When they came to class on Friday, they were relieved to find that they were simply testing out and evaluating 4 math practice websites for me. We've been using IXL and BuzzMath through the year, but after attending NCTM in Boston last month and hearing a lot about TenMarks and LearnBop, I decided to see what all the fuss was about. I wanted my students to help me decide which sites to use next year.
I set up userids and passwords for all of them and created similar assignments in each application. I asked my students to work on each site for 10 minutes (I set a timer). I wanted them to purposely make mistakes so they could try out the built-in feedback/hints/videos that each application provided to assist the students and scaffold them to the correct solution. A few of my students just don't like to be wrong -- I saw them actually writing out the problems, showing their work, using the calculator -- really trying to get the questions right. I explained again that I want them to just guess, just pick any answer. I didn't realize how difficult this would be for some of them!
After they had tested out the 2 new sites, I had them complete a survey to let me know the site they liked best and least. I gave them a text box to leave any additional comments as well.
Here are the results for the site they liked best:
Here are some of the comments my students made:
- TenMarks is the most "PARCC-like"
- TenMarks should teach you what you got wrong and help you if your struggling like LearnBop
- IXL is basically a online test
- In TenMarks, the hints are too general
- LearnBop is the complete opposite of TenMarks because it some how figures out your learning patterns and helps out
- I think they both did an excellent job. The videos did help a lot if I needed help with anything and I like how it showed me tips on how to do things
- TenMarks is not as great IXL because IXL and BuzzMath give details when you get something wrong
This year I used the basic (free) subscription for BuzzMath, but I think I'm going to upgrade to the Premium subscription for next year so my students can see the detailed solutions if they get a problem wrong. That's the one thing they said they would like to see changed with BuzzMath. I also think they'll like the ability to have problems read aloud and the gaming aspect of unlocking "missions". And I'll appreciate the detailed reporting tools. What I like about even the basic version is that it scaffold the students through solving the problem and gives them immediate feedback, allowing them to retry a similar problem until they master it. It also has multiple styles of problems which are "PARCC-like".
I'd love to hear your feedback on these sites as well. Feel free to take the same survey that my students took: