted to enter in your ALEKS
login name and password before moving on.
5. To continue your registration you will be asked for your Student Access Code.
It may be on a sticker inside the back cover of this booklet, or can be purchased
directly from ALEKS Corporation by using the link on this page (“purchase an
access code online”). Enter the Student Access Code in the spaces provided and
click on “>>Continue” (Fig. A.3).
6. Enter your personal information and choose a password. Supplying this information enables your site administrator to help you with problems more quickly. You
will also be able to enter your Student ID number.
7. At the end of registration you will be given a Login Name. You will need the
ALEKS Login Name and your password to return to ALEKS. You can change
your Password at any time (Sec. A.6.5).
Your Login Name and Password can be typed with upper- or lower-case letters.
Neither may contain spaces or punctuation. If you forget your Password, click on
the link titled “Forgot your login info?” located underneath the Password field on
the ALEKS home page.
8. When you enter your Login name and Password on the ALEKS home page, ALEKS
will check to see if the ALEKS plug-in is installed. If you do not have a plug-in,
one will be installed. Do not interrupt this process until a message appears saying
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APPENDIX A. ALEKS STUDENT USER’S GUIDE [USERS]
Figure A.3: Access Code [accesscode]
that the installation is complete. Then you will need to quit your Web browser
(“Exit,” “Close,” or “Quit” under the “File” menu), open your Web browser again,
and go back to the ALEKS website (use your Bookmark/Favorite).
A.4
Student Account Home [studentaccounthome]
After completing the registration process, you will be taken to the Student Account
Home. The Student Account Home groups all ALEKS student accounts for a single
student under the same umbrella account. This allows students to manage and add
more ALEKS courses to their umbrella account rather than creating separate accounts
for each ALEKS course. Students will also only need to remember one login name and
password.
The Student Account Home lists all of your current and previous ALEKS courses, and
includes options to sign up for new courses, switch courses, suspend courses, extend
access to courses, and remove courses from the Student Account Home.
A.4.1
Account Management [accountmanagement]
When you log in to your ALEKS account, you will arrive at the Student Account Home
main screen and have the following options available to you:
Account Settings
To access the account settings, you can click on your name in the upper right corner of the
Student Account Home main screen. The account settings display information for both the
A.4. STUDENT ACCOUNT HOME [STUDENTACCOUNTHOME]
Figure A.4: Student Account Home main screen [studentaccounthomemain]
Figure A.5: Student Account Home settings [studentaccounthomesettings]
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umbrella account and the college that you attend. This information includes your name,
the login name for the umbrella account, the account password (encrypted), and the email
address linked to the account. You can edit certain entries simply by clicking on the “Edit”
link to the right. To return to the main screen, click on the “Done” button.
Adding a New Course
You can add a new course by clicking on the “Sign up for a new class” button (Fig. A.4).
You will be prompted to enter in the course code for the new course and then purchase a
new access code. Once the new course has been added, it will be displayed in the ACTIVE
section on the Student Account Home main page.
Active Courses
All courses in which you have an active account will be listed here. You will see the name of
the course, the name of the instructor, the date you last logged in to the account, and the
date your access to the course will expire. Additional information can be accessed by clicking
on the “Show more” link, including the course code, the reference name for the account, the
date the account was started, the amount of time spent in the course, and the current level
of progress.
Inactive Courses
The INACTIVE section will display a list of your courses that are no longer active. The same
course information that is displayed in the ACTIVE courses is available here.
Accessing a Course
You can access an active course by clicking on the course name. You will be taken to your pie
chart for that course and will be able to work on topics. To return to the Student Account
Home main screen, you can click on your name in the upper right corner and select the
“Account home” option. To completely log out, choose the “Log out” option after clicking
on your name.
A.4.2
Course Management [coursemanagement]
ACTIVE Course Options
The following options are available for ACTIVE courses by clicking on the Actions button:
Switch to a new class. You can switch to a new course by entering in a new course code.
Suspend Access to this Course. This option will only appear when your subscription
meets the eligibility requirements for suspension (Sec. A.4.4). Once suspended, an account
appears under the ON-HOLD section.
Extend Access to this Course. You can extend access to your course by selecting the
“Extend” option and entering a new 20-character access code.
ON-HOLD Course Options
The following options are available for ON-HOLD courses by clicking on the Actions button:
A.4. STUDENT ACCOUNT HOME [STUDENTACCOUNTHOME]
175
Reactivate Accounts. You can click on the Reactivate button when you are ready to
reactivate a course that was suspended or placed on hold by a leave of absence (Sec. A.4.4
and Sec. A.4.5).
INACTIVE Course Options
The following options are available for INACTIVE courses by clicking on the Actions button:
Download Progress (PDF). This allows you to view a progress report for an inactive
course.
Renew access to this course. This option allows you to renew access to an account by
entering in a new 20-character access code.
Delete from my account. Inactive course accounts may be deleted and will no longer be
displayed in the Student Account Home.
A.4.3
Switching to a New Course [switchingtoanewcourse]
If you need to move an account into a new course, ALEKS will behave differently
depending on when you make the switch.
If you switch into a new course within 15 days of enrollment:
ˆ Your new course will appear in the ACTIVE section
ˆ Your old course will no longer appear (not even in the INACTIVE section)
ˆ Any progress you made in the old course will not be retained, unless you are
switching to a course using the same ALEKS course product
ˆ If you switch into a different ALEKS course, you will be requried to take another
Initial Assessment
If you switch into a new course after 15 days of enrollment:
ˆ Your new course will appear in the ACTIVE section
ˆ Your old course will appear in the INACTIVE section
ˆ If you are switching into a course using the same ALEKS course product, your
progress will be carried over
ˆ If you are switching into a different ALEKS course, you will be required to take a
new Initial Assessment
A.4.4
Suspend Account [suspend]
This feature is intended to provide additional flexibility in the student’s access to an
already purchased subscription with ALEKS. The “Suspend access to this class” feature
is used when a student has already purchased an access code and registered with ALEKS,
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APPENDIX A. ALEKS STUDENT USER’S GUIDE [USERS]
but then decides to drop the course with the intention of taking it again at the next
opportunity.
