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  • Hallie Balcomb

    June 7, 2019 at 9:52 am

    Hi George,

    I have used IXL as a resource in the past. My feelings towards the resource are mixed.

    I like how the problems are designed to “level up,” so students do not feel like they are wasting time completing a similar sort of problem over and over again. As the problems increase in “difficulty,” the students see that achieving mastery on a particular skill is not as simple as it might have initially seemed.

    My concern with IXL in relation to interleaving is that IXL feels “blocked.” The siloed nature of each skill does not allow for growth and retention over time. When my students return to a skill a month later, they do not have the option to start the skill practice from the beginning. They can experience frustration having to start from the “hardest” practice problems and quickly convince themselves they do not know how to do that skill anymore. I wonder if there is a way to use a similar skill in another grade level or digitally push students back to a good starting point.

    As a school, we like to view IXL as a means to sharpen skills that we put in our metaphorical problem solving tool belt. These skills can be helpful, but we are careful to place them in conversation with other powerful problem solving tools.