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Pros and Cons of MathXL

MathXL is an online homework, tutorial and assessment system. It allows for student work to be tracked and for teachers to develop their own classes using tutorials and assessments provided by the system. It is typically used in conjunction with a textbook by the Pearson Educator’s textbooks.

Pros:
1. Students can be quickly assessed so they know how they performed on the day’s lesson. This allows for students to get immediate results about what areas they may be having trouble mastering.

2. Being able to do work on a computer is a more engaging activity than just writing on paper so students will likely look forward to working on the MathXL site. Also, working on a computer and through an educational site helps students become increasingly technology savvy.

3. Students have personal accounts so they can keep track of how they have been doing on assessments and what lessons they have completed throughout a period of time. This is also a good resource for parents and teachers to be able to see an overall picture of their student’s performance during a school year.

Cons:

1. Excessive use of any computer program can lead to cognitive overload. If this program is used too often in place of traditional classwork, student performance can be affective by their inability to process information. Also, since this type of work is done independently, teachers will not be able to track if students are completing tasks to just do them and get off of the program or if the assessment results truly represent a child’s grasp of the concept.

2. Using a computer with internet access gives students a lot of freedom to roam different sites. After getting bored or overloaded with information students will probably go off and roam a less mentally demanding site where they can play games, watch movies/videos or chat with friends.

3. Using MathXL outside of the classroom can be problematic. Not all students will have computers or have access to internet. Additionally, if homework is assigned off of MathXL, teachers will not be able to track the processes and errors made in student work. This program may need to remain as an in-class program which limits students’ resources.