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Sections

  • 2.2 Registering Students
  • 3.1 Instructor Preparation
  • 3.2 Technical Requirements
  • 3.3 Installation
  • 3.5 Instructor Module
  • 3.6 Lab Check
  • 3.7 Student Orientation
  • 3.8 Registration
  • 3.9 Tutorial
  • 3.10 First Assessment
  • 3.11 Report Tutorial
  • Assessment Mode
  • 4.1 Assessments in ALEKS
  • 4.2 Rules for Assessments
  • 4.3 Scheduling of Assessments
  • 4.4 Buttons
  • 4.5 Answer Editor
  • 4.5.1 Manipulators for Mathematical Expressions
  • 4.5.2 Mathematical Expressions
  • 4.5.3 Types of Mathematical Expressions
  • 4.5.4 Advanced Mathematical Expressions
  • 4.5.5 The Answer Editor for the Numberline
  • 4.5.6 The Answer Editor for Graphing
  • 4.5.7 The Answer Editor for Histograms (Statistics)
  • 4.6 Assessment Report
  • 4.6.1 Standard Report Format
  • 4.6.2 Interpreting the Piecharts
  • 4.6.3 Multiple Piecharts
  • 4.6.4 Ready to Learn
  • 4.6.5 Progress Bars
  • Learning Mode
  • 5.1 The ALEKS Learning Mode
  • 5.2 Buttons
  • 5.2.1 Exit
  • 5.2.2 Options
  • 5.2.3 Print
  • 5.2.4 Report
  • 5.2.5 Dictionary
  • 5.2.6 Calculator
  • 5.2.7 Review
  • 5.2.8 Worksheet
  • 5.2.9 Quiz
  • 5.2.10 Message
  • 5.2.11 Help
  • 5.2.12 MyPie
  • 5.3 The Learning Mode Interface
  • 5.3.1 Item Page
  • 5.3.2 Explanation Page
  • 5.3.3 Practice Page
  • 5.3.4 Wrong Answer Page
  • 5.3.5 Dictionary
  • 5.4 Feedback in Learning Mode
  • 5.5 Review
  • 5.6 Worksheet
  • 5.7 Ask a Friend
  • 5.8 Suspend Account and Leave of Absence
  • Instructor Module: Basic Interface
  • 6.1 How do I
  • 6.2 Course Admin
  • 6.3 College Admin (Administrator)
  • 6.4 Reporting
  • 6.5 Taking Actions
  • 6.6 Advanced
  • 7.1 The ALEKS Advanced Instructor Module
  • 7.2 Instructor Tutorial (Advanced Instructor Module)
  • 7.3 Access to the Advanced Instructor Module
  • 7.4 Online Help in the Advanced Instructor Module
  • 7.5 View Student Progress
  • 7.6 View Student Assessment Report
  • 7.7 View Course Progress
  • 7.8 View Course Report
  • 7.9 Schedule Student Assessment
  • 7.10 Schedule Course Assessment
  • 7.11 Create, Edit, View Quizzes
  • 7.12 Send Message
  • 7.13 Check Messages
  • 7.14 Check Server Usage
  • 7.15 Create Instructor Account
  • 7.16 Edit Instructor Account
  • 7.17 Create Course Account
  • 7.18 Edit Course Account
  • 7.19 Select Course Syllabus
  • 7.20 Enroll and Unenroll Students
  • 7.21 Edit Student Account
  • 7.22 Intermediate Objectives
  • 7.23 Content Editor
  • 7.24 Assign Learning Rates
  • 8.2 Navigation and Use
  • 8.3 Buttons
  • 8.4 Syllabus Editor
  • 8.4.1 Fields
  • 8.4.2 Buttons
  • 8.4.3 Using the Syllabus Editor
  • Teaching with ALEKS
  • 9.1 The ALEKS Educational Paradigm
  • 9.2 The Instructor and ALEKS
  • 9.3 Planning the ALEKS Course
  • 9.4 Preparing Your Students
  • 9.5 Focused Instruction with ALEKS
  • 9.6 Models of Classroom Integration
  • 9.7 Monitoring Student Use
  • 9.8 Monitoring the Progress of a Course
  • 9.9 Monitoring Individual Progress
  • 9.10 Moving a Student to a New Course
  • 9.11 Ordering Assessments
  • 9.12 Independent Study and Distance Learning
  • 9.13 The ALEKS Knowledge Structure
  • 9.14 Modification of Syllabi
  • 9.15 Learning Rates in ALEKS
  • 10.1 History
  • 10.2 Theory
  • 10.2.2 Knowledge States
  • 10.2.3 Knowledge Structures and Knowledge Spaces
  • 10.2.4 Inner and Outer Fringes of a Knowledge State
  • 10.2.5 Assessment
  • 10.3 Selected Bibliography
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • 11.1 General
  • 11.2 Technical
  • 11.3 Theory
  • 11.4 Assessments & Reports
  • 11.5 Learning Mode
  • 11.6 Educational Use
  • 12.1 Form for Reporting Problems
  • ALEKS Student User’s Guide
  • A.1 Preface
  • A.2 Technical Requirements
  • A.3 Registration & Installation
  • A.4 Tutorial
  • A.5 Assessments and Learning
  • A.5.1 Assessments
  • A.5.2 Results
  • A.5.3 Learning Mode
  • A.5.4 Progress in the Learning Mode
  • A.5.5 Additional Features
  • A.6 Logging on to Your Account
  • A.7 Installation on Additional Machines
  • A.8 Guidelines for Effective Use
  • A.9 Frequently Asked Questions
  • A.10 Troubleshooting
  • B.1 Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences

Instructor’s Manual

for Behavioral Science Statistics

Harold D. Baker, Ph.D. ALEKS Corporation

ii

ALEKS Instructor’s Manual for Behavioral Science Statistics, Version 3.3.6. Copyright 2004 ALEKS Corporation. Prepared by Harold D. Baker, Ph.D. ALEKS
  ¡

is a registered trademark of ALEKS Corporation.

Contents
Preface 1 Introduction 1.1 1.2 What is ALEKS? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The ALEKS Instructor’s Manual . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xiii 1 1 1 5 5 6 9 9 9

2 Quick Start 2.1 2.2 Obtaining a Course Code . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Registering Students . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

3 Setup Guide for Instructors 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9 Instructor Preparation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Technical Requirements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Installation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Registering as an Instructor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Instructor Module . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Lab Check . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Student Orientation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Registration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Tutorial . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

3.10 First Assessment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 3.11 Report Tutorial . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 3.12 Beginning the Learning Mode . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 iii

. .4 4. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 5. .2. . . . . . . . . . .7 5.4 5. . . . . . . .2 4. . . . . . . . 36 5. . .2. . .1 4. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6. . . . . . . . . . . 37 Review . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5. . . . . . . . . .2 4. . . .5. .2. 37 Calculator . . . . .6. . . .6. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 5. . . . . . . . . .2. . . . . .5 CONTENTS 17 Assessments in ALEKS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5. . . . . . . . . . .1 5. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 4. . . . . . . . .2. . . . . . . . . . .7 Manipulators for Mathematical Expressions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Rules for Assessments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Interpreting the Piecharts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 The Answer Editor for the Numberline . . . . 33 35 5 Learning Mode 5. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 Report . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 5. . 36 Options . . . . .4 4. . . . . . . . .1 5.5. . . . . . . . . . 23 Advanced Mathematical Expressions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Progress Bars . . . .3 4. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 4. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 Assessment Report . . . .6. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .iv 4 Assessment Mode 4. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5. . . . . . . . . . . . 27 The Answer Editor for Graphing . . .4 4. . . 20 Mathematical Expressions . . . .5. 35 Buttons . . . . . . . . . . 36 Print . . .6 4. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Buttons . . . . . . .8 Exit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 4. . . . . . . . . 38 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 4. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Types of Mathematical Expressions . . . . . . . .2. . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 4. . . .5 Standard Report Format . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Answer Editor . 32 Ready to Learn . . 18 Scheduling of Assessments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 Dictionary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 5. . . .2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 4. . . . 28 The Answer Editor for Histograms (Statistics) . . . . . .2 The ALEKS Learning Mode . . . . . . . .1 4. . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Multiple Piecharts . . 38 Worksheet . . . . . .5 4. . . . . . . . . . . . .3 4. . . .2. .

. .5 5. . .9 v Quiz . . . . 70 73 7 Advanced Instructor Module: Results & Progress 7. . . . . . . . . . .6 The ALEKS Advanced Instructor Module . . . . . . . . 47 Suspend Account and Leave of Absence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 5. . . . 73 Instructor Tutorial (Advanced Instructor Module) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3. . .7 5. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Review . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 Reporting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 5. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 5. . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Worksheet . . . . . . . . 42 Wrong Answer Page . . . . . . . . 66 Advanced . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77 View Student Assessment Report . . . . 39 5. . . . .5 7. . . . . . . 38 5. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 6. . . . . . . . . . 73 Access to the Advanced Instructor Module . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 Taking Actions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 6. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Item Page .2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 5. . . . .6 How do I . . . . .12 MyPie . . . . . . .2 6. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .CONTENTS 5. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2. . . . . . . . . . . . .4 7. . . . . . . .2.3. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 5. . . . . . . . . . . . . .11 Help . . . . . . . . .5 5.2 7. . . . . . . . . . . . 43 Dictionary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 5. .3. 51 Course Admin . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79 . . . . . . . . . 47 49 6 Instructor Module: Basic Interface 6. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Explanation Page . . . .3. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 5. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 5. . . . . . . . . . . 46 Ask a Friend . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 Practice Page . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 College Admin (Administrator) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Feedback in Learning Mode . . . . . . . . . . .3 6. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 5.1 7. . . . . 76 View Student Progress . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 The Learning Mode Interface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3. . . . . . . . . . .10 Message . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 6. 75 Online Help in the Advanced Instructor Module .2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 7. . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93 7. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93 7. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104 7. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24 Assign Learning Rates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13 Check Messages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19 Select Course Syllabus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 116 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 The ALEKS Educational Paradigm . . . . . . . . 86 7. . . . . . . . . . . .23 Content Editor . .2 8. . . . 112 Using the Syllabus Editor . . . . . . . . 89 7. .4 107 Items. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95 7. . . . . . . . . . . . and Standards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98 7. . . 92 7. . . . . . . . . . .4. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Schedule Course Assessment . . . . . . . . .1 8. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100 7. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99 7. . . . . . . .9 CONTENTS View Course Progress . . . . . .4. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108 Navigation and Use . 112 115 9 Teaching with ALEKS 9. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 Edit Instructor Account . . . . . . 94 7. . . . .1 9. . . . . . . .18 Edit Course Account . . . . .1 8. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Fields . . . . . . . . . .22 Intermediate Objectives . . . . . . . . . . . Syllabi. . . . . . .vi 7. . . . . . . . 98 7. . . 112 Buttons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 Send Message . . . . . . . . . . . .11 Create. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84 Schedule Student Assessment . . . . . . . . . . . .15 Create Instructor Account . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110 8. . . . . . . . View Quizzes . . . . . . . . . . 115 The Instructor and ALEKS . . . .2 8. . . . 96 7. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21 Edit Student Account . . . . . . . . . . 86 7. . . . . . . . . . .7 7. . . . . . . . . . . 80 View Course Report . . . . . . .8 7. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101 7. . .4. . 109 Buttons . 104 8 Advanced Instructor Module: Standards & Syllabi 8. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 Enroll and Unenroll Students . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110 Syllabus Editor . . . . . . . . . . .14 Check Server Usage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17 Create Course Account . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Edit. . . . . . . . .3 8. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Theory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 9. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Learning Mode . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117 Preparing Your Students . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125 9. .4 Inner and Outer Fringes of a Knowledge State . .13 The ALEKS Knowledge Structure . . .CONTENTS 9. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 135 11 Frequently Asked Questions 141 11. . . . . . . . . . Items. . . . . . . . . . . . . 123 Monitoring the Progress of a Course . . . . . 122 Monitoring Student Use . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Domain. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 131 10. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2. . . 123 Monitoring Individual Progress . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 General . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Assessment . . . 147 . . . . . .14 Modification of Syllabi . . . .11 Ordering Assessments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 9. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 133 10. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15 Learning Rates in ALEKS . . . 143 11. . . . . . . . . . 129 10. . 129 10. . . .3 Selected Bibliography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 Independent Study and Distance Learning . . . . . . . . . . . .2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 9. . . . . . . . . . . . and Instances . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 124 9. . . . . . . . . . .3 Knowledge Structures and Knowledge Spaces . . . . . . 146 11. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 145 11. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 9. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 History .4 Assessments & Reports . . . . .6 Educational Use . . 142 11. . . .4 9. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2. . . . . . . . 134 10. . . . . . . . . .2. . . . . . . . . .10 Moving a Student to a New Course . . 141 11.2 Knowledge States . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119 Models of Classroom Integration . . . . . . . . . . .6 9. . .9 vii Planning the ALEKS Course . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119 Focused Instruction with ALEKS . . . . . 125 9. . . . .2 Theory . . . . . . . . . . . 127 10 Knowledge Spaces and the Theory Behind ALEKS 129 10. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 126 9. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 131 10. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 129 10. . . 127 9. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Technical . . . . 124 9. . . . . . . . . . . . .

. 158 A. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 154 A. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 157 A. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5. . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Tutorial . . . . . . . . . . .4 Progress in the Learning Mode . . 157 A. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Technical Requirements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 157 A. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 Installation on Additional Machines . . 151 A ALEKS Student User’s Guide A. . . . . . . . . . . . 159 A. . 161 A.1 Assessments . .viii 12 Support CONTENTS 149 12. . . . . . . . . . . 162 A. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Preface 153 . . . . . 159 A. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Additional Features . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Assessments and Learning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Learning Mode . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 Frequently Asked Questions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Guidelines for Effective Use . . . . . . . . .5. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 161 A. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 Logging on to Your Account . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 154 A. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 162 A. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 153 A. . . . . . . . . 160 A. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 167 B Syllabi 171 B. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Troubleshooting . . . . . .1 Form for Reporting Problems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Results . . . .5. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Registration & Installation . . . . . . .5. 171 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

List of Figures
3.1 3.2 3.3 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 5.9 6.1 6.2 6.3 Technical Requirements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

The ALEKS Website for Behavioral Science Statistics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Instructor Access Code . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 The Answer Editor for Mathematical Expressions (Assessment) . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Mathematical Expressions Produced by the Answer Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

Using Special Keys in the Answer Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 The Answer Editor for the Numberline (Assessment) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 The Answer Editor for Graphing (Learning Mode) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 The Answer Editor for Histograms (Learning Mode) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Assessment Report . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 The Options Page (Learning Mode) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 The Help Menu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 Item Page . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Explanation Page . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 Practice Page . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Wrong Answer Page . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 Dictionary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Review . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Worksheet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 Instructor Module . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 How do I Questions Course Admin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 ix

x 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 6.8 6.9

LIST OF FIGURES College Admin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 Reporting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 Individual learning progress since latest assessment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 Individual detailed progress history . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59 Individual overall progress in assessment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 Scheduled Assessment Report . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61

6.10 Average report (piechart) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 6.11 Course Quiz Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 6.12 Progress report for a single student in this course . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 6.13 Report for a single student in this course . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65 6.14 Taking Actions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66 6.15 Schedule a new assessment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67 6.16 Grading with Scheduled Assessment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68 6.17 Advanced . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 7.8 7.9 Tutorial for the Advanced Instructor Module . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74 The Results & Progress Directory (Advanced Instructor Module) . . . . . . . . . . . 75 Student Progress (Advanced Instructor Module) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77 Student Report (Advanced Instructor Module) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79 Course Progress (Advanced Instructor Module) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80 Course Report (Advanced Instructor Module) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84 Student Assessment (Advanced Instructor Module) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86 Course Assessment (Advanced Instructor Module) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87 Grading with Scheduled Assessment (Instructor Module) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88

7.10 Creating a Quiz (Advanced Instructor Module) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90 7.11 Send Message (Instructor Module) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92 7.12 Server Statistics (Instructor Module) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93 7.13 Instructor Account (Advanced Instructor Module) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94 7.14 Course Account (Advanced Instructor Module) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96 7.15 Course Syllabus (Advanced Instructor Module) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98 7.16 Student Account (Advanced Instructor Module) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100

LIST OF FIGURES

xi

7.17 Intermediate Objectives (Advanced Instructor Module) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101 7.18 Content Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104 7.19 Assign Learning Rates (Advanced Instructor Module) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105 8.1 8.2 The Standards & Syllabi Directory (Advanced Instructor Module) . . . . . . . . . . 108 The Syllabus Editor (Advanced Instructor Module) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111

10.1 Domain of Behavioral Science Statistics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 130 10.2 Knowledge State . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 131 10.3 Learning Path . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 132 10.4 Outer Fringe of a Knowledge State . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 133 10.5 Inner Fringe of a Knowledge State . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 134 A.1 The ALEKS Website for Behavioral Science Statistics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 155 A.2 Course Code . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 156 A.3 Access Code . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 157 A.4 The Answer Editor (Tutorial) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 158 A.5 Assessment Report . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 159

xii LIST OF FIGURES .

ALEKS may be used in a variety of developmental statistics courses—whether in a traditional classroom. Assessment and practice problems are algorithmically generated. By its unprecedented use of Artificial Intelligence. letting you add or subtract topics from your course with a click of the mouse. The features of ALEKS make it a self-contained tool. interactive learning environment on precisely those materials that they are individually ready to learn.Preface Congratulations on your interest in ALEKS! This is an online educational system like none you have encountered before. When   xiii . The ALEKS Course Management System enables instructors to oversee and monitor their students’ progress. and focus instruction. building momentum toward mastery. communicate with them. working on their own schedule on what they need to learn right now. The benefits of using ALEKS are striking. or from the classroom! ALEKS is integrated with McGraw-Hill/HSSL textbooks and a variety of other online learning resources. ALEKS determines quickly and precisely what your students know and what they need to learn. Students love ALEKS because they call the shots. ALEKS is sold to the student as a subscription. The student purchases a User’s Guide with Access Code. the student registers in the ALEKS system at the ALEKS Behavioral Science Statistics website. opening new horizons for educators and learners alike in any educational context. track usage levels. usually through the bookstore. whose use of computer technology to promote learning is pedagogically sound and cutting-edge. Students work in a dynamic. or in a self-directed or distance-learning environment. Using this Access Code along with the Course Code provided by the instructor. ALEKS can be adopted in one of three ways: ALEKS may be adopted as a supplement to a McGraw-Hill textbook. guiding them down individualized learning paths to mastery. The syllabi used in ALEKS are customizable. no complicated technical preparation is needed—and your students can work at any time. Since it is accessed over the World Wide Web using standard browsers. It is the personalized. from work. so the students cannot predict them. from home. “just-in-time” learning system.

  This Instructor’s Manual is intended to provide complete information on the functioning of ALEKS. the student subscription cost is similar to the cost of a traditional print supplement.xiv PREFACE you adopt ALEKS as a supplement. students will need to purchase a McGraw-Hill textbook bundled with the User’s Guide with Access Code. ALEKS may be adopted as a stand-alone item. For McGraw-Hill texbooks. such as a study guide or student solutions manual. A description of its contents can be found in the Introduction in Chapter 1. If you adopt ALEKS as a supplement. These websites include additional tutorial material and interactive applications. In this case. ALEKS allows the student to see references within ALEKS to the textbooks and provides links to the McGraw-Hill book-specific websites. . the instructor adopts ALEKS alone and the students purchase the User’s Guide with Access Code for about the cost of a traditional textbook.

The 1 . The ALEKS system is the product of years of cutting-edge research into the mathematical modeling of human knowledge (See Chapter 10). ongoing assessment of student knowledge. an online dictionary.Chapter 1 Introduction 1. the system is able to offer material that the student is best able to learn at a given time. In designing ALEKS. It can be used on an independent basis or as a supplement to classroom instruction. rigor. It is accessed over the World Wide Web on any suitable computer and is designed to allow the monitoring and management of entire courses and institutions. and it breaks down barriers to success by recognizing the vast diversity of paths that lead to mastery. or richness of instruction at its inspirational best.2 The ALEKS Instructor’s Manual The purpose of the ALEKS Instructor’s Manual is to give instructors using ALEKS information on the operation of the system that is as complete as possible. Based on that assessment data. 1. and university professors in the mathematical disciplines.1 What is ALEKS? ALEKS is an online system for the assessment and individualized teaching of a variety of subjects. ALEKS is a tool to empower both instructors and learners: it opens doors and windows into the assessment and representation of knowledge. The ALEKS system can make a radical difference in how learning is experienced. and facilities for review and collaborative help. The creators of ALEKS are cognitive scientists. The core of the system is an efficient. software engineers. adaptive assessment engine which determines quickly and precisely what an individual student knows. The ALEKS Learning Mode includes explanations and algorithmically generated practice problems. their goals were to achieve the utmost simplicity of use without compromising the depth.

the facility for monitoring student use of ALEKS and managing accounts. If questions arise. and is followed by treatments of the more specialized capacities of the Advanced Instructor Module. tutorial. “Quick Start. Chapter 10. For a brief. NOTE. “Knowledge Spaces and the Theory Behind ALEKS. Feel free to use the system now. and Instructor Module. initial assessment. NOTE. The User’s Guide is reproduced here in Appendix A. Chapter 3.1). how it works. The first chapters are those most likely to be turned to by instructors using ALEKS for the first time. please turn directly to the Frequently Asked Questions in Chapter 11. Chapter 8 covers Standards & Course Syllabus. along with the evolution of ALEKS itself. comprehensive overview of ALEKS. This ranges from technical requirements and installation through the students’ first ALEKS session (which typically involves registration. “Setup Guide for Instructors. Chapter 11 provides answers to frequently asked questions about ALEKS. and where to find answers to questions.2 CHAPTER 1. Chapters 10 through 12 provide additional information that may be necessary or of interest to instructors using ALEKS.)         Chapters 4 through 8 contain descriptions of the principal parts of the ALEKS system: Assessment Mode. ALEKS is designed to be used without help from the Instructor’s Manual. Appendix A is addressed to student users . The ALEKS User’s Guide is distributed to all students using ALEKS. or if you want to learn more about ALEKS.” explains the history of Knowledge Space theory and its fundamental concepts. Instructors who need technical or other support in the use of ALEKS should turn to the form at the end of Chapter 12 (See Sec. Also included is a Bibliography for those seeking to understand the theory behind ALEKS in greater depth. The Instructor Module is discussed in three chapters. and entry into the Learning Mode). we wish to offer instructors a clear idea of everything ALEKS does. this Instructor’s Manual is intended as a convenient and comprehensive reference. INTRODUCTION system is not complex. (Much of the information is the same as that in Appendix A.” provides all of the information necessary for preparing to use ALEKS with one or more courses. the facility for reviewing and modifying the curricular information used by ALEKS for a particular college or course. Unlike the other chapters of the ALEKS Instructor’s Manual. Chapter 2. Chapter 6 presents the Instructor Module generally.” contains a concise checklist for beginning to use ALEKS. Chapter 9 is a brief guide to teaching with ALEKS. Chapter 12 gives the information necessary for obtaining technical and other support. 12. ALEKS can be and often is used with no documentation whatsoever. Learning Mode. Chapter 7 covers Results & Progress. At the same time.

and ordinary use of the system. THE ALEKS INSTRUCTOR’S MANUAL of the system. as well as guidelines for effective use and troubleshooting tips. 3 . Appendix A can be used by instructors to obtain a brief but complete picture of how the system is used.1. It covers technical requirements. registration. the Tutorial. installation.2.

4 CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION .

together with their Student Access Code. click on “Course Admin.” The Code will appear in the upper right-hand part of the screen (See Sec. Students should not use the Student Access Code and Course Code to register a second time. If you are creating a new college or district account in ALEKS. 2. together with the Course Code. Students who accidentally enroll in the wrong course can easily be moved to the right one at any time. If no one has done this for 5 . you must first obtain an Instructor Access Code. To obtain the Course Code for any course.2). log on to your instructor account. If someone else has registered you as an instructor with ALEKS.1 Obtaining a Course Code In order to use ALEKS with your course. is all your students need to register with ALEKS. as they will not be able to create a new account this way. there is one unique Course Code. without any unwanted effect on their work or records (moving a student to a course using a new domain in ALEKS will trigger a new assessment). Or.18). You can have as many courses and sections as you need or want in ALEKS.Chapter 2 Quick Start The purpose of this chapter is to provide a summary of the steps involved in starting a course with ALEKS. in the Advanced Instructor Module. after this they will no longer need the Access Code or Course Code. For each course or section. to register. they will use this Course Code.” and then on “View all your courses and course codes” (See Sec. The Student Access Code. simply select the name of the course and click “Edit. 6. When they register they will receive a Login Name and Password. you do not need an Instructor Access Code. You give this code to the students in your course. 7. Students who register using this code will be enrolled in the corresponding course. you will need to have at least one Course Code.

Take the Instructor Tutorial to familiarize yourself with the features of the Instructor Module. you will already have an instructor Login Name and Password.aleks. CHAPTER 2. Click on the button for “Register with ALEKS. provided by the system. 4. Click on the button “New Course. 1. http://www. Enter your Instructor Access Code when prompted. 6.2 Registering Students Students should use the following steps to register. Enter the Course Code and. “Register with ALEKS.behsci. Student Access Code when prompted. Click on the yellow button. 5. QUICK START 1. Enter all necessary information about your new course in the spaces provided.com 2. In this case also.” 2. Record your Login Name and Password.” 2. 4. You can see this code again at any time by selecting the name of the course and clicking “Edit. (Students can change their Password now or later if they wish.” 3.aleks.behsci. 1. possibly. 3. Once you are logged on to ALEKS as an instructor. You may change your Password if you wish.) . If someone else has registered you with ALEKS. 5. you can create one or more courses as follows.” (This is the only time they will click on that button. Record their Login Name and Password. Go to the ALEKS website for Behavioral Science Statistics. Enter other information as requested. here is how you register as an instructor. we strongly advise that you take the Instructor Tutorial to familiarize yourself with the features of the Instructor Module. Enter other information requested. Go to the ALEKS website for Behavioral Science Statistics. Click “Save.6 you.) 3. http://www.” The Course Code for your course will be visible when you create the course.com 2.

REGISTERING STUDENTS 6.2. Begin using ALEKS by taking the Student Tutorial and an initial Assessment. 7 .2. Students will subsequently use their Login Name and Password to enter their accounts.

QUICK START .8 CHAPTER 2.

which can be obtained from Sun.6. including this Instructor’s Manual. You can also install Sun Microsystems’ Java VM.0+.0+. Explorer 5. Time should be taken to study all materials provided. Pentium II+ 32+ MB Netscape 4.0+ Macintosh MacOS 7.8.1+.0+ Pentium 133+ MHz (166+ preferred).2+ OS X only) 28+ kbps Modem Speed 28+ kbps Figure 3.).5-4.1: Technical Requirements Your browser should be configured with Java enabled.5-4. 6. 9 ¡ . The supervisor for ALEKS can contact ALEKS Corporation for consultation at any time.1 Instructor Preparation It is important that instructors using ALEKS with their courses clearly understand the system’s functioning and the ideas that underlie it. and to try out the system thoroughly.2 Technical Requirements The following table presents the technical requirements for ALEKS in summary form. Explorer 4. Both Netscape and Internet Explorer usually ship with Java. 12.8 (6. 3. Operating System Processor RAM Memory Browser PC Windows 95/98/2000/ME/XP/NT4. and preferably well in advance of the first session (See Sec.Chapter 3 Setup Guide for Instructors 3. version 1.4.1+ 32+ MB Netscape 4.

SETUP GUIDE FOR INSTRUCTORS Figure 3. This can be done from AOL. system administrator.2): http://www.0 or higher to use ALEKS. DSL) that are typical in computer labs are adequate for use with ALEKS.0 will need to upgrade to America Online 5. 3. ISDN.2: The ALEKS Website for Behavioral Science Statistics Note that any of the kinds of direct connection (cable. It is advisable to .com NOTE. A student using America Online 4. you will need the cooperation of your LAN administrator. You must use this URL to access ALEKS.3 Installation Installation of the ALEKS plugin takes place from the ALEKS website for Behavioral Science Statistics (Fig. 3. If your computer lab has security safeguards in place. or lab technician to install the ALEKS plugin. Although there are other ALEKS websites you may find using an Internet search engine.behsci.10 CHAPTER 3. only this one contains your registration data as a licensed ALEKS instructor.aleks.

it will download the plugin and ask for your permission to install.3. When you register with the ALEKS system your name is put into the database as an instructor and you are able to access the Instructor Module (See Chapters 7–8. (This is not a high-risk operation for your computer. They can easily be removed from the computer with no other effect except that ALEKS ceases to be available on that computer. please skip this section. it will install. REGISTERING AS AN INSTRUCTOR mark this website in your browser with a “Bookmark” or “Favorite” or by creating a shortcut of some kind.” 11 3.3): http://www. They are inactive at other times. Following installation you must close and reopen your browser application. If it does not. The ALEKS plugin is a small library of Java classes which are used by your browser when you are logged on to ALEKS. see Sec. In order to register as an ALEKS instructor you need your Instructor Access Code. If you attempt to use the system directly by clicking on “Be our Guest” or on “Register with ALEKS” it will automatically check to see whether your computer has the most recent plugin currently installed.). Click on “Register. 3. as is usual for instructors using ALEKS with their classes. Before You Begin.4 Registering as an Instructor If you have been provided with your account information by ALEKS Corporation. You will see instructions for instructors registering with ALEKS. Click on “Register with ALEKS” (Fig. Step 1.2). Close all applications other than your web browser before beginning installation.) When you grant permission. and do not do anything except provide functionality for ALEKS. You are already registered and should not do so again. click on “Download the ALEKS plugin. If you need to download and install the plugin when this does not occur automatically. Installation is automatic for registered users as well. 3. ALEKS Corporation Customer Support will be happy to answer any questions about the plugin.” . if you made one.aleks. Go to the ALEKS website for Behavioral Science Statistics (use your Bookmark/Favorite. Step 3. Installation of the ALEKS plugin is automatic.4.behsci.com Step 2.

3. Answer the questions to complete your registration. Record and file this information carefully. SETUP GUIDE FOR INSTRUCTORS Figure 3. 3.3).” or “Quit” under the “File” menu).” a numeral will be appended.” “Close. Login Name and Password can be typed with upper. 7.or lower-case letters. above. if there is more than one “Smith” in the database whose first name begins with “J. but usually consists of the first letter of your first name plus your last name in its entirety. Step 5. Enter this in the spaces provided and click on “Next” (Fig. you will be asked for your Instructor Access Code. you will be asked to provide complete information on the course you are teaching with ALEKS. NOTE. Thus “Jane Smith” may have the Login Name “jsmith”. Step 4.3). to begin registration. Step 6. This code must be . Write these down and keep them in a safe place. If you do not have a current plugin the download and installation process will begin here (See Sec. and go back to the ALEKS website for Behavioral Science Statistics (use your Bookmark/Favorite for the ALEKS website). At the beginning of registration. Your Login Name is not the same as your name. Following Registration you are also given the Course Code for the course you are teaching. In the course of registration. Among other questions.3: Instructor Access Code NOTE. Return to Step 1. Following your registration as an instructor you will be able to use the Instructor Module to create additional courses if needed (See Sec.” You can change your Password at any time. Neither may contain spaces or punctuation. as “jsmith2. with no spaces or punctuation. open your Web browser again. since you will need them to return to the system. When it is finished.12 CHAPTER 3. you will need to quit your Web browser (“Exit.17). you will be given a Login Name and Password.

3. it is far better to catch and resolve it before the students arrive. This time you should access ALEKS. 3.5. If security measures are in effect. After the instructor is familiar with the features of the Instructor Module. . This will take away a certain amount of time from their use of the system. which is somewhat more complex than the standard interface but offers greater efficiency in some operations. simply log on to ALEKS through ”Be Our Guest” on each computer or use your instructor login to enter your account. See Chapter 6 for a complete description of the Instructor Module. if there is some problem in the lab that makes installation difficult. you will need the cooperation of the lab administrator to install the plugin. restart the browsers and attempt login again. she or he can return to the Instructor Module by logging on to ALEKS with the Instructor Login Name and Password provided (See above).6 Lab Check To ensure the best possible experience of ALEKS for your students. There is a Tutorial in ALEKS explaining the use and features of the Advanced Instructor Module (See below). The Instructor Module is an extremely important component of the ALEKS system permitting instructors to monitor and manage their ALEKS courses. To install and test. it will be installed when your students first access the system. Following installation. If the ALEKS plugin is not preinstalled and tested in this way. Also.3. the instructor enters the ALEKS Instructor Module. we recommend that instructors check the computer lab in which ALEKS will be used in advance of the first session. he or she may wish to try the Advanced Instructor Module. it guides users through the steps needed to accomplish tasks in such a way that no separate training is needed. The Instructor Module is designed for the utmost ease of use.5 Instructor Module When Registration is complete. This means installing and testing the plugin on some or (preferably) all of the computers in the lab. Installation will occur automatically.8). 13 3. INSTRUCTOR MODULE supplied to your students when they first log on and register with ALEKS (See Sec. and mistakes or confusion are unlikely.

4). ALEKS will automatically keep their place. Remind them that help is not allowed during the assessment because if the student being assessed does not do their own work. log on to your instructor account. 7.” and then on “View all your courses and course codes” (See Sec. A basic calculator is part of ALEKS. and this will hinder that student’s progress in the Learning Mode. the students’ first session with ALEKS should be long enough for them to complete their assessments and begin work in the Learning Mode. If the students cannot finish their assessments during this time. To obtain the Course Code for any course. 3.7 Student Orientation It is strongly recommended that the first ALEKS session be conducted under supervision. It is also advisable to emphasize the few requirements for assessments in ALEKS: paper and pencil are needed.18). Or. You may wish to remind them to bring it along to the first session as it contains their Access Code. the assessment results may not be accurate.2). No work will be lost. simple calculators. and they will resume next time where they had left off. It is not generally necessary to schedule a separate orientation meeting before the students actually begin using the system. 3. in the Advanced Instructor Module. 6. click on “Course Admin. Presumably. The students find the Access Code in their copy of the ALEKS User’s Guide.8 Registration Students register with ALEKS by going to the ALEKS website for Behavioral Science Statistics and clicking on “Register with ALEKS. Instructors may also choose to schedule supervised assessments at midterm and at the end of the course. which is required for registration. The instructor should encourage students to familiarize themselves with this brief guide. with one or more instructors on hand to help the students get started.” The Code will appear in the upper right-hand part of the screen (See Sec. all students must have both their Access Code and the Course Code for the course that you are teaching. . One hour may be considered a reasonable period of time. the students will all have copies of the ALEKS User’s Guide. NOTE. simply select the name of the course and click “Edit. If at all possible. although in some cases there may be reasons for doing so. inside the back cover. SETUP GUIDE FOR INSTRUCTORS 3. and no help whatsoever can be received by students being assessed. 3.” This will be expedited if the browsers used by the students have Bookmarks or Favorites pointing to the website (See Sec. In order to register. The Course Code is sent to the instructor by ALEKS Corporation or obtained by the instructor at the time of registration (See Sec.3). You are responsible for giving this code to the students at the time of the first session.14 CHAPTER 3.

5. it is always possible to click on the “Help” button. These should be noted carefully. the students enter a brief tutorial on the use of ALEKS input tools.9. There are complete online instructions for every step of this simple procedure. not even rephrasing a problem. as the system cannot detect mistyping.2. TUTORIAL The student registration process is described in detail in the User’s Guide (See Appendix A). 4. and students simply enter what they see. 15 3. The ALEKS assessment is adaptive and variable in length. all necessary Tutorials will be taken.9 Tutorial Following Registration. NOTE. but rather to train students in using the system tools. NOTE. . Some students will have very short assessments. also called the Answer Editor Tutorial (See Sec. Login Name and Password can be typed with upper. 3. The correct input is always shown. students are asked to supply their email address (so they can be helped more promptly in case of difficulties) and their Student ID number (if the instructor wishes to have this in the system). as they will be essential for all further work with ALEKS. There are separate Tutorials for different subjects since the specific tools for them differ somewhat. Among other information. To reiterate.3. This will provide you with a baseline picture of your class and of each individual student. They should use a Password they will remember easily. If students need a “refresher” on use of the system tools.11). Special care should be taken in entering the latter.10 First Assessment Students proceed directly from the Tutorial to their first assessment (See Chapter 4). You may wish to advise the students to change their Passwords at the earliest opportunity. Near the conclusion of Registration students receive a Login Name and Password. Both email and Student ID are optional information. The ALEKS Tutorial provides ample feedback to ensure that students complete it successfully. which gives access to the sections of the Tutorial (See Sec. The Tutorial is not intended to teach mathematical or statistical knowledge. no help of any kind should be given to students being assessed. whereas others will have assessments that are considerably longer. but which will be hard for others to guess.5). All students will be assessed upon their first use of the system. Neither may contain spaces or punctuation.or lower-case letters. If the course covers more than one subject. Consistency of effort and concentration is the factor most likely to influence the length of an assessment.

The piecharts also appear in the Learning Mode each time a new concept is mastered and “added to the pie. Explain to students that subsequent assessments will produce only the piecharts. . This will be in the form of one or more color-coded piecharts. This is particularly important in cases where their subsequent use of ALEKS will be unsupervised. 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. their interest in using ALEKS is likely to be more favorable. Some instructors have found it worth the effort to sit with each student individually as they conclude their assessments. with accompanying textual information (See Sec.11 Report Tutorial At the conclusion of each assessment. ideally. 3.” If the student wishes to choose a new topic. the pie can also be accessed by means of the “MyPie” button. SETUP GUIDE FOR INSTRUCTORS 3.12 Beginning the Learning Mode Students enter the Learning Mode by clicking on one of the topics contained in their piechart (topics they are completely “ready to learn”). The instructor should also be present to answer questions regarding the Learning Mode and to assist the students in familiarizing themselves with its varied features. They can then make sure the students understand the parts of the report and help them choose topics for entry into the Learning Mode. the student is given a brief Tutorial on how to interpret the Assessment Report.6). If at all possible. 4. It is extremely important that the students know how to interpret these piecharts correctly.16 CHAPTER 3.” If they have this experience.

one cannot “learn the assessment” or “teach to the assessment.) As noted. students could use a textbook. and so would the correct answer. It is an adaptive assessment. Despite this. 4. the student takes an initial assessment immediately following completion of the Tutorial (See Sec. the student is clearly 17 . learning is powered and optimized by assessment. or in what order. Its ability to quickly and accurately determine a student’s knowledge enables ALEKS to continuously make available the material the student can most readily employ. such as the initial. Moreover. as this will simply cause the system to suggest problems that are too difficult. the problems themselves are generated algorithmically. and thus efficiently guide individual learning paths. It is impossible to predict which types of problems will appear. Without supervision. or have someone else take the assessment in their place. that is.1 Assessments in ALEKS The ALEKS assessment uses open-ended problems (no multiple-choice questions). midterm. 3. In ALEKS. and thus hinder the student’s own work. receive systematic help. problem types are selected based on all the previous answers the student has given.” 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.10). The Assessment and Learning Modes work together closely.Chapter 4 Assessment Mode The Assessment Mode is the heart of the ALEKS system. This point is critical where assessment results are used for purposes other than those internal to the system. and final assessments in a course. certain assessments must be supervised. Thus. the problem parameters and numerical values would almost certainly be different. with randomly-selected numerical values (as is also the case in the Learning Mode). When an assessment begins. (There is no reason for a student who has begun using ALEKS to cheat on a “progress” assessment.

. 3. it is essential that they be conducted according to certain guidelines.2 Rules for Assessments Because assessments in ALEKS are important. 7. In creating or editing a class account. at which time the assessment ends and a report is presented to the student. however. 4. which has the character of an orientation to the system for student users. In order to avoid this. 4. ASSESSMENT MODE informed it has begun. The assessment continues until the system has determined the student’s precise knowledge of the domain.17. Next a series of problems is posed to the student. the instructor can stipulate that the initial assessment be allowed only from school (See Sec. If assessment results are inaccurate. Additional assessments are scheduled automatically by the system based on two factors: overall time spent in the Learning Mode (called “Login Time Assessment”) and progress made while there (called “Progress Assessment”).10).). We strongly recommend that this initial assessment. please contact ALEKS Corporation Customer Support for assistance if you would like to do this. Some modification of these parameters is possible. The system will recover and find the right level. immediately after Registration and Tutorial (See Sec. By default. Automatic Assessments. The student provides the solution to each problem using the Answer Editor (or clicks “I don’t know”). the system will give the student inappropriate problems and progress will initially be impaired. provide a firmer basis for such guidance. take place in a supervised computer lab setting to ensure that students do not receive help or collaborate. The initial assessment takes place at the outset of students’ use of ALEKS. students will not obtain the benefits the system is capable of providing. If there is an atmosphere permitting disturbances or distractions. The Learning Mode itself updates students’ assessment results as it goes along. it is strongly recommended that the first assessment be taken under the instructor’s supervision (See Sec. although consistency of effort and attention seem to contribute to shorter assessments. periodically displaying new piecharts and new choices of concepts they are completely “ready to learn.18 CHAPTER 4. but the student may still experience a degree of frustration. In the Assessment Mode.” The automatic assessments. 3. The number of questions asked cannot be known in advance. a new assessment is triggered after 20 new items have been learned (but no sooner than 5 ALEKS hours after the last assessment) or after 10 hours have been spent in Learning Mode since the last assessment or after 60 days have passed since the last assessment. the system does not inform the student whether the answer just given was correct or not.3 Scheduling of Assessments Initial Assessment.10).

9–7. department.1: The Answer Editor for Mathematical Expressions (Assessment) Completion Assessments. Requested Assessments.4. Other buttons appear. ALEKS also assesses students automatically when they complete the syllabus for a course. If the assessment does not confirm the student’s mastery of the syllabus materials. BUTTONS 19 Figure 4. More than one Completion Assessment is thus possible. or college may wish to have “midterm” assessments under supervision to guarantee sound results.4. they will return to the Learning Mode. The next time students log on they will automatically enter the assessment. For example. 6. Students logging on to ALEKS within the time period specified for the assessment will automatically enter Assessment Mode. ALEKS allows the instructor to schedule the assessment for a particular date and time (See Sec. All of the ALEKS menu buttons are enabled in the Learning Mode (See Sec. Just prior to this time the instructor prompts the course assessment in the Instructor Module (See Secs. but as a rule ALEKS will not reassess the student if only a small number of topics need to be relearned. .5). the instructor. but they are disabled.1) has a reduced set of active menu buttons enabling the student being assessed to leave the system (“Exit”) or get help on use of the Answer Editor (“Help”). Assessments can also be requested by the instructor for individual students or for entire courses. 7.10).2). 4.4 Buttons The Assessment Mode (Fig. 4. The instructor simply announces the assessment for a certain time and place. 5.

Mathematical expressions are entered and edited using the buttons of the Answer Editor keypad. In much of what follows. Keyboard shortcuts (Fig. The cursor marks the point at which something is entered.1 Manipulators for Mathematical Expressions The Answer Editor for Mathematical Expressions The Answer Editor for mathematical expressions consists of two parts: a rectangular field into which mathematical expressions are entered (the “entry field”) is to the left.5 Answer Editor Input to the ALEKS system is always in the form of proper expressions and constructions.2) work only when the corresponding button is displayed. Basic Input When a new page is opened and contains a problem whose solution is a mathematical expression. These buttons have labels in the Tutorial.5. never multiple choice. The general term for the input tools used in ALEKS is the “Answer Editor. To enter a mathematical expression one must first click on a blue box.9). 4. an Answer Editor for the numberline. and on-screen buttons and icons. Material can be . Buttons are displayed to correspond with the kind of problem being solved. The selection is made in such a way as to avoid giving away the correct answer.” This encompasses a variety of actual modes for user input: an Answer Editor for mathematical expressions. and the mouse. and a “keypad” made of buttons with mathematical symbols is to the right (Fig.” as this is the section which involves the greatest degree of interplay between mouse. 4.1). When this is done. the cursor (or “caret”) appears inside the box.20 CHAPTER 4. A student beginning to use ALEKS is thoroughly trained in all features of the Answer Editor that are relevant to the subject being studied during the Tutorial (See Sec. A critical reason for this is to prevent substantial inaccuracies which arise from students’ guessing and trying out the different choices. Enter. NOTE. 3. 4. the entry field initially contains at least one blue box. the Left and Right arrow keys. an Answer Editor for graphing in the Cartesian plane (with x and y coordinate axes). Each blue box represents a mathematical expression that forms part of the complete answer. emphasis is on the “Answer Editor for mathematical expressions. and Backspace keys. 4. ASSESSMENT MODE The two aspects of the ALEKS interface relevant to work in the Assessment Mode are the Answer Editor and the Assessment Report. but do not thereafter. the Tab. and an Answer Editor for histograms (in Statistics). keyboard. as well as the basic keyboard.

. . can be moved using the Left and Right arrows and the Tab and Enter keys. ANSWER EDITOR Expression Square Root Fraction 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 Answer Editor keypad button [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ [ ][ ] ] 21 Keyboard equivalent (none) / (none) (none) (none) . Clear & Undo After material has been entered. the field can be returned to its empty state by clicking on “Clear. . showing the point at which material is entered. Clicking on “Undo” a second time restores the effect of the canceled action . from the keyboard as well (Fig. Input can be deleted using the Backspace key (Fig.2: Mathematical Expressions Produced by the Answer Editor entered using the basic keyboard or the buttons of the keypad. or replaced by clicking the buttons of the Answer Editor keypad.3). Selecting Input It is possible to select a continuous portion of input by dragging the pointer with the mouse button held down.” Clicking on “Undo” cancels the most recent action. It can also be positioned using the mouse. A segment that has been selected by dragging in this way can be deleted by pressing Backspace.4. [ ][ ] [ ]×[ ] % [ ]>[ ] [ ]<[ ] [ ]≥[ ] [ ]≤[ ] [ ]=[ ] [ ]=[ ] AN D OR Figure 4. 4. respectively). ∧ (before exponent) ∗ % > < (none) (none) = (none) (none) (none) [ ][ ] [ ] |[ ]| [ ]. replaced by typing. 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. sometimes. [ ]. 4. Basic Editing Tools The cursor.5. Symbols can be entered using the buttons of the keypad and.2). Individual digits can be entered only from the keyboard.

the user places the cursor in an empty blue box and clicks on the appropriate button from the Answer Editor keypad. For many expressions. it is clear that the input typed so far is not valid. If a blue box remains on the screen. 4. ASSESSMENT MODE 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. 4. The initial blue box disappears and new blue boxes may appear (depending on the button). It may be used. Entering expressions from the keyboard For expressions that do not require the use of the Answer Editor keypad. or.3: Using Special Keys in the Answer Editor (including a “Clear” command). One can place the cursor in one of these boxes and enter an expression from the keyboard. the user can place the cursor within a blue box and enter the mathematical expression from the keyboard. accompanied by all of the necessary signs. however. the Answer Editor keypad must be used.2 Mathematical Expressions The purpose of the Answer Editor for mathematical expressions is to process user input in the form of syntactically correct mathematical expressions. Entering complex expressions Sometimes it is necessary to enter more complex mathematical expressions. replace it with the structure . as well.22 Key Right arrow Tab Enter Left arrow Backspace Effect CHAPTER 4. The user can now fill in the new boxes. Using the Answer Editor keypad to structure simple expressions To form a simple mathematical expression.2). One important way in which the Answer Editor guides the user in constructing such expressions is by means of the blue boxes. by clicking on a button of the Answer Editor keypad. for some types of expressions that can also be entered from the regular keyboard (Fig.5. What has been written about entering mathematical expressions into a single blue box holds equally true for entering expressions into any of the blue boxes produced by clicking a button of the Answer Editor keypad. If no blue boxes remain it may or may not be valid.

) Mixed numbers Although fractions can be entered from the keyboard using the front slash character (/). NOTE.) used to punctuate numbers of more than three places.5. otherwise. Here. The same basic rule applies: the minimum unit of manipulation is a complete mathematical expression. Alternate ways of entering expressions The buttons of the Answer Editor keypad can be used in other ways as well. the Answer Editor does not automatically regard a whole number followed by a fraction as a mixed number. just as in writing. “Button” will always refer to a button on the Answer Editor keypad. (The multiplication sign on the Answer Editor keypad. one can select some portion of the input in the entry field which constitutes a complete mathematical expression. only the final symbol (just before the exponent) will be raised to the specified power. The mixed number button on the Answer Editor keypad must be used to enter mixed numbers. More precisely. the minus sign (-). and then click on a keypad button. 4. Other mathematical signs The following mathematical signs can be entered only from the keyboard: the plus sign (+). By . It is in no way a thorough description of the Answer Editor. This will create a new mathematical expression within which the expression selected is one component. The user must know when these are necessary. one may need to enclose it in parentheses.5. when there is an expression consisting of more than one symbol that must be raised to a power. In particular.3 Types of Mathematical Expressions The following set of tips is intended to illustrate the variety of ways in which mathematical expressions can be entered using the Answer Editor.4. Expressions of any degree of complexity can be created in this way. which includes many other kinds of mathematical expressions and constructions. however. mixed numbers cannot be entered this way. In particular. The Answer Editor does not supply parentheses. both for connecting the two parts of a subtraction expression and for designating a negative number. the period (. is the traditional x-shaped symbol. ANSWER EDITOR of a new mathematical expression. Only the asterisk (*) serves this purpose. the comma (.         23 Please note as well the following special cases: The asterisk for multiplication The “x” character on the keyboard cannot be used to enter a multiplication sign.) used in decimals.

27 Enter all digits that precede the repeating pattern. Percentage 48% The next example illustrates the possibility. click on the first blue box (for the whole part). OR Enter the numerator. then click on the blue square in the position of the denominator and enter the denominator. and enter the denominator (i. enter the numerator. click on the fraction button. press Enter. of using either the Answer Editor keypad or the regular keyboard to enter signs: Enter the expression you wish to express as a percentage and click on the percent button. 5 Fraction in square root followed by multiplier 8 ×3 For this example only one input method is given. OR Enter the expression you wish to express as a percentage and then enter the (keyboard) percent sign. and enter the repeating pattern.24 CHAPTER 4. including the decimal point (a period on the keyboard) and any decimal places preceding the pattern.e. OR Enter all digits. OR Click on the mixed number button. 7 Mixed Number 58 Mixed numbers can be entered in more than one way. so that a red box appears surrounding it. in some cases.                   Fraction Fractions can be entered conveniently at least three ways: 7 10 Enter the numerator. and enter the denominator. click on the mixed number button. click on the bar button. ASSESSMENT MODE “select” we mean drag the mouse over the expression to be selected with the mouse button depressed. and enter the denominator. select the repeating pattern only. and click on the bar button. enter the numerator. move the cursor to the denominator position.. enter the whole number part. press the right arrow. including the decimal point (a period on the keyboard) and all decimal positions following it. enter the numerator. but others can clearly be suggested: . enter a (keyboard) forward slash character. fill in the boxes). OR Click on the fraction button. but they each require use of the mixed number button: Enter the whole number part. and enter the denominator. Repeating Decimal 1.

2. select it. enter the denominator. tab. and enter the third expression. enter the second expression. and click on the square root button. move the cursor right. and enter the fourth expression. Such complementary methods are typical. enter an asterisk (from the keyboard). and enter the multiplier. then tab. enter the first expression.4. move the cursor right.5. OR         Click on the list button (or press the keyboard comma) twice. enter the second expression. enter the third expression. In the simple example just given the second method reverses the sequence of steps of the first method. Square Root √ 81 Click on the square root button and enter the expression into the square root sign. click on the list button. such as dollars or candies. OR Enter the expression you wish to appear under the square root sign. 3 For the purposes of the following example. click on the first blue box.   25 List 1. enter the numerator. For example. the unit expression needed may appear in advance. assume that there is a list consisting of three components to be entered: Enter the first expression. Answers with Units 10 cups There are also some cases where the Answer Editor does part of the formatting. click on the fraction button. in problems where answers must be expressed in some kind of units. . click on the list button (or press the keyboard comma). click on the list button. ANSWER EDITOR Click on the square root sign button.

The Answer Editor will not do this for you.   4. or click on the blue box under the square root sign). and so forth. click on the square root button.” the real numbers. and enter the exponent. OR   Click on the square root button.4 Advanced Mathematical Expressions The following types of mathematical expressions occur in more advanced subjects.   NOTE. OR Enter the expression whose absolute value you wish to express. the integers. the user clicks on an icon corresponding to the dimensions desired (2 × 2. such as curly braces. tab (or press the right arrow. etc. or press Enter. Square Root Preceded by Multiplier √ 2 6 With more complex expressions you can use the mouse to place the cursor in the needed position. there will appear icons for each of the special symbols required. For topics involving set notation. “belongs to. ASSESSMENT MODE Absolute Value   | − 6| Click on the absolute value button and enter the expression whose absolute value you wish to express.26 CHAPTER 4. and click on the absolute value button. If the number you wish to raise to a power is an expression consisting of more than one symbol. enter the multiplier. and enter the expression you wish to be under the square root sign. and enter the expression you wish to be under the square root sign. only the last symbol will be raised to a power. OR Enter the expression you wish to raise to a power. click on the exponent button. then move the cursor to the exponent box and enter the exponent.   Exponent   32 Click on the Exponent button.5. it may need to be enclosed in parentheses. If no parentheses are used. 2 × 3. select it. enter the base. as in the second method: Enter the multiplier. then fills in the cells with appropriate values.” “such that. To create a matrix. .). click to the left of the square root sign.

To place a segment.4. 4. Click with the eraser to remove any part of the construction.4: The Answer Editor for the Numberline (Assessment) 4. ANSWER EDITOR 27 Figure 4. the segment will appear with an arrow to indicate that it continues to infinity.4). . mark a point on the numberline with the pencil. If the user clicks between two endpoints.5. the segment will extend to each of them. When the user clicks between an endpoint and an extremity of the numberline.5. use the Region tool to click on any point in the relevant part of the numberline. To place a segment. then click on that point with either the full or the empty tool.5 The Answer Editor for the Numberline The Answer Editor for the numberline consists of a numberline and tools for placing full and empty endpoints and segments (Fig.

so there is no need to move it to make a line going from edge to edge of the depicted plane.coordinate axes and a selection of other tools for graphing lines and regions of the plane (Fig.5. use the region tool and click in the desired region of the plane.5: The Answer Editor for Graphing (Learning Mode) 4. click on the line with the dotted line . 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).and y. To fill in a region. 4. Note that the effect of the straightedge continues past its ends. ASSESSMENT MODE Figure 4.6 The Answer Editor for Graphing The Answer Editor for graphing consists of a Cartesian plane with x. Then use the pencil tool to draw the line.28 CHAPTER 4. One must draw all lines defining the region before filling it in. Then.5). use the pencil tool to plot two points. To graph a line. align the straightedge (ruler) on the two points (it is a “grabby” tool and will jump to a point when it is near it).

4. select the eraser tool and click on any part of a line. 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. Use the pencil to mark the desired point at their intersection. Normally. 29 .” This will place the point directly on the plane without using the pencil. ANSWER EDITOR tool. This may be done before or after the region is filled. enter a pair of coordinates (in terminating decimal. For each type of conic section. there is a special tool allowing the construction of its graph. Another method is the click on the ordered pair icon (with a comma separating two boxes in parentheses). and then click on the graph button (curved line connecting “X”s). or mixed-number form). or other component to remove it. then click on the icon with horizontal broken line (for the y-coordinate) or vertical broken line (for the x-coordinate). arc. As with the numberline. Plot the additional points needed for the graph. fractional. A broken line will appear on the plane for each given coordinate. then click on the icon with a small Cartesian plane and a point marked by “X. To draw a graph requiring an asymptote. A slanted asymptote may be placed by first drawing two points and then using the tool with a broken diagonal line. To place a point where coordinates are not both integers: use the input field to enter numerical values (fractions and mixed numbers can be placed using the icons beneath the field).5. use the asymptote tool (broken horizontal or vertical line) to place the asymptote as needed.

Each bar has a space beneath it where an appropriate label can be typed in. The height of the bars is adjusted by clicking on the top edge of each and holding the mouse button down while dragging to the desired height. This will place a broken line on the histogram at that height.g. the histogram appears with a small number of bars (e.7 The Answer Editor for Histograms (Statistics) The Answer Editor for histograms consists of a space for drawing histograms and icons (buttons) permitting the creation and adjustment of bars (Fig.5.6). Initially. to subtract bars. click on the icon with the plus sign. ASSESSMENT MODE Figure 4. . two). 4..30 CHAPTER 4.6: The Answer Editor for Histograms (Learning Mode) 4. To add bars. To set the height of a bar at a non-integer value. Any bar may then be dragged to the height of any broken line that has been placed. enter the value in the white area to the upper right of the histogram. then click on the icon with the broken horizontal line. click on the icon with the minus sign. Any bar may be set to any integer height by dragging.

2 Interpreting the Piecharts Piecharts express the results of a given assessment.6. The interpretation of this report is the same as for piechart displays found in other places within ALEKS (such as in “MyPie”). the Assessment Report is presented.6. This format consists of one or more piecharts (Fig. 4. and   .6.4.7). 4. types of information: which topics are part of the syllabus.1 Standard Report Format The standard report format is used for all assessment reports.7: Assessment Report 4. 4.   They contain the following the relative importance of the parts of the syllabus. ASSESSMENT REPORT 31 Figure 4.6 Assessment Report At the conclusion of an assessment.

The progress a student has made toward satisfying the syllabus for knowledge in a given topic is expressed by the degree to which the slice corresponding to that area is shaded (i. Not every slice necessarily contains such a list.4 Ready to Learn The concepts given as most “ready to learn” do not represent a casual selection of concepts that the student has not yet mastered. 4. ASSESSMENT MODE to what extent the student has attained the knowledge for each part of the syllabus. the slice pops out of the pie.6.3 Multiple Piecharts For some courses in ALEKS. The portion of the chart taken up by any one topic reflects the importance of that topic relative to others in the given syllabus. A list of the items for that topic the student is currently best ready to learn will appear. This is because a student may not be ready to learn a concept in a given topic (slice) before concepts in another topic (slice) have been mastered. beginning with that concept. The measure of progress given by the piecharts is dependent on the standards for a particular course and is set by instructors and administrators (See Chapter 8).. even if the topic has not yet been fully mastered. The meanings of these abbreviations and of the chart’s color-coding are given in the legend immediately following the piechart.e. When a user places the pointer over one of the slices of the pie charts.32   CHAPTER 4.” Each slice is marked with an abbreviation. Clicking on any one of these concepts takes the user into the Learning Mode. according to the assessment. such as “Whole Numbers” or “Proportions and Percents. 4.6. filled in with solid color).” A piechart will show only those topics that are part of the curriculum for the course indicated. Each color-coded slice of the piechart refers to a particular part of the syllabus. it means this topic contains concepts the student is most “ready to learn. the student is following the most efficient path to mastery of the .” The “Readiness” piechart shows the student’s level of mastery in the subject-matter considered prerequisite for that of the student’s current course (the prerequisite topics for Behavioral Science Statistics are a selection from Basic Math and Algebra). By resuming study with one of these concepts. its label is underlined. The “Mastery” piechart shows the student’s level of mastery in the current course. If the abbreviation next to the slice is underlined. there is a piechart labeled “Readiness” and a piechart labeled “Mastery. If the slice contains concepts.

5 Progress Bars Another graphic expression of the student’s progress is given by the bar graphs at the bottom of the report (“History”). the student has completed the curriculum for a level or levels. the green portion material mastered in the Learning Mode since that assessment.4. 33 4. When the bar is entirely blue. and the yellow portion material belonging to the curriculum for the given level that has yet to be learned.6. These represent the general extent of the student’s mastery: the blue portion of each bar represents material that was learned as of the given assessment. ASSESSMENT REPORT complete domain (See Chapter 10).6. .

ASSESSMENT MODE .34 CHAPTER 4.

practice problems. Students in the Learning Mode work on those concepts they are best prepared to learn so that the benefit of their work is maximized. The student continues to work in the Learning Mode until a new assessment is 35 . 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. diagnostic feedback on problem solutions. This includes explanations. references to a McGraw-Hill/HSSL textbook if one is being used in conjunction with ALEKS. and access to a student Dictionary. a greater number of correct solutions may be required. This happens either as the result of an assessment or through the continuous update of assessment results that is performed by the Learning Mode.1 The ALEKS Learning Mode The purpose of the Learning Mode is to assist students in mastering mathematical and statistical concepts. If the student has continued difficulty. Moreover. In the Learning Mode students always work on one particular concept at a time. If the student appears frustrated by the present concept. a new selection will be offered. links to supplemental tutorial material and interactive applications. At this point the student is encouraged to choose a new concept from the (updated) piechart. the system may suggest closer attention to the explanations or offer the name of a classmate who has recently mastered this concept. A student is required to solve an appropriate number of practice problems correctly before the system will conclude that the concept has been mastered. but the opportunity to continue to work on this concept is available if the student wishes. The Learning Mode provides them with a rich array of resources to help in mastering this concept. If the student makes mistakes. Students using ALEKS choose which concepts they wish to work on in the Learning Mode from the list of concepts the system has determined they are most prepared to learn.Chapter 5 Learning Mode 5.

either by the instructor or automatically when a certain amount of time has been spent or a certain amount of progress has been made since the last assessment (See Sec. ALEKS will return you to the same place when you next log on.2. 5. No matter which way you exit.2 Options The “Options” button opens a page containing the user’s current registration information (with a link for changing the Password). 5.8). LEARNING MODE Figure 5. 5.36 CHAPTER 5. and the beginning and expiration dates of .1: The Options Page (Learning Mode) ordered. course and instructor (with a link for changing the course).2.2 5. a link for suspending the account (See Sec.3).7). 4. 5.1 Buttons Exit One can end a session with ALEKS in either of two ways: click on the “Exit” button at the upper left-hand corner of the browser window or simply close the window in one of the ways provided by the browser. a checkbox for joining “Ask a Friend” (See Sec. Also. if no input is supplied to the system for 15 minutes the session is terminated automatically.

