ALEKS - Details

MCTC ALEKS Math Courses

Math 77, “Beginning Algebra with ALEKS”, Math 88, “Intermediate Algebra with ALEKS”, and Math 1116, "College Algebra with ALEKS" provide an alternate, self-directed way to learn mathematics using ALEKS, a Web-based math assessment and learning system. Math 77 and 88 cover math content similar to what is covered in Math 60, Math 70, and Math 80, and Math 1116 covers math content similar to what is covered in Math 1110. But, all of these courses use a very different course format. Before beginning one of these courses, the student takes an ALEKS assessment in that course. The ALEKS assessment results in the creation of an individual study plan for the student in the course. The content of each student’s study plan will also determine the number of credits the student will register for in the course. In the classroom, each student learns math concepts using ALEKS as a learning tool along with the guidance of the instructor. For Math 77 and 88, it is possible for a student to register in both courses in a single semester – in this case, a student spends the first portion of the semester completing Math 77 and the last portion completing Math 88. 

What is ALEKS? 

It is an online assessment and learning system which you will use in these courses to learn course material.  See this for more information:  http://www.aleks.com/about_aleks

A general overview of how you will use ALEKS to learn can be found here: http://www.aleks.com/highered/math/tour

It is recommended that you look at the “See ALEKS in Action” video and the “ALEKS IM-2 Tour” available on the above page.

Who should take these courses?

You will need to be a self-motivated, independent learner to be successful in these courses. ALEKS will provide every student with an individualized study plan of topics to be learned and will offer each student choices on what to learn next. Unlike traditional math courses in which all students are learning the same topics at the same time, most students in the ALEKS courses will be learning different topics at any given time.

NOTE: Since ALEKS will be the primary learning tool for the courses, you will need access to a computer with fast internet access to do homework for these courses.

I want to finish taking my developmental math courses quickly. Are Math 77 and 88 the courses for me?

A common misconception about Math 77 and Math 88 is that these courses are intended to expedite a student's progress through developmental math. Although it is possible for a student to take both Math 77 and Math 88 in one semester, it is very difficult for most students to successfully complete both courses in one semester. The intent of these courses is to offer students a very different, self-directed way to learn developmental math. As with the traditional developmental math courses, student success in Math 77 and Math 88 is closely correlated to the time and effort the student devotes to learning the course material.

How the new MCTC ALEKS developmental math approach will work

The student will first take the Accuplacer math placement exam at MCTC. If the student places below college level math (and not into ABE math), the student will have two options:

  1. Take the appropriate existing developmental math course (Math 60, 70, or 80).
  2. Enter the ALEKS developmental course sequence (Math 77 and Math 88).

The MCTC ALEKS Beginning Algebra course, Math 77, covers the material that is now covered in Math 60 and Math 70 and more. The MCTC ALEKS Intermediate Algebra course, Math 88, covers the material that is now covered in Math 80 and more.

The ALEKS assessment

Students interested in taking either Math 77, Math 88, or Math 1116 will need to take an ALEKS assessment before enrolling in either course. These assessments will determine an individual study plan for the student for each course. In addition, the assessments will determine the number of credits of the student can register for in each course. Math 77 or Math 88 are variable 1-5 credit courses while Math 1116 is a variable credit 1-4 credit course.

Students will need to take the ALEKS assessments on campus at a designated location.

NOTE: See the "ALEKS - Assessments" link to the left for more details on the ALEKS assessment process.

NOTE: ALEKS assessments taken in a previous semester will not carry over to a subsequent semester.

Registering for Math 77 and Math 88

Math 77 and Math 88 each consist of a specific number of topics. Based on how the student performs on a course’s ALEKS assessment (i.e., how many of the concepts the student needs to master), the student will be instructed to enroll in Math 77 and  Math 88 at 1-5 credit levels, as follows:

  • 1 credit: 1-20% concepts needed
  • 2 credits: 21-40% concepts needed
  • 3 credits: 41-60% concepts needed
  • 4 credits: 61-80% concepts needed
  • 5 credits: 81-100% concepts needed

At the beginning of a semester, a student entering the ALEKS developmental course sequence for the first time may assess and register for Math 77 alone, or the student may assess and register for Math 77 and declare her/his intention of also taking Math 88 in the same semester. For a student planning to take both courses in the same semester, the student will assess and register in Math 77 and then be given an accelerated plan for completing Math 77. When the student completes Math 77, she/he will then assess and register in Math 88, and then spend the remainder of the semester completing Math 88.

A student who passed Math 77 in a previous semester may assess and register for Math 88.

As noted above, a student's ALEKS assessment results will determine the number of credits of Math 77 or Math 88 that a student will be allowed to register for (1-5 credits). If a student registers at an incorrect credit level, the instructor of the course will inform the student of the mistake and request that the student correct it. If the student does not make the correction, the instructor will contact the MCTC Registrar to resolve the problem. 

Registering for Math 1116

Based on how the student performs on the Math 1116 ALEKS assessment (i.e., how many of the concepts the student needs to master), the student will be instructed to enroll in Math 1116 at 1-4 credit levels, as follows:

  • 1 credit: 1-16% concepts needed
  • 2 credits: 17-33% concepts needed
  • 3 credits: 34-49% concepts needed
  • 4 credits: 50-100% concepts needed

As with Math 77 or 88, if a student registers into Math 1116 at an incorrect credit level, the instructor of the course will inform the student of the mistake and request that the student correct it. If the student does not make the correction, the instructor will contact the MCTC Registrar to resolve the problem.

Do I need to purchase an ALEKS access code to use ALEKS?

When you take the ALEKS initial assessment at the Learning Center, you will be given a temporary ALEKS access code that will allow you to take the assessment. Once you have registered for the appropriate ALEKS math course, you will need to purchase a longer ALEKS access code (either an 18-week or 40-week code) once the course begins. The ALEKS access code may be purchased at the MCTC bookstore or may be purchased online from ALEKS.

After I purchase an ALEKS access code from the MCTC bookstore, how do I log back into ALEKS?

For students who have only used ALEKS at the Learning Center when you took the ALEKS initial assessment, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the ALEKS website and click on the link marked "NEW USER – SIGN UP NOW".
  2. When asked to enter a course code, enter the course code associated with the section of the ALEKS math course that you have registered into (see below for course codes).
  3. When asked, enter the ALEKS access code that you purchased. ALEKS will generate a new username and password (different from the one it created when you took the initial assessment). Note: You will be required to take an initial assessment again.
I previously took an ALEKS math course, but my old access code has expired, or will expire soon. I have purchased a new access code at the bookstore. How do I log back into ALEKS?

Here are the steps to follow to transition from an expired, or soon-to-be expired ALEKS access code to a new ALEKS access code:

  1. Continue using the old access code until it actually expires and you are unable to log on.
  2. Attempt to log on and come to the expiration message.
  3. Click the "Register" button to renew the subscription.
  4. Enter the course code for your course when prompted.
  5. Enter the new access code when prompted.
  6. Continue following instructions to renew account.

NOTE: Do not click on the link marked "NEW USER – SIGN UP NOW" as any part of this procedure. Doing so will lead you to create a new account, unconnected with the first.

I would like to purchase an ALEKS access code online. How do I do this?

Here are the steps to follow to purchase an ALEKS access code online:

  1. Go to this website: http://www.aleks.com/sign_up/mhhe
  2. Enter the course code associated with the course you are taking.
  3. If you have not previously taken an ALEKS math course, click Continue. Then follow the instructions to purchase your access code. Otherwise, click “I need to extend an existing account” and then follow the instructions to renew your access code.

In the Math 77, Math 88, and Math 1116 classrooms

For a student who has registered for Math 77, 88, or 1116, the student will start the semester by attending the class at its scheduled time and begin work on mastering the needed concepts. The student will receive a study plan schedule from the instructor which specifies the required pace through the class material (i.e., how many topics the student should master per week). If the student is taking only one ALEKS math course, the student's plan will cover the entire semester. If the student is taking Math 77 and has declared the intention of also taking Math 88, the plan will be accelerated and will cover a portion of the semester (this will depend on the number of credits of Math 77 that the student is taking). In any case, ALEKS will be the primary learning tool – there will be no text book for the class. The instructor will be available during class for individual help with problems that may come up. Using the ALEKS reporting features, the instructor will track the progress of each student. The instructor may also schedule assessments and tests. And, the instructor may schedule presentations on topics that several students are working on at the same time.

