A Guide for Students in MTH 60, 70, and 95

If you were enrolled in an ALEKS-based course during the previous term:

Your Course Code from the previous term should still work. However, you will need to tell your current instructor who your instructor was last term and what course level (60, 70, or 95) you were enrolled in so that your information can be updated in the system. You must do this before you begin working with ALEKS.

If you are new to ALEKS:

1.              Go to the ALEKS website.       http://www.aleks.com

2.              Click on the link for "SIGN UP NOW" to the left of the page, under the space for Registered Users. This will be the only time you will click on that button.

3.              On the page that follows, enter the Course Code (look on the whiteboard for the appropriate code) in the spaces to the left of the window. Do not use the button on the right-hand side.

4.       Enter other information as prompted.

5.     In the course of registration, you will be prompted for the individual Access Code you purchased at the bookstore.

6.              Record your Login Name and Password, provided by the system. Keep this information in your notebook. You may change your Password now or later if you wish, but inform your instructor.

7.      Begin using ALEKS by taking the Student Tutorial and Initial Assessment.

Each time you access ALEKS, you will use your Login Name and Password to enter your account.

Resources

ALEKS User's Guide: You can access a pdf of the ALEKS User's Guide at http://www.aleks.com/manual/pdf/learners-highedmath.pdf. It contains a lot of basic information about how ALEKS works and how to use it effectively. You may find the "Frequently Asked Questions" section particularly useful.

 Quicktables: If you need help memorizing your multiplication and division tables, you can use ALEKS' Quicktables tool for up to 10 minutes each day. Access it by clicking on the tab marked "Quicktables" in the upper right corner of your screen. You will begin by doing a trial to measure your number entry speed, so don't worry that they don't ask you to multiply or divide right away.

 

Review: If you wish to review a topic you've already mastered in Learning Mode, click on the "Review" tab, scroll down, and select the topic. You may answer as many questions as you like.

 

eBook: Your eBook is full of useful explanations and examples. It also has a built-in tool that allows you to "highlight" and place "sticky notes" in the text, which you can refer to later as you study for assessments. When you're working on a problem and you click on "Explain", you'll see a link to the appropriate section of the eBook in the bottom right area of the screen.

 

Videos and Animations: Many objectives also have associated animations and video lectures. They will be found right below the link to the eBook section when you click "Explain". These are especially good for people who prefer a traditional lecture-based courseyou can make the ALEKS course be exactly that! Don't forget to bring earbuds.

 

Worksheets and Reports: These have their own entries in this guide. See the following pages.

Worksheets To create a worksheet:

      •     Click on "Worksheet" at the top of your screen.

          Click where it says "Click here to get an ALEKS Worksheet.

          The worksheet will be created in a new tab in your browser. It will take several seconds.


To print a worksheet on a computer with a printer hookup;

•     Just click on the printer icon that appears when you've created your worksheet.

To print a worksheet in the lab:

          Once you create your worksheet, click on the icon that looks like a floppy disk to save
the worksheet as a PDF. It should automatically save to "My Documents".

          Close the worksheet tab and click on "Inbox" at the top of your screen.

          Click "Compose" to open a new message.

          Click the "To" button and check the box by my name.

          Click "OK".

          Scroll down and click on the "Browse" button, which will open up a window.

          Click "My Documents" on the left side of the window, and your worksheet should appear in the list in the main part of the window. Double-click it, or click it once and then click "Open".

          Now your worksheet is attached to an email.

          Click "Send" to send the email. Do not click "Done".

          You may include words in the subject or body of the email. If you don't, the system will ask if it is OK to send the email without a subject or body. Click "OK" in both cases.

          Let me know that you've sent me a worksheet, and I will print it for you immediately.

To get the key for your worksheet:

•     When you create a worksheet, the key automatically gets sent to your instructor. Your instructor will print it out and bring it to the next class meeting.


Reports

There are two reports that you can access through ALEKS. You get to both of them by clicking "Report" at the top of your screen. The one that you will initially see is your "Pie Report". To access your "Time and Topic" report, click on the light green tab that says "Time and Topic".

      Pie Report:

          Shows your total time spent in ALEKS so that you can check whether you're proceeding toward your 60-hour total at an appropriate pace.

          Has a copy of your pie with the number of objectives completed in each slice listed.

          If you scroll down, you will see a list titled "What you can do", which is a list of objectives that you've already mastered (including those you demonstrated mastery of through your initial assessment). You can click on these to review the topics further, just as you can do when you click "Review" at the top of your screen.

          Further down, you will see "What you are ready to learn next". These are the new topics that are accessible to you when you are on the "MyPie" screen.

          Finally, you will see a table called "History". This shows your performance on past assessments and some other data related to your progress.


Time and Topic:

         This is a table showing the time you have spent on ALEKS each day, the number of topics you've attempted, and the number you've mastered.

         If you click on either of the latter two numbers, you can see a list of those topics.

         Once you've done that, clicking on the topics itself will show you a sample problem.

         You can also change the range of dates displayed by clicking "Change Date Range", adjusting as needed, and clicking "Compute".


Some Basic Things to Remember When Using ALEKS

In Learning Mode:

         Take notes! This takes time but will help you in the long run as you study for assessments in the final exam. The more complete your notes and example problems, the more they will help you. They will also allow your instructors to help you more efficiently, since we can see exactly what you've done so far.

         Experiment with a variety of resources. Do you prefer the ALEKS explanations? The eBook? The videos? Talking to your instructors? You won't really know until you try them all. If one resource isn't working for you, try another.

         Ask questions. This isn't an online classyou have access to two instructors every moment that you are in class. Please take advantage of thatit's what we're here for. I never want to hear anyone say, "I've been struggling with this objective all week and I'm so frustrated." If you don't understand something and the computer-based resources aren't working for you, please turn to us rather than continuing to beat your head against the wall.

         Experiment with your path. Some students learn best by working on several related objectives during a class period, while others prefer to jump around between pie slices. Try both and see what seems to help you retain information better,

         Take a break. It can be hard to focus on math for almost two hours. You're welcome to relax or even leave the room during the class period.

         Don't just do the minimum. If you've answered enough questions correctly so that ALEKS says you've mastered an objective, but you feel like you need more work, please try additional problems. It will pay off when you take your next assessment.

In Assessment Mode:

         Preparation is key. Coming into a scheduled assessment, you should have prepared by reviewing your notes and perhaps doing review problems in ALEKS. With an ALEKS-initiated assessment, you won't be able to review in ALEKS when one pops up, but you should certainly
feel free to take some time and review your notes.

         Ask for formulas, if necessary. We do not expect you to memorize every single geometric formula. If you come across one that you don't remember, feel free to ask one of your instructors. However, we will not tell you how to do a problem.

         Be careful when interpreting your results. Your goal is to get a higher score on each assessment than you did on the one before, which means you're making progress. You should not expect that you'll complete every objective you mastered in Learning Mode correctly on the
assessment. So for example, you might be at the 50% level on one assessment and then complete 5% more in Learning Mode. You would hope to show mastery of all of those topics on the next assessment and reach 55%, but it is perfectly normal to need a little more work with
some of the topics and only get to 52% or 53%. However, the more preparation you do, the more likely that your assessment results will reflect your work in Learning Mode.