This feature can be used within a limited time after the student activates their account.
ˆ 6-week access codes can be suspended within 7 days of activation OR if the account
has less than 5 hours of use, whichever comes first.
ˆ 11-week access codes can be suspended within 14 days of activation OR if the
account has less than 8 hours of use, whichever comes first.
ˆ 18-week, 2-semester, 3-quarter, and 52-week access codes can be suspended within
30 days of activation OR if the account has less than 10 hours of use, whichever
comes first.
To suspend access to their class, students choose the action “Suspend access to
this class” from the Actions drop-down menu.
After students select this option, they will be asked to confirm whether or not they
wish to suspend the account. Once this feature has been activated, the system will
suspend the account for a period of time equal to the length of the access code they
purchased (6 weeks, 11, weeks, 18 weeks, etc.). At the end of this period the account
will be reactivated automatically, and its time will begin to run. Once the account is
reactivated, the student will have the full subscription length originally purchased.
Cancel Suspension. Should the student suspend their account and then need it to be
reactivated, they will need to contact ALEKS Customer Support. If the suspension is
cancelled, the time remaining for the access code will be recalculated from the original
start date. Note that the Suspend feature can only be used once per account.
A.4.5
Leave of Absence [leave]
In contrast to the Suspend feature, the Leave of Absence feature applies only to 2semester (40 week), 3-quarter (also 40 weeks), and 52-week access codes; it takes effect
automatically after a certain number of weeks have passed since the access code was
activated.
First notification. 20 weeks after the access code was used to activate the account,
students will see a warning message informing them that their first 21 weeks of use
will expire on a specified date. The leave will begin automatically 21 weeks after the
account is activated.
Second notification. When students log in after the 21st week, they will see another
message informing them that the account is on hold, and the date the account will
automatically resume, if not manually reactivated.
If students choose to resume using the account prior to the specified automatic reactivation date, they will be asked to confirm the reactivation. Once confirmed, students
will be given access for the appropriate length of time remaining on the access code.
A.5. TUTORIAL [UGTUTORIAL]
A.5
177
Tutorial [ugtutorial]
Figure A.6: The Answer Editor (Tutorial) [tutorial]
ALEKS avoids multiple-choice questions. Most answers are complete mathematical
expressions and constructions. After Registration, the ALEKS Tutorial will teach you
how to enter your answers in ALEKS (Fig. A.6). There is plenty of feedback to help
you complete it successfully. The Tutorial is not intended to teach mathematics. It just
trains you to use the ALEKS input tool (called the “Answer Editor”). Online help is
also available while you are using ALEKS; just click the “Help” button, which gives you
access to the sections of the Tutorial.
A.6
Assessments and Learning [ugassessmentsandlearningmode]
A.6.1
Assessments [ugassessments]
Instruction through ALEKS is guided by precise understanding of your knowledge of
the subject. This information is obtained by assessments in which ALEKS asks you to
solve a series of problems. (ALEKS’s estimate of your knowledge is also updated when
you make progress in the Learning Mode.) Your first assessment occurs immediately
after the Tutorial.
NOTE. Your instructor may require that the first assessment be taken under supervision. Don’t try to begin your Initial Assessment at home until you find out
where your instructor wants you to take it. Additional assessments may be scheduled for you by the instructor. These may or may not need to be supervised, depending
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on the instructor’s preference. ALEKS also prompts automatic re-assessments when
you have spent a certain amount of time in ALEKS or have made a certain amount of
progress.
A.6.2
Results [ugresults]
Assessment results are presented in the form of a color-coded pie chart. Slices of the pie
chart correspond to parts of the syllabus. The solidly colored part of a slice indicates
how close you are to mastering that part of the syllabus; the lighter portion represents
the material you have left to master.
A.6.3
Learning Mode [uglearning]
Figure A.7: Assessment Report [report]
Following the presentation of assessment results, ALEKS will introduce you to a pie
chart navigation tool (“MyPie”) (Fig. A.7). By placing the mouse pointer over slices of
the pie, you can see which concepts you are now most ready to learn. Not all slices will
contain concepts at any given time. They may have been mastered already, or work
may need to be done in other slices before they become available. The concept you click
on becomes your entry into the Learning Mode. ALEKS will help you to master that
concept and “add it to your pie.”
A.6.4
Progress in the Learning Mode [ugprogress]
In the Learning Mode, you are given problems based on the chosen topic. Additionally,
you have access to explanations of how to solve the particular kind of problem and to
A.6. ASSESSMENTS AND LEARNING [UGASSESSMENTSANDLEARNINGMODE]
a dictionary of concepts. Underlined terms are links to the dictionary. Click on any
term to get a complete definition. ALEKS will require a number of correct answers
before it assumes that you have mastered the concept. When the topic is mastered,
ALEKS will add the topic to your pie. At that point, a revised pie chart will be shown
reflecting your new knowledge. You will be able to choose a new concept to begin. If
you make mistakes, more correct answers may be required. If you tire of the topic and
wish to choose another, you can click on “MyPie” near the top of the window. If you
make repeated errors on a concept, the system will conclude that the concept was not
mastered, and will offer you a new choice of other concepts.
A.6.5
Additional Features [ugfeatures]
All buttons described below are available in the Learning Mode. In the Assessment
Mode, certain buttons may be temporarily inactive.
For online help with the use of the Answer Editor, click “Help.”
To print out an individualized homework sheet based on your most recent work in
ALEKS, use the “Worksheet” button.
Your instructor can send you messages via ALEKS. You see new messages when
you log on. You can also check for messages by clicking on “Inbox” (Sec. A.6.6).
ALEKS provides a way to message your instructor a specific problem you are
working on in ALEKS. Your instructor can choose to let you reply to messages as
well.