This transforms the display into a form suitable for printing.2. . or use whatever keyboard equivalent is provided. 5. 5. Close or minimize the Dictionary window to return to the Learning Mode. click the “Print” button on the menu bar.2. Next. BUTTONS the account (Fig.6. click “Done. Remember that the Dictionary can also be accessed by clicking on underlined words (hypertext links) anywhere in the Learning Mode.3 Print To print the contents of the ALEKS display.). moving into greater depth as the definition proceeds (See Sec.4. The procedure is the same as for printing any web page. with the most recent displayed by default. 37 5. 5.5 Dictionary Clicking on the “Dictionary” button produces a new browser window with an index of entries in the online student Dictionary.5. and the progress bar graphs (See Sec. To return to the Learning Mode. Dictionary definitions are designed to present concepts in their simplest form first.5).” to see a complete list of topics mastered. Click on the link “and many other more elementary concepts. To return to the Learning Mode.1).4 Report Clicking on the “Report” button displays a menu of all past assessments.2. 5.3. Any assessment can be selected (by date) from the menu. Click on this button to use the online calculator. Click on any entry to view the definition.6 Calculator The Calculator button will light up (become enabled) on topics where ALEKS permits use of a calculator. Clicking on “Done” returns to the Learning Mode.5). a list of concepts recently learned. click on the browser’s “Print” button.2. indicating the level of mastery achieved and providing the opportunity to return to that concept for further practice. a list of concepts most ready to be learned. 5. “Report” connects to a menu of all assessment reports (See Sec. close or minimize the window that was printed. 5. Then click “Graph” to see the results of that assessment.” NOTE. 4.2. “History” displays a list of concepts the student has worked on recently.2. This will include one or more piecharts.

and send or respond to messages if this has been enabled (See Secs.12. 5.2.9 Quiz The student can take a quiz assigned by the instructor or check the results of quizzes already taken by clicking “Quiz. 5. however. Click on “Done” to return to the Learning Mode. There is also an option for “more extensive review. 7. 5.6). printable homework sheet by clicking “Worksheet. 7. .” Click on “Done” to return to the Learning Mode. It is also possible to send messages directly to ALEKS Corporation.13).38 CHAPTER 5.2.2.” The questions on the worksheet are based on that student’s most recent work in ALEKS (See Sec. when the student logs on during the time the quiz has be taken it will begin automatically (See Sec. 5.11). 7.2. One can click any of these concepts to get further practice on it.7 Review The “Review” button gives a list of concepts the student has recently worked on in the Learning Mode (See Sec. 5. the student does not need to use this button.10 Message The student can use the “Message” button to check for messages from the instructor or administrator. LEARNING MODE 5.5).8 Worksheet The student may obtain an individualized.” If a quiz has been “scheduled” by the instructor.

5.2. The student can use this button to select a new concept to work on from among those currently most “ready to learn.” .2.6). clicking any one of these leads to a brief refresher tutorial on the use of the icon. 5.12 MyPie Clicking on “MyPie” produces a piechart display reflecting the current state of the student’s mastery in the Learning Mode (See Sec. BUTTONS 39 Figure 5. 4.5.2: The Help Menu 5.2). The Help Menu contains a list of questions on how to use the various icons of the Answer Editor.2.11 Help The “Help” button in the Assessment and Learning Modes provides detailed assistance with use of the Answer Editor (Fig.

5.” Clicking on “Explain” goes to a detailed explanation of the item with additional Dictionary links.3.1 The Learning Mode Interface Item Page The item page contains the title of the current item. no Answer Editor: the answer to the problem must be given on the Practice page.3).3: Item Page 5. Terms are underlined and set off as hyperlinks (clicking on these will open the Dictionary). There is. Underneath the problem are two buttons. followed by a problem or instance of that item (Fig. Clicking on “Practice” goes to a page containing the Answer Editor and provides the opportunity to attempt solving the problem. “Practice” and “Explain. however.40 CHAPTER 5.3 5. LEARNING MODE Figure 5. .

The answer to the problem is supplied at the end of the explanation. the explanation page (Fig.4) begins with the title of the current item and an instance of that item (the same one that appeared on the item page. Clicking on this button produces a new instance of the same problem-type. mathematical terms are linked to Dictionary definitions. a reference will appear at the bottom of the explanation page giving the chapter and section of the textbook where additional explanation of the concept may be found. Sometimes there may also be a button for “Additional Explanation” or “Detailed Explanation. Additional tutorial material and interactive applications may also be found through links at the bottom of the explanation page.3. At the bottom of the page is the “Practice” button. The system may suggest looking up certain key terms to help with the explanation (especially if the explanation has already been visited). but rephrased and sometimes accompanied by a hint). THE LEARNING MODE INTERFACE 41 Figure 5.4: Explanation Page 5.5.” . Here again. When ALEKS is used with a McGraw-Hill/HSSL textbook. 5.2 Explanation Page Like the item page.3.

the problem is rephrased and often a hint is given.” Clicking on “Next” has the same effect described in the Assessment Mode: it submits the answer. 5.” At the explanation page. a new problem is presented or (if the system believes this topic has been mastered) a choice of new items is offered.3 Practice Page This page displays an instance of the problem. Underneath the Answer Editor are buttons labeled “Next” and “Explain. followed by the Answer Editor. Students can then click on “Explain. This is where a solution to the problem can be attempted (Fig. .5: Practice Page 5.3. LEARNING MODE Figure 5. the user finds out immediately whether the answer is right or wrong. Wrong answers will bring about presentation of the same problem (on the Wrong Answer page) with feedback on the student’s error. All practice problems are generated by algorithms with random selection of numerical values values so that the variety of problem instances for any item is very great.5).42 CHAPTER 5. Here. If it was correct. however.

incorrect answer appears in the Answer Editor. and offers advice on what went wrong and which words might be looked up in the Dictionary. THE LEARNING MODE INTERFACE 43 Figure 5. Again.6: Wrong Answer Page 5.3. . where it can be corrected and resubmitted. The old.5. It is identical to the previous page except that the system explains the answer is wrong.6). clicking on “Explain” is an option that leads to an explanation of the problem. 5.4 Wrong Answer Page The wrong answer page appears only after an incorrect answer has been submitted on the practice page (Fig.3.

5 Dictionary The online dictionary is always available in the Learning Mode.4 Feedback in Learning Mode In the Learning Mode feedback is integrated into a sophisticated system of guidance for the student. After a right answer the system will ask a limited number of questions for the same concept before judging that it has been mastered. Beneath this bar is the Dictionary entry. If an item is missed too many times. Clicking on a link to the Dictionary creates a new window on top of the ALEKS interface. LEARNING MODE Figure 5.7).44 CHAPTER 5. 5. The window can be closed after use or minimized for quicker access the next time needed. For example. with links to other entries and graphic illustrations as appropriate. and in the feedback. it may say that a fractional answer needs to be reduced or that a list of expressions is incomplete. At the top of the window is a bar with an Index button and text entry field (Fig.7: Dictionary 5. item descriptions.3. 5. links to the Dictionary appear in explanations. Some errors prompt ALEKS to give specific hints and suggestions (Fig. The “Index” button gives access to an index of all the Dictionary’s headings and subheadings. however. In addition to the Dictionary menu (button).6). a new topic will be . 5.

8: Review suggested. this list may be empty. summary review. 5. . 5.5. however. “More Extensive Review” gives a comprehensive list of all topics mastered by the student for brief.8). This teaching strategy attempts to minimize frustration and keep the student’s head clear. The Review page also contains a link to the Worksheet (See Sec. the system may suggest returning to it after one or two other topics have been covered. If a concept has been left without mastery being attained.5 Review A student using ALEKS can review topics recently worked on in the Learning Mode by using the “Review” button (Fig.5. this is particularly useful when the student knows that a new assessment is imminent. REVIEW 45 Figure 5. 5. When the student has not yet worked in Learning Mode since a new assessment.6). Clicking on any of these topics provides the chance for additional practice.

When the student does this. The instructor may set the option for this feature so that there are 12 review questions and 4 “Extra Credit” questions (See Sec.9: Worksheet NOTE. LEARNING MODE Figure 5.46 CHAPTER 5. 7. 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 (See Sec. The system will sometimes automatically offer a student the option of reviewing past material at the time of login.17).13).pdf format) containing 16 practice questions based on the student’s most recent work in ALEKS by clicking the “Worksheet” button (or the “Review” button) (Fig. 5. printable homework sheet (in .9). 5. 7. .6 Worksheet A student using ALEKS can obtain an individualized.

(2) the student was unsuccessful in answering this concept. but is skipping a semester in between. if the account is 1-quarter it can be suspended 1 quarter. Both of these features are accessed through the “Options” button. The flexibility offered by this option is limited in the following ways: 1. Within a limited time from the first use of the Student Access Code a student can “suspend” his or her ALEKS account and recover it later for the full period. first 14 days (1-quarter). and if it is 8-week or 6-week it can be suspended 8 or 6 weeks. once the recovery date has arrived the account should be used (time will begin to run on the subscription period whether it is used or not).5. . there is a link on the ALEKS Worksheet page to download it.pdf format.7 Ask a Friend Under some circumstances. “Leave of Absence” is used when a student has subscribed to ALEKS for two semesters.8 Suspend Account and Leave of Absence These two features are intended to provide additional flexibility in the student’s access to an already-purchased subscription with ALEKS. it can be used only once and it has to be used within the first 30 days (1semester. such as the ALEKS worksheet. 8 weeks (8-week) or 6 weeks (6-week accounts) have passed. 3. In order to view or print documents in . and (3) there is another student who has successfully answered the concept and who has chosen to participate in the “Ask a Friend” component. 5. next to the “Explain” button. Clicking on this button enables the student to ask for help from another student using ALEKS in the same course. quarter (1-quarter). but then decides to drop the course with the intention of taking it again at the next opportunity. a button marked “Ask a Friend” will appear at the bottom of the page in the Learning Mode. 47 5.7. ASK A FRIEND NOTE. or first 7 days (8-week and 6-week accounts). “Suspend Account” is used when a student has already purchased and registered in ALEKS. Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Acrobat Reader must be installed on your computer. 2. 2-semester). If for any reason your computer does not. The button appears only if (1) the instructor or supervisor has made this feature active. once an account has been suspended it can only be recovered after the semester (1-semester and 2-semester). Most computers have this software. If the account is 1-semester or 2-semester it can be suspended 1 semester.

The Leave of Absence feature can only be used for a 2-semester account after the first semester has ended. A student could conceivably use the Suspend feature at one point. a student goes to “Options” and chooses “suspend account” under the “Special” heading.48 CHAPTER 5. . The Suspend Account feature has to be used within the first few days of the first use of the access code. then request a Leave of Absence later on. Clicking on the link displays a warning that explains the rules given above. The Suspend Account feature should not be confused with the Leave of Absence feature. which is available only for 2-semester accounts. As is the case with the Leave of Absence. At any time during this period you are also allowed to switch to a new course by clicking on “Options” and choosing “Change course” to enter a new Course Code. There will be a reminder to students as they log in after the first week of the second semester that the new semester has started and that this is their last opportunity to opt for a leave of absence. within the same two-semester course. that is. close to the end of the current semester. LEARNING MODE To request that his or her account be suspended. this link is only visible at the outset of the semester. If you don’t plan on taking a leave of absence you don’t need to do anything. At any time between the end of the first semester and the first week of the second semester you can decide if you want to take the leave of absence.” This link will only be available during the period when it can be selected. If you don’t plan on using ALEKS during the next semester you go into “Options” and click on “Take a leave of absence. The student can then choose to go ahead or to cancel the request. and students will be reminded that they can switch when they log in to ALEKS.

The use of the wizard method involves a tradeoff between the number of steps required for a given action and the degree of familiarity expected of the user. These areas will be explained in the following sections.Chapter 6 Instructor Module: Basic Interface The basic interface to the ALEKS Instructor Module was designed for the greatest possible ease of use. Although all parts of ALEKS can be used without training or documentation. menu-driven gateway to the ALEKS Instructor Module. which can be used at any time to send queries or messages to ALEKS Corporation Customer Support. each page of the Instructor Module contains a link to the Message Center.1). Throughout the Instructor Module (as we will call the basic interface in this chapter) there is a left-hand sidebar with links to the major areas of the Instructor Module: “How do I. descriptions of operations in the basic Instructor Module are cross-referenced to descriptions of similar operations in the Advanced Instructor Module. which is somewhat more powerful.” “Course Admin.” “College Admin” (available to users with Administrator status).” “Taking Actions. “Reporting. asking questions and confirming the accuracy of information and decisions as it goes. The wizard minimizes the likelihood that the user will become lost or confused or take an unintended action while using the system. has been constructed to be a fully functional. especially in the fewer steps needed to accomplish tasks and in the possibilities for combining tasks and working with groups. the instructor may prefer to bypass the basic interface and work directly in the advanced interface. The basic interface. 49 .” and “Advanced” (Fig. The essential method of the basic interface is what software designers call the “wizard. Also. Once common operations are familiar. Wherever possible in this chapter. 6.” This method breaks a task down into steps and leads the user through those steps. to address this need. the wealth of features in the Instructor Module is not always easily grasped by a first-time user.

50 CHAPTER 6. . as opposed to those with Instructor status. Essentially. the parenthetical notation “(Administrator)” indicates which areas. the basic Instructor Module offers different capacities to users who are registered in ALEKS with Administrator status. In the following. exactly as though he or she were the instructor for each of those courses. an Administrator has control over all courses for all instructors in the college. operations.1: Instructor Module Like the Advanced Instructor Module. INSTRUCTOR MODULE: BASIC INTERFACE Figure 6. and parts of operations are available only to users with Administrator status. an Instructor has control only over those courses for which she or he is the instructor.

1 How do I The first thing you will notice on the home page of the Instructor Module (called “How do I”) is a menu of questions.” you can see the entire repertoire of questions listed by category (Fig.” and “Advanced.” Along with “How do I” (for the home page) and “Logout.2). For example. These categories are also included in the links featured in the left-hand sidebar of the Instructor Module: “Course Admin.6.” which can also be found by clicking the sidebar link for “Course Admin.” . HOW DO I 51 Figure 6.” respectively the top and bottom elements of the sidebar. or clicking “full list. “Reporting. These questions correspond to the most frequently performed operations in the Instructor Module.” “Taking Actions.2: How do I Questions 6.” in the menu. “More.” “College Admin” (Administrator). 6. these are available from anywhere in the Instructor Module. The questions on “How do I” are simply a way of getting quickly to the tutorial descriptions found in the Instructor Module. clicking on “How do I move a student from one course to another?” brings you to the page for “Move a student from one course to another. such as “How do I change someone’s password?” or “How do I create a new instructor account?” By choosing the last item.1.

6.52 CHAPTER 6.3). INSTRUCTOR MODULE: BASIC INTERFACE Figure 6. Questions and messages can also be sent directly to ALEKS Corporation Customer support using the Message Center links found on each page of the Instructor Module. 6. when students complete domains in ALEKS and need to be moved up to new ones.2 Course Admin Course Admin is concerned with the creation and management of courses in ALEKS. This area of the Instructor Module will be needed especially around the beginning of a new term or course. 7. and also as the term proceeds.17): .3: Course Admin The “How do I” page contains an email link and telephone number for contacting ALEKS Corporation Customer Support. Create a new course (See also Sec. and is available to all instructors for ALEKS in a given college (Fig.

and active status of student and click “Save. click on name from list of courses (Administrator: for each instructor) to move student to that course.2.   53 enter name of course. 7.16): edit own title.” Password issues (See also Sec.21): click on name from list of courses (Administrator: for each instructor).” Move a student from one course to another (See also Sec. and click “Save”. . choose textbook to be linked to course in ALEKS and click “Save. View all your courses and course codes: for each course (Administrator: for each instructor). topic. email. enter new password twice and click “Save. instructor (Administrator).” Account preferences (See also Sec. 7. status options. click on name from list of students in course. edit name. click on name from list of students in course.” Student Account preferences (See also Sec. click on name from list of students in course. email. COURSE ADMIN (Administrator) click on a name from a list of existing instructors. edit name and topic of course and click “Save”. 7. and email/message options and click “Save.18): click on name from list of courses (Administrator: for each instructor). 7. number of students. with option for further customization (below).21): click on name from list of courses (Administrator: for each instructor). Customize a course (See also Sec.6.20): click on name from list of courses (Administrator: for each instructor). and Course Code. view name. choose topic. 7.                                 receive Course Code for new course. name.

18): click on name from list of courses for all instructors. 7. In most cases. 7. set Password. 7. edit title. and click “Save”.3 College Admin (Administrator) College Admin allows the ALEKS Administrator(s) for a given college to create and manage the accounts of instructors using ALEKS. 6.18): click on name from list of empty courses (Administrator: for each instructor).” Instructor account preferences (See also Sec. and administrator status (Administrator) and click “Next”. will be able to manage their own accounts. click on a name from a list of existing instructors (including self) to transfer course to that instructor. 7. 7. email. and is accessible only to users with Administrator status (Fig. status options. name. 7. and will require little or no assistance from the Administrator.20. . Delete a course (See also Sec. INSTRUCTOR MODULE: BASIC INTERFACE NOTE. Password issues (See also Sec.4). Create a new instructor account (See also Sec. enter new password twice and click “Save.16): click on a name from a list of existing instructors (including self). see Section 7.16): click on a name from a list of existing instructors (including self).   click “Confirm” to confirm deletion of empty course. option to create courses for new instructor (below). once they are enrolled in ALEKS. Delete an Instructor Account (See also Sec. instructors. name.   6.” Move a course from one instructor to another (See also Sec.                     edit Login Name.16): click on a name from a list of existing instructors (including self). and email/message options and click “Save. This procedure is fine for moving one student at a time.15): fill in title.54 CHAPTER 6. If groups of students need to be moved.

4: College Admin click “Confirm” to confirm deletion of instructor account (possible only if the instructor does not currently have courses in ALEKS).   . COLLEGE ADMIN (ADMINISTRATOR) 55 Figure 6.6.3.

6. Their significance varies according to the display option.4). This may be useful when the data from this page needs to be downloaded and stored in a particular format for administrative purposes.5). Course Progress Options The rows in these views contain bar graphs showing students’ performance on and following dated assessments. click on a name from the list of courses (Administrator: for each instructor).5: Reporting 6. To begin. A series of options for reporting will be shown (Fig. and is indicated in the column .56 CHAPTER 6. INSTRUCTOR MODULE: BASIC INTERFACE Figure 6. Most display options provide additional types of statistical information on student progress in the right-hand part of the display. You can use the students’ Login Names or ID’s rather than their names as the identifier in the left-hand column. Statistical Information. Each student’s name is linked to their individual Progress page (See Sec. 6.4 Reporting Reporting should be used frequently during a course taught with ALEKS to monitor the students’ use of and progress in the system. simply click on the corresponding link at the top of that column.

this also shows “Time to Current Objective” (See Sec. 7. The information in the Course Progress page can be sorted on any of the columns.6. A link at the top of the page allows you to download the data in Excel spreadsheet format. Sorting. It is also possible to choose “Time to Completion”. Download Excel Spreadsheet. One or more fields may be blank if the information gathered for that student is not sufficient at a particular time. 57 . this indicates the estimated time necessary for individual students to complete the course goals based on average progress for the period chosen. Simply click on the header or footer of a column to sort on that column.22). a second click switches between ascending and descending order. REPORTING headings. Where the Intermediate Objectives are in use.4.

and the green portion shows progress in the Learning Mode since that assessment.6: Individual learning progress since latest assessment Individual learning progress since latest assessment displays a list of the students in the course.58 CHAPTER 6. 6. The blue portion of the bar graph shows mastery as of the most recent assessment. . INSTRUCTOR MODULE: BASIC INTERFACE Figure 6. each with a single bar graph showing the most recent assessment and progress made since that assessment (Fig.6). All students who have completed at least one assessment have bar graphs.

7). REPORTING 59 Figure 6. each with a series of bar graphs for each assessment taken to date (Fig. there is a bar graph shown for each assessment taken in the last 6 months (other periods may also be chosen).4. .7: Individual detailed progress history Individual detailed progress history displays a list of the students in the course. The blue part of the bar shows mastery on the assessment.6. 6. For each student who has taken at least one assessment. and the green part additional mastery achieved in Learning Mode following that assessment (but before any subsequent assessment).

The blue portion of the bar graph shows mastery as of the first assessment. All students who have completed at least two assessments have bar graphs. 6.8: Individual overall progress in assessment Individual overall progress in assessment displays a list of the students in the course.60 CHAPTER 6. INSTRUCTOR MODULE: BASIC INTERFACE Figure 6.8). each with a single bar graph showing the progress made between that student’s first and most recent assessments (Fig. and the light blue portion shows progress made between that assessment and the most recent assessment taken. .

9: Scheduled Assessment Report Scheduled assessment report shows the results of an assessment that has been scheduled for the course in the form of a series of bar graphs (Fig. A menu at the top of the display can be used to choose earlier scheduled assessments. The blue portion of each bar graph shows the student’s knowledge as measured by the assessment.5).9). 6. 6.6. subsequent progress in Learning Mode is not shown in this view. .4. REPORTING 61 Figure 6. Grades for the assessment are shown if the instructor has chosen to grade the assessment (See Sec.

Average This option produces a list of the specific concepts mastered by a percentage of the students. INSTRUCTOR MODULE: BASIC INTERFACE Figure 6. Display options. as of their most recent assessment.” or “What students can do (assessment)” from the “Display Mode” menu and click on “Graph” to display results. The list is organized by general categories (Fig.62 CHAPTER 6. For each concept.6). Beneath the piecharts there are other kinds of analysis available for class assessment data.” “Ready to learn (assessment). Ready to learn This option also shows a list of specific concepts. organized by general cat- . Choose “Average.” “What students can do (learning). the percentage of students in the course who demonstrated mastery is given. showing its average progress toward mastery of the curriculum (Fig. 6.10).10: Average report (piechart) Course Report Options Average report (piechart) displays one or more combined piecharts for the course.” “Ready to learn (learning). 7.

Clicking on the number of students will display a list of their names. there also appears a link for sending a message to all the students in the group so defined (See Secs. 6. it shows the number of students in the course who are ready to learn that concept in the Learning Mode (learning) or as of their most recent assessment (assessment).13).13).4. Clicking on the number of students will display a list of their names. 7. using bar graphs (Fig. . Course quiz results shows the results on any given quiz for all students in the course who took the quiz. The button “Open All” displays all students’ names in each group (with links). 7.11: Course Quiz Results egories. For each concept.12.12. For each concept. 7. 7. REPORTING 63 Figure 6. What students can do This option also shows a list of specific concepts.11).6. The button “Open All” displays all students’ names in each group (with links). it shows the number of students in the course who have recently mastered that concept in the Learning Mode (learning) or as of their last assessment (assessment). organized by general categories. there also appears a link for sending a message to all the students in the group so defined (See Secs.

6. There are also percentage values given beneath the bar for the blue and green portions of the bars. this shows the time left to completion of course goals). If there is more than one bar per row. they will correspond to the syllabi for the previous level.12). depending on the student’s level.64 CHAPTER 6. with dates (linked to the Report page for that assessment) (Fig. for example. if there is one) is measured by the green portion of the bar. Each row contains one to three bar graphs. 57+9% means that the last assessment showed 57% mastery. INSTRUCTOR MODULE: BASIC INTERFACE Figure 6. the current level. total hours and weeks spent subsequently in the Learning Mode (up to the time of the next assessment) with average numbers of items gained per hour and per week is also provided (optionally. There is one row for each assessment that the student has taken. Progress made in the Learning Mode subsequently to that assessment (but before the next assessment. and the subsequent level. Each bar graph measures the student’s mastery as of the given assessment as seen by the blue portion of the bar. . and that subsequent work in the Learning Mode added another 9% mastery. Information on each assessment.12: Progress report for a single student in this course Student Progress Options Progress report for a single student in this course displays a list of bar graphs for the single student chosen.

Individual quiz results shows the results for any given student on any quizzes taken by that student.13: Report for a single student in this course Student Report Options Report for a single student in this course (piechart) displays one or more piecharts for the single student chosen. Beneath the piecharts is a list of concepts that the student has mastered recently (“What <Name> Can Do”) and another list of concepts that the student is currently (as of the given assessment) most ready to begin learning (“Ready to Learn”).4.6.” to see a complete list of topics mastered by the student. Click on the link “and many other more elementary concepts. Complete list of topics mastered.22). There may also be a summary of the student’s history in ALEKS (“History”) and a log of work in the Learning Mode following that assessment (“Learning Log”). 6. REPORTING 65 Figure 6.13). 7. There are also buttons allowing the instructor to request or cancel an assessment for that student and to edit Intermediate Objectives (See Sec. There is also a menu giving access to earlier points in the student’s progress. . showing the student’s current progress toward mastery of the curriculum (Fig.

14: Taking Actions 6. a date (by default the current date). trigger assessment on specified day only.15).8). provide start time for assessment with option for more detailed scheduling (prevent automatic assessment up to 5 days in advance. Schedule a new assessment (See also Sec. the students will immediately enter Assessment Mode at their next login. assign grading scale to assessment) and click “Save.5 Taking Actions Additional course management features are available under “Taking Actions” (Fig. 7.       provide name and date for assessment and click “Next” (Fig. INSTRUCTOR MODULE: BASIC INTERFACE Figure 6. 6.9): click on a name from a list of courses (Administrator: for each instructor).” If all the defaults are left. When this information has been given. the students will enter Assessment Mode the next time they log in after that date and time. restrict assessment to college. a scheduled assessment is called “Requested Assessment” plus its number).66 CHAPTER 6. 7. “Detailed scheduling options” permit the instructor to restrict the assessment to campus and to limit the time when it can be begun. and a time (by default the current time) (Fig. 6.” In order to schedule a course assessment. the instructor is asked to specify the name of the assessment (by default. the instructor schedules the assessment by clicking “Save. If a later date and/or time are chosen.14). The calendar graphic provides a quick and easy way to choose the date of an assessment .

” no one sees it. retype as desired.5. a student logging on to ALEKS on that day (after the start time) will be assessed. and then press “Return. if “Private. select the text of the current label. Grading with Scheduled Assessments. You can assign a grading scheme to this assessment only. or sliders may be removed by dragging them off to the right or left.16). The Grades feature uses a chart with sliders (Fig. limit the effect of a scheduled assessment to the day it is assigned to or leave it in effect until the next scheduled assessment. The sliders may be set and the labels edited as the instructor desires. The three buttons under the graph determine the use of the evaluation: if “Disabled. To change the label on a new or existing slider. TAKING ACTIONS 67 Figure 6. 6.   . You can block automatic assessments for up to 5 days prior to a scheduled assessment (useful to avoid having some students assessed twice in a row). with labels referring to the intervals they define. but if the student does not log on that day that student will not be assessed until the next automatic or scheduled assessment. The grades received by students on scheduled assessments can be seen under “Scheduled Assessment Report” (See Sec. if “Public. Additional sliders may be placed by dragging the right-hand or left-hand sliders.” Cancel an assessment (See also Sec. Detailed scheduling options.” the instructor sees it and each student sees it for their own work.” the instructor sees it but the students do not.4). 7. The graph has sliders. 6. If an assessment is limited to the assigned day.15: Schedule a new assessment (click on the calendar thumbnail to use this feature).9): click on name from a list of courses (Administrator: for each instructor).6.

use the links provided to continue editing the topics on the quiz.68 CHAPTER 6. Change the name. click on name from list of scheduled assessments. or assign the quiz to some group of students within the course. and click “Next”.16: Grading with Scheduled Assessment click on name from list of scheduled assessments. with option to schedule new assessment. assign a grading scale. or leave the name provided (“Quiz N”). enter a name for the quiz. select from the list of topics in the left-hand window either by dragging topics into the right-hand window. click link to modify grading scale. change how the quiz is made available to your students. . INSTRUCTOR MODULE: BASIC INTERFACE Figure 6. then click “Save”. Create a quiz (See also Sec. date. or by highlighting topics and clicking “Add”.11): click on name from a list of courses (Administrator: for each instructor). name. grading scale of an assessment: click on name from a list of courses (Administrator: for each instructor).                     click “Save” to confirm cancellation of assessment. 7. or date of assessment. modify settings and click “Save” (possible option for more detailed settings).

the instructor will have options for specifying the time of day it is to begin.11): click on name from a list of courses (Administrator: for each instructor). to some group within the course. Delete a quiz (See also Sec. how many days the quiz should be in effect (“Window of time to take the quiz”). the student clicks the “Quiz” button when they are ready to take the quiz (See Sec. Edit a quiz (See also Sec. Quizzes may also be “hidden” for later availability to students (“Don’t make this quiz available yet”).     modify the quiz using the features described above.2. Grading with quizzes. The results of quizzes can be seen through the reporting features of ALEKS.6. quizzes are made available to students as “Homework Quizzes. The quiz may be assigned to all the students in the course or. 7. The grading scale used with quizzes is like the one used for assessments (See Sec. and prevention of automatic assessments up to five days before the quiz is scheduled. As with assessments. Quizzes may be scheduled for particular days and times. or they may be made available for the students in a course to take when they are ready (“Homework Quiz”). If this option is chosen. Double-click on the name of any topic to see a sample problem.” This means that the student is not forced into the quiz by ALEKS. after which the quiz will no longer be available to students. A graphic calendar is provided for easy scheduling of quizzes. Topics can be selected in continuous groups using the Shift key or discontinuous groups using Ctrl. the time limit on the quiz. A message can also be sent to students informing them that the quiz has been assigned. These quizzes are administered through ALEKS and scored automatically. with optional use of a grading scale set by the instructor. Availability of quizzes to students. If the quiz is scheduled. if no grading scale is set. 5. 7. 6. optionally. rather. TAKING ACTIONS Tips. the entire folder is selected by using Ctrl-a.5. whether the quiz is restricted to the college. the instructor must indicate a due date for the quiz. whether students are notified. The Quiz feature in ALEKS allows instructors to create quizzes for their students using any topics in the ALEKS domain.   69 click on name from a list of existing quizzes. By default.5). grading is not obligatory.11): .9). the students and the instructor will only see the percentage of questions answered correctly. but do not influence the students’ knowledge states or their guided learning in ALEKS. or they may be scheduled.

