Excelling in Virtual Learning with IXL Math

Oregon Charter Academy, Oregon

Michael Jones teaches math to 100 6th graders in an all-virtual environment at Oregon Charter Academy, the oldest virtual school in Oregon. IXL allows Michael to align asynchronous work with live teaching and provide students with assignments targeted to their learning needs. 

The Challenges

Because Oregon Charter Academy welcomes students from all over the state, Michael’s 6th graders start the year with a range of backgrounds and mastery levels. Many are far below grade level, and some lack basic math skills. 

It is challenging for Michael to identify individual needs and help all of his students fill in knowledge gaps to meet grade-level standards. 

And in a virtual environment, Michael doesn’t often have the ability to closely monitor what his students are working on.

The Solution

Michael uses IXL Math for assessment, homework, and one-on-one tutoring. IXL keeps his students engaged and motivated and allows them to be more independent with learning. He says, “We have other curriculum resources and options that they can use, but as the year has progressed, it has been apparent to students and parents how powerful IXL is. Especially the diagnostic and the ability to assign individualized skills—nothing else has that level of transparency.”

Here’s how Michael is using IXL Math in his virtual 6th-grade classroom: 

Michael uses a “flipped classroom” model, in which students attend live classes three times a week and do a lot of learning independently outside of class. He offers open office hours and one-on-one tutoring sessions for students who need additional help. 

He assigns IXL Math as independent homework and practice three times per week. Students are expected to reach a SmartScore of 80 or above on IXL skills aligned to classroom instruction. 

Students take the IXL Real-Time Diagnostic at the beginning of the year and answer questions in the diagnostic each month to keep their levels updated. On asynchronous learning days, students may choose to work on their recommended skills, which are personalized skills IXL recommends based on their diagnostic results, to fill learning gaps. 

Each month, Michael organizes an IXL Mastery Challenge. Students can win prizes based on the number of skills they have mastered on IXL. He also motivates his students with IXL’s Leaderboards, a tool to create customizable classroom competitions.

During office hours and tutoring sessions, Michael uses IXL Analytics to see the specific skills his students are working on and their trouble spots. He uses IXL to work through problems together with students who need one-on-one support. 

The Results 

Since adopting IXL Math in his virtual classroom, Michael has found it much easier to deliver personalized instruction and meet every student where they are. Plus, his students are motivated and empowered to learn independently with IXL. 

What Michael is seeing in his classroom: 

  • His students averaged 1.5 years of academic growth in less than a year.
  • Many students started the year far below grade level, but most are now working at a 6th-grade level or even higher, with a number of students demonstrating mastery at the 7th- and 8th-grade levels. 
  • The IXL effect! Michael’s students have consistently demonstrated proficiency and mastery of IXL skills, and the impact is reflected in their strong benchmark scores.

See the full case study here. To try out IXL in your classroom, visit www.ixl.com/membership/teachers/trial for a free 30-day trial!