Any time you wish to look at your assessment reports, click on “Report.” Choose
any date from the drop-down menu and click “OK.”
This page gives you the options to participate in “Ask a Friend” or forward your
ALEKS messages to your email account. This page also shows the total number
of hours you have spent using ALEKS.
To access any special resources posted to your course by your instructor, click on
the “Resources” button.
To end your ALEKS session and exit, click on your name (top right), and select
“Log out” from the drop-down menu.
Clicking “MyPie” gives you a pie chart summarizing your current mastery. You
can use this pie chart to choose a new concept.
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To review past material, use the “Review” button.
To search the online dictionary, click “Dictionary.” You can also click on hyperlinked terms in the ALEKS interface to access the Dictionary.
To access the online ALEKS Calculator, use the Calculator button. This button
will be inactive for material where the use of a calculator is not appropriate. When
this button is inactive, do not use any calculator.
To see the results of assignments you have taken in ALEKS or to begin an assignment assigned to you by your instructor, use the “Assignments” button. If
assignments are currently available, you will see an orange burst on the “Assignments” button.
To access the Gradebook for your course, click on the “Gradebook” button.
To access the Calendar for your course, click on the “Calendar” button.
A.6.6
ALEKS Inbox [uginbox]
The Inbox allows you to send messages to your instructor if you need assistance with
a topic or problem in ALEKS. To compose a message, click “Compose.” There is an
option to include mathematical notation in your messages.
To include mathematical notation and illustrations:
1. Click the “math” symbol at the right end of the tool bar. This switches you to the
“Enhanced message editor,” with a robust set of math input tools.
2. Click on the “Graphs” tab for graphing tools, or on “Algebra,” “Trig,” “Matrix,”
or “Stat” for symbolism specific to these areas.
While working in the Learning Mode, you can message a specific problem type to your
instructor for assistance. This will include a link in the message, showing a screenshot
of the practice problem that you see on your screen.
To attach a specific problem, make sure the practice problem is still on the screen, then:
1. Click on the “Inbox” link. This will take you into the ALEKS Message Center.
2. Click on the “Compose” button.
3. Below the body message section, check the box next to “Attach Page.”
4. Click on the “Send” button to send the message.
A.7. GUIDELINES FOR EFFECTIVE USE [UGGUIDELINES]
You also have an option to include attachments in your messages. The attachments can
be up to 2MB in size.
A.7
Guidelines for Effective Use [ugguidelines]
Please take note of the following important suggestions for successful use of ALEKS.
Supplementary Materials
You should have pencil and paper ready for all assessments and for use in the
Learning Mode. Basic calculators should be used only when you are instructed to
do so. (A basic calculator is part of ALEKS.)
Assessments
You should not ask for any help during assessments. Even explanations or rephrasing of problems are not permitted. If you receive help, ALEKS will get a wrong
idea of what you are most ready to learn, and this will hold up your progress. If
you are sure you don’t know the answer, click “I don’t know.”
Learning Mode
You should learn to use the special features of the Learning Mode, especially the
explanations and the dictionary. A button marked “Ask a Friend” may also appear
from time to time. Clicking on this button will prompt ALEKS to suggest the name
of a classmate who has recently mastered the concept.
Review
Whenever ALEKS suggests topics for you to review, you should review them.
Spending a few minutes daily on such review will help you retain what you have
learned.
Regular Use
Nothing is more important to your progress than regular use of ALEKS. Three
hours per week is a recommended minimum.
Put ALEKS into your weekly schedule and stick to it!
A.8
Frequently Asked Questions [sfaq]
For further information on any of these questions, follow the references provided to
other sections of this Guide.
What are the rules for taking an assessment in ALEKS?
[Sec. A.7] You must have paper and pencil when taking an assessment in ALEKS.
A basic calculator should be used only when you are instructed to do so. A basic
calculator is part of ALEKS. No help whatsoever is permitted, not even rephrasing
a problem.
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APPENDIX A. ALEKS STUDENT USER’S GUIDE [USERS]
Cheating is not an issue, since each student is given different problem-types in
different sequences. Even if, by chance, two students sitting next to one another
were to get the same problem-type at the same time, the actual problems would
almost certainly have different numerical values and require different answers.
During the assessment, you will not be given feedback about your answers. The
assessment is not a test. Its main purpose is to determine what you are most
ready to learn and help you make the best progress possible toward mastery.
How do I add concepts to my pie?
[Sec. A.6.4] You fill in your pie and achieve mastery in the subject matter by
working in the Learning Mode on concepts and skills that the assessment has
determined you are most “ready to learn.” When you master a concept in the
Learning Mode by successfully solving an appropriate number of problems, you
will see that your pie chart has been changed by the addition of that concept. The
goal is to fill the pie in completely.
Why is it that I mastered all the concepts in the Learning Mode, but my
assessment still says I have concepts to learn?
In the Learning Mode, you are always working on one concept at a time, whereas
assessments are cumulative and evaluate you on everything in the given subject
matter. It may be more difficult to show mastery of concepts you have recently
worked on, when you are being quizzed on many different topics at the same time.
For this reason, your assessment results may not exactly match what you had
mastered in the Learning Mode. This is normal and simply means that you should
keep working in the system. (Sometimes the opposite also occurs, and progress in
the assessment turns out to be faster than in the Learning Mode.)
Why doesn’t my pie chart show any concepts from a slice if I haven’t filled
in that slice yet?
[Sec. A.6.3] You are completely “ready to learn” a set of concepts or skills when
you have mastered all the prerequisite concepts or skills that are required. For
example, in order to learn “addition of two-digit numbers with carry” you might
have to first learn “addition of two-digit numbers without carry” and nothing else.
Your pie chart will not offer you concepts to work on if you are not ideally ready to
begin learning them, that is, if they have prerequisites you have not yet mastered.
