Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Online assignments (again)

I just passed back a couple of quizzes to my 1st period class. (Note: is everyone as bad at passing back papers as I am? I get stuff graded pretty promptly, but then they sit for weeks until someone asks.)

One of the boys who normally does ok totally killed the quizzes. And I mean like both were 100%. A girl setting next to him was like, "Wow! You did awesome!" I agreed with her. His response was amazing to me.

"It was the MathXL."

He went on to say that he really liked the program; he liked how he got the instant feedback on whether something was right or wrong. This is a kid who (when I assign bookwork) tries to finish it as we're starting class... and obviously doesn't check his answers in the back of the book.

I decided for this last unit (limits) that we weren't going to use the MathXL program. There are too many kids in and out for various reasons and may not have computer access. I'd actually been considering whether I wanted to use it next year or not... and had been leaning towards no.

This may change things.

PS - It's May!!!


  1. This is my first year experimenting with MathXL. Many kids told me that they liked that they can "cheat" by choosing new question until it cycles back to a question where they already saw the answer. Part of me thinks this is not important...I am also debating MathXL usage next school year. I'll be following your blog closely to see what you come up with.

    I like that once they demonstrate proficiency in MathXL, you can select to have the program no longer require that they continue to practice that skill.

  2. We have been using MathXL for a couple of years. I think the kids who DO use it well certainly benefit. However, there are quite a few kids who will try to game it as MrsBMath described, or will use Mathway or WolframAlpha or someone else to get their answers.

    Bottom line, MathXL is worth a minuscule amount in a students grade, just because I don't really know who does it. Those who use it as it is intended find it helpful. We will use it to administer our pre-tests and post-tests for the OTEST student growth measures starting next year. We have also been authoring our own questions, and have been trying to MathXL-ize Exeter Math 1.