7. Please see Section 7. 6. which is essentially .70 CHAPTER 6.12): Using this link connects you to the ALEKS Message Center. or “Cancel” to leave it.6 Advanced On clicking this link.17).   Send a message (See also Sec.   click on “Confirm” to delete the quiz. and actions applied to files and directories. Instructors using ALEKS should not be intimidated about trying the advanced interface. an extremely powerful and useful component of the ALEKS system.   click on name from a list of existing quizzes. 6. the user is shown a brief explanation of how the Advanced Instructor Module differs from the standard one (Fig.17: Advanced click on name from a list of courses (Administrator: for each instructor). The Message Center can also be reached via the envelope icon in the upper right corner of every Instructor Module page. INSTRUCTOR MODULE: BASIC INTERFACE Figure 6.12 for a detailed description of the Message Center. It is a visual or graphic (“point and click”) interface based on a model of directories. files.

especially in operations affecting groups of students. the Advanced Instructor Module has certain advantages of efficiency and flexibility. or even to use the advanced interface exclusively.   .6. ADVANCED shared by all modern computer systems.   71 Enter the “Advanced” Instructor Module now. As noted.2). With even slight familiarity. Show me a tutorial for the “Advanced” Instructor Module. she or he may wish to try using the advanced interface. most users will have no difficulty using it (See Chapters 6-8). set your preferences to log directly into the Advanced Instructor Module when using this account).6. 7. When an instructor has achieved a certain level of familiarity with the Instructor Module. The Tutorial for the Advanced Instructor Module is a complete guide to the most commonly-used features of this area (See Sec. it is possible to retake the Tutorial at any time or to review parts of it by using the “Help” button. From within the Advanced Instructor Module. click “Next” to enter the Advanced Instructor Module (optionally. click “Next” to enter the Tutorial for the Advanced Instructor Module.

72 CHAPTER 6. INSTRUCTOR MODULE: BASIC INTERFACE .

It introduces the instructor to the features of the ALEKS Advanced Instructor Module in a brief. interactive way. The Advanced Instructor module is entered from the basic Instructor Module by clicking “Advanced”.1 The ALEKS Advanced Instructor Module The Advanced Instructor Module interface provides an array of features enabling instructors having some familiarity with ALEKS to carry out management and monitoring of their courses with more efficiency and power.Chapter 7 Advanced Instructor Module: Results & Progress 7. Instructors using the Advanced Instructor Module can return to the basic Instructor Module at any time by using the link. 7. and will give instructors who choose this interface confidence in carrying out the operations needed to effectively monitor and manage their ALEKS courses. The instructor proceeds to the next page by carrying out the current task. 7. 73 . but thorough.1). instructors may also choose to make the advanced interface their default interface for the ALEKS Instructor Module.2 Instructor Tutorial (Advanced Instructor Module) The Tutorial for the Advanced Instructor Module is designed to parallel the function of the Tutorial taken by all student users of ALEKS when they first register with the system. “Go to the Basic Instructor Module. The Tutorial for the Advanced Instructor Module reproduces the advanced ALEKS interface and poses the instructor a series of tasks involving the interface tools (Fig. feedback is provided to guide the instructor through all needed actions.” located at the top of the Advanced Instructor Module window.

74 CHAPTER 7. Also. (An instructor who has chosen to skip all or part of the Tutorial sees “Return to the Tutorial. ADVANCED INSTRUCTOR MODULE: RESULTS & PROGRESS Figure 7. the Help page contains an index. which links to every section of the Tutorial. Current instructors may take the Tutorial at any time by clicking the link marked “Show me a Tutorial” at the top of the Advanced Instructor Module window.1: Tutorial for the Advanced Instructor Module Instructors will normally take the Tutorial at the time that they begin to explore or use the advanced Instructor Module interface. an instructor who has skipped part of the Tutorial can return to where they left off or restart from scratch.”) . The Tutorial can be skipped.

but extend to all the classes and all of the students in the college.. your privileges are similar.2). If you have an instructor account. 7.g. ACCESS TO THE ADVANCED INSTRUCTOR MODULE 75 Figure 7. we assume that your account is that of a supervisor. NOTE.2: The Results & Progress Directory (Advanced Instructor Module) 7. you will see a directory containing only your own courses. You can always return to the Selector by scrolling your browser window up.3.7.” It is the chief graphic navigation tool of the Advanced Instructor Module. over an entire multi-campus community college system). The directory window is called the “Selector. In the following. Similar Selector windows are used in other areas of the Advanced Instructor Module for special purposes.3 Access to the Advanced Instructor Module When you enter the Advanced Instructor Module with instructor status. If your account is that of a root administrator (e. If your account is that of a supervisor. the system features at your disposal can affect only your classes and the students under your supervision. If you have a root administrator account you will see directories for all colleges under your administration (Fig. The Advanced Instructor Module has two parts: “Results & Progress” and “Stand- . If you have an administrator account you will see all of the instructor directories for your college. your privileges extend to all colleges under your administration.

” When you enter the Advanced Instructor Module. The “Help” button also gives access to the ALEKS bulletin board and mailing list for instructors. 7. “Results & Progress” is used for most administrative tasks. The features also enable instructors to set up additional classes if they need to. such as monitoring individual and group progress. Bulletin Board and Mailing List.4 Online Help in the Advanced Instructor Module Context-sensitive online help in the Advanced Instructor Module can be obtained by clicking on “Help” in the bar at the top of the window (next to the “Message” button). ADVANCED INSTRUCTOR MODULE: RESULTS & PROGRESS ards & Syllabi.76 CHAPTER 7. The purpose of these features is to allow instructors using ALEKS to exchange information and viewpoints on teaching methods. The following sections describe the various actions that can be carried out by instructors with appropriate levels of privilege in the Advanced Instructor Module. you are automatically placed in “Results & Progress. This allows the instructors to verify the rate of progress achieved by the students. . and the like.” Use the ALEKS menu bar to change the part of the Advanced Instructor Module in which you are working (See Chapter 8). strategies. Instructors using ALEKS with one or more courses will probably wish to check into this part of the Instructor Module on a daily basis. They can also be accessed from the ALEKS website by registered instructors (click on “Help”).

There are also percentage values given beneath the bar for the blue and green portions of the bars. and that subsequent work in the Learning Mode added another 9% mastery. enrollment date.9. they will correspond to the syllabi for the previous level. .7. this shows the time left to completion of course goals). and the subsequent level. total hours spent on the system. select the name of the student and click on the “Progress” button.3). the current level. 57+9% means that the last assessment showed 57% mastery. VIEW STUDENT PROGRESS 77 Figure 7. There are also buttons allowing the instructor to schedule or cancel an assessment for that student and to edit Intermediate Objectives (See Secs. Each row contains one to three bar graphs. 7. clearly labeled. total hours and weeks spent subsequently in the Learning Mode (up to the time of the next assessment) with average numbers of items gained per hour and per week is also provided (optionally. A chart will appear below the directories window with one or more rows of information (Fig. with dates (linked to the Report page for that assessment). for example. A variety of other information.3: Student Progress (Advanced Instructor Module) 7. If there is more than one bar per row. 7. There is one row for each assessment that the student has taken.5 View Student Progress To view student progress.5. Each bar graph measures the student’s mastery as of the given assessment as seen by the blue portion of the bar. if there is one) is measured by the green portion of the bar. is provided on the Progress page: date of last login. Progress made in the Learning Mode subsequently to that assessment (but before the next assessment. depending on the student’s level. Information on each assessment.

78 CHAPTER 7. When a student is frustrated. Downloading. When one bar graph appears above another bar graph. and has a legible. ADVANCED INSTRUCTOR MODULE: RESULTS & PROGRESS 7. in which the student seeks to confirm knowledge of material tentatively mastered in Learning Mode. this will be obvious from the bar graphs. There may be considerable difference among individual students in the speed and smoothness of their progress. the sequence of bar graphs appearing on the Student Progress page begins to tell a clear story of the student’s success in moving toward mastery. Monitoring progress. For other students the opposite is true: progress in assessments is for some reason faster than that in the Learning Mode.22). “Spreadsheet Format” is comma-separated values (CSV). It is well worth the instructor’s time to check daily on individual and course progress in ALEKS. and a link for downloading this information to the instructor’s computer. For some students progress in assessments is slower than that in Learning Mode. Information from the Student Progress page can be downloaded in two formats. professional appearance. suitable for printing. “Excel Format” is in Microsoft Excel format. the uppermost one represents a later assessment. which can be imported into a variety of applications but is raw in appearance. This can be seen when the green portion of one bar graph does not extend so far to the right as the blue portion of the bar graph above it (more knowledge was confirmed in the assessment than had been covered previously in Learning Mode). in such cases the instructor may need to provide extra help or encouragement. . This can be seen when the green portion of one bar graph extends further to the right than the blue portion of the bar graph above it (not everything covered in Learning Mode was confirmed subsequently in the assessment). When a student has spent enough time on ALEKS to have had two or more assessments.

Each report in the menu at the top of the Student Report page is dated.4).1). Other assessments or other Learning Mode reports may be chosen by selecting dates from the menu at the top of the chart and clicking on “Graph.” Dates. 4.7.4: Student Report (Advanced Instructor Module) 7. the Report page shows the most recent assessment or the most recent knowledge attained in the Learning Mode. A display containing one or more piecharts will appear beneath the directories window (Fig. VIEW STUDENT ASSESSMENT REPORT 79 Figure 7. The date for a Learning report is the last date on which the student worked in the Learning Mode before any subsequent assessment. Its interpretation is the same as for the reports received by students following all formal assessments (See Sec. Beneath the piecharts is a list of concepts that the student has mastered recently .6. 7.6. By default.6 View Student Assessment Report Select the name of the student for whom you wish to observe a report and click on the “Report” button. the begin and end dates are shown on the Student Report page. If an assessment is begun on one date and finished on another. along with the amount of time spent in the assessment (the menu shows only the begin date).

5). Click on the link “and many other more elementary concepts” to see a complete list of topics mastered by the student.7 View Course Progress Select the course for which you wish to observe progress and click on the “Progress” button. simply click on the corresponding link at the top of that column. 7. 7.” Sec. ADVANCED INSTRUCTOR MODULE: RESULTS & PROGRESS Figure 7. There may also be a summary of the student’s history in ALEKS (“History”) and a log of work in the Learning Mode following that assessment (“Learning Log”). one for each student enrolled in the course (Fig.5). There are also buttons allowing the instructor to request or cancel an assessment for that student and to edit Intermediate Objectives (See Secs. You can use the students’ Login Names or ID’s rather than their names as the identifier in the left-hand column.80 CHAPTER 7.9.22).5: Course Progress (Advanced Instructor Module) (“What <Name> Can Do”) and another list of concepts that the student is currently (as of the given assessment) most ready to begin learning (“Ready to Learn”). 7. By default. The rows contain bar graphs (See interpretation in “View Student Progress. Complete list of topics mastered. This may be useful when the data from this page needs to be downloaded and stored in a particular format for administrative . only the bar graph for the most recent assessment is shown (the students’ names are linked to their individual Progress pages. while the assessment dates are linked to their individual Report pages). A chart will appear below the directories window with a series of rows. 7. 7.

Choose the desired format from the menu and click on “Compute” to view results. such as a term or semester). Progress over last month All students who have completed at least two assessments within the last month have bar graphs. and the light blue portion shows progress made between that assessment and the most recent assessment taken. The blue portion of the bar graph shows mastery as of the first assessment taken within the last six months. Progress over last 3 months All students who have completed at least two assessments within the last three months have bar graphs. and “Full progress over last 6 months” (for convenient examination of the learning patterns followed by students in a course). Progress in learning mode All students who have completed at least one assessment have bar graphs. “Total progress” (for viewing the overall effectiveness of students’ use of ALEKS over a longer period of time. The blue portion of the bar graph shows mastery as of the first assessment taken within the last three months. and the light blue portion shows progress made between that assessment and the most recent one taken. Total progress All students who have completed at least two assessments have bar graphs. and the light blue portion shows progress made between that assessment and the most recent one taken. the following have been found particularly useful by a wide range of users: “Progress in learning mode” (for frequent checks on progress and time spent in ALEKS). Report Style. VIEW COURSE PROGRESS purposes.7. The blue portion of the bar graph shows mastery as of the first assessment. and the green portion shows progress in the Learning Mode since that assessment. Progress over last 6 months All students who have completed at least two assessments within the last six months have bar graphs. Of these options. and the light blue portion shows progress made between that assessment and the most recent assessment taken.7. The blue portion of the bar graph shows mastery as of the assessment immediately preceding the most recent one. A range of options providing variations on this format are accessible through a menu at the top of the chart. The blue portion of the bar graph shows mastery as of the most recent assessment. Most recent progress All students who have completed at least two assessments have bar graphs. The blue portion of the bar graph shows mastery as of the 81 .

there is a bar graph shown for each assessment taken in the last month. the blue part of the bar shows mastery on the assessment. Their significance varies according to the display option. ADVANCED INSTRUCTOR MODULE: RESULTS & PROGRESS first assessment taken within the last month. 7. and the green part additional mastery achieved in Learning Mode following that assessment (but before any subsequent assessment). One or more fields may be blank if the information gathered for that student is not sufficient at a particular time.82 CHAPTER 7. the blue part of the bar shows mastery on the assessment. Most recent assessment only All students who have completed at least one assessment have bar graphs. Most display options provide additional types of statistical information on student progress in the right-hand part of the display. there is a bar graph shown for each assessment taken in the last 6 months. The interpretation is the same as for “Progress in learning mode”. It is also possible to choose “Time to Completion”. Scheduled Assessment Underneath the “Report Style” menu is a second menu listing assessments that have been scheduled for this course. select the name (with date) of the assessment and click “Compute” (See Sec.10). To view the results of that assessment. and the green part additional mastery achieved in Learning Mode following that assessment (but before any subsequent assessment). there is a bar graph shown for each assessment taken in the last 3 months. and the green part additional mastery achieved in Learning Mode following that assessment (but before any subsequent assessment). that is. Full progress over last 6 months For each student who has taken at least one assessment. The interpretation is the same as for “Progress in learning mode”. this indicates the estimated time necessary for individual students to . that is. and is indicated in the column headings. Full progress over last 3 months For each student who has taken at least one assessment. Full progress over last month For each student who has taken at least one assessment. 7. and the light blue portion shows progress made between that assessment and the most recent one taken. Buttons at the bottom of the page allow the instructor to schedule an assessment for all the students taking the course and to download information from the page in a format suitable for spreadsheet display (See Sec.10). The blue portion shows mastery as of the most recent assessment. The interpretation is the same as for “Progress in learning mode”. Statistical Information. that is. the blue part of the bar shows mastery on the assessment.

7.22). which can be imported into a variety of applications but is raw in appearance. The information in the Course Progress page can be sorted on any of the columns. professional appearance.7. or Ctrl to select a discontinuous group. Assign Learning Rates.7. Where the Intermediate Objectives are in use. a second click switches between ascending and descending order. Sorting. suitable for printing. A link at the top of the Course Progress page provides access to the learning rates feature (See Sec. “Spreadsheet Format” is comma-separated values (CSV). this also shows “Time to Current Objective” (See Sec. Grouping. Simply select the names of the students in the Selector: hold Shift to select a continuous range. and has a legible. It is possible to create arbitrary groups within the course and generate Progress pages for these groups.24). Then click the “Progress” button. Downloading. 83 . “Excel Format” is in Microsoft Excel format. VIEW COURSE PROGRESS complete the course goals based on average progress for the period chosen. 7. Information from the Course Progress page can be downloaded in two formats. Simply click on the header or footer of a column to sort on that column.

Choose “Average.” “What students can do (learning). Display options. Its interpretation is the same as for the reports received by students following all formal assessments. ADVANCED INSTRUCTOR MODULE: RESULTS & PROGRESS Figure 7.6: Course Report (Advanced Instructor Module) 7. as of their most recent assessment.84 CHAPTER 7. Average This option produces a list of the specific concepts mastered by a percentage of the students. 7. The list is organized by . Beneath the piecharts there are other kinds of analysis available for class assessment data.” “Ready to learn (assessment).” “Ready to learn (learning).6). The period summarized may be changed using the menu at the top of the chart (click on “Graph” to display results). A display containing one or more piecharts will appear beneath the directories window (Fig. except that it represents a synthetic summary of reports received by all students in the course.8 View Course Report Select the course for which you wish to view a report and click on the “Report” button.” or “What students can do (assessment)” from the “Display Mode” menu and click on “Graph” to display results.

Clicking on the number of students will display a list of their names.13).8. Simply select the names of the students in the Selector: hold Shift to select a continuous range. For each concept. Then click the “Report” button. For each concept.” At the bottom of the Course Report page there are buttons allowing the instructor to schedule an assessment for all the students in the course or to edit Intermediate Objectives (See Secs. The button “Open All” displays all students’ names in each group (with links).12. the instructor may call out small groups during their use of ALEKS for brief. For a comprehensive list (0%-100%). organized by general categories. 85 . it shows the number of students in the course who are ready to learn that concept in the Learning Mode (learning) or as of their most recent assessment (assessment). 7. These tools can be used to focus instruction for courses and groups of students. 7.12. 7. Grouping. click the link “Display full list.” Ready to learn This option also shows a list of specific concepts. it shows the number of students in the course who have recently mastered that concept in the Learning Mode (learning) or as of their last assessment (assessment).10.22). It is possible to create arbitrary groups within the course and generate Report pages for these groups. 7. The “Ready to learn” display. 7. 7.6). The “What students can do” display mode can be used to form groups of students for special discussions and exercises designed to expand and deepen their understanding of a concept they have all recently mastered. makes it possible to break a large course up into small groups. organized by general categories.13). By default. VIEW COURSE REPORT general categories (Fig. the percentage of students in the course who demonstrated mastery is given. 7. Where there is not sufficient teaching staff to coach several groups simultaneously. The “Average” display shows very clearly which specific concepts and general areas within the syllabus need the most work for the greatest number of students.7. pointed “chalk talks. What students can do This option also shows a list of specific concepts. on the other hand. Clicking on the number of students will display a list of their names. For each concept. The button “Open All” displays all students’ names in each group (with links). each focused on the concept or concepts that it is working on currently in Learning Mode. it can be used to prioritize topics for lectures and lesson plans. there also appears a link for sending a message to all the students in the group so defined (See Secs. or Ctrl to select a discontinuous group. there also appears a link for sending a message to all the students in the group so defined (See Secs. Consequently. items are not listed if they have been learned by fewer than 5% or by more than 95% of the students in the course. Focusing instruction.

NOTE. 7.17).7: Student Assessment (Advanced Instructor Module) 7. If more than one student name is selected before clicking “Progress” or “Report. 7. and the student is required to take the assessments at the college.” the assessment will be requested for that group of students. Instructors wishing to constrain assessments in this way should contact ALEKS Corporation for assistance in determining the domain addresses used by their college. 7. or on the Edit page under the tab “Advanced. If an assessment is scheduled.9 Schedule Student Assessment Assessments for individual students may be requested or canceled using buttons on the Progress or Report pages for those students (Fig. whether by the instructor or automatically by the system.7).10 Schedule Course Assessment Assessments for entire courses may be scheduled using buttons on the Progress or Report pages for those courses. ADVANCED INSTRUCTOR MODULE: RESULTS & PROGRESS Figure 7. When the instructor has requested an assessment.” . The instructor can specify whether the assessment is to be taken from any location or only from the college.86 CHAPTER 7. the student or students will immediately enter the Assessment Mode at the next login. the student will be unable to use the system from locations other than college until the assessment is completed (See Sec.

” If all the defaults are left. a date (by default the current date). SCHEDULE COURSE ASSESSMENT 87 Figure 7.10. and a time (by default the current time) (Fig.7. the instructor is asked to specify the name of the assessment (by default.8). Clicking any of these links brings up the scheduled assessment for mod- . the students will enter Assessment Mode the next time they log in after that date and time.8: Course Assessment (Advanced Instructor Module) In order to schedule a course assessment. If a later date and/or time are chosen. the students will immediately enter Assessment Mode at their next login. The instructor can also specify whether the assessment can be taken anywhere (the default) or is restricted to campus. The calendar also shows the dates of all currently scheduled assessments and days on which automatic assessments have been blocked. 7. The calendar appearing to the right of the input fields provides a quick and easy way to choose the date of an assessment. a scheduled assessment is called “Requested Assessment” plus a number). At the bottom of the Course Assessment page all currently scheduled assessments are listed. the instructor schedules the assessment by clicking “Save. When this information has been given.

” the instructor sees it but the students do not.” “Grades. if “Public.9).” and “Advanced” provide access to additional features affecting scheduled assessments. The Grades feature uses a chart with sliders (Fig.” no one sees it.” the instructor sees it and each student sees it for their own work. if “Private. ADVANCED INSTRUCTOR MODULE: RESULTS & PROGRESS Figure 7. or the “Create New Assessment” button to add a new assessment from this page. Use the “Delete Assessment” button to delete a scheduled assessment. The grades received by students on scheduled assessments can be seen under Course Progress using the “Scheduled Assessment” menu (See Sec. . Message Add a special message to accompany the automatic message which students receive informing them that they are entering a scheduled assessment. 7. The three buttons under the graph determine the use of the evaluation: if “Disabled. The tabs “Message. Grades Assign a grading scheme to this assessment only.88 CHAPTER 7. cancel the automatic message.9: Grading with Scheduled Assessment (Instructor Module) ification or deletion. 7. If you prefer that the students not receive a message.7).

Then click the “Progress” or “Report” button. whether by the instructor or automatically by the system. NOTE. To change the label on a new or existing slider. 89 7. If an assessment is limited to the assigned day. To see all quiz results for a particular student. with labels referring to the intervals they define. retype as desired. but if the student does not log on that day that student will not be assessed until the next automatic or scheduled assessment. Grouping. A menu at the top of the list allows you to select previous quizzes. or view quizzes. EDIT. and then press “Return. select the name of the course for which you wish to do this and click “Quiz. Instructors wishing to constrain assessments in this way should contact ALEKS Corporation for assistance in determining the domain addresses used by their college.7.17). To see detailed results for any particular student on that quiz. These quizzes are administered through ALEKS and scored automatically. View Quizzes To create. Simply select the names of the students in the Selector: hold Shift to select a continuous range. The Quiz feature in ALEKS allows instructors to create quizzes for their students using any topics in the ALEKS domain. a student logging on to ALEKS on that day (after the start time) will be assessed.11 Create. with optional use of a grading scale set by the .” Advanced Block automatic assessments for up to 5 days prior to a scheduled assessment (useful to avoid having some students assessed twice in a row). click on the date of the quiz opposite the student’s name. the student will be unable to use the system from locations other than college until the assessment is completed (See Sec. or sliders may be removed by dragging them off to the right or left. Additional sliders may be placed by dragging the right-hand or left-hand sliders. It is possible to create arbitrary groups within the course and request assessments for these groups. or Ctrl to select a discontinuous group. click that student’s name. and request the assessment as you normally would for an entire course.” You will see a list of students in the course with results for the most recent quiz. If an assessment is scheduled. Edit.11. The sliders may be set and the labels edited as the instructor desires. 7. This list can be resorted on any of the headings by clicking on that heading. select the text of the current label. Links at the top of the page enable you to see a breakdown of quiz results by question and to assign a grading scale. and the student is required to take assessments at the college. VIEW QUIZZES The graph has sliders. CREATE. limit the effect of a scheduled assessment to the day it is assigned to or leave it in effect until the next scheduled assessment. edit.

Quizzes may be scheduled for particular days and times. or by highlighting topics and clicking “Add.” Click “Save” to create the quiz. Next. click on the button to lower right. Tips.” On the page that follows. select from the list of topics in the left-hand window either by dragging topics into the right-hand window.90 CHAPTER 7. Topics can be selected in continuous groups using the Shift key or discontinuous groups using Ctrl.10: Creating a Quiz (Advanced Instructor Module) instructor. or leave the name provided (“Quiz N”). ADVANCED INSTRUCTOR MODULE: RESULTS & PROGRESS Figure 7. use the radio buttons at the bottom of the page and the “Scheduling” button. The results of quizzes can be seen through the reporting features of ALEKS. Create New Quiz. edit this one. you will see various options for the quiz. but do not influence the students’ knowledge states or their guided learning in ALEKS. or set a grading scale. Double-click on the name of any topic to see a sample problem. finally. Enter a name for the quiz in the box to upper left. “Create New Quiz. To create a new quiz. or they may be made available for the students in a course to take when they are ready (“Homework Quiz”). send a message to announce the quiz. or delete this one. Other buttons enable you to create a different quiz. To set the availability of the quiz. the entire folder is selected by using Ctrl-a. . the tabs at the top can be used to schedule. There are links at the bottom to other existing quizzes.

how many days the quiz should be in effect (“Window of time to take the quiz”). or it may be deleted. and has a legible. click on the button to the lower right. the instructor must indicate a due date for the quiz. if no grading scale is set. 91 . The grading scale used with quizzes is like the one used for assessments (See Sec.” The quiz may be modified using the features described above for the creation of quizzes. whether the quiz is restricted to the college. Downloading.7. 5. the student clicks the “Quiz” button when they are ready to take the quiz (See Sec. VIEW QUIZZES Grading with quizzes. Quizzes may also be “hidden” for later availability to students. professional appearance. suitable for printing. “Edit Quiz.11. By default. “Spreadsheet Format” is comma-separated values (CSV). after which the quiz will no longer be available to students. or they may be scheduled. Availability of quizzes to students. If this option is chosen. and prevention of automatic assessments up to five days before the quiz is scheduled. rather. CREATE. Edit Quiz. To edit an existing quiz.” This means that the student is not forced into the quiz by ALEKS. A graphic calendar is provided for easy scheduling of quizzes. If the quiz is scheduled. the time limit on the quiz.10). As with assessments. 7. the students and the instructor will only see the percentage of questions answered correctly. Information from the Quiz page can be downloaded in two formats. whether students are notified. the instructor will have options for specifying the time of day it is to begin.2.9). “Excel Format” is in Microsoft Excel format. EDIT. quizzes are made available to students as “Homework Quizzes. A message can also be sent to students informing them that the quiz has been assigned. grading is not obligatory. which can be imported into a variety of applications but is raw in appearance.

5.12 Send Message Select the student or course to whom you wish to send a message. ADVANCED INSTRUCTOR MODULE: RESULTS & PROGRESS Figure 7. The ALEKS Message Center resembles an email program in most of its features. you can have copies of your students’ messages sent to your email account as well (See Sec.15).92 CHAPTER 7.11: Send Message (Instructor Module) 7. The student or students to whom the message is being sent will see it at their next login (See Sec.10). the Message Center is equipped with special symbols and tools appropriate to communication about the subject-matter used in ALEKS. Also. A full-featured editor will appear beneath the directories window with fields for a subject and a message and a “Send Message” button (Fig.2. and expressions in your . The ALEKS Message Center contains a full range of tools for using mathematical symbolism.11). Optionally. 7. Mathematical Expressions. although the exchange of messages takes place within the ALEKS system. It is also possible to send messages directly to ALEKS Corporation. and click on the “Compose Message” button. ALEKS Message Center. 7. constructions.

13. CHECK MESSAGES 93 Figure 7.12: Server Statistics (Instructor Module) messages. 7.14 Check Server Usage Click on the “Server Stats” button. Enrollment List. . 4. Assessment/Performance. Grouping. Server Use: Page Hits.15. 7.). or Ctrl to select a discontinuous group. You can receive messages from students in a course only if this has been enabled in the instructor account (See Sec.12). The type of information shown in the table can be changed by selecting a heading from the menu at the top of the table and clicking the “Compute” button. Then click the “Compose Message” button.13 Check Messages Click on the “Message” button at the top of the Instructor Module window. It is possible to create arbitrary groups within the course and send messages to these groups.7. A table will appear beneath the directories window (Fig. Simply select the names of the students in the Selector: hold Shift to select a continuous range. to facilitate posing and answering mathematical questions. The options for display are: Enrollment/Activity. Moreover. 7. students sending you messages in the Message Center can attach a graphic representation of the problem they are currently working on. The tools are like those used by ALEKS itself in the Answer Editor (See Sec. Server Use: User Hours. 7.5).

Supply the instructor’s first and last names.94 CHAPTER 7. and educational administrators seeking general statistical information on the use of ALEKS.15 Create Instructor Account Select the directory for the college where you wish to create an instructor account (or the directory “All instructors”) and click on the “New Instructor” button. and a Password.. a title (“Mr.” “Ms.13: Instructor Account (Advanced Instructor Module) NOTE. 7. The information provided by this feature is of interest to system administrators.. ADVANCED INSTRUCTOR MODULE: RESULTS & PROGRESS Figure 7. A form for the new account will appear beneath the directories window (Fig.13). If .. By default.” “Mrs.). instructors.” etc. 7. the new account is set for an instructor. a Login Name.

“Stats” refers to information in the database concerning the hours students have spent in ALEKS. When you are finished filling in the form click on “Save. Deleting a student removes that student’s records permanently from the ALEKS system. Under the “Cleanup Tools. Clear Records will remove all such information.” This creates the account. . you can make another administrator account by checking “Instructor and Administrator.7. EDIT INSTRUCTOR ACCOUNT you are an administrator.” “Records” refers to information in the database concerning student knowledge as shown on assessments and in the Learning Mode.” 95 Mail This tab contains options for entering an email address. NOTE. NOTE. 7.13). and permitting students to send the instructor messages through ALEKS (See Sec. To start over. The same form will appear as described in “Create Instructor Account” (Fig.13). “Status” must be enabled if the instructor is to have courses assigned (if “Status” is enabled. forwarding ALEKS messages to this address. you will see here how many courses are assigned to the instructor). Clear Stats will remove all such information. 7.16 Edit Instructor Account Select the instructor whose account you wish to edit and click the “Edit” button. Advanced This tab contains a button for “Cleanup Tools.” Other settings may be changed for the instructor by using the additional tabs “Mail” and “Advanced. The account may be deleted (“Delete File”) only if there are no courses and no students enrolled for this instructor (“Advanced”). 7. click “Reset.16. click “Delete File.” The “ID” field is optional and may be left blank.” These tools permit the instructor to unenroll and delete students and to modify database records in other ways. 7. “Message from student” should be enabled if you wish the account holder to receive messages from students (See Sec.” To cancel the account.13).