For this reason, your pie chart may show that you have mastered only 8 out of
10 concepts for a particular slice of the pie (a particular part of the curriculum),
but the pie chart says you have no concepts available from that slice to work on.
This means that the concepts left to master have prerequisites in other areas of
the curriculum that you must master first. Keep working in the other slices, and
eventually the concepts in that slice will “open up.”
How can I best use the Learning Mode to help me learn?
[Sec. A.6.4] In the Learning Mode, you should do your best to solve the problems
that are offered to you. You should not change topics casually or stop before the
system tells you that you are done or suggests choosing another concept.
A.8. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS [SFAQ]
The Learning Mode will always tell you if your answer is correct or not. In many
cases it will provide information on the kind of error you may have made. You
should pay attention to this feedback and be sure to understand it.
At the bottom of the Explanation page you have the “Practice” button, and sometimes other options for more detailed explanations and help. The Explanation
page may also contain a link or reference to a textbook used with the course. If
you click the “Practice” button following an explanation, you are offered a different
problem of the same type, not the one whose solution was explained. In order to
master the concept and add it to your pie, you must successfully solve a certain
number of practice problems. If you wish to choose a new concept, you can click
the “MyPie” button on the ALEKS menu bar.
You should not use your browser’s “Back” and “Forward” buttons while logged
on to ALEKS. Doing so will not help you make progress and may cause temporary
software errors.
Keep in mind that ALEKS is always giving you material that, in its estimation, you
are ideally ready to learn. It does not offer material you have already mastered,
except in the Review mode. To go back to concepts you have already worked on,
click the “Review” button on the ALEKS menu bar.
How does ALEKS create problems?
ALEKS creates problems in both Assessment and Learning Mode by means of
computer algorithms, based on the definition of a particular concept or skill to be
mastered. Thus, a particular concept or problem-type may serve as the basis for
a very large number of specific problems, each with different numerical values and
sometimes (as in application problems) differing in other ways as well.
Why is ALEKS giving me a new assessment?
[Sec. A.6.1] New assessments may be prompted automatically by ALEKS when
you have spent sufficient time in the Learning Mode or when you have made adequate progress. Your instructor may also request an assessment for you personally,
or for everyone in the course. In this case it may be stipulated that the assessment
must be taken at school. (If you attempt to work at home when an assessment has
been ordered to be done at school, ALEKS will deny access and tell you that you
need to log on from school.)
Why do I need to take the Tutorial to use ALEKS?
[Sec. A.5] The Tutorial is a brief interactive training program that teaches you
to use the ALEKS input tools, or “Answer Editor.” ALEKS requires that answers
be given in the form of numbers, mathematical expressions and geometrical and
other constructions. The Answer Editor is a flexible set of tools enabling you to
provide such answers. Although the Answer Editor is easy to use, the Tutorial
will make sure you are completely proficient with it before beginning the ALEKS
system. The Tutorial guides you through every step of learning to use the Answer
Editor.
What can I do if I make a mistake entering an answer?
183
184
APPENDIX A. ALEKS STUDENT USER’S GUIDE [USERS]
If you make an error entering an answer with the Answer Editor, you should click
on “Undo” to go back one step, or on “Clear” to start over. You can also use the
“Backspace” key on your keyboard in the usual way.
NOTE. You cannot use “Undo” or the “Back” button on your browser to go back
if you have submitted an answer by clicking on “Next.” If you realize that the
answer you submitted is incorrect, you should not be concerned; the system will
most likely recognize this as a careless error based on your other answers and make
allowances for it.
What are the icon buttons for?
They are used to enter mathematical symbols and to create forms for mathematical
expressions. In some cases the keyboard equivalents for icon buttons can be used.
How do I get help while using ALEKS?
[Sec. A.6.5] You can get help using the Answer Editor by clicking the “Help”
button on the ALEKS menu bar.
Can my instructor or friend help me (or can I use a calculator) in the
Learning Mode?
[Sec. A.7] Help and collaboration are allowed in the Learning Mode. Keep in
mind, however, that if you get too much help, the system will start giving you
problems that you are not prepared to solve.
You need paper and pencil for the Learning Mode, just as you did for the assessment. ALEKS provides a calculator when appropriate; when the Calculator
button is active, the use of the calculator is permitted.
Why are some of the words I see hyperlinked?
[Sec. A.6.5] Underlined words in the Learning Mode are links to the online Dictionary. You can click on any hyperlinked word to see its definition. You can also
access the Dictionary by clicking the “Dictionary” button on the ALEKS menu
bar. The Dictionary is not available during assessment.
Note that the Dictionary is opened in a new window. When you are finished
reading the definition, you can close or minimize the window, and you will see the
previous screen.
What is the “Ask a Friend” button for?
[Sec. A.7] The “Ask a Friend” button sometimes appears when you are having
difficulty with a particular concept. When you click on the button, the system
suggests the name of a classmate who has recently mastered the concept and may
be able to help you.
How can I change my Password?
[Sec. A.4.1] You can change your Password by clicking your name in the upper
right corner of your screen, selecting the “Account Settings” option followed by
the Edit link.
How can I review material I have already worked on?
[Sec. A.6.5] You can click on the “Review” button to work on material you have
already spent time on.
A.8. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS [SFAQ]
How can I choose a new topic to work on?
[Sec. A.6.5] To see your current pie chart and choose a new concept in the Learning Mode, click on “MyPie” (on the ALEKS menu bar), move around on the pie,
and choose a new concept in the Learning Mode.
How can I print something in ALEKS?
[Sec. A.9] To print the contents of the screen, you can click on the “Print” icon
in the upper part of the ALEKS window. This produces a new, printable window
(the ALEKS display is not normally printable). Depending on your browser, you
may also have to click the browser’s “Print” button. When you are done, you can
close the new window.
What should I do if it’s taking too long for a new page to load (or if the
program freezes)?
