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Improving Chemistry pass rates has never been easier.

Closing the achievement gap: case studies

University of Toledo

General Chemistry DFW rate drops almost 10% using ALEKS for placement and course.

In using ALEKS for General Chemistry, instructors were able to determine a correlation between mastery in ALEKS and exam scores. With success in the course and on the ACS final exam, instructors chose to use ALEKS for placement into General Chemistry or Element Chemistry.

Read the Toledo Chemistry placement case study

Read the Toledo General Chemistry case study

Emory University

A Hispanic-serving institution

In class, instructors can now go deeper and cover more interesting topics spending less time on foundational topics. With using ALEKS, instructors can place more emphasis on problem-solving methodology, critical thinking, real-world applications, and more levels 3 and 4 in Bloom’s Taxonomy.

Read the Emory University case study

University of Oregon

DFW rates drop by 4% and persistence into General Chemistry has improved.

Read the University of Oregon case study

Skagit Valley Community College

With ALEKS, students beat the national average for the ACS final exam by 10 points.

Read the Skagit Valley Community College case study

Texas A&M University

Using ALEKS for summer prep supports at risk students, decreasing DFW rates and also increasing the likelihood of passing Gen Chem by 10%.

Read the Texas A&M University case study

Fresno City College

When compared to a traditional online homework solution, ALEKS holds students accountable to complete their homework and also perform better on their ACS exam.

To support varied levels of preparation, Dr. Uvarov piloted ALEKS to help her hold students accountable. Each term, students increased scores by 5-9 percentage points on the ACS final exam and more students scored above the 50th percentile.

Read the Fresno City College case study 

Hear from instructors

ALEKS Chemistry instructors share how homework grades correlate to exam grades supporting improved retention and exam scores compared to other systems.

Additional research and efficacy 

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ALEKS Prep vs Semester-long Intro Chemistry Course

General Chemistry DFW rate drops almost 10% using ALEKS for placement and course.

Research from Indiana University Bloomington compares the results of 2,561 students who took an on-ground Intro/Prep Chemistry course with 607 students who used ALEKS Prep for Chemistry in order to qualify for General Chemistry. When comparing the final grades for each group of students:

  • ALEKS Prep was equally as effective as an Intro/Prep course, saving students approximately $1.5 million.
  • When comparing students using ALEKS with students that took the semester-long Intro course, ALEKS students performed better and particularly African American students who earned a 2.42 GPA vs 1.87. While both groups had different GPAs and ACT/SAT scores, propensity score matching confirmed that ALEKS students performed slightly better.

Internet-Based Alternatives for Equitable Preparation, Access, and Success in Gateway Courses

Daniel T. Hickey, Jill Robinson, Stefano Fiorini, Yanan Feng

The Internet and Higher Education, Volume 44, January 2020, 100693


Online Prep Class

A Hispanic-serving institution

A team at UC Davis studied the effectiveness of an online ALEKS Prep class: "On nearly every component of motivation and STEM identity, students in the online summer preparatory course (SP-Chem) responded with higher values of motivation and STEM identity than students who took the traditional WLD-41C course.”

Improving Preparation and Persistence in Undergraduate STEM: Why an Online Summer Preparatory Chemistry Course Makes Sense

Derek Dockter, Catherine Uvarov, Alberto Guzman-Alvarez , Marco Molinaro
Online Approaches to Chemical Education, ACS Symposium Series, Vol 1261; Chapter 2, pp 7–33

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Traditional-Responsive vs Adaptive- Responsive

Research from West Virginia University comparing success of traditional responsive vs. adaptive responsive online homework concludes “The adaptive system [ALEKS] was found to increase the odds of a higher final letter grade for average, below average, and failing students.”

General Chemistry Student Attitudes and Success with Use of Online Homework: Traditional-Responsive versus Adaptive-Responsive

Michelle Richards-Babb , Reagan Curtis, Betsy Ratcliff, Abhik Roy, Taylor Mikalik
J. Chem. Educ., (2018) 95 (5), pp 691–699

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Pass Rates increase by 13%

"Adoption of ALEKS and subsequent inter-departmental coordination of assignments and deadlines led to increased student success . . . As a result of our efforts, we were able to increase the pass rate for this course from 60.8% in the fall quarter 2009 to 73.9% in the fall quarter of 2012. The average GPA in CHEM 101 increased from 1.96 to 2.42.”

Online Homework and Student Success in Preparatory Chemistry

David Saiki and Andreas Gebauer
The Chemical Educator (2013) Abstract Volume 18, pp 074-079

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Summer Prep Course supports final exam scores

“More specifically, it was found that students who completed a precourse assignment on an adaptive-responsive homework system (ALEKS) could expect on average their final exam score to increase by over 13 points when compared to nonparticipating students.”

Improving Preparation and Persistence in Undergraduate STEM: Why an Online Summer Preparatory Chemistry Course Makes Sense

Jack F. Eichler and Junelyn Peeples, University of California, Riverside, CA
J. Chem. Educ., (2013) 90 (9), pp 1137–1143

ALEKS supports preparation and improves retention

ALEKS boosts student confidence through personalized practice and periodic knowledge checks. This dynamic cycle of learning and assessment ensures that students remember topics that they have learned, are better prepared for exams, and are ready for more as they continue into their next course.

Learn More about how ALEKS works