Review by Marianne Rogowski, Common Sense Education | Updated September 2018


Track progress, play games with standards-aligned multi-subject lessons

Subjects & skills

  • Character & SEL
  • College & Career Prep
Grades This grade range is based on learning appropriateness and doesn't take into account privacy. It's determined by Common Sense Education, not the product's publisher.
Common Sense says (See details)
Teachers say (16 Reviews)
Privacy (See details)

Take a look inside

1 video | 10 images

Pros: There's no shortage of activities across subject areas, and teachers can get tons of data about student progress, which helps inform instruction.

Cons: It's too easy to inundate students with direct standardized test prep; there's room for more student collaboration and broader skill-building activities.

Bottom Line: Use these standards-based lessons to promote independent, self-driven learning and monitor student growth, but avoid over-reliance on them.

MobyMax lends itself to independent practice both at school and at home. Instead of assigning worksheets, use the platform to design a contest for homework. After a daily session, use the poll feature on the Wall as a means of formative assessment. Be sure to plan regular sessions throughout the year to monitor growth; the site recommends an average of 15-20 minutes per week. Reports allow you to monitor progress and your students to reflect on their own learning (the charts, graphs, and short responses will be helpful). These results and reflections can also be useful to share with parents, perhaps via in-person or virtual student-led conferences.

For elementary school students, use the lessons in small reading or math groups as you target students who have similar goals or learning needs. For middle school students, consider setting up centers or stations using one of the lessons as an activity. For any class, practice active reading strategies, such as annotating, using the texts located in the site's curriculum library. The site's printable worksheets can support guided practice during class warm-ups, but to promote a more paperless and perhaps more engaging environment, consider using these as a starting point for designing digital worksheets using a tool like Wizer.

Continue reading Show less

MobyMax is a standards-aligned K-8 learning platform for math, literacy, science, and social studies equipped with adaptive tests, test-prep lessons, interactive whiteboard activities, and motivational tools. MobyMax also features specific state test-prep activities. Unique features include multiple SSO login options, teachers' ability to assign badges for performance, student goal-setting, student-teacher messaging, and teacher-initiated class contests. The site also has a Wall feature where teachers can post class messages, assignments, events, and polls.

Based on an initial adaptive test, teachers can select lessons for each student. Subsequent tests monitor students' skill growth and "learning velocity," the tool's term for the rate at which each student learns. Students work through lessons to achieve proficiency, which earns them playing time in the site's game area -- although this might feel more like a reward for drudgery than an engaging learning experience. Teachers can also customize the features and content for students, and parents can monitor their children's scores via a parent portal. Users will need a paid subscription to access many features, including unlimited placement tests, progress monitoring, badges, games, and contests.

The ability for teachers to customize content for each student makes MobyMax a good fit for individualized instruction. Lessons mostly entail multiple-choice or constructed-response prompts, but there are also opportunities for written responses -- they're just not automatically graded or included in the progress monitoring data. These features make MobyMax a solid tool for guided practice and progress monitoring. The lessons are, for the most part, designed to promote meaningful learning and conceptual understanding. In addition, teachers, parents, and students all have access to tracking a student's progress, which can empower students to become more accountable for their own learning. Kids can also earn game time or create custom Moby Friends, but teachers should be aware that these activities aren't always explicitly linked to learning.

Some teachers might balk at a tool that's so closely associated with test prep, especially since the temptation to rely too heavily on tools that are meant to increase student growth can backfire. To ensure efficacy, you'll want to rely on solid instructional strategies and other more creative, interactive lessons and tools to really deepen students' understanding of concepts.

Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

The well-designed site is easy to navigate, and the student dashboard supports independence; however, for most kids, the skills-based work won't inspire excitement.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

The lessons and test questions aren't especially inventive (some border on the drill-and-kill style), but teachers can take advantage of differentiation and personalization options to make learning more meaningful.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

There's support for common concerns built right in: Tutorials, text-to-speech features, progress monitoring tools, and a clean interface all contribute to the ease of use and accessibility for learners with unique needs.

Common Sense Reviewer
Marianne Rogowski Media specialist/librarian

Teacher Reviews

(See all 16 reviews) (16 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Sam B. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
I had 5 tickets in the game and then it lagged and I did'nt get it back! Fix it please. Before arvin do's!
I didn't have it for long so I had any lagging I even changed my internet company and it didn't work! So I demand you fix it now, or soon! Or I will tell other teachers not to use it same as the other parents I know. So I would find out what it is please now or very soon!
Read full review