[Sec. A.9] It shouldn’t take more than a few seconds for ALEKS to respond when
you click on any button. If you experience delay, freezing, or crashing, you can click
your browser’s “Reload” or “Refresh” button. If this doesn’t work, you can close
your browser and restart it. In extreme cases, use Ctrl-Alt-Delete (Cmd-Opt-Esc
on Macintosh) and end the task. You will come back to the exact place you left
off when you log back on to ALEKS.
How do I exit the ALEKS program?
To leave ALEKS, you can click your name (top right) and select “Log out” or
simply close your browser. ALEKS always remembers where you left off and brings
you back to that place.
What if I have a question or problem using ALEKS?
If you have a question or problem using ALEKS that is not answered here, please
contact your instructor. Your instructor has been provided with extensive information on the operation of ALEKS and should be able to answer almost any question
you may have.
What if I forget my Login Name or Password?
If you forget your Login Name or Password, you can use the link on the ALEKS
home page marked “Forgot your login info?” If you entered an email address at
registration time and you remember your Login Name, a link to reset your password
will be sent to you by email. Otherwise, please contact your instructor.
How do I extend or renew my ALEKS account?
To extend your account, wait for it to actually expire. Your records and progress
will not be lost. Obtain the correct Course Code from your instructor. You will also
need to purchase a 20-character Student Access Code to renew your registration
(this can be done online at the time of renewal). When your account expires, you
will be unable to access your account; instead, you will get a message indicating
that the account has expired. On this page, click on the left-hand button. (Do
not use the right-hand button.) Enter the 10-character Course Code and other
information as prompted. You will now be able to continue using your ALEKS
account.
185
186
A.9
APPENDIX A. ALEKS STUDENT USER’S GUIDE [USERS]
Troubleshooting [trouble]
Difficulties in using ALEKS can often be resolved by following the suggestions given in
this section.
Login Not Successful
Be careful to type your Login Name and Password correctly, with no spaces or
punctuation. If you forget your Login Name or Password, you can use the link
on the ALEKS home page marked “Forgot your login info?” If you entered an
email address at registration time and you remember your Login Name, a link to
reset your password will be sent to you by email. Otherwise, please contact your
instructor.
Mixed Number Difficulties
Mixed numbers must be entered using the Mixed Number icon, not by entering
the whole part and then using the Fraction icon.
Freezing and Slow Response
If you are logged on to ALEKS and the program is either not responding or taking
too long to load a new page, try the following:
1. Click on your browser’s “Reload” (or “Refresh”) button;
2. Close the browser and log on again (the system will bring you back to where
you left off); if you cannot close the browser, use Ctrl-Alt-Delete (PC) or
Cmd-Opt-Esc (Macintosh) and end the task (or reboot if necessary).
Open applications, other than the web browser that you are using to access
ALEKS, are another cause of slowness. Closing these applications may correct
the problem.
If slowness persists, it is most likely due to a problem in the local network. Bring
this to the attention of your instructor.
Lengthy Assessment
It is not possible to know exactly how many questions will be asked in an assessment. The number of questions asked does not reflect your knowledge of the
subject matter.
Loss of topics from Pie Chart
You may observe a loss of concepts in your pie chart following an assessment. This
is not a malfunction in the system, but results from errors made by you on material
you had previously mastered. Don’t worry: that is the way the system works. In
particular, it is not unusual to have a “bad” assessment, one that, for external
reasons (distractions, etc.), does not reflect your actual knowledge. ALEKS will
quickly bring you back to where you belong.
Printing Problems
To print ALEKS output (for instance, the pie chart Report) you must press the
ALEKS “Print” button (on the ALEKS menu bar). This opens a new browser
A.9. TROUBLESHOOTING [TROUBLE]
window containing the contents of the previous window in the form of a “Print
Preview.” When this page has been printed, it should be closed to return to the
normal ALEKS interface.
187
188
APPENDIX A. ALEKS STUDENT USER’S GUIDE [USERS]
Appendix B
Syllabi in ALEKS [domains]
B.1
Math Prep. for Accounting [finac]
Whole Numbers
arith066 Expanded form
arith028 Numeral translation: Problem type 1
arith060 Numeral translation: Problem type 2
arith001 Addition without carry
arith050 Addition with carry
arith012 Addition of large numbers
arith011 Addition in sentence format
arith210 Word problem using addition
geom015 Perimeter of a square or a rectangle
geom009 Perimeter of a polygon
arith007 Subtraction without borrowing
arith006 Subtraction with borrowing
arith025 Subtraction in sentence format
arith021 Word problem using subtraction
arith008 One-digit multiplication
arith003 Multiplication without carry
arith004 Multiplication with carry
arith014 Multiplication of large numbers
arith211 Word problem using multiplication
geom018 Area of a square or a rectangle
geom089 Area of a piecewise rectangular figure
geom030 Volume of a cube or a rectangular prism
arith075 Simple division
arith052 Division without carry
arith005 Division with carry
arith018 Long division
arith023 Word problem using division
arith062 Quotient and remainder
arith048 Order of operations: Problem type 1
arith051 Order of operations: Problem type 2
arith078 Rounding to tens or hundreds
arith061 Rounding to thousands, ten thousands, or hundred thousands
arith077 Ordering large numbers
arith101 Estimating a sum
arith102 Estimating a difference
arith103 Average of two numbers
189
190
APPENDIX B. SYLLABI IN ALEKS [DOMAINS]
arith056
arith033
arith070
arith034
arith035
Factors
Greatest common factor
Least common multiple
Prime numbers
Prime factorization
Fractions and Mixed Numbers
arith212
arith067
arith044
arith091
arith092
arith010
arith054
arith096
arith080
arith100
arith079
arith009
arith086
arith053
arith095
arith022
arith088
arith015
arith215
arith084
arith216
arith085
arith020
arith076
