IXL allows students to practice math concepts using visual representations, word problems and interactive activities. State standards are linked to the site. The content is separated by grade level and topic. User guides are provided for teachers and parents. Progress tracking is available for each student.
The learning goals are to provide practice questions demonstrating math concepts and to measure student knowledge of the concepts.
Target Student Population:
The program is written for Pre-K through middle school math students to include Algebra and Geometry.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Students must have prior knowledge of the math concept before answering the questions. Students must also be able to read or recognize the audio icon to have the question read to them. The ability to deduce the meaning of vocabulary words such as "hedge hog" in the questions is needed.
Type of Material:
IXL can be used as an assessment tool or drill and practice.
Teachers can use IXL for homework or for practice problems after presenting a new math skill to the class to measure understanding or as pretest. Teachers can also assign the problems to students who need additional help or for review before a standardized test. Students can also use the program at home for review over the summer or for additional practice to reinforce understanding.
Modern browser, computer, and software.
Evaluation and Observation
The learning object reflects state standards for math by grade level. It is useful for reinforcing concepts previously taught in class. The site is well-designed and deep; concepts are clear.
The site takes time to score some submissions. Some graphics are difficult to read (e.g., blocks being translated as numbers).
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
Teachers should be able to assess students mastery of math concepts and to identify the strengths and weaknesses of individual students. Using this information, teachers can review or move on to the next skill.
Some scoring functions are slow (see above), leading to potential boredom and frustration.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The skill description is hyperlinked. Clicking on the link begins the assessment. Hovering over the link reveals a sample problem. Each question has an audio icon which reads the questions and a visual representation. Students right click to select an answer. There are Frequently Asked Questions and Technical Support links under the Support tab. The site is visually appealing and engaging.
At times the site is slow (as stated above). This issue translates into usability concerns.
Other Issues and Comments:
Overall, the site is a good complement to in-class lesson plans. The site has a cost by the month or year. There is a trial available for classroom teachers.