” Status Under “Status” you can close the course for enrollment (by default it is open) and restrict students’ access to their account (“assessment only” or “denied”— no access). “Aleks”) and choose a category. This will transfer the course to that instructor. The “ID” field is optional and ordinarily left blank.. .” This creates the account.” To cancel the account.” Other settings may be changed for the course by using the additional tabs “Status.17 Create Course Account Select the instructor for whom you wish to create a course and click on the “New Course” button.g. Also.” and “Advanced.14: Course Account (Advanced Instructor Module) 7.14).” “Content. you have the option of choosing an instructor other than the one initially selected (if others are available). you can request to be notified by ALEKS (through the Message Center) when any student in the course assesses at 100% of your syllabus. Provide a name (e. At this point.” “Learning. ADVANCED INSTRUCTOR MODULE: RESULTS & PROGRESS Figure 7.96 CHAPTER 7. 7. A form for the new account will appear beneath the directories window (Fig. The Course Code for the newly-created Course appears in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. When you are finished filling in the form click on “Save. click “Delete File. To start over.” “Assessment. click “Reset.

Instructors wishing to constrain assessments in this way should contact ALEKS Corporation for assistance in determining the domain addresses used by their college. If the instructor clicks in the checkbox for any content area. NOTE. Learning If the “Ask a friend” option is checked. Advanced Under “Advanced” it is possible to find a range of course management features. 7. 7. and have answer sheets sent through the Message Center each time a student downloads a new worksheet. To see exactly which items are contained in this content area. Clear Stats will remove all such information. The “Course Syllabus” button is equivalent to the “Select Course Syllabus” button (See Sec. For this setting to be effective.5. or subsequent assessments. “Schedule Assessment” permits the instructor to schedule an assessment for the course (See Sec. remind students to print a worksheet when exiting ALEKS.). it will also not appear in assessments.19). Objectives” gives access to the Intermediate Objectives feature (See Sec. Under the “Cleanup Tools. 97 . 7.24). choose between 16 review questions or 12 review plus 4 extra credit.4. can be taken only from the college. “Novice” means the system will choose a classmate who has mastered the concept very recently.” This tab also contains options for the use of the ALEKS Worksheet (See Sec. or both. The instructor may pick any point on the continuum between “novice” and “expert.22).” “Records” refers to information in the database concerning student knowledge as shown on assessments and in the Learning Mode. “Edit Int. Clear Records will remove all such information. “Cleanup Tools” permit the instructor to unenroll and delete students and to modify database records in other ways. 7. “Expert” means that the system will choose a classmate who mastered the concept earlier than others in the group. 5. “Assign Learning Rates” opens the Learning Rates feature (See Sec. 7. that content area is removed from the curriculum of the course.10.2. 7. Other options here concern the availability of the calculator and of the “Time to Completion” data to students on their Report page (See Secs. This feature lets the instructor quickly and easily modify the content for a course.17. click on the title of the content area.7. students in the course will be able to request the name of a classmate for help with a topic that is causing difficulty. 5. “Stats” refers to information in the database concerning the hours students have spent in ALEKS. The instructor may enable or disable the worksheet.6). a valid domain name must be entered in the college account. 7.23). CREATE COURSE ACCOUNT Assessment The students’ assessments can be restricted so that either the initial assessment.7). Content Clicking the “Content” tab gives access to the ALEKS Content Editor (See Sec.

7. The same form will appear as described in “Create Course Account” (Fig.” NOTE. 7. . “Standards” are collections of syllabi covering a range of levels. ADVANCED INSTRUCTOR MODULE: RESULTS & PROGRESS Figure 7. The “course syllabus” is a set of topics or items used as a goal for mastery by the students in a given course (See Chapter 8. You may also have the option of choosing a McGraw-Hill/HSSL textbook to be used with ALEKS.19 Select Course Syllabus Select the course for which you wish to choose the course syllabus and click on the “Select Course Syllabus” button. A form will appear beneath the directories window containing menus for all syllabi needed for the given course (Fig.14). In college courses one syllabus is usually set for the course. When you are finished filling in the form click on “Save.15). The Course Code for the Course being edited appears in the upper righthand corner of the screen. ALEKS always contains ready-made standards set to appropriate defaults. click on “Reset.98 CHAPTER 7.15: Course Syllabus (Advanced Instructor Module) 7.” To start over or restore defaults. The account may be deleted (“Delete File”) only if there are no students currently enrolled in the course (“Unenroll Students”).18 Edit Course Account Select the course you wish to edit and click on the “Edit” button.). 7.

You will see the target folder become highlighted when the student or students are ready to “drop. click on the “Save” button. Students may be moved between courses more easily by dragging and dropping their names.” . The entire course can be selected by using Ctrl-A. Drag and drop. or a discontinuous group by holding Ctrl and clicking. The names of students can be highlighted (enrolled) or dehighlighted (unenrolled) by clicking on them. When all desired changes have been made. The students currently enrolled in this course appear with their names highlighted in gray.20 Enroll and Unenroll Students Select the course for which you wish to enroll or unenroll students and click on “Enroll in Course. 99 7.” A display will appear beneath the directories window showing the names of all students who may be enrolled.7. ENROLL AND UNENROLL STUDENTS Thus.20. in most cases the college instructor need not select the course syllabus. a continuous range by holding Shift and clicking. Simply select the names of students to be moved in the right-hand side of the directories window and drag them to the target folder on the left. those enrolled in some other course are highlighted in yellow.

and current enrollment status (Fig.16: Student Account (Advanced Instructor Module) 7.100 CHAPTER 7. login name.” “Cleanup Tools” permit the instructor to unenroll and delete the student and to modify database records in other ways. The student’s Password is not shown in a readable form. and email. Corrections or changes may also be made to the student’s name. login name. Clear Records will remove all such information. ID. Clear Stats will remove all such information. though it may be useful to have these on record. Under “Advanced.16). select the name of the student and click on the “Edit” button. but it can be changed to provide a student with a new Password when one has been forgotten. email. . The student’s ID and email are optional. A form will appear beneath the directories window containing the student’s account information: name. Advanced.21 Edit Student Account To edit a student account. ADVANCED INSTRUCTOR MODULE: RESULTS & PROGRESS Figure 7. “Stats” refers to information in the database concerning the hours the student has spent in ALEKS. ID. 7. “Records” refers to information in the database concerning student knowledge as shown on assessments and in the Learning Mode.

students will be directed to work on these objectives as soon as they are available in the domain and guided through their prerequisites in the most direct way possible.17). select the name of the course for which you would like to set or modify objectives and click “Edit. Objectives.” On the page that follows. 5. When intermediate objectives have been set. 7. It enables instructors to prioritize certain groups of topics for specified segments of time. when these topics will be at the focus of class discussion. The begin and expiration dates of the student’s current account are also shown on this page. To create or edit intermediate objectives.” On the Edit page. 7.17: Intermediate Objectives (Advanced Instructor Module) Account Information.” The page that follows shows you a list of any intermediate objectives currently .7. Similar information is available to the student on the Options page (See Sec. click the tab marked “Advanced. click “Edit Int.22.2).2. INTERMEDIATE OBJECTIVES 101 Figure 7.22 Intermediate Objectives The Intermediate Objectives feature was created to address the needs of instructors using ALEKS in conjunction with a planned sequence of topics for classroom instruction (Fig.

The date is set in a pair of menus directly below the selector window. The editor warns when this is occurring (See Sec. ALEKS always maintains the coherence of its intermediate objectives. conversely.” If you wish to copy one or more intermediate objectives that have been set for another course or section. The instructor will see the same dotted lines when they view the piecharts for the class and for individual students. and remain in effect to the end of the course (“final” objectives). ADVANCED INSTRUCTOR MODULE: RESULTS & PROGRESS set for your course (or a note that none is currently set) and buttons for adding and copying intermediate objectives. the . these will also be removed. click “Copy Int. Select and unselect items for inclusion by clicking on and off the little checkmarks in the boxes that precede them. If an item being added to the objectives has prerequisite items not currently also belonging to the objectives. When a student uses MyPie to choose a topic for work in the Learning Mode. To create a new set of intermediate objectives. If no date is assigned.” Also. and set a date. and which are close to doing so. after which the next set of objectives will take effect. The student will see dotted lines on their piechart showing how far each slice will need to be filled in to achieve the current objectives. 8. Objectives. When a set of objectives is in effect. The instructor will see notations on the Course Progress page indicating which students have fulfilled the current objectives. click on “Open All.4. Every set of intermediate objectives is assigned to a particular date.” then on the tiny “X” in the upper righthand corner of the window. the objectives will take effect following the last set of objectives to which a date has been assigned. Click on this name to edit it. selected topics.3). any set of intermediate objectives must contain all of the items within the domain needed to learn the items it contains. one for month. if an item being removed from the objectives is a prerequisite item for some items presently in the objectives. This window displays the topics available to be selected for the set of intermediate objectives. click “Save” to enter the objectives into the system for this course. one for day.102 CHAPTER 7. To view a single. click “Add Int. scrolling list of topics. The dates for existing intermediate objectives can be changed by using menus in the list and clicking “Update. Here you will see a vertically divided window. The set of objectives will be in effect through the date to which it is assigned. these will be automatically added as well. you can choose to prevent automatic assessments for students in this course for up to five items before fulfillment of your intermediate objectives. The name of a set of objectives appears at the top of the list of topics.” or click an existing set of intermediate objectives in the list to edit them. which is the date by which the students are to have completed this set of objectives. Objectives. both instructor and student will receive information about progress toward their fulfillment. When you have picked a name. NOTE.

however. Some of the items. 103 . just as they usually do.22. these items are not available to the student (clicking on them has no effect) even though the student is ready to learn them. They may become available to the student after the current objectives have been achieved.7. INTERMEDIATE OBJECTIVES names of all items that student is “Ready to Learn” will pop out. because they do not belong to the shortest possible path leading the student to fulfillment of the current objectives set by the instructor. may appear in gray rather than blue.

” then click on the tab for “Content. NOTE.” You will see a list of content areas. 8. or “Reset” to undo them. than the Syllabus Editor (See Sec. each preceded by a checkbox. 7.18: Content Editor 7. This indicates that the area has been removed from the course content. Then click “Save” to put your changes into effect. To remove the area from the course. ADVANCED INSTRUCTOR MODULE: RESULTS & PROGRESS Figure 7. Keep in mind that while a syllabus created or modified by the Syllabus Editor can be used by any number of courses within the college.24 Assign Learning Rates The purpose of the Assign Learning Rates feature in ALEKS is to provide instructors with a highly flexible tool for interpreting and evaluating the work of students in ALEKS.23 Content Editor The ALEKS Content Editor is a quick and easy way to modify the content of a course (Fig. click on the checkbox to place an “x” in the box. The Content Editor is far more convenient. click on its title. One possible use of the information provided by this feature is as a .18). it will also not appear in assessments. the Content Editor acts on only one course at a time.4). though somewhat less powerful. Select the name of the course and click “Edit. To see what is contained in any of these areas.104 CHAPTER 7. 7.

Each of the graphs refers to a particular way of evaluating a student’s work: by the percentage of course objectives that they have mastered (Grading). with labels referring to the intervals they define.7. select the name of the course for which you wish to assign learning rates and click the “Progress” button. or sliders may be removed by dragging them off to the right or left. Additional sliders may be placed by dragging the right-hand or left-hand sliders.” the instructor sees it and each student sees it for their own work. 7. Each graph has sliders. and by the average number of items gained per week (Weekly Progress). The vertical bars appearing in the graphs indicate the distribution of students relative to the given scales. At the top of the Course Progress page you will see a link marked “Assign Learning Rates.19).” no one sees it. ASSIGN LEARNING RATES 105 Figure 7.” the instructor sees it but the students do not. if “Public. In the Advanced Instructor Module.19: Assign Learning Rates (Advanced Instructor Module) component in the grading system used for a course. or in some other method of motivation or reinforcement for student success. Any combination of these scales may be used. by the average number of items gained per hour (Hourly Progress). The sliders may be set . if “Private. The three buttons to the right of each graph determine the use of the evaluation: if “Disabled.” Clicking on this link produces a page with four rectangular graphs (Fig. by the total number of hours spent on ALEKS (Time on Task).24.

ADVANCED INSTRUCTOR MODULE: RESULTS & PROGRESS and the labels edited as the instructor desires.” The function of the sliders is as follows: a student’s evaluation on a given scale is the label of the interval within which that student is currently located. This can be reset to 2 units for greater precision. using a link in the lower right-hand part of the page.” To take another example. with the label for their interval set to “Enough. If any of these charts are set to “Public” the students will see their ratings according to those charts when they log on to ALEKS.106 CHAPTER 7. if a slider under “Time on Task” has been set to 10 hours and another to 20 hours. and then press “Return. click “Save. the segments into which values are divided in the “score” graph are at 5-unit intervals. such as Weekly Progress.” Now the labels set to “Private” will appear in the Progress page. may be more useful to the instructor than to the students.” a student who has mastered 82% of the course goals will have the evaluation “B. if one slider is set to 80 on the “Grading” graph and another slider to 90. . For example. By default. Explain carefully to the students what the meaning is of the notations that they will see.” When the desired settings have been made. as an aid to monitoring students’ work and learning. Some charts.” a student who has spent 11 hours on ALEKS will receive the evaluation “Enough. and how they relate to the overall goals for the course. select the text of the current label. with the interval between them labeled “B. To change the label on a new or existing slider. These should be set to “Private. retype as desired.” Variable Scale.

To view a particular standard or syllabus. Normally the syllabus will be organized by topics and subtopics using standard terminology. A “standard” is a collection of syllabi covering a range of levels. each of which is either marked with a checkmark. A second mode.” This will open the folder for a particular level within a particular standard.1). such as might be published by a government educational authority. The “syllabus” is a set of concepts taken from the sum total of concepts defining mastery of a domain that has been set as the curricular goal for a particular level of study. 107 . and all reports generated by the system for students and courses using the syllabus are framed in terms of this syllabus. “Standards & Syllabi. The syllabi selected for use by particular courses in ALEKS do not affect the system’s assessment.Chapter 8 Advanced Instructor Module: Standards & Syllabi By default. use the directories window of “Standards & Syllabi. indicating that it belongs to the syllabus. or not so marked. which is always conducted over the entire domain. That is to say. NOTE. and modify them to suit the needs of a college. mastery of this set of concepts is equivalent to completion of the curriculum for that level. Editing a new standard means adding and removing checkmarks from individual “items” according to some scheme of curricular progress. the Advanced Instructor Module displays “Results & Progress. Administrators with a sufficiently high level of user privilege may also copy syllabi and standards.” can be chosen from the menu at the top of the Advanced Instructor Module window (Fig. 8. There is a list of individual concepts within each of these topics. This mode enables the instructor to explore the system of standards and syllabi currently available in their ALEKS database.” as described in the preceding sections (See Chapter 7).

The ALEKS Syllabus Editor is provided to permit instructors . a syllabus for Behavioral Science Statistics is a set of items that students completing the course are expected to master.” Every subject covered by ALEKS corresponds to a set of items.108 CHAPTER 8. An example of an item in Behavioral Science Statistics is “Frequency Bar Graphs and Polygons. All assessment reports by the ALEKS system are based on some syllabus selected by instructors or administrators for use by those students. it is necessary to grasp three key concepts. Syllabus A syllabus is a subset of the set of items belonging to a subject that has been defined as the goal for a particular course. each of which can be tested and taught by the system. For example. Syllabi. and Standards In order to understand and use this part of the Advanced Instructor Module effectively.1: The Standards & Syllabi Directory (Advanced Instructor Module) 8. Mastery of the subject means mastery of each of the items making up the subject. Additional information can be found in the discussion of Knowledge Space theory (See Chapter 10).1 Items. Item An item is a fundamental unit of knowledge or ability recognized by the system. ADVANCED INSTRUCTOR MODULE: STANDARDS & SYLLABI Figure 8.

109 8.4).       On opening any of the listed standards. The privilege level of a particular user also determines where the new standards and syllabi created by that user will be placed. Any user of the Advanced Instructor Module may navigate through all directories and make copies of all available standards and syllabi. A standard should organize the teaching of a subject in a coherent and methodical way. the user is presented with a list of the levels covered by that standard.” users of the Advanced Instructor Module can navigate through a hierarchical listing of the standards currently available and the syllabi contained by them. may change only those standards and directories which they have themselves created (by copying existing ones). the user will see a list of the subjects covered for that level. Under “Standards & Syllabi. This means. there will be an element entitled “Basic. Users with appropriate levels of privilege can enter the Syllabus Editor to create new syllabi based on existing ones. or those created by users within their authority. or it may be created by a college or instructor for special purposes. On opening any of the levels listed for the given standard.” containing a list of all the standards available for that system (Fig. NAVIGATION AND USE and administrators to customize existing syllabi (See Sec. for a root administrator. A standard may be published by some social or governmental educational authority. On choosing “Standards & Syllabi. for a college administrator.” the user begins with a master directory entitled “All Standards. usually covering the entire range of levels over which a particular subject is taught.1). Users. any administrator or instructor under their administration. . That is. A user not within the authority of another given user has independent authority. Standards and syllabi can be copied. and items should be distributed among the syllabi according to some well-founded pedagogical rationale. At a minimum.2 Navigation and Use Access to directories under “Standards & Syllabi” is the same for all levels of user privilege. Standard A standard is a set of syllabi. 8. however.2. Standards and syllabi created by a user with independent authority may not be changed. instructor and above.” Each element in this list corresponds to a syllabus available within the system. 8. it means any instructor in the college. possibly leading to the creation of new standards.8. items belonging to the syllabus for one level should belong to the syllabi for higher levels.

and an optional ID number. it creates a new. The syllabi may be copied between folders by dragging and dropping them. The selected syllabus must have been created (copied from another syllabus) by the current user or by one within the authority of the current user. this will make a copy of that syllabus. If a new standard has been created. 8.” 8. it creates a new. If no standard is selected. users must select the new syllabus and click on the “Edit Syllabus” button (or double-click on the icon for .110 CHAPTER 8. Copy/New Standard If a standard is selected. which buttons are active at any given moment depends on what is selected in the navigation display. A standard is defined by designating its name. Edit Syllabus This will open the selected syllabus for modification in the Syllabus Editor (See Sec. empty one.4 Syllabus Editor In order to make changes to syllabi that have been copied.1). this will make a copy of that standard.4). usually for the purpose of establishing a new one.3 Buttons The following buttons appear next to and beneath the navigation display in “Standards & Syllabi” (Fig. The “Enabled” button must be selected if the standard is intended for use. You will see the target folder become highlighted when the syllabus is ready to “drop. 8. The buttons are always visible. Copy/New Syllabus If a syllabus is selected. The basic standards included with ALEKS and syllabi created by users with independent authority cannot be changed. If no syllabus is selected. Edit Standard The selected standard must have been created (copied from another standard) by the current user or by one within the authority of the current user. Drag and drop. Syllabi belonging to the basic standards included with ALEKS and syllabi created by users with independent authority cannot be changed. Simply select the names of syllabi to be copied in the righthand side of the directories window and drag them to the target folder on the left. empty one. but they can be copied and the copies changed. source (authority). the new syllabus will be placed here. ADVANCED INSTRUCTOR MODULE: STANDARDS & SYLLABI 8. usually for the purpose of establishing a new one based on it. but they can be copied and the copies changed.

2: The Syllabus Editor (Advanced Instructor Module) that syllabus).” it has its own.4. Items are labeled by name and topic. If a new syllabus is created by copying another syllabus. . distinctive interface appearing beneath the “Standards & Syllabi” directory. Although the Syllabus Editor is always entered under the heading “Standards & Syllabi. The Syllabus Editor displays items for the given subject. To see items you must open all folders in which they are contained. No checkmark means no items in that folder belong to the syllabus. and indicate whether or not they belong to the current syllabus by a checkmark (Fig.8. no items in it are selected. A small checkmark means that some of the items in that folder belong to the syllabus. NOTE. Clicking on the tiny “x” in the upper right-hand corner of the directory window creates a single window and makes it possible to view all the items at once (click on “Open All”). precisely the same items are selected in it as in the original. this means that all items in that folder currently belong to the syllabus. organized in folders by general topic. SYLLABUS EDITOR 111 Figure 8. If a folder is marked with a large checkmark.2). This gives access to the ALEKS Syllabus Editor for that syllabus. 8. If the syllabus is created from scratch.

If a particular source is used for defining a syllabus. and should be documented externally as justification for the decision to adopt the given syllabus. Once the list of items to be included has been established. Open All Shows all folders in the editor display.4. the syllabi for the other courses in this sequence will normally be defined together with it as part of a single progression. ADVANCED INSTRUCTOR MODULE: STANDARDS & SYLLABI 8.3 Using the Syllabus Editor To define a syllabus. If the course is part of a sequence. the source should be recorded in the standard containing the new syllabus.112 CHAPTER 8. and should be filled in as needed in creating or editing a syllabus. ID Optional identification number. 8. Undo Undoes the most recent editing action (the addition or removal of an item).2 Buttons The following buttons also appear adjacent to the editor display. the instructor must first ascertain which of the items in the complete list of items making up the subject matter are to belong to this syllabus.4. Standard The standard to which this syllabus belongs. This gives a complete picture of the topical structure of the subject matter. This should be a thoughtful decision.1 Fields The following fields appear above and below the editor display. 8. Parser The name of the person creating or modifying the syllabus (and so responsible for selection of items). usually made within an appropriate institutional framework. There should be a . To parse in this sense means to establish functional relationships between all elements of a sequence. Status Should be set to “enabled” if the syllabus is to be available for use.4. the instructor responsible for editing the syllabus examines each of the displayed items. the parser is making all items for the subject either members or nonmembers of the syllabus.

if an item being removed from the syllabus is a prerequisite item for some items presently in the syllabus. these will be automatically added as well. The Syllabus Editor warns when this is occurring. Following this. ALEKS always maintains the coherence of its syllabi. click on the “Save” button to record the syllabus. If an item being added to the syllabus has prerequisite items not belonging to the syllabus. A checkmark is added or removed by clicking once on the checkbox. and no checkmark before items that are not to be included.8. conversely. these will also be removed. SYLLABUS EDITOR checkmark before each item to be included. any ALEKS syllabus must contain all of the items within the domain needed to learn the items it contains. 113 . NOTE.4.

ADVANCED INSTRUCTOR MODULE: STANDARDS & SYLLABI .114 CHAPTER 8.

Many will find this difference exhilarating. but ALEKS puts this information clearly at the instructor’s disposal.” With time and persistence. The relative mastery attained by students appears clearly from the Course Progress page in the Instructor Module. but has demonstrated (within ALEKS) the readiness to begin learning. They therefore experience less frustration (from material that is too hard for them) and boredom (from material that is too easy for them). to which some may be unaccustomed.1 The ALEKS Educational Paradigm ALEKS is based on the realization that students learn statistics in different ways. the instructor’s scope for individual coaching and small-group instruction 115 . at differing speeds. Starting from an accurate assessment of their current knowledge.Chapter 9 Teaching with ALEKS 9. ALEKS smoothly and efficiently guides the student through all necessary review and reinforcement. and grow in confidence and independence. this progress will be clearly visible to both student and instructor. If ALEKS is used properly. with a greatly expanded ability to accurately monitor and effectively promote their students’ learning. If a student forgets what was once learned. Instructors also may find different opportunities for optimizing their role in the learning process. Learning is more efficient and more rapid. It is normal for students to be in disparate knowledge states. ALEKS does not require the students to progress as a unified group. and reward for the students’ effective use of ALEKS. students in ALEKS are only offered what they have shown themselves ready to learn. Students have “ownership” of their learning process. ALEKS will permit a student to work on any topic in the category “ready to learn. every ALEKS student will progress toward mastery. Students using ALEKS will experience new independence in learning. support.” a well-chosen list of topics which the student has not yet learned. The role of the instructor is critical in providing structure. The student will not be “lost. this would be the case in any event.

TEACHING WITH ALEKS will be greatly expanded. the instructor can take more or less of ALEKS. struggling with discipline issues. managing materials. as will the freedom to teach a broader and richer statistics culture (to some or all students. among other things. Students need to understand that when they add an item to their pie. time permitting). 9. correcting.116 CHAPTER 9. Once the students realize that the purpose of the ALEKS . The instructor does not need to supervise all ALEKS assessments. able to make effective strategic decisions. and taking assessments at various times and locations. congratulating those who “add an item to their pie. checking another student’s work. The instructor in an ALEKS course may be just as busy teaching to individual learners: getting one student started on a new topic. possessed of powerful resources. yet the instructor will find that the additional direct support given this way is unexpectedly welcome and productive. normally. responding to questions.” ALEKS provides comprehensive support to the student in every phase of its use. making or reinforcing connections among concepts. Students will be assessed at the beginning of their use of ALEKS (following Registration and the Tutorial). suggesting alternate methods and explanations. and at regular intervals thereafter. Soon this will become second nature and learning will be its own motivation. or distributing papers. The point is that ALEKS puts the instructor in command. however. ALEKS turns the instructor from a footsoldier in the trenches into a field commander. surveying a broad landscape of information. and the proper use of ALEKS. In other words. Various styles of use are possible. give it a greater or lesser position among other course requirements and activities. setbacks are readily addressed and overcome. every student can expect to make progress and be recognized. or supervising activities. organizing groups. students will be using ALEKS outside as well as in the lab or classroom. or show progress in a new assessment. Suddenly the relation of teacher and student is based on knowledge and discovery. 9.3. it is an achievement. especially in the early stages of an ALEKS course. The following should be understood as mere suggestions. No one is “behind” in ALEKS. not management and sanction. It is important.2 The Instructor and ALEKS Not every way of using ALEKS involves supervised classroom sessions. designed to give instructors a sense of the possibilities offered by ALEKS’s substantial library of tools. The instructor in an ALEKS course need not be collecting. When this is sensible. At the same time. that the instructor be generous in recognizing student progress. giving instructions. formal rewards for the effective use of ALEKS need to be built into the course structure and made clear from the outset (See Sec. it provides a new dimension to the students’ learning.).

9. Instructors wishing to give their students the greatest possible benefit from using ALEKS. however. the amount of time required must be carefully determined to be reasonable. At the same time.11). The instructor may assume complete freedom in planning lectures. Moreover. lessons. It is neither necessary nor helpful for the instructor to attempt to constrain the interactions of the ALEKS system with individual students. For the instructor’s own information. 9. planning a course in which ALEKS is to be used is simpler than planning other kinds of courses.3 Planning the ALEKS Course In some ways. other supervised assessments may also be held at regular intervals to provide accurate “snapshots” of overall progress by the course (See Sec. there will be little reason to get help. PLANNING THE ALEKS COURSE assessment is to provide appropriate material in the Learning Mode. This means that the students must be required to spend a suitable amount of time in ALEKS on a weekly basis. they will need to be reassured that the assessment is not for a grade. and need not be planned separately. In cases where students do not seem to be making adequate progress in ALEKS. and it is important that the results of this initial assessment be valid. We recommend that the initial assessment be supervised. To the extent that students will be working independently in ALEKS. or in any other way achieve incorrect assessment results. The instructor should not simply . and in balance with other requirements for the course. along with the regularity of their use. it is extremely important to make ALEKS an integral part of the course requirements and grading scheme. 117 9. 9. use the textbook or calculator inappropriately.9. can use its features to plan focused small-group instruction from week to week (See Sec. The students may need assistance in their first use of the system. the cause may be found in help that the student received on an unsupervised assessment from a person or inappropriately used calculator.5). say 2-4 hours. so that that the students’ work in the Learning Mode be productive from the start. any assessment results which may be used as a component in the students’ grades should. We suggest that such supervised assessments be scheduled at the midpoint and end of the course.3. skewing the assessment results and leading to inappropriate material in the Learning Mode. that they must be informed of this at the very beginning of the course. of course. be obtained from assessments performed with the level of supervision required by the educational institution for final exams (See Sec. There is no other single factor which influences the success of students using ALEKS so much as the time that they spend on the system. Also. and that the instructor must monitor their fulfillment of this obligation. the content of lab classes is provided by their work in ALEKS. NOTE.15). while ALEKS ensures that students can progress toward mastery regardless of their level of preparation. and assignments.