arith068
Equivalent fractions
Simplifying a fraction
Ordering fractions with same denominator
Ordering fractions with same numerator
Ordering fractions
Addition of fractions with same denominator
Addition of fractions with different denominators
Subtraction of fractions with same denominator
Subtraction of fractions with different denominators
Fractional part of a circle
Product of a unit fraction and a whole number
Unit fraction multiplication
Product of a fraction and a whole number
Fraction multiplication
Word problem with fractions
Fraction division
The reciprocal of a number
Writing an improper fraction as a mixed number
Addition or subtraction of mixed numbers with same denominator
Addition of mixed numbers with same denominator and carry
Subtraction of mixed numbers with same denominator and borrowing
Addition or subtraction of mixed numbers with different denominators
Mixed number multiplication: Problem type 1
Mixed number multiplication: Problem type 2
Mixed number division
Decimals
arith220
arith221
arith087
arith222
arith089
arith223
arith013
arith057
arith041
arith027
arith082
arith017
arith055
arith046
arith045
arith224
arith083
arith081
arith019
arith227
arith064
Decimal place value
Rounding decimals
Converting a decimal to a fraction
Converting a fraction to a terminating decimal
Converting a fraction to a repeating decimal
Converting a mixed number to a decimal
Decimal addition
Signed decimal addition
Decimal subtraction
Decimal subtraction in sentence format
Multiplication of a decimal by a power of ten
Multiplication of a decimal by a whole number
Decimal multiplication: Problem type 1
Decimal multiplication: Problem type 2
Word problem with powers of ten
Word problem using decimal addition and multiplication
Division of a decimal by a power of ten
Division of a decimal by a whole number
Decimal division
Word problem using decimal subtraction and division
Simple word problem on proportions
B.1. MATH PREP. FOR ACCOUNTING [FINAC]
191
Proportions and Percents
arith226
arith002
arith090
arith030
arith074
arith031
arith225
arith069
arith073
arith063
Converting between percentages and decimals
Converting a fraction to a percentage
Converting a percentage to a fraction
Percentage of a whole number
Word problem on percentage: Problem type 1
Word problem on percentage: Problem type 2
Word problem on percentage: Problem type 3
Writing a ratio as a percentage
Word problem with inverse proportion
Word problem with clocks
Signed Numbers and Variables
arith200 Integer addition: Problem type 1
arith108 Integer addition: Problem type 2
arith107 Integer subtraction
arith201 Integer multiplication
arith202 Integer division
arith106 Signed fraction addition: Advanced
arith105 Signed fraction multiplication: Advanced
alge016 Translating sentences into equations
alge005 Evaluating a linear expression in two variables
alge009 Additive property of equality with whole numbers
alge010 Additive property of equality with integers
alge007 Additive property of equality: Problem type 3
Linear Equations
alge008
alge012
alge006
alge208
alge200
alge011
alge061
alge179
alge209
alge013
alge260
alge261
alge173
Multiplicative property of equality with whole numbers
Multiplicative property of equality with signed fractions
Solving a two-step equation with integers
Solving a two-step equation with signed fractions
Solving an equation to find the value of an expression
Solving a linear equation with several occurrences of the variable:
Solving a linear equation with several occurrences of the variable:
Solving a linear equation with several occurrences of the variable:
Solving a linear equation with several occurrences of the variable:
Solving a linear equation with several occurrences of the variable:
Simple word problem on linear equations
Word problem with percent and money: Problem type 3
Solving a word problem using a linear equation: Problem type 3
Problem
Problem
Problem
Problem
Problem
type
type
type
type
type
1
2
5
4
3
Index
(UG) = User’s Guide (Appendix A)
——————————
absolute values, entering 21
access code 8
access code (UG) 170
account, administrator 123
account home (UG) 172
account management (UG) 172
account preferences, instructor 94
actions 101
add a course 61
adding new homework 73
add instructor 126
adjust dates 80
adjusting student scores in gradebook 86
administrator account 123
administrator accounts 94
administrators, archive options for 126
admninistrator center 89
advanced instructor module 43
advanced interface, instructor module 95
advanced, options 101
ALEKS account, extending (UG) 185
ALEKS account, renewing (UG) 185
ALEKS community 40
ALEKS course syllabus 71
ALEKS educational paradigm 131
ALEKS pie 48
ALEKS training 41
ALEKS, what is 1
alternate ways to enter expressions 18
answer editor, graphing 22
answer editor, help with (UG) 179
answer editor keypad 18
answer editor, manipulators for mathematical expressions 15
answer editor, mathematical expressions in 17
answer editor, purpose of (UG) 177
answer editor, what is 14
archive classes automatically 41
archived classes, send message to 41
archived instructors, send message to 41
archive options 41
archive options for administrators 126
archiving classes 41
ask a friend button 35
assessment, cancel 112
assessment, first 9
assessment, in Knowledge Space Theory 147
assessment mode 11
assessment, objective completion 64
assessment options 107
assessment report, interpreting 23
assessment report, progress bars in 24
assessment report, viewing (UG) 179
assessment report, what is 23
assessment, request 111
assessments and grading 79
assessments and learning (UG) 177
assessments, automatic 13
assessments, automatic (UG) 177
assessments 79
assessments, comprehensive 79
assessments, course 107
assessments, goal completion 13
assessments, initial 12, 13
assessments, initial, continued 10
assessments, lengthy 186
assessments, login time 13
assessments, objective completion 13
assessments, periodic 13
assessments, progress 13, 79
192
INDEX
assessments, purpose of 11
assessments, purpose of (UG) 177
assessments, requested 13, 14
assessments, results of (UG) 178
assessments, rules for 12
assessments, rules for (UG) 181
assessments, scheduling of 12
assessments, student 111
assessments, when to order 139
assigned linked courses 121
assigning learning rates 103
assignment dates 80
assignment reports 59
assignments 72
assignments button 29
assignments, extra credit 87
assignment time limit 73
