ALEKS is a web-based, artificially-intelligent assessment and learning system. ALEKS uses adaptive questioning to determine quickly and accurately exactly what you know and don’t know in General Chemistry, and then instructs you on the topics you are most ready to learn. ALEKS will periodically assess you to determine what topics you have mastered and what you have forgotten. This means that you will sometimes be required to re-learn topics that you’ve forgotten.
ALEKS is licensed per semester. The charge for use of ALEKS in the Fall semester is $60, and for the Fall and Spring semesters is $75; if you are planning to also take CH102 Spring 2017, the full year options is recommended. You purchase your ALEKS access online when you register.
Here is what you need to do to begin using ALEKS.
That’s it. When you log in you will receive a brief tutorial on how to enter answers in ALEKS before taking an initial assessment to determine what you have retained from your prior studies.
Here are the key points you must grasp about ALEKS:
ALEKS determines your “mastery” of a topic, not your time spent or how many problems you have completed. This means it will ask you how to do a problem in a few different ways and will periodically assess you to make sure you are retaining this information. Trying to cheat the system by having a friend help do the work for you will only hurt you later because when ALEKS assesses you and finds you don't really understand how to do something, it will remove that topic from your mastered list and teach it to you again.
Your CH101 ALEKS work will be broken down into weekly objectives that follow along with the material being covered in lecture. You can always see your current mastery of all topics - and how close you are to completing the current objective - by viewing your pie chart, which is on the first ALEKS page when you log in.
You will always be able to see, right below your ALEKS topics pie …
Also shown is the number of topics you are learning per hour, so you can always estimate the time it will take to complete your work (factoring in some extra time for assessment).
ALEKS will always try to get you to complete the current objective first. In some cases, pre-requisite topics that you’ve forgotten will need to be completed ahead of new, current topics. When you complete the weekly objective one of two things will happen: assessment or unlocked pie. Every few weeks when you complete your objective you will get a periodic assessment. Periodic assessments are ALEKS’ way of making sure that you haven’t forgotten the material that you’ve learned. If you demonstrate that you remember the material then you can proceed from where you left off; if not, some topics will be removed from your pie and you will need to go back and review them later (possibly before you can go on to new topics). On weeks where you don’t get an assessment, the pie will unlock and you are free to work on any ALEKS topic you would like, either getting ahead or going back and relearning topics you have forgotten.
ALEKS will constitute 10% of your course score, broken down as follows.
ALEKS follows along with the course and book and can be a great help if used correctly. We expect most students to spend 35 hours every week working on it. If you put this work off, then it will require much more time. If you have others do the work for you, it will take you MUCH more time because ALEKS will reteach topics to you. Never work on ALEKS more than 12 hours in a sitting. Ideally, students would spend an hour every other day working on ALEKS to get the most benefit - do not wait until the day that an objective is due to start working through your topics.
Because ALEKS is tailored to you, you might find you are a bit ahead or behind the lecture. This is fine, just keep spending your time with it. Do not allow yourself to fall too far behind the course because then you may find you have too many topics to learn before you are graded on your mastery goal. ALEKS only goes as fast as you are able to learn topics, which historically is between 27 topics an hour. No concessions will be made for incomplete work when objectives are due.
ALEKS is a computer program, and it operates over the Internet. Part of it operates on the ALEKS servers, in California, but part of it also operates on your browser and your computer, wherever you are. With this many working parts, it’s sometimes possible for things to go wrong, either a little bit or a lot, in confusing ways. Here are some things that could happen, and what to do about them:
Any problems with ALEKS can only be fixed by ALEKS support staff. Don’t write your professor if ALEKS, the Internet, or your browser is having problems – just complain (politely of course) directly to ALEKS!
If possible, send problem reports from within ALEKS. To do this,
You’ll get a response quickly, usually within 24 hours, except on weekends. In the meantime, ask ALEKS for another problem on the topic, or even go back to the Pie and work on a different topic entirely.
If you are unable to report your problem from within ALEKS, then go to
and using the form there describe your problem in as much detail as you can. It’s particularly important that you tell the ALEKS team your ALEKS login and the date and time of the problem. This will allow them to see exactly what you did and what ALEKS did, and thereby diagnose the problem.