Math 77, 88, and 1116 are not online courses

Math 77, 88, and 1116 will be scheduled in computer lab classrooms 65 minutes per day, four days per week. Students are expected to attend class to work on mastery of course concepts, to receive assistance from the instructor, and to take assessments and tests. Students are also expected to work on their math studies outside of class - it will not be possible to complete the course only by attending class.

Using ALEKS to learn math

When the student logs into an ALEKS math course (after the initial assessment), ALEKS presents the student with MyPie, a pie graph that shows the number and types of topics to be mastered in several different categories, and offers the student the option of selecting topics the student is ready to learn. This is referred to as the ALEKS Learning Mode. The student will select a concept and then ALEKS will present a problem for the student to attempt. The student will work the problem using paper and pencil and then type the answer into ALEKS. The ALEKS editor allows for answers to be entered in a variety of formats (e.g., fractions, mixed fractions, exponents, etc.) and is easy to use. While working on the practice problems, the student may use a calculator (a scientific calculator is recommended). When a student has difficulty with a problem, ALEKS offers explanation of the problem and gives examples of solutions. If a student still has difficulty with a problem, the student can ask the instructor for assistance. ALEKS also has a review feature that allows the student to practice many problems of a given type. And, ALEKS has a dictionary feature that allows students to look up terminology and specific topics covered in the course.

The goal for the student will be to master all the ALEKS topics in the course. Mastering a topic can be accomplished in Learning Mode by correctly answering at least three questions for a given topic without asking for explanations. When a topic has been mastered, it is added to the student's MyPie and may alter the collection of available topics the student is ready to learn.

The instructor may schedule periodic ALEKS assessments. Progress assessments are generated by ALEKS and focus on material the student has recently been working on. Comprehensive assessments are generated by ALEKS. and cover all of the topics in the course. Both assessments are used by ALEKS to ensure that the student's MyPie is accurate. That is, ALEKS uses the assessment to determine what the student knows in the course at a particular time. Consequently, it is possible for a student to lose "mastered" topics from their MyPie after taking an assessment. When a student is working on an assessment, the student will need paper and pencil to work the problems. The only calculator that may be used on assessments will be an ALEKS calculator, available on the ALEKS webpage.

How course grades are determined

As with any class, the class instructor will determine how the course grade will be determined for each section of Math 77, 88, and 1116. The instructor may determine the student's grade by using tests, assessments, weekly progress, etc. But, for all sections of the ALEKS math courses, each student must complete a comprehensive final exam that covers all of the course topics, regardless of the particular credit level for which the student is enrolled. (That is, the student who needs only 30 topics will take the same final exam as the student who needs 200 topics.) Note: Specific details on course grading will be included on the course syllabus.

Math 77 and Math 88 students who finish early

Since a student may only need a small number of credits of either Math 77 or Math 88, it is possible that such a student may complete these courses prior to the end of the semester. What does the student do for the remainder of the semester? To allow the student to productively make use of the remainder of class time, as well as to allow her/him to continue to take advantage of her ALEKS access code, the instructor will transfer the student into the next appropriate ALEKS math course of instruction (intermediate algebra, college algebra, etc.) Concepts the student will learn in this additional ALEKS course of instruction will enhance the student's success potential in her/his next MCTC math course.

Additional information:

  • The prerequisite for Math 77 is placement into Math 77 or Math 60.
  • The prerequisite for Math 88 is completion of Math 77 or Math 70.
  • The prerequisite for Math 1116 is completion of Math 80 or Math 88 or placement.

Fall Semester 2013 offerings:

Math 77-01, MTWTh 8:15-9:20am, Ed Seifert

Math 88-01, MTWTh 8:15-9:20am, Ed Seifert

Math 1116-01, MTWTh 8:15-9:20am, Ed Seifert


ALEKS website:  http://www.aleks.com