Does your school use IXL or are they planning to? Or, have you been using it for a while and have been frustrated with your progress? If so, you are likely to wonder if IXL is rigged.
Here is what you need to know about the program and if the odds are stacked against you:
Is IXL Rigged Against Students?
IXL isn’t rigged, per se, but the way that the program calculates the SmartScore makes it so that some students are at a constant disadvantage when they get certain answers wrong – in this sense, it can hold back students by giving them lower proficiency scores.
Why Does IXL Feel Rigged?
The main issue with IXL is how the SmartScore is calculated. The SmartScore begins at 0 and the student is considered to have mastered the skill.
When you get a question right, you get points added. When you get the question wrong, a certain number of points are taken away.
The problem is that more points are taken away for the wrong question than are given for the right questions. This means that students feel like they are constantly playing catchup throughout the program.
To add to this, many schools use IXL as a diagnostic tool. They will judge the students’ general proficiency based on the SmartScore that they receive.
This means that students’ grades or standing in school can be compromised by IXL. And, considering that the SmartScore setup is unfair, this can make many students feel the program is rigged against them.
How Else Does IXL Hold Students Back?
One of the other issues with IXL is regarding answers to wrong questions. The website is meant to provide you with an answer to any question that you got wrong.
In doing so, you will be able to see the right answer so that you will be able to improve your work in the future.
However, there have been many complaints regarding this system. Both students and teachers have mentioned that the answers appear to be quite convoluted and that the students are unable to gain any meaningful information from them.
The other problem is that the system is rather complicated to navigate. As a result, students struggle to work their way around and this can have a direct impact on how well they are able to do their homework.
Can IXL Be Harmful to Students?
There is a lot of anecdotal evidence to prove that IXL can do more harm than good to students. This is largely due to the way that the assignments are scored.
There are many instances reported where students had a near-perfect score only to get an answer wrong and then to get dropped down by several points. As a result, they had to get several more answers correct before they reached the appropriate score.
Naturally, this means that students spend a lot more time on homework than anticipated. This can take up the time that is meant for other subjects or studying.
What is most important, though, is that having to continuously work on homework after a long day at school can have psychological and physical consequences.
To add to this, a number of students report getting stressed out by the program. This is because they are constantly being pushed backward and gaining momentum with this software can be incredibly difficult.
Students can also begin to feel disenchanted by their education as a whole. This is because no matter how much effort they make, just a few mistakes can set them back quite a bit.
Does IXL Have Any Benefits for Education?
One of the main benefits of IXL is that it allows students to practice questions based on the material that they have covered. Some of the questions also repeat so that students can correct any mistakes they made before.
This feature can come in handy with exams or quizzes as students have the opportunity to practice on questions that may be similar to what they get in their exams.
The issue, though, is that IXL doesn’t really give students problem-solving skills. They are also not able to use the knowledge that they learned in a practical fashion or for real-world scenarios.
Due to this, they may have difficulties understanding just how their material applies to various instances. This can cause issues at a more advanced level.
How Can IXL Be Used More Effectively by Teachers?
IXL does have its uses but it needs to be used by teachers in a different fashion. To begin with, teachers should only use it as a practice tool.
It shouldn’t be given as homework – especially not as graded content. Instead, students should be given the opportunity to practice their skills, particularly before a quiz or an exam. This should help them to prepare.
It is also a good idea for teachers and schools to stop using it as a diagnostic tool. Apart from the claims made by IXL, there is no evidence that it is effective as a diagnostic tool. As such, it shouldn’t be treated in such a manner.
This can stop putting so much pressure on children to perform perfectly in the program. They may then be able to see the tool as being more enjoyable or even helpful.
It can also be helpful if students aren’t expected to get the top score. Perhaps teachers should require the children to spend a particular amount of time on the program. At the end of it, regardless of their score, they are able to move on to another task.
Once again, students will be less stressed out if they don’t have to spend hours using the program only to end up with lackluster results each time.
Is IXL Manipulated Against Students?
There is no evidence to prove that IXL is actually rigged – despite this, the system is set up so that students struggle quite a bit to meet the goals set by the program – furthermore, the setup means that students’ proficiency is graded lower than it actually is, based on inaccurate data.