This page can be printed out every week for record-keeping. students will realize the benefit that they receive from ALEKS. For example. and experienced instructors may well choose approaches that will be more effective with their own students. up to the required minimum. Proportional rewards are also possible. it will be simply another requirement. one whose communication requires particular thoughtfulness on the instructor’s part. For information on how to do this please see Sec. since the instructor knows exactly what time the students have spent. ALEKS will log the student off if there is no activity after a certain amount of time. the ALEKS requirement is stricter than others. With time. students will try to fool ALEKS by logging on to their accounts and doing something else. that week is not rewarded. but neither is the “deficit” carried forward. Obviously these are only suggestions. however. Many instructors have found that in order for the ALEKS requirement to be meaningful. this can be detected by noticing that the number of items gained per hour is far too low (or null). so that the student does not fall into the expectation that all of the required hours can be done at the end. however that support is best implemented in a particular setting. it may beneficially be made part of the grading system or system of rewards for the course. The simplest 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. Instructors can obtain a precise record of a student’s actual work in ALEKS by viewing the student’s Report (“Reporting”/“Report for a single student in this course (pie chart)”). consistency should be rewarded. each hour spent has a point value. . formal support for the use of ALEKS. If a student falls short of the specified hours during a particular week. The underlying idea is that there must be clear.” The students’ achievement in ALEKS (as opposed to their use of the system) may also be used as a component in their final grade.15. In a sense. the next week begins with a clean slate (the primary concern is regular use of the system.118 CHAPTER 9. the quantity of homework problems may be reduced. the instructor should check the hours on the “Learning progress since latest assessment” page (under “Reporting”). In order to effectively monitor the students’ use. and its effect on their overall grades. for this reason a surplus is also not carried forward). as the students will be solving problems in their ALEKS sessions. TEACHING WITH ALEKS include an ALEKS requirement without reducing in corresponding measure the other requirements that the students would have had to fulfill without ALEKS. under “Learning Log. 9. along with total hours. In very rare cases. and the students will naturally be sensitive to this. At first.

students will be provided only material that they are ideally prepared to learn. 9. and to reinforce and expand on knowledge that students have recently acquired. and their use constitutes a proactive integration of ALEKS with the course structure. in particular.4 Preparing Your Students Computer Skills Some students who have had little experience with computers may need assistance with the use of the mouse and. This involves either guiding lectures or focused instruction to small groups of students based on data obtained from ALEKS. even to the extent of explaining or rephrasing a question. They will not receive a grade on an ALEKS assessment. Normally an assessment in Behavioral Science Statistics requires between 20 and 30 questions. PREPARING YOUR STUDENTS 119 9. additional staff should be on hand for the first session to assist the students as necessary. but otherwise that they should do their best to answer. assessment results may be inaccurate and the student’s learning in ALEKS may initially be hindered. If the teacher or anyone else helps the student during assessment.9.4. No Help in Assessments Explain to the students that they will need to use paper and pencil for answering assessment questions. From the instructor’s viewpoint. We highly recommend that you demonstrate these skills to the students before beginning their use of ALEKS. Be sure they understand that the purpose of the initial assessment is to give ALEKS a precise. these are powerful features of ALEKS. so as to render learning very efficient by focusing on what the student is ready to learn. As the assessment proceeds. the questions will focus more and more closely on the outer limits of the student’s actual knowledge. In the course of the assessment. In Learning Mode (following assessment). The students should be told to click the “I don’t know” button if a question is completely unfamiliar to them. detailed understanding of what a student knows. some questions may be too easy or too difficult for some students.5 Focused Instruction with ALEKS The features of the Instructor Module make it possible to prepare students for specific topics that they are going to work on. Difficulty of Assessment Questions The ALEKS assessment is always comprehensive in order to achieve the highest degree of accuracy and reliability. Occasionally. the number of questions asked may be greater than this. If possible. with “scrolling” the window of a web browser. . It is not a “test” that one can pass or fail. Length of Assessments The number of questions asked in an ALEKS assessment varies. but that no help or collaboration whatsoever is permitted during assessment.

then “Average report (piechart). the parenthesis “(learning)” indicates that the information is based on their most recent work in the Learning Mode. Now suppose we choose “What students can do (learning)” from the menu “Display Mode. To see the outer and inner fringes of the group we need to use options from the “Display mode” menu: “Ready to learn. clicking on that phrase displays the students’ names. on which they are likely to have the most questions and ideas. the students listed for these topics. The instructor. To find this information for a course. this “inner fringe” will be substituted for the “outer fringe” or topics “ready to learn. if a student has difficulty in the Learning Mode. and generalizes individual . the items recently learned (“what a student can do”) are considered the least secure and most likely to need review or reinforcement.” Suppose we choose the option “Ready to learn (learning)” from the menu “Display Mode. For each topic the number of students ready to learn that topic appears to the right (e. Thus. (These items may be made available for review by clicking “Review”.120 CHAPTER 9. The items “ready to learn” are the topics a student may normally choose to work on in ALEKS. and displays the weaknesses and strengths of the course as a whole. For each topic-list. are those who have recently worked on and.. however. supplement. called the “inner fringe”) (See Sec.” the “highest” topics in the student’s knowledge state. the instructor should enter the Instructor Module and click “Reporting. learned the topics. there is a link to send a message to precisely those students. The purpose of this analysis is that the instructor may pick one or more topics from the list and schedule small-group sessions preparing the named students to learn them more effectively. and the set of items most recently learned (“what students can do. however.” Another list of topics will be produced.g.” and “What students can do. the instructor can schedule focused sessions with these groups of students to reinforce or expand on material that may be presumed fresh in the students’ minds. This gives the instructor the possibility of always teaching to students who are ideally prepared. and so completely current. at least tentatively. can also view the inner and outer fringes in a convenient format to plan focused instruction that will parallel. for fans of ancient Greek).” the name of the course. and enhance the individual work that their students are doing in ALEKS. It suggests a mode of teaching to the moment of opportunity. whereas clicking on “Show All” displays all the students’ names for all of the topics. if you will (“kairotic” teaching. “12 students”). 10.4).2.” This will summarize the topics that all of the students in the course are currently ready to learn.”) When the students are logged on to ALEKS these two kinds of information are used automatically to guide and manage their learning.” The piechart in Average report represents the average student in the given course. TEACHING WITH ALEKS 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).

the instructor is ready to begin planning. (The ALEKS class has only one hour in the lab.” Following this the instructor switches. He or she logs onto ALEKS. Then. ranging between 20 and 40 percent. It may be useful to look at some examples illustrating how these features may be used.” then the name of a course in Behavioral Science Statistics. the remaining 40 minutes are for helping 121 . and clicks “Graph. At this point.” A piechart appears showing the average profile of mastery in the course. Distributions.” and. and Descriptive Statistics. and clicks “Report. if the information is to be used to best advantage.9. and then “Average report (pie chart). Example 1: Basic On a Friday evening. Distributions.” When the list of topics appears. Suppose that there is only time in the week’s schedule for two small-group sessions. It will make more sense as you have more experience using ALEKS as a teaching tool. With the benefit of some timely preparation. If you have not used the ALEKS Instructor Module extensively.” then the name of a course in Behavioral Science Statistics. clicks “Reporting. This indicates that lessons for the week may focus profitably on Inferential Statistics. to the option for “Ready to learn (learning)” and clicks the ALEKS Print button.5. obviously. the students can be expected to master this troublesome topic with little or no difficulty. With these two printouts in hand. clicks the Print button. and then “Average report (pie chart). the instructor logs on to ALEKS. and ten minutes are set aside to speak with each small group. the instructor scans this list for items of particular difficulty. Example 2: Intermediate On a weekend afternoon. Even if “Open All” was not clicked the page will be displayed with all lists of students’ names displayed. selects the name of a course in Behavioral Science Statistics. and Descriptive Statistics are filled much less. the instructor selects “Ready to learn (learning)” from the “Display Mode” menu. clicks “Reporting. The “slice” of the piechart for Random Variables is full to about 90 percent. FOCUSED INSTRUCTION WITH ALEKS learning to small groups of learners at specific times. don’t be troubled if some of this seems difficult. the data obtained for this purpose from ALEKS on one day will be of considerably less value if used a week later. the instructor sits down to plan lessons for the following week. There it is! “Confidence Interval for the Population Mean” has 16 students currently able to choose this topic from their piecharts. the instructor switches to the option for “What students can do (learning). first.” After a look at the piechart. a great deal depends on the experience and expertise of the instructor. The instructor notes this topic down for class discussion early in the week. the instructor logs on to his or her ALEKS account. the slices for Inferential Statistics. Example 3: Advanced On a Monday morning. again.

9.” The instructor knows from experience that students have difficulty with the concept. as the course progresses. In this scenario students may use the college computer lab on their own. the students will receive this note the next time they log on to ALEKS. ALEKS is used in this case much as it is for distance learning. Supervised Statistics Lab. Students benefit from the direct coaching and assistance of qualified instructors in the course of their work with ALEKS. . except that students have the opportunity for closer consultation with the instructor. so it has critical mass. asking them to meet in the front of the room at the beginning of the lab. Small-Group Instruction. The instructor in such a setting need not gear the sequence of topics covered in classes in any way with what the students are doing in ALEKS. 3. 2. Expert supervision can be provided for the students’ use of ALEKS in regularly scheduled statistics lab periods. TEACHING WITH ALEKS students in the lab. and that they are more successful with it if they have had a chance to review. and which are pedagogically most worth discussing. as well as their understanding of lectures. no later than the beginning of that lab. The instructor uses the message feature to send a note to these students. This topic has 12 students out of 30 in the class.) The instructor will look over the topics with two questions in mind: which topics have the greatest numbers of students. whether or not these are part of a conventional class structure. with only informal supervision. 4. The supervised statistics lab may be part of a structure of class meetings. 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. 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. combined with conventional and lecturestyle classes. Self-Paced Learning.” the instructor sees “Ordering Scatter Diagrams by Increasing Correlation.6 Models of Classroom Integration There are numerous ways in which ALEKS can be and is used in concrete educational situations. 1.122 CHAPTER 9. For example. the students’ independent work in ALEKS will increasingly benefit their performance on quizzes and tests. Statistics Lab in Structured Course. looking at the list of topics “Ready to learn.

It should be kept 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).” It is also important that critical assessments throughout the course be supervised by the instructor. ALEKS is used with great independence by students who may never enter the physical classroom. Students can see this same total in their own accounts by using the button “Options. a principal concern of the instructor is to monitor that students are using the system with the required regularity and for at least the minimum required amount of time. by email. as well as powerful facilities for the monitoring and evaluation of student work. or by messages through the ALEKS system.7. select “Overall progress in assessment. The most convenient place to find this information is the “Learning progress since latest assessment page” (under “Reporting”).2). personal praise. the cause of their difficulty determined and remedied. whether in direct contact. Distance Learning. 9.9.” This displays the difference between . this should be made clear from the start as part of the published course syllabus and rewarded appropriately through the grading scheme. The following sections of this chapter provide more information on these issues affecting the classroom use and integration of ALEKS. conversely. Regardless of which approach is used. Each student’s name is displayed on this page with the total number of hours that student has spent logged on to the system. students who do not seem to make adequate progress should be contacted promptly.8 Monitoring the Progress of a Course The instructor can also use the bar graphs to see how close each student is to mastery of the subject matter on the Course Progress page. MONITORING STUDENT USE 5. we recommend that a certain number of hours in ALEKS each week be required (See Sec. you can derive more benefit from ALEKS though monitoring the students’ use of ALEKS and communicating with them.7 Monitoring Student Use In the day-to-day use of ALEKS by a class.2). 123 9. For a more panoramic view of the progress made by a group. ALEKS provides a range of features for communication between instructor and student. 9. As discussed above. to ensure that valid results are received (See Sec. or may enter only on a few occasions for orientation and supervised assessments. Students’ progress in ALEKS should be recognized and reinforced early on by informal. 9.

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. The initial assessment is shown in the bottom line.124 CHAPTER 9. Students vary widely both in the smoothness and in the speed with which they master material. 9. . I. the instructor should make individual contact with the student.e. the instructor can see very clearly how a student is progressing toward mastery of the subject matter. ALEKS will allow the student to continue until the subject-matter is exhausted. 9. It is not always the case that progress made in the Learning Mode (green bar) is reflected in a student’s level of mastery on a subsequent assessment. By following progression from earlier to later assessments. there may have been third-party help on an initial assessment. with later assessments “stacked” upward. In such cases the “new” blue line is further ahead than the green line just below it.” NOTE.10 Moving a Student to a New Course A student subscription to ALEKS entitles the student to work through as many subjects in the sequence as the student masters during the subscription period. many students make faster progress in the Learning Mode than in assessment. some students progress more quickly in assessment than in the Learning Mode. the instructor should view the page “Progress report for a single student in this course” for the student. At this point the student should be moved to a more advanced course. In cases where a student moves backward in his or her mastery. with that student’s progress subsequent to each assessment in the Learning Mode. On the other hand. This student may be experiencing a personal problem. Caution should be exercised in interpreting this information.9 Monitoring Individual Progress On the page “Progress report for a single student in this course” there is a line for each assessment taken by a particular student. due to the effectiveness of the instructor or to other factors. None of these situations is unusual.. To see each of the assessments for a given student. When a student completes the objectives of a course. In such cases the “new” blue line lags behind the green line below it. TEACHING WITH ALEKS the students’ knowledge as of their first assessment and that demonstrated on their most recent assessment. Part of the power of the ALEKS system is that it does not expect students to behave like machines. but makes allowance for a robust and unpredictable “human factor. with bar graphs showing mastery as of that assessment and subsequent progress made in the Learning Mode. or there may be other external factors affecting the situation.

as “snapshots” of overall course achievement. The internal message system of ALEKS puts the instructor in constant touch with students without dependence on telephone or email communication. however. 125 9.11. For the instructor administering an independent study or distance learning program. The instructor. ALEKS is self-contained and adaptable to any syllabus or course materials. If no such course exists. the ALEKS system will automatically schedule any other assessments needed for correctly informing and guiding a student’s progress. 9. where they stand in relation to those goals. We recommend maximizing the opportunities for highlighting achievement in this way. through the features of the Instructor Module.11 Ordering Assessments Following the initial assessment (which should be taken under the instructor’s supervision). This has the advantage that no students need to be moved from one ALEKS “course” to another.. . producing invalid results. the experience of completing a subject and being “graduated” to another one is rewarding for the student.12 Independent Study and Distance Learning The ALEKS system is well suited to use in an independent study or distance learning context. it should be created so that the student is not prevented from making further progress. can order an individual or group assessment at any time. the instructor should unenroll that student from Basic Math in ALEKS and reenroll the student in a new course whose topic is set to Algebra. It is a good practice for the instructor to schedule supervised assessments at regular intervals (midterm and end of the course). when a student completes the subject matter for a course whose syllabus corresponds to Basic Math.g. Assessments may be ordered more frequently if the instructor feels that there has been third-party help on some automatic assessments. and communication. All of the information needed to keep track of far-flung independent learners is at the instructor’s fingertips. oversight. Students using ALEKS under these circumstances know exactly what the course goals are. It is possible to define courses within the ALEKS system in such a way that they include all subjects that the students are likely to begin learning before the end of the actual school course (e. ALEKS solves nearly every problem of management. evaluation. Basic Math & Algebra). and where to find the instructional and practice tools to achieve them. On the other hand. ORDERING ASSESSMENTS For example.9.

keeping the ALEKS assessments brief. however. A knowledge state is a subset of items which may correspond to the knowledge of an actual student (i. but uncannily accurate.e.000 knowledge states in ALEKS for Behavioral Science Statistics. such as Behavioral Science Statistics. TEACHING WITH ALEKS 9. the system knows precisely which items are in the inner fringe and outer fringe of each of the over 75. or learning paths. That is. 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. The structure is also crucial in the ALEKS Learning Mode. that any order is possible. This flexibility does not imply. at a minimum. A knowledge structure is the family of all the knowledge states that we may encounter for a given subject. 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. Using the structure of Behavioral Science Statistics. is covered by about 150 ALEKS items (or problem types). for example. In the case of Behavioral Science Statistics. (Technically. and no others). (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. The knowledge structure for Behavioral Science Statistics. In the ALEKS assessment mode it enables ALEKS to make inferences from student answers. the items which are “below” such topic in the ALEKS structure. An ALEKS structure impacts virtually every aspect of ALEKS’s functioning. Each learning path leading to a particular topic must contain. .000 knowledge states. we may say that the more “advanced. there is a vast number of possible approaches.) These items are presented to the student in MyPie when the student moves the mouse pointer over the ALEKS piechart.” topics in an ALEKS structure are those for which the ALEKS system will require the student to learn the largest number of other items before those items will be presented to the student.) They are presented to the student when the student is having difficulty in the ALEKS Learning Mode and during ALEKS review. which may lead students to mastery of that topic. there may be a student who has mastered exactly those items. Similarly.” or “highest. for example. the knowledge structure contains about 75.126 CHAPTER 9. An additional benefit of the proliferation of connections among items in ALEKS is its extreme flexibility from the students’ viewpoint: for any particular topic.13 The ALEKS Knowledge Structure Each ALEKS subject. an item is in the inner fringe of a state if removing that item from the state results in another feasible knowledge state. has a knowledge structure associated with it..

which can be used in any combination: percentage of course goals mastered. There are four criteria. and each student sees their own. When Intermediate Objectives have been set. . Every subject has a comprehensive default.14 Modification of Syllabi Instructors do not need to create or modify the syllabus in order to use ALEKS. all other items in the syllabus which are “above” that item in the ALEKS structure will also be removed. and average number of items gained per week of use. In some cases it may be desirable to modify the syllabus used for a particular group of students.” so that only the instructor sees the evaluations. or to “Disabled. If an item is added to the syllabus in ALEKS. students will be guided to these items by the shortest possible path. Items that they are ready to learn. which will be in effect without any actions on the instructor’s part. MODIFICATION OF SYLLABI 127 9. not from its roots. Thus it is possible to modify a syllabus in ALEKS only by “trimming” the tree from its branches. with be “grayed out”. If an item is removed. they will appear in the students’ piecharts. 9. total hours spent in ALEKS. The Syllabus Editor warns when this is occurring. by constraining the choices available to the students. a possible configuration of a student’s knowledge. that is. Extensive creation and modification of Standards and Syllabi is possible in the ALEKS Advanced Instructor Module (See Chapter 8). As such. 7. average items gained per hour of use. to “Public.” so that the instructor sees the evaluations for all students.13). but the students will not be able to choose them.” so that no one sees them. but are not on the shortest path to the Intermediate Objectives.     ALEKS also provides a facility for creating multiple sets of syllabi within a single course (See Sec.9. defined as the goal of the course. 9.15 Learning Rates in ALEKS ALEKS allows instructors to flexibly evaluate and interpret student learning. Please keep in mind the following points regarding the use of syllabi in ALEKS: A syllabus in ALEKS implies the existence of a knowledge state. all items in this “final” knowledge state of the syllabus must be learnable within the syllabus. The Intermediate Objectives feature makes it possible to prioritize particular sets of items for particular periods of time.14. Sec. see Section 7. Each can be set to “Private.22). This is determined in ALEKS by reference to the ALEKS structure (See above. all other items which are “below” that item will also be added. For detailed instructions on the use of the learning rates feature.24.

” the instructor will see the flag “Not enough” appearing next to the names of students whose progress is slower than this. the reasons for slow progress may be varied. and so forth. if the evaluation for percentage of course goals mastered is set to A for 90 percent. with the other evaluations set accordingly. alerting them to the need for special attention. for example. D for 60 percent. if the decision is made that they should be “Public. For example. Such evaluations should be set to “Private. TEACHING WITH ALEKS Caution must be exercised in determining which. C for 70 percent. 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”. might be set to some minimum value like 3 (in a Behavioral Science Statistics class requiring 3 hours of work in ALEKS per week). Now. 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. to 25 percent for the second week. and they may easily be discouraged by seeing poor evaluations in their accounts. D when it is between 60 and 69 percent). Some of the kinds of evaluations in ALEKS may be more useful for the instructor alone than for the students. the instructor would not want to send the message to the students that 3 items gained per week is “Enough. Under normal circumstances.e. For this reason. of these criteria should be set to “Public. if any.128 CHAPTER 9.. If the evaluation is set to “Private. Such a procedure requires more work by the instructor. but for the end of the course. or at other appropriate intervals. B for 80 percent. and Failure below that. a student making slower progress than this should be brought to the instructor’s attention for intervention of some kind. for example. . the students will see these letters in their accounts as long as their percentage mastery is in the ranges given (i.” The evaluation based on average items gained per week. but it certainly gives the students a more meaningful frame of reference for their progress.” since many students in the course may be capable of much more. the instructor should explain very carefully to the students what the evaluations signify.” so that they are seen by the students. At the same time. This might mean. that A is set to 20 percent for the first week. on the Course Progress page. Conversely. even good students will spend much time in percentage ranges that do not correspond to their expected grades. The point is that they are being evaluated not for the point in the course where they are currently working.” The same proviso applies to the other kinds of evaluations available through ALEKS.

and Instances An academic discipline such as Behavioral Science Statistics is represented as a particular set of problems or questions that comprehensively embody the knowledge of the discipline.1 History Knowledge Space Theory has been under development since 1983 by Professor JeanClaude Falmagne. Knowledge Space Theory is expressed in a mathematical discipline often referred to as “Combinatorics. Jean-Paul Doignon from Belgium) in the United States and Europe. nor is one necessary for the purposes of this manual. A symbolic representation of the domain of Behavioral Science Statistics uses dots 129 . 10. ALEKS is the first computer system to embody Knowledge Space Theory for assessment and teaching. What follows here is a brief. and other scientists (especially.1 Domain.3).” The Bibliography contains a number of references for those interested in further details (See Sec.Chapter 10 Knowledge Spaces and the Theory Behind ALEKS 10. 10.2 Theory An exposition of Knowledge Space Theory is not intended here. That set is called the domain. and the problems are called items. 10.2. Items. intuitive summary introducing certain fundamental terms employed in discussions of ALEKS. who is the Chairman and founder of ALEKS Corporation.

the domain contains about one hundred and fifty items.1). Full mastery of the domain implies the ability to solve problems corresponding to all the items making up the domain. The problem in the rectangle is an instance of that item. that is. KNOWLEDGE SPACES AND THE THEORY BEHIND ALEKS Figure 10.1: Domain of Behavioral Science Statistics standing for items (Fig. Substantial agreement is achieved among expert pedagogues on the choice and definition of items. Each item. The set of items finally arrived at and forming the domain must be comprehensive. sometimes hundreds. One of the items. has dozens. This is done by research in instructional materials and standards and very systematic. painstaking consultation with instructors. which might be entitled “Word Problem with Percentages.130 CHAPTER 10. . of instances. or problem type. 10. In ALEKS for Behavioral Science Statistics. for instance.” is indicated by a line. ranging from frequency bar graphs and polygons to analysis of variance. Determining the set of items that make up the domain is the first step in constructing a “knowledge structure” for that domain. it must cover all the concepts that are essential in the particular academic discipline.

2 Knowledge 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. the correct response to a question may occasionally be guessed by a subject lacking any real understanding of the question asked. an individual’s knowledge state is thus not directly observable. because multiple choice answers are not used. This means that the student is not working under time pressure. careless errors may arise.2. In reality. etc. 10. is not impaired by emotional turmoil of any kind. there is no knowledge state containing the “long division” item that does not also contain the “addition of decimal numbers” item.” Thus.10. For instance. In the current implementation of . (This will occur very rarely when using the ALEKS system.2: Knowledge State 10.3 Knowledge Structures and Knowledge Spaces It should be intuitively obvious that not all possible subsets of the domain are feasible knowledge states. Also. THEORY 131 Figure 10. every student having mastered “long division” would also have mastered “addition of decimal numbers.2. 10.2). and has to be inferred from the responses to the questions.2. The collection of all feasible knowledge states is referred to as the knowledge structure.) In general.

This large number of states means that there are many possible ways of acquiring knowledge. In order to assess a student in Behavioral Science Statistics. which makes it capable of recovering elegantly from any misconceptions. “noise” and errors of various sorts often creep in.3: Learning Path ALEKS for Behavioral Science Statistics. many learning paths (Fig.e. 10. KNOWLEDGE SPACES AND THE THEORY BEHIND ALEKS Figure 10. . observing an error to a question about addition would nevertheless conclude that the student has mastered addition. i. For instance. A “knowledge space” is a particular kind of knowledge structure. As in many real-life applications. In the ALEKS knowledge structure there are literally billions of such learning paths. Thus. ALEKS must find out by efficient questioning which of these 50.000 knowledge states. the knowledge structure for Behavioral Science Statistics contains approximately 50.000 states the student is in. the number of feasible knowledge states is approximately 50.132 CHAPTER 10. which require the elaboration of a probabilistic theory.000. for example. if that student had given evidence of skillful manipulation of fractions.3). This is not mysterious: a sensible examiner in an oral exam. even though the student has actually made an error when presented with a problem instantiating this item. ALEKS is capable of deciding that a student has mastered an item.. The ALEKS System is based on such a probabilistic theory.

For example.4 Inner and Outer Fringes of a Knowledge State An item that has not yet been mastered by a student may not be immediately learnable by that student.4). Typically. Learning one or more prerequisite items may be necessary. an item is in the outer fringe of the state K if the addition of that item to the state K forms a new. THEORY 133 Figure 10.10.2. 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. The inner fringe of a state K is thus defined as the set of all items which may have been the last one learned. If ALEKS judges that a student is experiencing difficulties in learning some new item. the outer fringe of a knowledge state will contain between one and a few items.5). 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. 10. . More precisely.4: Outer Fringe of a Knowledge State 10. 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. These two concepts of inner and outer fringes are used in powerful ways in the Learning Mode of the ALEKS system.2. 10. feasible knowledge state (Fig. the system always offers a student problems to solve that are based on items in the outer fringe of his or her state. Consider a student in a particular knowledge state K. Similarly.

this means a question which the student has. and administrators is a very precise summary of the student’s knowledge state.5 Assessment How can ALEKS uncover. If the structure is known. Internally. the guiding intuition is commonsensical.” In our context. and the student’s response was correct. At every moment of an assessment. approximately 20–30 questions often suffice. for example. KNOWLEDGE SPACES AND THE THEORY BEHIND ALEKS Figure 10. the system registers the student’s knowledge or non-knowledge of each item in the domain.2. by efficient questioning. then all the knowledge states containing this item would have their likelihood values increased. Finally.5: Inner Fringe of a Knowledge State 10. the particular knowledge state of a student? While the details of ALEKS’s method for achieving such a goal are technical.134 CHAPTER 10. in the system’s estimate. it should be noted that the assessment report given to students. the outer fringe and inner fringe together completely define the student’s knowledge state. A comprehensive treatment of Knowledge Space Theory can be found in Doignon . In Behavioral Science Statistics. instructors. if the question involved a manipulation of fractions. The student’s response (correct or false) determines a change in all the likelihood values: for instance. about a 50 percent chance of getting right. The specific way the questions are chosen and the likelihood values altered makes it possible for ALEKS to pinpoint the student’s state quite accurately in a relatively short time. ALEKS chooses a question to be “as informative as possible.

P. Amherst. Journal of Mathematical psychology.-P. Springer Verlag. Albert. & M. H. 1986. (1999). MA. Journal of Mathematical Psychology. Bahrick. J. J. J. E. D.E. Brandt. Mitsumi. Electronic Notes in Discrete Mathematics. H. Representation and assessment of knowledge. IOS Press.-P.preliminary results of the mathematical modelling. September 1998. In B. Ganter. 243-256. Amsterdam. 383-407. Validity of spaces for assessing knowledge about fractions. 1999. 9-98. 2002. July 1990. 1999. 175-196. 2000. d’Ydewalle. 123-139. Ducamp A. editors. Knowledge assessment: A set theoretical framework. SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY & Falmagne. Doignon. C. Beitr¨ge zur Begriffsa . Doignon. 2. Motoaki. Empirical Research. & K. E. (1999). (1997). General Psychology and Environmental Psychology. Doignon. & Hockmeyer. 46. & Falmagne. (2000). 41. Knowledge Spaces: Theories. N.. S. volume 2. editors. Doignon J.. Abstract of a Talk presented at the OSDA98. C. R. Mahwah. Cosyn. International Journal of Man-Machine Studies. G. D. 1999). NJ. 30.. & Thi´ry. 1997... & Falmagne J. Knowledge Structures. Electronic Notes in Discrete Mathematics.. Witteveen. 23. (1998). & Hockemeyer. & J. J. editors.-C. Albert. pp. editors. Baumunk. Coarsening a knowledge structure. Languages for the assessment of knowledge. Proceedings of the 22nd International Congress of Applied Psychology.3. C. J.10. (1990) In B.-C. Applications. (1997). editor. J.-C. 1994. Wille. A practical procedure to build a knowledge structure.-P. Degreef. 1985. D. Surmise relations between tests . 2. (1987). C. e Journal of Mathematical Psychology. Adaptive and dynamic hypertext tutoring systems based on knowledge space theory. Wilpert. & Lukas.-P. pp. Albert. Falmagne. Cosyn. volume 39 of Frontiers in Artificial Intelligence and Applications. K. New York. Journal of Mathematical Psychology. Albert. Dimensions of chains of relations. Knowledge Spaces (Springer-Verlag. 553-555. In Benedict du Boulay and Riichiro Mizoguchi. Wolfe. (1986). 1997. & Falmagne. Toda. (2002). & Dowling. J.. Artificial Intelligence in Education: Knowledge and Media in Learning Systems. (1994). 44.3 Selected Bibliography Albert. 1999.-C. D. Spaces for the assessment of knowledge. 99-105. E. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. 135 10. (1985).

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CHAPTER 10. KNOWLEDGE SPACES AND THE THEORY BEHIND ALEKS Review, 97, 201-224, 1990. Fischer, G. & Laming, D., editors. (1994). Contributions to Mathematical Psychology, Psychometrics, & 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. 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., Albert, D., & Brandt, S. (1998). Surmise relations between courses. Journal of Mathematical psychology, 42, 508, 1998. Abstract of a talk presented at the 29th EMPG meeting, Keele, UK, September 1998. Kambouri, M., Koppen, M., Villano, M. & 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., & 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. (1993). Extracting human expertise for constructing knowledge spaces: An algorithm. Journal of Mathematical Psychology, 37, 1-20, 1993. Koppen, M. & Doignon, J.-P. (1990). How to build a knowledge space by querying an expert. Journal of Mathematical Psychology, 34, 311-331, 1990. Lakshminarayan, K. & Gilson, F. (1998). An application of a stochastic knowledge structure model. In Dowling, C., Roberts, F., & Theuns, P., editors, Recent Progress in Mathematical Psychology, Scientific Psychology Series, pp. 155-172. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Ltd., Hillsdale, USA, 1998. Lukas, J. & Albert, D. (1993). Knowledge assessment based on skill assignment and psychological task analysis. In Strube, G. and Wender, K., editors, The Cognitive Psychology of Knowledge, volume 101 of Advances in Psychology, pp. 139-160. North-Holland, Amsterdam, 1993. M¨ller, C. (1989). A procedure for facilitating an expert’s judgments on a set of u rules. In Edward E. Roskam, editor, Mathematical Psychology in Progress, pp. 157-170. Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 1989. Rusch, A. & Wille, R. (1996). Knowledge spaces and formal concept analysis. In Hans-Hermann Bock and Wolfgang Polasek, editors, Data Analysis and Information Systems, Studies in Classification, Data Analysis, & Knowledge Organization, pp. 427-436, Berlin, Germany, 1996. Springer-Verlag.

M. (2001). In Dowling. University of Calgary Press.. F. 19. 45. (1999). 283-302.. & Albert. Building a knowledge space via boolean analysis of co-occurrence data. & Doignon. (1995). Elsevier. Stochastic procedures for assessing an individual’s state of knowledge. M. 361-375. September 1998. 213-224. Electronic Notes in Discrete Mathematics. M. Villano. editors. Schrepp. 139 . 36. The basis of a knowledge space and a generalized interval order. International Journal of Science Education. 41. R. Strube. Suck. J. 1997. Abstract of a Talk presented at the OSDA98. 369-371.-C. L. (1997).10. C. 183-190.-P. 1999. D.. & Held.3. T. M. Mathematical Social Sciences. Miller. Roberts. In Proceedings of the International Conference on Computer-assisted Learning in Post-Secondary Education.. In Klaus Tochtermann and Hermann Maurer. & Wender. 1999. & Theuns. J. Efficient assessment of organizational action based on knowledge space theory. 480-496. Journal of Mathematical psychology. Calgary 1987. Mapping students thinking patterns by the use of knowledge space theory. volume 101 of Advances in Psychology. A method for comparing knowledge structures concerning their adequacy. 1998. Falmagne. Extracting knowledge structures from observed data. British Journal of Mathematical and Statistical Psychology. K. Schrepp. Schrepp. 173-194. M. USA. 91-104. & Lakshminarayan. A simulation study concerning the effect of errors on the establishment of knowledge spaces by querying experts. R. 394-409. (1998). 2. 1999. Calgary. The Cognitive Psychology of Knowledge. Hillsdale. SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY Schrepp. K.. (1998). editors. (1998). (1999). Johannsen. 43. 1995. Scientific Psychology Series. A dimension-related metric on the lattice of knowledge spaces. Theuns. 376-382. M. G. 38. R. 2001. Potter. P. L. (2002). (1999). (1997). Journal of Universal Computer Science. Journal of Mathematical psychology. pp. F. Taagepera. P. 52. On the empirical construction of implications between bi-valued test items. Journal of Mathematical psychology... Suck. A generalization of knowledge space theory to problems with more than two answer alternatives. Ordering orders. Recent Progress in Mathematical Psychology. (1993). pp. MA. pp. Journal of Mathematical Psychology. 1997. Mathematical Social Sciences.. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Ltd.. Schrepp. 2002. G. M.. 1999.. 39. 237243. 1998. Amherst. Suck. 1993. 1987. editors. Stefanutti. 2nd International Conference on Knowledge Management. (1987).

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CHAPTER 10. KNOWLEDGE SPACES AND THE THEORY BEHIND ALEKS Wille, R. (1998). Formal concept analysis. Electronic Notes in Discrete Mathematics, 2, 1999. Abstract of a Tutorial given at the OSDA98, Amherst, MA, September 1998. Wille, R. (1998). Mathematical support for empirical theory building. Electronic Notes in Discrete Mathematics, 2, 1999. Abstract of a Talk presented at the OSDA98, Amherst, MA, September 1998.

Chapter 11

Frequently Asked Questions
11.1 General
What is ALEKS? ALEKS is the new way to learn a variety of subjects, from Math to Statistics to Accounting on the World Wide Web. By knowing exactly which math concepts the student has mastered, which are shaky, 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 closely interacts 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 World Wide Web, its rigorous and comprehensive educational content, and its 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. This means that the students are given neither material that they have already mastered nor material that they are not well suited to work on yet because some prerequisites have yet to be learned. 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 be referenced or linked to textbooks for extended treatment of mathematical concepts. There is an online student dictionary for any subject accessed by clicking on underlined terms (hypertext links), and a diagnostic feedback facility that, in 141

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CHAPTER 11. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS 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 can be 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 Module, which permits management and monitoring of an arbitrary number of separate institutions, such as those making up a multi-campus community college system. There is also a Tutorial (which students take once when first registering with the system), online help, a subject 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 a college, at home, or anywhere else. Very little technical preparation must be done to use the system. All you need is a self-installing, self-maintaining “plugin” obtained directly from the ALEKS website for Behavioral Science Statistics. No disks, CD’s, peripherals, or backup facilities are required. All data is kept on the ALEKS Corporation server.

11.2

Technical
What are the technical requirements for using ALEKS? [Sec. 3.2] The following table presents the technical requirements for ALEKS in summary form:

Operating System Processor RAM Memory Browser

PC Windows 95/98/2000/ME/XP/NT4.0+ Pentium 133+ MHz (166+ preferred), Pentium II+ 32+ MB Netscape 4.5-4.8, 6.0+, Explorer 4.0+

Macintosh MacOS 7.6.1+ 32+ MB Netscape 4.5-4.8 (6.0+, Explorer 5.2+ OS X only) 28+ kbps

Modem Speed

28+ kbps

” The purpose of research in Knowledge Spaces is to model human knowledge in any subject. so as to make possible fast and accurate assessment through interactive computer applications. Knowledge Spaces (Springer-Verlag. an “item” is a concept or skill to be learned. and Markovian Processes. a “domain” is the set of all items making up a particular subject matter. 1999).3 Theory What is the theory behind ALEKS? [Chapter 10] [Sec. authoritative treatment (with Bibliography) is Doignon & Falmagne.1+.1] In Knowledge Space theory. Guest registration. licensing. you will need the cooperation of your LAN administrator. What is a “knowledge state”? [Sec. What is an “item”? [Sec. If you have America Online 4. including a Quick Tour.0 or higher in order to use ALEKS. which can be obtained from Sun. DSL) that are typical in computer labs are adequate for use with ALEKS.0 you will have to upgrade to America Online 5. 10. Note that any of the kinds of direct connection (cable. the mastery of which is captured by a “problem type” serving as the basis for specific assessment and practice problems. system administrator.2. 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. You can also install Sun Microsystems’ Java VM. or lab technician to install the ALEKS plugin.2] In Knowledge Space theory.11.3] ALEKS is based on a field of Cognitive Science (Mathematical Psychology) called “Knowledge Spaces. such as Behavioral Science Statistics. 10.2. Where can I get more information on ALEKS? How can I try out the system? The ALEKS website for Behavioral Science Statistics provides complete information on the ALEKS system. 10. Combinatorics. 10.behsci. There are numerous scientific publications in the field of Knowledge Spaces dating back to the early 1980’s.3.com ¡ 143 11. THEORY Your browser should be configured with Java enabled. ISDN.4.1] In Knowledge Space theory. A learner is considered to have mastered the domain when that learner can solve problems corresponding to all the items in the domain. using mathematical tools such as Set Theory.2. history and theory. http://www. a “knowledge state” is the set of items belonging to a domain that a learner has mastered at some point in time. and technical support. A recent. version 1. You can upgrade from AOL. We speak . Both Netscape and Internet Explorer usually ship with Java. If your computer lab has security safeguards in place.aleks.

it is actually searching the structure for knowledge states that match the student’s present competence. ALEKS does not embody a particular philosophy of teaching mathematics or statistics. “structures”) used by ALEKS are created by analysis of the subject matter and extensive. any one of which can be taken away from the current knowledge state. Based on an inventory of knowledge states that numbers in the tens of thousands (for the subjects currently covered by ALEKS) the specialized mathematical 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. How was the structure created? The knowledge structures (or. For instance.” Progress is made from one state to another through one of the items in the first state’s “outer fringe. feasible knowledge state. 10. computer-aided querying of expert instructors. 10. and the goal of learning is that it should eventually include (correspond to) the entire domain. briefly. a learner’s knowledge state changes in time. 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.4] In Knowledge Space theory. These are the items that the student may have learned recently. These are the items that the student is considered most “ready to learn. When ALEKS assesses a student. “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.2. and thus whose knowledge might be shaky.4] In Knowledge Space theory.” since no one will master the first without having mastered the second. It is a key point that not all sets of items from the domain (subsets of the domain) are feasible knowledge states. 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.” What is the “inner fringe” of a knowledge state? [Sec.3] In Knowledge Space theory.2. 10. a learner’s “outer fringe” is the set of items. Obviously. 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 learner’s “inner fringe” is the set of items. feasible knowledge state. to make a new. .2. it is compatible with any pedagogical approach. What is the “outer fringe” of a knowledge state? [Sec.144 CHAPTER 11. What is a “knowledge structure”? What is a “knowledge space”? [Sec. to make a new. any one of which can be added to the current knowledge state. rather. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS of knowledge states in relation to a particular learner and a particular domain.

5] In assessing a student’s knowledge. ASSESSMENTS & REPORTS 145 11. No help whatsoever should be given to students taking an assessment. It is highly advisable that all assessments from which the instructor uses data in any way (such as for placement) take place under the instructor’s supervision. During an ALEKS assessment. when the entropy of the structure is lower than a certain threshold value). 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. such questions are maximally informative. but a basic calculator is part of ALEKS. the student is not told whether answers are correct or incorrect. Students are always assessed when they first register with the ALEKS system. If a student makes a careless error or lucky guess. 10. How does the ALEKS assessment work? [Sec. between 15 and 35 questions. With each correct answer. the assessment ends and results are produced. inconsistent assessments (often resulting from lack of concentration) may require more questions. The assessment is adaptive.4 Assessments & Reports What is an ALEKS assessment? [Chapter 4] An assessment by the ALEKS system consists of a sequence of problems posed to the student. Outside help can easily lead to false assessment results and hinder subsequent work in the ALEKS Learning Mode. The reverse occurs for incorrect answers or “I don’t know. Students taking an assessment need to have paper and pencil. The length of the assessment is variable. the system is in fact determining which of the feasible knowledge states for that subject corresponds to the student’s current knowledge. When the likelihood values of a few states are extremely high and those of all the rest are extremely low (in technical terms. (Lucky guesses are very rare.11.) 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. so that it is not fooled by careless errors. the initial assessment must be supervised. because multiple choice answers are not used. . Each question after the first is chosen on the basis of answers previously submitted. The assessment is probabilistic. For this reason. Assessment problems (like practice problems) are algorithmically generated with random numerical values.2. Calculators are not permitted in some areas in ALEKS. the system attempts to choose an item for which it estimates (based on current likelihood values) the student has about a fifty-fifty chance of success. The answers are in the form of mathematical expressions and constructions produced by the system’s input tools (no multiple choice).4. but many assessments can take less than a half-hour and few more than an hour. There are no time constraints. not even rephrasing problems. At a minimum.” At each step of the assessment. The student is encouraged to answer “I don’t know” where this is appropriate. this will appear inconsistent with the general tendency of the student’s responses and the system will “probe” that area of knowledge until it is sure.

” This number may vary between two and a dozen. the “outer fringe” of the student’s current knowledge state). so multiple charts are indispensable. after a concept has been worked on in the Learning Mode. It may suggest the name of a classmate who can help. The piecharts are displayed following assessments. A piechart corresponds to a subject matter (domain) or to the curriculum of a particular course. 11. they are fully prepared to master. there may be piecharts showing the previous and/or subsequent courses in that sequence. or if the student wishes to change topics. If the student is unable to master the concept right now. If the learner successfully solves an appropriate number of problems based on that concept. If the student has difficulty. or after a certain amount of progress has been made. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS How should I interpret the assessment report? [Sec.6] The results of an ALEKS assessment are shown in the form of one or more piecharts. a new choice of topics will be offered. and when a student clicks on “MyPie” to change topics. It will also provide explanations of how to solve problems and definitions of terms.) An extremely important aspect of the piecharts is their indication of what a student is currently most “ready to learn” (that is. students are always working on a specific concept that they have chosen and that. After a certain time has been spent in the Learning Mode. The degree to which the slice is filled in with solid color shows how close the student is to mastering that area. Each slice of the pie corresponds to a general topic. 4. the student will be reassessed automatically unless the instructor has already requested a new assessment. These items are listed beneath the piecharts in an Assessment Report and are also given through the piecharts themselves. . in the system’s estimation. (Experience shows that in such cases learning goes on at different curricular levels simultaneously. Where courses are being taken in sequence. the system will attempt to diagnose and interpret the student’s errors. Clicking on any of these concepts takes the student into the Learning Mode to work on it. depending on what part of the structure is involved. When the mouse pointer is placed over a slice of the pie. the system will tentatively determine that it has been mastered and offer a new choice of topics.146 CHAPTER 11. a student can only choose to work on concepts that the student is currently most “ready to learn. In the Learning Mode. At any given time. a list pops out showing the concepts that the student is most “ready to learn” in that part of the curriculum (there may be none).5 Learning Mode What is the Learning Mode? [Chapter 5] The Learning Mode in ALEKS contains features to help students practice and master specific concepts and skills.

After a certain time in the Learning Mode. totalling a minimum of three hours per week. beginning with the initial assessment. Most of the time. there has been successful use of ALEKS in a very wide variety of contexts and structures. however. This having been said. the student is reassessed and the cycle begins again. In a few cases. 147 11. We recommend scheduling regular lab sessions with ALEKS. the lab administrator will need to assist with installation in order to overcome security obstacles (for excellent reasons. including independent study. given the automatic installation and maintenance of the ALEKS plugin. but the initial assessment certainly should be. structured use. during which the results of the previous assessment are tentatively updated according to whether the student masters or fails to master new concepts. The system does not currently contain facilities for audio output. ALEKS Corporation is happy to consult with instructors on the best way to use ALEKS with their students. In this sense. It has been used successfully with students exhibiting a range of learning disabilities. the presence of a “firewall” or other security measures may require some work on the . and who can use a computer. 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”). ALEKS is an interactive learning system guided and powered by ongoing diagnostic assessment. A student is assessed. with close monitoring of student progress by the instructor.11.6.6 Educational Use What is the best way to use ALEKS with my course? The greatest factor in successful use of ALEKS is regular. 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 it says. Not every lab session need be supervised by the instructor. What burden will ALEKS place on our computer lab and Lab Director/LAN Administrator? Normally ALEKS requires very little support from local computer technicians. Any other interim and concluding assessments scheduled specially by the instructor normally should also be supervised. EDUCATIONAL USE 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. college computer labs tend to prevent students from installing their own software). Students with reading difficulties can also use it. provided that there is someone on hand to help them as needed. as part of your course requirements.

It contains information on system use and progress by students and groups. a syllabus is a set of items belonging to a domain that is determined to be the goal for mastery in a particular course. 12] You can contact ALEKS Corporation using the information in Chapter 10 of this manual. and to exchange messages. We request that this information not be given to students. Does ALEKS have special features for educators? [Chapters 6. if not equivalent to the entire domain. For this reason instructors may very commonly find their students learning material that has not yet been covered in the course. as well as all necessary facilities for account and database management. How does ALEKS define standards and syllabi? [Chapter 6. ALEKS Corporation does not provide technical or other support directly to students using ALEKS in college courses. to define the standards and syllabi that will be used over extended periods of time by colleges. How can I use ALEKS Corporation Customer Support? [Sec. This should be regarded as a sign of the system’s effective use. Actions taken in “Standards & Syllabi” should be the outcome of well-considered multi-campus community college system decisions. to configure accounts. or textbook. The Instructor Module (called Administrator Module when it includes more than one college) also enables instructors and administrators to establish the syllabi and standards used by ALEKS. the syllabus of a college Behavioral Science Statistics course will be the entire set of items for Behavioral Science Statistics. What are Results & Progress? What are Standards & Syllabi? There are two parts of the Instructor Module. This is done in the Syllabus Editor by adding and removing checkmarks next to the names of items. The latter is used strategically. . The syllabus is. curriculum. Again. 8] In ALEKS. “Results & Progress” and “Standards & Syllabi.” The former is by far the more commonly used. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS technician’s part for successful installation. In a typical situation. Students should approach their instructor first with any questions or problems regarding the use of ALEKS. The fundamental idea of the ALEKS system is to allow students to pursue individualized paths to mastery of the subject matter. to find statistics on multi-campus community college system use. The system may also be referenced or linked to a textbook or online applications for particular courses. integrated sequence. A “Standard” in ALEKS is a group of syllabi considered to constitute a logical. is defined by selection of a particular subset of the domain. Questions the instructor is unable to answer can then be brought to our attention. ALEKS Corporation stands ready to assist with problems of this nature. Does ALEKS need to be used with a particular textbook? ALEKS is designed to be used with any syllabus. 8] Students’ use of ALEKS and their progress toward mastery can be monitored using the facilities of the Instructor Module. 7.148 CHAPTER 11. An instructor or administrator who has been registered with ALEKS enters the Instructor Module immediately upon login.

Chapter 12

Support
NOTE. Troubleshooting information is found in Appendix A.10 of this Instructor’s Manual. Most problems can be resolved using this brief reference. Current information on ALEKS is available at the ALEKS website for Behavioral Science Statistics: http://www.behsci.aleks.com Technical support and consultation on the effective use of ALEKS is provided to educators by ALEKS Corporation. Please contact us by email: behsci-support@aleks.com by telephone: (714) 245-7191 x201 or by fax: (714) 245-7190 In reporting problems and seeking support, please make a photocopy of the form provided and gather complete information as a preliminary to contacting us (See Sec. 12.1). This will help us to resolve any difficulties as quickly and completely as possible. Instructors should have their students fill out these forms for problems that occur in accessing ALEKS from home. In many cases the information provided by students should enable instructors or supervisors to resolve the problems themselves. 149

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CHAPTER 12. SUPPORT If this is not possible, the instructor should contact ALEKS Corporation with all relevant information. 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 Higher Education Customer Support 400 North Tustin Avenue, Suite 300 Santa Ana, CA 92705

12.1. FORM FOR REPORTING PROBLEMS

151

12.1

Form for Reporting Problems
Please use the following form to gather information before reporting a problem: (Make a copy to avoid writing in the book.) Customer Support FAX (714) 245-7190 USER (Behavioral Science Statistics)

Name: Telephone: Email: College: Instructor: Course: Best time to call: COMPUTER ON WHICH PROBLEM OCCURRED

(App. A.2)

Computer make and model name or number: Processor type and speed (MHz): RAM (MB): Connection: Modem Speed: Cable DSL ISDN Other: Browser: Netscape 4.5 4.6 4.7 Internet Explorer 4. 5. AOL 4. 5. Other: Operating System: Windows 95 98 Windows NT 4.0 MacOS 7. 8. Other: WHERE PROBLEM OCCURRED (App. A.10) (URL used to access ALEKS: ) 1. going to the ALEKS website (App. A.3) 2. installing the plugin (App. A.3,A.7) 3. logging on to ALEKS (App. A.3,A.6) 4. using ALEKS in: Registration (App. A.3) Tutorial (App. A.4) Assessment (App. A.5.1) Report (App. A.5.2) Learning Mode (App. A.5.3) PRECISE ERROR MESSAGE (if any): DESCRIPTION OF PROBLEM: (Recurrent? Yes No )

My technical proficiency:

Beginner

Intermediate

High

152 CHAPTER 12. SUPPORT .

Your instructor will assist you in registering with the system and beginning to use it. (Anyone may 153 . It is intended as a convenient and concise reference. The ALEKS system is self-explanatory and includes online instructions and feedback. ALEKS will always help you select the ideal topic to work on now. or if you want to learn more about ALEKS. ALEKS was developed with support from the National Science Foundation. ALEKS constantly challenges you and supplies extensive feedback on what you have accomplished. Only registered users can keep an account on ALEKS. Combining advanced learning technology with the flexibility of the World Wide Web. ALEKS provides individualized. the ALEKS system provides a “smart” interactive tutoring system with unmatched features and capabilities. That way you learn concepts in the order that’s best for you. use this Guide. ALEKS is designed for use without help from a manual. Richly supplied with illustrations and reference materials. This booklet contains basic information to help you begin using ALEKS. If questions arise. Instructors using ALEKS with their courses are provided with an Instructor’s Manual containing complete information on the system’s operation. It is available wherever you access the Web.1 Preface Welcome to ALEKS! You are about to discover one of the most powerful educational tools available for learning Behavioral Science Statistics.Appendix A ALEKS Student User’s Guide A. It is based on a field of Mathematical Cognitive Science called “Knowledge Spaces.” The purpose of research in Knowledge Spaces is to model human knowledge of any subject for quick and precise assessment by interactive computer programs. one-on-one instruction that fits your schedule. NOTE. They should be able to answer any questions beyond those dealt with in these pages.

America Online Subscribers If you have America Online 4. The system will regard them as a single person and give incorrect guidance. Macintosh Requirements ALEKS can be used on a PowerMac or iMac with at least 32 MB of RAM.0 or higher.154 APPENDIX A.com .) processor of 133 MHz or more (166+ MHz preferred) or any Pentium II. You also need a Course Code provided by your instructor. ISDN.0 or higher. Step 1.0 or higher. Internet Explorer 4.behsci. or later processor.8. Go to the ALEKS website for Behavioral Science Statistics by typing in the following address: http://www. III. DSL. When you register with the ALEKS system your name is entered into the database and records of your progress are kept. ALEKS STUDENT USER’S GUIDE try the system as a guest. If your operating system is MacOS X or higher. You must have an Internet connection by dialup modem (at least 28k) or any other kind of access to the Internet (cable. At least 32 MB of RAM are required. you can use Netscape Communicator 4. If the ALEKS plugin has not been installed on the computer being used for registration. You can upgrade from AOL. Your operating system must be Windows 95 / 98 / 2000 / ME / XP / NT4.3 Registration & Installation Before You Begin.1 or higher. etc.0 you will have to upgrade to America Online 5. you can also use Netscape Communicator 6. A. The following popular web browsers are compatible with ALEKS on PCs: Netscape Communicator 4.0 or higher in order to use ALEKS.2 or higher. A. In order to register as an ALEKS user you need the Access Code inside the back cover of this booklet. If your operating system is MacOS 7.8.aleks.).5-4.0 or higher and Internet Explorer 5.5-4.2 Technical Requirements PC Requirements You can use ALEKS on any PC with a Pentium or equivalent (AMD. it will be installed automatically as part of this procedure.) Two or more persons cannot use the same ALEKS account. 6.6. etc. Internet Access ALEKS is used over the World Wide Web.

If you are typing this URL by hand. the other ALEKS websites you might find using a search engine will not work for you. You will be able to register only at the address given above. one will be installed.” Also.1).1: The ALEKS Website for Behavioral Science Statistics NOTE.” or “Quit” under the “File” menu) and open your Web browser again. This is the site where you will log in to your account. You will see instructions for students and instructors registering with ALEKS. Click on “Register with ALEKS” (Fig. pay careful attention to the spelling “aleks. If you do not have a current plugin. Step 2. REGISTRATION & INSTALLATION 155 Figure A. NOTE. to begin registration.” “Close. Then go back to the ALEKS website for Behavioral Science Statistics (use your Bookmark/Favorite). add a “Bookmark” or “Favorite” at this location. The Course Code is supplied by your instructor.A. Then you will need to quit your Web browser (“Exit. Step 3. Return to Step 1. For your convenience. A. above. Do not interrupt this process until a message appears saying that the installation is complete. Click on “Register” where it says “For Students” (on the left-hand side). Step 4. Enter this in the spaces provided .3. At the beginning of registration you will be asked for your Course Code.

. A.) Step 6. It is on a sticker inside the back cover of this booklet. A. Supplying this information enables your site administrator to help you with problems more quickly.2: Course Code and click on “Next” (Fig.” a numeral will be appended. You will need them to return to the system (See Sec. Neither may contain spaces or punctuation. Step 5. To continue your registration you will be asked for your Access Code. Your Login Name is not the same as your name. A.” You can change your password at any time (See Sec. if there is more than one “Smith” in the database whose first name begins with “J. If you forget your password but you did enter your email address in ALEKS.5). It usually consists of the first letter of your first name plus your whole last name run together.6). NOTE. (Both email and Student ID are optional information. as “jsmith2. Write these down and keep them in a safe place. Among other questions.156 APPENDIX A.or lower-case letters. At the end of registration you will be given a Login Name and Password. Thus “Jane Smith” may have the Login Name “jsmith”. Answer the questions to complete your registration. you will be asked to enter your email address.5. with no spaces or punctuation. click on the link underneath the Password field on the ALEKS home page (“Did you forget your password?”). ALEKS STUDENT USER’S GUIDE Figure A. Enter the Access Code in the spaces provided and click on “Next” (Fig. A.3).2). Your Login Name and Password can be typed with upper. You will also be able to enter your Student ID number.

A. There is plenty of feedback to help you complete it successfully. After registration.4).4. All answers are mathematical or statistical expressions and constructions. It just trains you to use the ALEKS input tool (called the “Answer Editor”).5 A. Your instructor may require that the first assessment be taken under supervision.3: Access Code A. NOTE. Online help is also available while you are using ALEKS by clicking the “Help” button. This information is obtained by assessments in which the system asks you to solve a series of problems. A.5. TUTORIAL 157 Figure A.4 Tutorial The ALEKS system does not use multiple-choice questions. which gives you access to the sections of the Tutorial (See Sec.5.1 Assessments and Learning Assessments Instruction through ALEKS is guided by precise understanding of your knowledge of the subject.) Your first assessment occurs immediately after the Registration and Tutorial.5). The correct input is always shown. (The system’s estimate of your knowledge is also updated when you make progress in the Learning Mode. Don’t try to begin your initial assessment at home until you . and you simply enter what you see. NOTE. The Tutorial is not intended to teach behavioral science statistics. the ALEKS Tutorial will teach you to use the simple tools needed for your course (Fig. A. A.

The ALEKS system also prompts “automatic” assessments when you have spent a certain amount of time on the system or have made a certain amount of progress. (Your knowledge in the previous and/or subsequent units is also displayed. Slices of the piecharts correspond to parts of the syllabus.2 Results Assessment results are presented in the form of color-coded piecharts. You may see more than one piechart displayed following an assessment when you are progressing through a series of courses or units. ALEKS STUDENT USER’S GUIDE Figure A. depending on the instructor’s preference. NOTE. Additional assessments may be scheduled for you by the instructor. These may or may not need to be supervised.158 APPENDIX A.5.4: The Answer Editor (Tutorial) find out where your instructor wants you to take it.) . A. The solidly colored part of a slice indicates how close you are to mastering that part of the syllabus. The relative size of the slices represents the importance of each topic for the syllabus.

They may have been mastered already. Click on any term to get a complete definition. This will make you exit the topic and you will get the piechart for a new choice. the system will display a combined piechart (“MyPie”). The system will help you in seeking to master that concept and “add it to your pie. If you make mistakes. The system will require a number of correct answers before it assumes that you have mastered the concept. The concept you click on becomes your entry into the Learning Mode.5: Assessment Report A. or work may need to be done in other slices before they become available. You will be able to choose a new concept to begin. click on “MyPie” near the top of the window.” A. Then it “adds it to your pie.A. Not all slices will contain concepts at any given time. you are given practice problems based on the chosen topic. This piechart shows the entire syllabus through the end of your current course (Fig. If you tire of this topic and wish to choose another.5.5.5). more correct answers may be required. you can see which concepts you are now most ready to learn.3 Learning Mode Following the presentation of assessment results.4 Progress in the Learning Mode In the Learning Mode. You also get explanations of how to solve this kind of problem and you get access to a dictionary of concepts. By placing the mouse pointer over slices of the pie. ASSESSMENTS AND LEARNING 159 Figure A. If you make .5. Underlined terms are links to the dictionary. A.” At this point a revised piechart will be shown reflecting your new knowledge.

click “Help. This page also shows the total number of hours you have spent using ALEKS.” and “Help” buttons are active. These are the topics you are completely prepared to learn.” Dictionary To search the online dictionary. Keep in mind that the system does not “drill” you on concepts it believes you already know. The concepts presented as most “ready to learn” are always those just at the edge of your current knowledge. click on “Report. In the Assessment Mode.” MyPie Clicking “MyPie” gives you a piechart summarizing your current mastery. Let ALEKS do its job! It is normal to have trouble mastering new concepts the first time around.5. use the “Review” button. When this happens. You can also check for messages by clicking on the “Message” button.” Choose any date from the menu and click “Graph. You see new messages when you log on. Options If you want to change your Password. use the “Quiz” button. click on the “Options” button. Messages Your instructor can send you messages via ALEKS. Quiz To see the results of quizzes you have taken in ALEKS or to begin a quiz assigned to you by your instructor. A. the system will conclude that the concept was not mastered. You can use this piechart to choose a new concept. the system responds by revising its view of your knowledge and offers new choices. ALEKS STUDENT USER’S GUIDE repeated errors on a given concept. Report Any time you wish to look at your assessment reports. It will offer you a new choice of more basic concepts.5 Additional Features All buttons described below are available in the Learning Mode.” “Exit. Your instructor can choose to let you reply to messages as well. only the “Options. . use the “Worksheet” button.160 APPENDIX A.” Review To review past material. Worksheet To print out an individualized homework sheet based on your most recent work in ALEKS. click “Dictionary. Help For online help with the use of the Answer Editor. NOTE.

Step 5). You always log on from the ALEKS website for Behavioral Science Statistics: http://www.3. your browser will begin accessing the plugin to start ALEKS. use the link on the ALEKS home page marked “Did you forget your password?” If you entered an email address at registration time and you remember your Login Name. Step 5). This is the software used by your web browser to access and run ALEKS. A. the system will automatically check to see if your system is compatible and if you have the most recent version of the ALEKS . Step 2.behsci. Be sure to type these correctly.3). A. contact your instructor. It is a good idea to change your Password to one you will remember easily but is difficult for others to guess (See Sec. On the login page enter the Login Name and Password provided at the time of registration (See Sec.3.6 Logging on to Your Account Step 1. NOTE. A.behsci. LOGGING ON TO YOUR ACCOUNT 161 A.A. but this is the only one with your account. Step 1. This takes a few seconds. your password will be sent to you by email.6. Use your Login Name and Password to log in (See Sec. When you log on to ALEKS. Installing ALEKS means installing the ALEKS plugin. Remember that you may find other ALEKS websites via a search engine. Step 3. You cannot use ALEKS without the ALEKS plugin that is installed over the World Wide Web.5.com Use the “Bookmark” or “Favorite” for this site if you made one (See Sec. If you enter your Login Name and Password correctly.com Add a “Bookmark” or “Favorite” at this location.7 Installation on Additional Machines Before You Begin.aleks. You will then come to the place you left off in your previous ALEKS session. If you forget your Login Name or Password. You can access your ALEKS account from any computer that meets the technical requirements and has had the ALEKS plugin installed. without any spaces or punctuation. Go to the ALEKS website for Behavioral Science Statistics: http://www. Step 3. A.5). Step 2. A.aleks. Otherwise.

A. a simple calculator is permitted. Clicking on this button will prompt the system to suggest the name of a classmate who has mastered the concept.162 APPENDIX A. Put ALEKS into your weekly schedule and stick to it! A. since each student is given different problem-types in different sequences. by chance. nor receive any help during assessments.) Assessments You should not ask for. A button marked “Ask a Friend” may also appear from time to time. During . If you receive help. A basic calculator with some statistical functions is part of ALEKS. Three hours per week is a recommended minimum.” (Don’t guess!) Learning Mode You should learn to use the special features of the Learning Mode.8] You must have paper and pencil when taking an assessment in ALEKS.” “Close. A. Regular Use Nothing is more important to your progress than regular use of the system. Do not interrupt the installation process until a message appears stating that the installation is complete and asks you to restart your browser. (A basic calculator with some statistical functions is part of ALEKS. ALEKS STUDENT USER’S GUIDE plugin. it will download the plugin and ask your permission to install. No help whatsoever is permitted. it will install the (new) plugin. the actual problems would almost certainly have different numerical values and require different answers. not even to the extent of rephrasing a problem. click “I don’t know. the system will get a wrong idea of what you are most ready to learn. and this will hold up your progress. Cheating is not a danger. You will need to quit your Web browser (“Exit. For Behavioral Science Statistics. After you grant permission.9 Frequently Asked Questions What are the rules for taking an assessment in ALEKS? [Sec. two students sitting next to one another were to get the same problem-type at the same time. Even if.8 Guidelines for Effective Use Supplementary Materials You should have pencil and paper ready for all assessments and for use in the Learning Mode. especially the explanations and the statistical dictionary. Basic calculators should be used only when you are instructed to do so. If you do not have a current plugin. Not even explanations or rephrasing of problems are permitted. open your Web browser again. and go back to the ALEKS website for Behavioral Science Statistics (use your Bookmark/Favorite). If you think you don’t know the answer.” or “Quit” under the “File” menu).