asterisk for multiplication 19
asymptotes, graphing with 22
automatic archive of classes 41
available reports 103, 45
average report (pie chart) 48
bar graphs, interpreting 47
basic editing tools 17
basic input 17
basic interface, instructor module 37
button, calculator (UG) 180
buttons, assessment Mode 14
buttons, learning mode 26
by drag and drop, move student 108
calculator button 27
calculator button (UG) 180
calculator, use of with ALEKS (UG) 181
calendar button 28
calendar, course 82
cancel assessment 112
changing your password (UG) 172
chapters, readiness/review 70
chapters, selecting 64
classes, archiving 41
class management (UG) 174
classroom integration of ALEKS 137
classroom teaching with ALEKS 132
class switching (UG) 175
193
class, unenroll from 109
cleanup tool 98
clear button, answer editor 17
code, financial aid access 90
college, edit 124
college networking 124
college, search 124
community 40
complex expressions 18
comprehensive assessments 79
computer lab, checking 7
conic sections, graphing 22
coordinates, non-integer, graphing with 22
core readiness system 70
core readiness topics 70
course access, sharing 92
course, add a 61
course assessments 107
course calendar 82
course calendar (UG) 180
course code 8
course code, how to obtain 3
course codes 93
course codes, view 127
course code (UG) 170
course creation and configuration 61
course, duplicate 101
course, edit 71
course, edit this 61
course forum 39, 90
course gradebook 103
course home 99
course home page, instructor module 44
course homework 103
course list, instructor module 38
course management (UG) 174
course options 100
course quizzes 106
course reports 102
course resources 92
course roster, view 89
courses, create linked 118
course setup, basic information 62
course setup, edit content 69
194
courses, planning and structuring 133
courses to be assigned 121
course switching (UG) 175
course test 106
course worksheets 108
create assignments in master template 117
create extension 78
create instructor 94
create linked courses 118
create master template based on existing course
119
creation and configuration, course 61
custom objectives 67
define template basics 114
delete an instructor 94
delete class 90
delete homework 78
delete master template 121
delete this course: 90
detailed progress history report 56
Dictionary button 27
Dictionary, searching (UG) 180
discussion forum 39, 40
distance learning with ALEKS 137, 139
domain, in Knowledge Space Theory 143
domain upgrade, schedule 127
downloading report data 46
drag and drop 108
draw a graph 22
duplicate course 101
duplicate homework 105
duplicate master template 120
edit college 124
edit content 69
edit course 71
editing homework 78
editing tools, basic 17
edit instructor 94
Edit Instructor 97
edit master template 120
edit subscriptions 128
edit this course 61
educational paradigm in ALEKS 131
end date for objective 65
INDEX
enrollment list 127
enroll, students 101
entering expressions from the keyboard 18
entire class, assessments for 13
eraser tool 23
existing course, create master template 119
exit 44
exit button 26
exiting ALEKS 26
explanation page in learning mode 32
exponents, entering 21
expressions, alternate ways to enter 18
expressions, complex 18
extending an ALEKS account (UG) 185
external assignments in gradebook 85
extra credit assignments 87
FAQ 157
FAQ (UG) 181
features in ALEKS (UG) 179
feedback in learning mode 33
financial aid access code 90
folder, instructor 97
forum 39, 90
fractions, entering 19
freezing, how to fix 186
frequently asked questions 157
frequently asked questions (UG) 181
full ALEKS pie view 67
full retake 75
getting started, master template 113
gradebook, adjusting student scores in 86
gradebook 83
gradebook button 28
gradebook, course 103
gradebook, external assignments in 85
gradebook interface 84
gradebook log 86
gradebook setup 87
gradebook, student 109
gradebook (UG) 180
grading, assessments and 79
grading scale for total grade 88
graphing, answer editor for 22
graphing 22
INDEX
graphing conic sections 22
graphing points with non-integer coordinates 22
graphing with asymptotes 22
graph P tool 22
graph x tool 22
graph y tool 22
groups 91
guidelines for ALEKS use (UG) 181
help button 30
help, context-sensitive 30
help, online (UG) 179
history, student 124, 46
home, course 99
home, student 108
home, student (UG) 172
homework, adding new 73
homework advanced options 77
homework basic information 73
homework content 74
homework, course 103
homework, delete 78
homework, duplicate 105
homework, editing 78
homework gradebook settings 75
homework grading scale 77
homework options 73
home work print 105
homework, quiz, and test results 60
homework, quizzes, and tests 72
homework tab 72
homework (UG) 180
inbox 39
inbox button 29
inbox (UG) 180
independent study with ALEKS 139
individual ALEKS pie report 50
individual reports 102
inner fringes, in Knowledge Space Theory 147
input, basic 17
input, selecting 17
installation of ALEKS plug-in 6
instances, in Knowledge Space Theory 143
instruction, planning and focusing 135
instructor account 38
195
instructor account preferences 94
instructor account privileges 94
instructor, add 126
instructor create 93
instructor, create 94
instructor delete 94
instructor, edit 94
instructor folder 97
instructor module, advanced 43
instructor module, advanced interface 95
instructor module, basic interface 37
instructor module 7
instructor module course home page 44
instructor module course list 38
instructor module, reports in 45
Instructor Module, suggestions for use 131
instructor resources 126, 99
integration, LMS 125
interface, gradebook 84
internet access 5
interoperability, learning tools 125
interpreting bar graphs 47
introduction 1
items, in Knowledge Space Theory 143
items in Math Prep. for Accounting 189
keyboard, entering expressions from the 18
keyboard shortcuts, answer editor 16
keypad, answer editor 18
knowledge per slice report 59
Knowledge Spaces, bibliography 148
Knowledge Spaces, history 143
knowledge spaces, in Knowledge Space Theory
145
Knowledge Spaces, Theory 143
Knowledge Spaces, what are 143
knowledge states, in Knowledge Space Theory
144
knowledge structures, in Knowledge Space Theory
145
learning management system 125
learning mode, access to (UG) 178
learning mode, beginning 10
learning mode, collaborative help in 35
learning mode, explanation page 32
196
learning mode, feedback in 33
learning mode, interface 31
