Tuesday, February 07, 2012

I've always been a bit skeptical of online learning platforms, thinking students need the interaction with a teacher and other students to actually learn successfully a topic with the in-depth knowledge they need to retain the information and have the ability to apply it in new situations.

For a variety of reasons, I have a group of 5 students now using Compass Learning for their math instruction. These are students who have no experienced success in the regular classroom curriculum, even with a wide range of instructional strategies explored, with changes of teachers, venues, etc... So in a last ditch effort to offer them success, the decision was made to try Compass Learning. The crew was enthusiastic, at least somewhat. I think a large part of their willingness to try it was their lack of success in other attempts.

The jury is still out. We are into week 3 of the experiment. For most of them, it has become one more way to fail. Whether the material is too difficult, or they simply are reluctant to actually listen and try the lessons in the way they are intended to be used, the botttom line is - they are rushing through the instruction, taking the quizzes and failing them.

One young man needs constant help, asking about every single question, every single concept. Another clicks through, almost seeming to make it a game to see how quickly he can go through the modules.

I'm not sold on the online learning platform yet. We'll see how it goes!


Anonymous said...

Keep us posted, our school thinks it's going to be the next savior.

Anonymous said...

I absolutely love IXL and my students do, too. Of course, it cannot take the place of instruction, which is not the program's intent, anyway. It's skill practice and one of the cool features is an auditory device that reads the question. Perfect for students who are having a difficult time reading. No tests, as it is not designed to be an assessment. I cannot speak to the Compass Learning math instruction. Check out IXL. I think you'll see the benefits.