A. your assessment results may not exactly match what you had mastered in the Learning Mode. The goal is to fill the pie in completely.3] You are completely “ready to learn” a set of concepts or skills when you have mastered all the prerequisite concepts or skills that they demand.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. click “Practice. Your piechart will not offer you concepts to work on if you are not ideally ready to begin learning them. The Explanation page may also contain a link or reference to . How do I add concepts to my pie? [Sec. but my assessment says I still have concepts to learn? In the Learning Mode you are always working on one concept at a time. This means that the concepts you have left to master have prerequisites in other areas of the curriculum that you must master first. The assessment is not a test.A. That is. For this reason.” When you master a concept in the Learning Mode by successfully solving an appropriate number of problems.5. that is. Keep working in the other slices. and eventually the concepts in that slice will become “available. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS 163 the assessment. you are not told if your answer is right or wrong. In the Learning Mode. but the piechart says you have no concepts available from that slice to work on. progress in the assessment turns out to be faster than in the Learning Mode.” What is the difference between “Explain” and “Practice”? When you begin working on a particular concept in the Learning Mode. This is normal and simply means that you should keep working in the system. and often what that mistake was. For this reason. A. Its main purpose is to determine what you are most ready to learn and help you make the best progress possible toward mastery. It may be more difficult to show mastery of concepts you have recently worked on. and sometimes other options for more detailed explanations and help. a sample problem. you will see that your piechart has been changed by the addition of that concept.” You will be given a chance to solve the same problem that was initially displayed.” If you think you know how to solve the problem. 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.9. you are always told if you make a mistake. click “Explain” to produce an explanation of how to solve the displayed sample problem. and a choice between “Practice” and “Explain. To take an elementary example. they have prerequisites you have not yet mastered. you will be shown the name of the concept.) Why doesn’t my piechart show any concepts from a category if I haven’t filled in that category yet? [Sec.5. whereas assessments are cumulative and evaluate you on everything in the given subject matter. Why is it that I mastered all the concepts in the Learning Mode. when you are being quizzed on many different topics at the same time. If you are not sure. however. your piechart may show that you have only mastered 8 out of 10 concepts for a particular slice of the pie (a particular part of the curriculum). At the bottom of the Explanation page you have the “Practice” button. (Sometimes the opposite also occurs.

5. The problem.” What happens if I don’t learn a concept (or get tired of working on a concept)? [Sec. How does the Learning Mode help me learn? [Sec. ALEKS has no idea what you have done or are doing in class from one week to the next. you must successfully solve a certain number of “Practice” problems.4] You must answer what the system judges to be an appropriate number of Practice problems correctly to add a concept to your pie. A. ALEKS will quickly bring you back to a more comfortable place. in its estimation. In ALEKS you . you are ideally ready to learn. you can click on “MyPie. If you are clearly not making progress. however. To go back to concepts you have already worked on. Do not lightly change topics or stop before the system tells you that you are done or suggests choosing another concept. Pay attention to this feedback and be sure you understand it. click the “Review” button on the ALEKS menu bar.5. If you click the “Practice” button following an explanation.” It is usually better to do your best to master the concept you are working on. you cannot “learn the test” or “teach to the test. each with different numerical values and sometimes (as in the case of applied problems) differing in other ways as well. except in the Review mode. The Learning Mode will always tell you if your answer is correct or not.5. In order to master the concept and add it to your pie. Get to know the features of the Learning Mode. do your best to solve the problems that are offered you.4] The most common reason that problems seem too difficult is that you received some help in the assessment. With ALEKS. It does not offer material you have already mastered. based on the definition of a particular concept or skill to be mastered. except in the sense that old knowledge is continually being exercised in the acquisition of new knowledge. you must answer more. A. click the “MyPie” button on the ALEKS menu bar. ALEKS will always tell you when you have mastered the concept. unless the system tells you to switch. corrects itself as soon as you stop getting help. You cannot make this decision for yourself. Why is ALEKS giving me things we haven’t done in the course or that are too hard? [Sec. In many cases it will provide information on the kind of error you may have made. A. ALEKS STUDENT USER’S GUIDE a McGraw-Hill/HSSL textbook. It will not “drill” what has already been mastered. ALEKS will suggest that you choose something else to work on.164 APPENDIX A. How does ALEKS create practice problems? ALEKS creates both Assessment and Practice problems by means of computer algorithms. Keep in mind that ALEKS is always giving you material that. Remember that ALEKS is designed to give you material that you are ideally prepared to learn. a particular concept or problem-type may serve as the basis for a very large number of specific problems. If you make mistakes. If you wish to stop working on a concept and choose another one. and ALEKS has an incorrect estimate of your actual knowledge. not the one whose solution was explained. Thus. If you wish to choose a new concept. When you fail to master several concepts.4] In the Learning Mode. especially the explanations and the Dictionary. you are offered a different problem of the same type.

The Tutorial guides you through every step of learning to use the Answer Editor.9.A.4] The Tutorial is a brief interactive training program that teaches you to use the ALEKS input tools. Although the Answer Editor is easy to use. Why do I need to take a Tutorial to use ALEKS? [Sec. Each blue box must be filled in for a complete expression. ALEKS will deny access and tell you that you need to log on from school. or on “Clear” to start over. A.1] New assessments are automatically prompted by ALEKS when you have spent sufficient time in the Learning Mode or when you have made adequate progress. or “Answer Editor. Each blue box in the input area corresponds to a mathematical expression. When you click on an icon button for a complex expression. (If you attempt to work at home when an assessment has been ordered to be done at school. Your instructor may also request an assessment for you personally. Why doesn’t anything appear when I type? [Sec. NOTE. or for everyone in the course. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS 165 follow an individualized path through the curriculum that is produced by your own learning and your own choices. A. click on “Undo” to go back one step. In some cases the keyboard equivalents for icon buttons can be used. A. You can also use the “Backspace” key on your keyboard in the usual way. Rather. don’t be concerned. it may place more than one blue box in the space. You cannot use “Undo” or the “Back” button on your browser to go back if you have submitted an answer by clicking on “Next. In this case it may be stipulated that the assessment must be taken at school. Why is ALEKS giving me a new assessment? [Sec.5. What can I do if I make a mistake entering an answer? If you make an error entering an answer with the Answer Editor. ALEKS or your instructor must make the request. the system will most likely recognize this as a careless error based on your other answers and make allowances for it.) How can I get a new assessment in ALEKS? You cannot initiate a new assessment. the Tutorial will make sure you are completely proficient with it before beginning the ALEKS system.10] In order to type input in the Answer Editor you must first click on a blue box. The Answer Editor is a flexible set of tools enabling you to provide such answers. What are the icon buttons for? The icon buttons are used to enter mathematical and statistical symbols and to create forms for mathematical and statistical expressions. one for each part of the expression.” ALEKS does not use multiple-choice questions. .” If you realize that the answer you submitted was incorrect. it requires that answers be given in the form of expressions and geometrical and other constructions.

you may also have to click the browser’s “Print” button. Can my instructor or friend help me (or can I use a calculator) in the Learning Mode? [Sec.5. A. . When you click on the button. close the new window.5. move around on the pie. A. Depending on your browser.5] Click on the “Review” button to work on material you have already spent time on. A. A.8] Help and collaboration are allowed in the Learning Mode. the system will start giving you problems that you are not prepared to solve. This produces a new. close or “Minimize” the window.5] To see your current piechart and choose a new concept in the Learning Mode. When you are done. Keep in mind. A. Click on any underlined word to see its definition.10] To print the contents of the screen. You can also access the Dictionary by clicking the “Dictionary” button on the ALEKS menu bar. What is the “Ask a Friend” button for? [Sec. printable window (ALEKS output is not normally printable). click on “Report” (on the ALEKS menu bar).5] Underlined words in the Learning Mode are links to the online statistical dictionary.8] The “Ask a Friend” button sometimes appears when you are having difficulty with a particular concept. How can I choose a new topic to work on? [Sec. How can I review material I have already worked on? [Sec. When you are finished reading the definition. the system suggests the name of a classmate who has mastered the concept and may be able to help you. however.166 APPENDIX A.5.5. A.5] You can change your Password by clicking the “Options” button on the ALEKS menu bar. Note that the Dictionary is opened in a new window. ALEKS STUDENT USER’S GUIDE How do I get help while using ALEKS? [Sec. How can I change my Password? [Sec. click on “MyPie” (on the ALEKS menu bar).5] To see any of your assessment reports. and choose. How can I see the reports from previous assessments? [Sec. you can get help with one Practice problem. How can I print something in ALEKS? [Sec. Clicking “Back” on the browser won’t work. and you will see the previous screen.5.5] You can get help using the Answer Editor by clicking the “Help” button on the ALEKS menu bar. but you should solve the others yourself. A. A. that if you get too much help. Why are some of the words I see underlined? [Sec.5. click “Print” on the ALEKS menu bar. The Dictionary is not available during assessment. As a general rule. A.

your first step is to click on the small “A” button at upper right. A. close your browser and restart it. Web access also means that there is almost no maintenance or technical preparation required—no disks.10] It shouldn’t take more than a few seconds for ALEKS to respond when you click on any button. What if I forget my Login Name or Password? If you forget your Login Name or Password. You will come back to the exact place you left off after you log back on. you have an account on the server that contains a record of all the work you have done. Otherwise. or backup procedures. Why do I have to log on to ALEKS? [Sec. ALEKS always remembers where you left off and brings you back to that place. be sure you have accessed the ALEKS Behavioral Science Statistics website. If this doesn’t work. with no spaces or punctuation. . be careful to type your Login Name and Password correctly. Your instructor and administrators at your college have access to these records.A.10. contact your instructor.10 Troubleshooting Login Not Successful First of all. How do I exit the ALEKS program? To leave ALEKS. or crashing. In extreme cases use Ctrl-Alt-Delete (Cmd-Opt-Esc on Macintosh). If you experience delay. click the “Exit” button on the ALEKS menu bar or simply close your browser. click your browser’s “Reload” or “Refresh” button. use the link on the ALEKS home page marked “Did you forget your password?” If you entered an email address at registration time and you remember your Login Name. There is more than one ALEKS website. As a registered user of ALEKS. peripherals. They can monitor your progress and use of the system as well as carry out administrative functions. What if I have a question or problem using ALEKS? If you have a question or problem using ALEKS that is not answered here. CDs. freezing. A. your password will be sent to you by email. Use the URL provided in this booklet rather than looking for “aleks” via a search engine. contact your instructor.1] The fact that ALEKS is used over the World Wide Web means that you can access it from your college or from home. 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. If this doesn’t work. Then. TROUBLESHOOTING 167 What do I do if it’s taking too long for a new page to load (or if the program freezes)? [Sec. A. and only the one at which you registered contains your account.

Lengthy Assessment It is impossible to know how many questions will be asked in an assessment. for external reasons (bad mood. one that. click on your browser’s “Reload” (or “Refresh”) button. one of the following three actions may help (try them in the order given): 1. The number of questions asked does not reflect your knowledge of the subject matter. Rather. it presents material that you are currently most ready . In particular. Closing these applications may correct the problem. Don’t worry: that is the way the system works. click on the small “A” in the upper right-hand corner of the ALEKS window. Open applications other than the web browser that you are using to access ALEKS are another cause of slowness. if all else fails). If slowness persists. 2. if you cannot close the browser use Ctrl-Alt-Delete (PC) or Cmd-Opt-Esc (Macintosh) and end the task (or reboot. ALEKS STUDENT USER’S GUIDE If you have trouble entering numbers or symbols in the Answer Editor. not by entering the whole part and then using the Fraction icon. be sure that you have clicked on a blue box and that the pointer is within the answer area (the rectangle containing the blue boxes). however: mixed numbers must be entered using the Mixed Number icon.168 Typed Input Does Not Appear APPENDIX A. but results from errors made by you on material you had previously seemed to master. 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. Problems Too Difficult It is important to keep in mind that ALEKS will not offer concepts that it considers you to have already mastered. close the browser and log on again (the system will bring you back to where you left off). ALEKS will quickly bring you back to where you belong. it is not unusual to have a “bad” assessment. 3.). it is most likely due to a problem in the local network. does not reflect your actual knowledge. Mixed Number Difficulties The Answer Editor is easy to use. Bring this to the attention of your instructor. etc. NOTE. It is not always possible to use the number keys on your keyboard’s right-hand “keypad” (check that “Num Lock” has been pressed). One warning. Reduction of Piechart You may observe a loss of concepts in your piechart either in the Learning Mode or following an assessment. It may reflect the consistency of your effort or concentration. distractions. This is not a malfunction in the system.

an Assessment Report) you must press the ALEKS “Print” button (on the ALEKS menu bar). TROUBLESHOOTING 169 to learn. Repeated Final Assessments You may need to take more than one final assessment even after you have filled in your pie (in the Learning Mode). The system will revise its estimate of your knowledge and offer concepts that you are more ready to learn.10. since mastery is determined by the assessment. This situation will soon correct itself if you have difficulty with the proposed concepts.” When this page has been printed it should be closed to return to the normal ALEKS interface. Printing Problems To print ALEKS output (for instance. This opens a new browser window containing the contents of the previous window in the form of a “Print Preview. not by the Learning Mode. . the reason is often that you received help or guidance during the assessment or in the Learning Mode.A. This is normal. When the system gives problems that are too hard. The system needs to confirm (in the assessment) that the entire curriculum has been mastered.

ALEKS STUDENT USER’S GUIDE .170 APPENDIX A.

1 Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences DESCRIPTIVE STATISTICS stat001 stat002 stat003 stat006 stat007 stat019 stat008 stat010 stat009 stat023 stat022 stat021 stat011 stat017 stat018 stat020 Histograms and frequency polygons Histograms for grouped data Relative frequency polygons for grouped data Mean of a data set Weighted mean: Tabular data Weighted mean: Histogram Median of a data set Modes of a data set Percentiles Box-and-whisker plots Summation of indexed data Population standard deviation Sample standard deviation Interpreting histograms of relative frequencies Cumulative relative frequency Calculating relative frequencies in a contingency table PROBABILITY pcalc082 Factorial expressions pcalc088 Permutations and combinations: Problem type 1 pcalc089 Permutations and combinations: Problem type 2 pcalc090 Permutations and combinations: Problem type 3 stat117 Counting probability: With replacement stat118 Counting probability: Without replacement 171 .Appendix B Syllabi B.

SYLLABI RANDOM VARIABLES stat140 stat142 stat151 stat143 stat149 stat150 stat153 stat145 stat146 stat147 stat148 tion Functions of one random variable Discrete versus continuous random variables Probability mass function Probability distribution of functions of one random variable Cumulative distribution function Expectation and variance of a random variable Rules for expectation and variance of random variables Marginal distributions of two discrete random variables Joint distributions of dependent or independent random variables Probabilities of two random variables given their joint distribution Conditional probabilities of two random variables given their joint distribu- DISTRIBUTIONS stat164 stat165 stat156 stat174 stat155 stat157 Comparing means without calculation Comparing variances without calculation Binomial Problems: Mean and standard deviation Binomial Problems: Basic Binomial problems: Advanced Standard normal probabilities .172 stat119 stat100 stat101 stat106 stat112 stat114 stat115 stat120 stat104 stat102 stat105 stat103 stat113 stat116 stat109 stat107 stat108 stat110 stat111 Venn diagrams: Two events Venn diagrams: Three events Venn diagrams: Word problems Outcomes and event probability Die rolling Probability of intersection or union: Word problems Independent events: Basic Probability of union: Basic Mutually exclusive events: Two events Mutually exclusive events: Three events Independent events: Two events Independent events: Three events The curious die Conditional probability: Basic Intersection and conditional probability Conditional probability: Mutually exclusive events Conditional probability: Independent events Law of total probabilities Bayes’ theorem APPENDIX B.

STATISTICS FOR THE BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES stat160 stat159 stat158 stat161 stat162 stat163 stat173 stat170 stat171 stat187 stat185 stat186 stat188 Computing z-scores Normal versus standard normal density curves Normal probability: Basic Computing raw scores of a normal distribution Mean and deviation of a normal distribution Normal probability: Word problems t distribution Chi-square distribution F distribution Normal approximation to binomial Central limit theorem: Sample mean Central limit theorem: Sample sum Central limit theorem: Sample proportion 173 INFERENTIAL STATISTICS stat200 Selecting a distribution for inferences on population mean stat201 Confidence interval for the population mean: Use of the standard normal stat202 Confidence interval for the population mean: Use of the t distribution stat203 Confidence interval for the population proportion stat204 Confidence interval for the population standard deviation stat205 Confidence interval for the difference of population means: Use of the standard normal stat206 Confidence interval for the difference of population means: Use of the t distribution stat207 Confidence interval for the difference of population proportions stat208 Confidence interval for the ratio of population variances stat300 Determining null and alternative hypotheses stat301 Hypothesis test for the population mean: Z test stat302 Hypothesis test for the population mean: t test stat303 Hypothesis test for the population proportion stat304 Hypothesis test for the population variance or standard deviation stat305 Hypothesis test for the difference of population means: Z test stat309 Hypothesis test for the difference in population means: Paired comparisons stat306 Hypothesis test for the difference of population means: t test stat307 Hypothesis test for the difference of population proportions stat308 Hypothesis test for the ratio of population variances stat320 Chi-square goodness of fit test stat321 Contingency table stat322 Analysis of variance stat326 Sign test stat327 Wilcoxon signed-ranks test .1.B.

SYLLABI Ordering scatter diagrams by increasing correlation coefficients Sketching a regression line Calculating the correlation coefficient for bivariate data Calculating the regression line for bivariate data Hypothesis test for the correlation of two variables Hypothesis test for the slope of a regression line Confidence interval for a value of the dependent variable .174 REGRESSION AND CORRELATION stat333 stat332 stat331 stat330 stat324 stat323 stat325 APPENDIX B.

86 assessments. 86 assessments. restricting 96 Advanced Instructor Module 70 Advanced options. 68. blocking. requesting 66. progress 18 assessments. purpose of (UG) 157 Answer Editor. rules for 18 assessments. numberline 27 Answer Editor. interpreting 31 Assessment Report. automatic 18 175 assessments. when to order 125 asymptotes. graphing with 29 automatic assessments. progress bars in 33 Assessment Report. automatic (UG) 157 assessments. histograms 30 Answer Editor. help with (UG) 160 Answer Editor. scheduled 82 assessments. final 169 assessments. 66. Assessment Mode 19 . 91 Average. scheduling of 18. purpose of (UG) 157 assessments. what is 31 assessments. format 31 Assessment Report. Instructor Module 67 bulletin board for instructors 76 buttons. graphing 28 Answer Editor. Advanced Instructor Module 89 automatic assessments. purpose of 17 assessments. display options for 62 basic interface. 86 assessments. Advanced Instructor Module 89 blocking automatic assessments. 84 Average Report.Index (UG) = User’s Guide (Appendix A) —————————— absolute values. entering 26 Access Code 14 Access Code for instructors 11 Access Code (UG) 154 access. mathematical expressions in 22 Answer Editor. Instructor Module 69. results of (UG) 158 assessments. Instructor account 95 ALEKS educational paradigm 115 ALEKS. blocking. changing of 68 assessments. Instructor Module 49 blocking automatic assessments. initial 18 assessments. what is 20 AOL requirements 9 Ask a Friend 96 Ask a Friend button 47 assessment. manipulators for mathematical expressions 20 Answer Editor. Course Report 62. rules for (UG) 162 assessments. login time 18 assessments. lengthy 168 assessments. viewing (UG) 160 Assessment Report. first 15 assessment. what is 1 America Online requirements (UG) 154 Answer Editor. requested 19 assessments. in Knowledge Space Theory 134 Assessment Mode 17 Assessment options. restricting 96 assessments. Instructor Module 67 availability of quizzes. completion 18 assessments. course account 97 Assessment Report. course account 97 Advanced options. canceling 67.

Scheduled assessment 61 Course Report. how to fix 168 Dictionary. 98 course account. 96 Clear button. 83. 85 course results for quiz 63 courses. viewing. display options for. graphing with 29 course account. Advanced Instructor Module 86 Course Code 14 Course Code. display options for. access to 44 Dictionary button 37 Dictionary.176 buttons. 98 Course Admin. 81 Course Progress. statistical information in 56. Progress over last 3 months 81 Course Progress. 91 Edit button 100. use of with ALEKS (UG) 162 Cancel Assessment button 86 classroom integration of ALEKS 122 classroom teaching with ALEKS 116 Cleanup Tools 95. Full progress over last 3 months 82 Course Progress. Answer Editor 21 Clear Records 95 Clear Stats 95 Compose Message button 92 computer lab. What students can do 63. scheduling. Learning Mode 36 Calculator button 37 calculator. Progress over last month 81 Course Progress. 82 Course Progress. 125 domain address 86. Progress in learning mode 58. recommended 81 Course Progress. 98 educational paradigm in ALEKS 115 Enroll in Course button 99 . report style for. Average 62. Advanced Instructor Module 80 Course Report. canceling. 96. deleting 54. Full progress over last month 82 Course Progress. how to obtain 5. 82 Course Progress. sorting in 57. Advanced Instructor Module 81 display options for Course Report. 95. 85 Course Report. 83 Course Progress. Advanced Instructor Module 86 course assessment. Full progress over last 6 months 59. 53. disabling 96 calculator. 97 domain. moving from one instructor to another 54. 83. checking 13 conic sections. in Instructor Module 52 course assessment. Advanced Instructor Module 84 Course Report. display options for. Advanced Instructor Module 84 distance learning with ALEKS 123. editing 53. Most recent progress only 82 INDEX Course Progress. modifying 104 course. searching (UG) 160 display options for Average Report 62 display options for Course Progress. viewing. 84 Course Report 62 Course Report. 52. Advanced Instructor Module 81 Course Progress. 96 course account. Ready to learn 62. Advanced Instructor Module 81 Course Progress. 89. non-integer. Progress over last 6 months 81 Course Progress. 98 Course Code (UG) 154 course content. Advanced Instructor Module 84 Course Report. planning and structuring 117 Course Syllabus button 98 crashing. graphing 29 Content Editor 104 coordinates. 91 downloading in spreadsheet format 78. Most recent progress 81 Course Progress. creating 52. 98 Course Progress 56 Course Progress. 81 Course Progress. in Knowledge Space Theory 129 downloading in Excel format 78. Total progress 60.

in Instructor Module 54 instruction. Course Progress 82 grading with quizzes. navigation and use of 109 Instructor Module. Standards & Syllabi 107 Instructor Module. in Knowledge Space Theory 129 College Admin. Results & Progress 73 Instructor Module. tutorial for 71 Instructor Module. setting bars to any value in 30 How do I. suggestions for use 115 instructor password. Advanced 70 Instructor Module. Advanced. 94 instructor account. entering 26 Extra piechart 32 FAQ 141 FAQ (UG) 162 features in ALEKS (UG) 160 feedback in Learning Mode 44 focusing instruction with ALEKS 85 fractions. Instructor Module 67 graphing. Advanced. Advanced. access to 75 Instructor Module. Advanced. adding and subtracting bars in 30 histograms. deleting 54. 95 Instructor Module. in Knowledge Space Theory 133 installation of ALEKS plugin 10 installation of ALEKS plugin (UG) 161 instances. Answer Editor for 28 graphing conic sections 29 graphing points with non-integer coordinates 29 graphing with asymptotes 29 graph P tool 29 graph x tool 29 graph y tool 29 grouping students 83. 89. Course Progress 59. editing syllabi 110 Instructor Module. online help 76 Instructor Module. Advanced. planning and focusing 119 instructor account. editing 53. 90 grading with scheduled assessments. in Advanced Instructor Module 76 177 help. basic interface 49 Instructor Module 13 Instructor Module. Answer Editor for 30 histogram. Advanced Instructor Module 88 grading with scheduled assessments. Advanced. buttons in 110 Instructor Module. 54. creating 54. online (UG) 160 histogram. levels of privilege 75 Instructor Module. Advanced. Advanced. what is 73 Instructor Module. Instructor Module 69. context-sensitive 39 help. Advanced.INDEX enrolling students in a course 53. 95 instructor account. Advanced. 82 Full progress over last month. Advanced Instructor Module 76 Help button 39 help. in Instructor Module 51 independent study with ALEKS 125 individual results for quiz 65 inner fringes. restricting 96 eraser tool 29 Exit button 36 exiting ALEKS 36 expiration date of student account 100 explanation page in Learning Mode 41 exponents. how to fix 168 frequently asked questions 141 frequently asked questions (UG) 162 Full progress over last 3 months. 85. changing 54 instructor registration 11 Intermediate Objectives 101 Internet access 9 Internet access (UG) 154 introduction 1 item page in Learning Mode 40 items. in Knowledge Space Theory 129 . entering 24 freezing. Course Progress 82 Full progress over last 6 months. 93 guidelines for ALEKS use (UG) 162 Help button. Advanced. entering 71 Instructor Module. 99 enrollment.

entering 25 logging on to ALEKS (UG) 161 Login Name for instructors 11 Login Name (UG) 156 login. structure and use of 1 Mastery piechart 32 materials. in Knowledge Space Theory 131 Learning log. viewing. 93 Message Center. unsuccessful 167 INDEX Macintosh requirements 9 Macintosh requirements (UG) 154 mailing list for instructors 76 Mail options. Answer Editor 20 Knowledge Spaces. viewing. Theory 129 Knowledge Spaces. progress in (UG) 159 Learning Mode. Answer Editor for 27 objectives. Answer Editor for 22 mathematical expressions. Instructor Module 93 Message Center 92. standards 108 items. entering 24 mixed numbers. course account 97 learning rates. checking. item page 40 Learning Mode. what are 129 knowledge states. problems with 168 monitoring class progress 123 monitoring individual progress 124 monitoring student use of ALEKS 123 Most recent assessment only. bibliography 135 Knowledge Spaces. Advanced Instructor Module 89 limiting scheduled assessments. use of mathematical expressions in 92 messages. 92 messages. interface 40 Learning Mode. feedback in 44 Learning Mode. Instructor Module 67 lists. Course Progress 82 Most recent progress. supplementary (UG) 162 mathematical expressions. practice page 42 Learning Mode. advanced 26 mathematical expressions. in Knowledge Space Theory 131 Knowledge Spaces. what is 35 Learning Mode. intermediate 101 Options button 36 orientation for students 14 . using in Message Center 92 mathematical signs. collaborative help in 47 Learning Mode. explanation page 41 Learning Mode. Instructor Module 65 Learning Mode. in Answer Editor 23 matrices. Instructor Module 93 message. sending to student or course 70. 99 MyPie button 39 MyPie (UG) 160 New Course button 96 New Instructor button 94 numberline.178 items in Statistics for Social and Behavioral Sciences 171 items. beginning 16 Learning Mode. assigning 104 learning rates in ALEKS 127 Leave of Absence 47 limiting scheduled assessments. wrong answer page 43 Learning options. rules for (UG) 162 Learning Mode. what are 108 keyboard shortcuts. in Knowledge Space Theory 131 knowledge structures. Advanced Instructor Module 88 mixed numbers. entering 26 Message button 38 Message button. Instructor account 95 manual. access to (UG) 159 Learning Mode. syllabi. types of 23 mathematical expressions. Course Progress 81 moving a student to a new course 124 moving students from one course to another 53. Advanced Instructor Module 79 Learning log. history 129 knowledge spaces. how students receive (UG) 160 message with scheduled assessments. review in 45 Learning Mode.

INDEX outer fringes. entering 26 setup guide for instructors 9 slowness. Instructor Module 67 scheduled assessments. limiting. grading with. Advanced Instructor Module 79. changing (UG) 160 Password for instructors 11 Password. downloading and installing 10 plugin. Advanced Instructor Module 89 scheduled assessments. deleting 69. in Instructor Module 56 report style for Course Progress. individual results 65 quiz (UG) 160 quizzes. how to fix 168 . Course Progress 81 quick start 5 Quiz button. creating 68. Course Progress 58. Advanced Instructor Module 88 scheduled assessments. in structured course 122 Selector (Advanced Instructor Module) 75 self-paced learning with ALEKS 122 Server Stats button 93 server usage 93 session control 36 set notation. Course Report 61 scheduled assessment menu 82 scheduled assessments. Course Report 62. 85 ready to learn items. Course Progress 81 Progress over last 6 months. Advanced Instructor Module 81 Report Tutorial 16 Request Assessment button 86 Results & Progress. interpretation of (UG) 158 piechart. problems 169 printing. entering 24 Report button. 90 quizzes. editing 69. downloading and installing (UG) 161 practice page in Learning Mode 42 preparation for instructors 9 Print button 37 printing. form for describing 151 problems. 90 quiz. course results 63 quiz. grading with. entering 24 piechart. Advanced Instructor Module 88 statistics lab. 91 quiz. extensive 45 reviewing past material (UG) 160 Schedule Assessment button 86 Scheduled assessment. multiple 32 plugin. supervised 122 statistics lab. Instructor Module 69. availability of. in Knowledge Space Theory 133 parentheses. Advanced Instructor Module 89 Quiz button 38 quiz. viewing 89 Readiness piechart 32 179 Ready to learn. Instructor Module 67 scheduled assessments. Course Progress 81 Progress over last month. grading with. too difficult 168 Progress button 77. procedure for 37 problems. limiting. obtaining (UG) 156 PC requirements 9 PC requirements (UG) 154 pencil tool 28 percentages. Instructor Module 69. reduced 168 piecharts. 81 Progress over last 3 months. 91 quiz. 91 quizzes. message with. significance of 32 region tool 28 registration in ALEKS 14 registration in ALEKS (UG) 154 regularity of ALEKS use (UG) 162 repeating decimals. 80 Progress in learning mode. in Answer Editor 23 Password. 84 Report button 37 Reporting. Advanced Instructor Module 73 review 45 Review button 38 review.

what is 110 course syllabus. 85 worksheet. editing 100. 81 troubleshooting 167 Tutorial. viewing. in Instructor Module 66 teaching with ALEKS. purpose of 15 Tutorial. Instructor Module 66. Course Progress 60. grouping 83. answers to 46 worksheet 46 Worksheet button 38 worksheet (UG) 160 wrong answer page in Learning Mode 43 . 73 Tutorial. 85. Course Report 63. what are 108 Syllabus Editor. changing 100. canceling. purpose of (UG) 157 typing input. 99 units. answers with 25 User’s Guide 153 What students can do. how to register 6 students. scheduling. what are 109 statistical information in Course Progress 56. Advanced Instructor Module 86 student assessment. Advanced Instructor Module. viewing. return to 75 Tutorial. 89. preparing for ALEKS 119 support and consultation 149 Suspend Account 47 syllabi in ALEKS 171 syllabi. 80 Total progress. Instructor Module 64 Student Report 65 student reports. current objective 56. changing. expiration date of 100 student assessment. problems 168 Undo button. entering 25 square roots with multiplier.180 small-group instruction with ALEKS 122 sorting in Course Progress 57. 53 Student Progress 64 student progress. viewing. selecting 98 Taking Actions. complete list of 65. buttons 112 Syllabus Editor. Answer Editor 21 unenrolling students from a course 53. Advanced Instructor Module 86 student assessment. 82 Status options. 68 student password. Advanced Instructor Module 79 student report. 82 topics mastered. Instructor Module 65 students. Instructor Module 67 student assessment. viewing. 83 square roots. Advanced Instructor Module 77 student progress. Advanced Instructor Module 107 standards. Advanced Instructor Module 71. suggestions for 115 technical requirements 9 technical requirements (UG) 154 technical support 149 time to completion. modifying 127 syllabi. Instructor Module 68 student assessment. dating of 79 student report. canceling. scheduling. fields 112 INDEX Syllabus Editor. entering 26 Standards & Syllabi. course account 96 structure 126 student account. using 112 Syllabus Editor. 93 students. 53 student account.

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