learning mode, practice page 31
learning mode, progress in (UG) 178
learning mode, review in 33
learning mode, rules for (UG) 181
learning mode, what is 25
learning mode, wrong answer page 32
learning progress report 53
learning rates, assigning 103
learning rates in ALEKS 140
learning sequence log 57
learning tools interoperability 125
leave of absence (UG) 176
level 70
list, enrollment 127
lists, entering 20
LMS gradebook integration 125
LMS integration 125
log, gradebook 86
login 94
login name (UG) 171
login, unsuccessful 186
log out 26
log out (UG) 179
LTI integration 125
Macintosh requirements 5
management system, learning 125
managing an account (UG) 172
manual, structure and use of 1
master template 112
master template, create assignments in 117
master template, delete 121
master template, duplicate 120
master template, edit 120
master template getting started 113
master template reports 122
master template summary 114
materials, supplementary (UG) 181
mathematical expressions, advanced 21
mathematical expressions, answer editor for 17
mathematical expressions, types of 19
mathematical signs, in answer editor 18
math lab, in structured course 137
INDEX
math lab, supervised 137
matrices, entering 21
McGraw-Hill Campus 125
message center 39
message center (UG) 180
messages, how students receive (UG) 179
MH Campus 125
mixed numbers 19
mixed numbers, entering 20
mixed numbers, problems with 186
modules 62
monitoring class progress 138
monitoring individual progress 138
monitoring student use of ALEKS 138
move a course 94
move a student 90
move a student from this course to another 90
move student 108
move student by drag and drop 108
multiplication, asterisk for 19
my account settings 38
MyPie button 30
MyPie (UG) 179
new instructor 93
numbers, mixed 19
objective completion assessment 64, 66
objective completion 65
objective end dates 65
objective mastery levels 65
objective pie view 50, 52, 67
objectives, custom 67
objectives, selecting 64
objectives with end dates 67
objectives without end dates 65, 67
options, archive 41
options, assessment 107
options button 26
options button (UG) 179
options, course 100
orientation for students 8
outer fringes, in Knowledge Space Theory 147
overall progress report 54
parentheses, in answer editor 18
particular student, progress report for a 56
INDEX
password 94
password, changing (UG) 172
password, obtaining (UG) 171
passwords for assignments 77
PC requirements 5
pencil tool 22
percentages, entering 19
pie chart, interpretation of (UG) 178
pie chart, reduced 186
plug-in, downloading and installing 6
practice page in learning mode 31
preferences, student account 89
preparation for instructors 5
prevent automatic assessment 77
print homework 105
printing, problems 186
privileges, instructor account 94
progress assessments 79
progress report for a particular student 56
progress reports 53
quick retake 75
quick start 3
quick start instructions (UG) 168
quizzes and tests 73
quizzes, course 106
readiness/review chapters 70
ready to learn items, significance of 24
region tool 22
registration in ALEKS 8
registration in ALEKS (UG) 170
regularity of ALEKS use (UG) 181
remove a student 90
renewing an ALEKS account (UG) 185
repeating decimals, entering 20
report button 27
report data, downloading 46
report, detailed progress history 56
report for a single student 50
report, full progress 56
report, knowledge per slice 59
report, learning progress 53
reports, available 45
report, scheduled assessment 61
reports, course 102
197
reports, in instructor module 45
reports, master template 122
reports, server 128
reports, student 102
report, time and topic 57
report, total progress 54
report tutorial 9
request assessment 111
resources course 92
resources, instructor 99
resources (UG) 179
restrict assignment location 73
results, homework, quiz, and test 60
review 33
review button 28
review, extensive 33
reviewing past material (UG) 180
review modules 64
save assignment for later 73
save settings 77
scheduled assessment 80
scheduled assessment report 61
scheduled assignment 80
schedule domain upgrade 127
search college 124
section 70
section level 69
selecting chapters 64
selecting input 17
selecting objectives 64
selector 96
selector window 96
self-paced learning with ALEKS 137
send, message 99
send message student 46
send message to archived classes 41
send message to archived instructors 41
server reports 128
session control 26
set notation, entering 22
setup, gradebook 87
setup guide for instructors 5
sharing course access 92
show me what the student sees 50
198
sign out 44
single student, report for a 50
slowness, how to fix 186
small-group instruction with ALEKS 137
special keys, answer editor 16
square roots, entering 21
square roots with multiplier, entering 21
structure 140
student account home (UG) 172
student account preferences 89
student assessments 111
student gradebook 109
student groups 91
student history 124, 46, 50, 56
student home 108
student homework 109
student learning history 57
student message, send 46
student quizzes 110
student reports 102
students, how to register 4
students, preparing for ALEKS 134
student tests 111
student view 38
student worksheets 112
subscriptions, edit 128
summary, master template 114
supplementary 70
supplementary, textbook topics 69
supplementary topics, supplementary textbook
69
support and consultation 165
suspend account (UG) 175
switch course between instructors 94
syllabi in ALEKS 189
syllabus, ALEKS course 71
system requirements 5
TA accounts 94
teaching with ALEKS, suggestions for 131
technical requirements 5
technical support 165
template basics 115
template basics, define 114
template, master 112
INDEX
template part 1 115
test, course 106
textbook 70
textbook integration 62
time and topic report 57
time zone 124
total progress report 54
training 41
troubleshooting 186
tutorial, purpose of 9
tutorial, purpose of (UG) 177
undo button, answer editor 17
unenroll a student 90
unenroll a student from this course 90
unenroll from class 109
units, answers with 20
upgrade, schedule domain 127
User’s Guide (UG) 167
view course codes 127
view course roster 89
view courses 93
window, selector 96
worksheet 34
worksheet button 29
worksheets, answers to 34
worksheets 81
worksheets, course 108
worksheets, records of 34
worksheets, student 112
worksheet (UG) 179
wrong answer page in learning mode 32
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