IXL

Immediate feedback and breadth a huge plus, despite emphasis on drills

Learning rating

Community rating

Based on 86 reviews

Privacy rating

Expert evaluation by Common Sense

Grades

Pre-K–12

Subjects & Skills

English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies

Price: Free to try
Platforms: Web

Pros: Helps students develop confidence and clearly track progress; teachers get immediate stats on their students' trouble spots.

Cons: Drilling limits opportunities for kids to apply skills in real-world ways, and questions include too-frequent repetition.

Bottom Line: Students can improve targeted skills with tons of practice modules and visually appealing tasks.

IXL provides class and individual reports with item analysis, usage, and trouble spots that allow parents and teachers to get the specific information they need to differentiate instruction for their kids. The standard Trouble Spot report is very useful for quickly identifying where students are having a hard time and which students need extra help. IXL offers a 45-minute Real-Time Diagnostic adaptive assessment tool. Results from this data and from skill practice provide a personalized Recommendations Wall for each student, listing future skills to practice.

Use this information to give students targeted practice. You can use IXL as one of several stations that include manipulatives, group whiteboard practice, and other applied methods that come at the same concept in different ways. You can also assign specific practice for home -- just be sure to keep it relatively short to avoid burnout. Build on the built-in rewards and amplify them in reports home to celebrate progress within the program. And make sure kids know about the audio support, translation feature, and handwriting recognition so that all students get the support they need.

 

IXL is a website (with app versions for Chrome, iOS, and Android) with thousands of math, language, social studies, science, and Spanish practice questions and modules that meet nearly all the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for K-12 and some of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) for grades 2-8. You'll find games covering the fundamentals through subject-specific high school lessons.

Math lessons cover pre-K to 12th grade and include questions such as comparing fractions using real recipes, classifying a system of equations, and graphing two equations by dragging points. Language arts practice -- again, pre-K to 12th grade -- focuses on grammar and vocabulary skills. Science and social studies each cover second through eighth grade topics. Spanish learners can complete Level 1 of the language.

Students practice one skill at a time and earn points and ribbons when they get questions correct. Once they reach 100 points for a skill, kids earn a stamp in their book, encouraging them to master other skills to earn virtual prizes. Practice sessions are timed. Questions within a section are often very repetitive, but students looking for variety can jump around from topic to topic under the Recommendations section. Audio support, handwriting recognition, and Spanish-language content make the content accessible to more students.

The targeted activities in IXL -- pretty much drill-and-practice in format and approach -- can provide extensive opportunities for independent practice. Unlike many sites where students do drills, though, IXL gives feedback on how to get better. Incorrect answers are explained thoroughly with written explanations and examples, though not all come with audio support. 

IXL does not provide the video tutorials to help kids understand that are included in similar tools such as i-Ready. However, students can select "Learn with an example" with worked-out solutions, if they are stuck on an IXL skill. IXL does give kids more choice and flexibility about the order and types of skills they are practicing. While it's unlikely you'll have students clamoring to use IXL, its breadth of content and targeted practice cover a lot of ground and help teachers differentiate more effectively.

Learning Rating

Overall Rating
Engagement

When it comes to drill and practice, there's a limit to the fun factor. However, IXL makes a good effort through rewards, immediate feedback, and visually appealing tasks.

Pedagogy

Practice, practice, practice builds confidence and accuracy, though repetition won't encourage critical thinking. Students do have some say in what to work on next, however.

Support

Students get detailed support and tips when they get a problem wrong. Some content has microphone icons that read a problem out loud. Curriculum is aligned to CCSS, the NGSS, and other state standards.

Common Sense reviewer

Community Rating

It is a good tool for students to test themselves

This would be a good tool fro teachers to use in Algebra Class and to practice during class or after class. It is very easy to use.

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Privacy Rating

Data Safety How safe is this product?

  • Users can interact with trusted users.
  • Unclear whether users can interact with untrusted users, including strangers and/or adults.
  • Profile information must be shared for social interactions.

Data Rights What rights do I have to the data?

  • Users can create or upload content.
  • Users retain ownership of their data.
  • Processes to access or review user data are available.

Ads & Tracking Are there advertisements or tracking?

  • Personal information is shared for third-party marketing.
  • Traditional or contextual advertisements are displayed.
  • Personalised advertising is not displayed.

Continue reading about this tool's privacy practices, including data collection, sharing, and security.

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