What’s new on IXL – September 2020
At IXL, we strive to keep our personalized learning platform in line and up to date with students’ evolving needs. Each month, we’ll be compiling a list of our top new features that will help you, as a learner, educator, or parent, to get the most out of IXL.
Read on for a roundup of recent releases, including the introduction of checkpoint skills, skill plans for all 50 states, back-to-school hubs for educators and parents, and more!
Introduction of checkpoint skills
IXL’s checkpoint skills are a powerful new tool for teachers to address and assess standards readiness. Built specifically to align with the rigor of state assessments, each checkpoint skill challenges students to strategically apply knowledge from multiple concepts, and supports students who need review of foundational concepts.
We currently provide 30 checkpoint skills across 8th grade math, Algebra 1, and Geometry. Checkpoint skills can be found on the grade and topic landing pages, marked with a flag icon. They are also in some textbook and state standard skill plans. For more information, read this blog post!
Suggesting the diagnostic
Teachers can now suggest the Real-Time Diagnostic to students, allowing them to more easily guide learners to the diagnostic and encourage them to keep their stats up to date. Teachers simply click on “Diagnostic” in the green navigation bar, and click the star to suggest the diagnostic. A diagnostic tile will appear at the top of the Suggested Skills list for all of their students, which will also show how many diagnostic questions the student has answered that week, along with a medal icon when a student’s levels are currently pinpointed.
A new diagnostic back-to-school resource page
With this unique school year, the Real-Time Diagnostic is an essential tool for teachers to get their students caught up and growing faster. So, we’ve created a new resource page that shows teachers how to use the Real-Time Diagnostic to bolster learning this fall!
Audio for PK-2 math explanations
We’ve added audio support to the explanations for math problems in grades PK-2! This allows emerging readers to learn and practice math independently, and to get the in-the-moment support they need.
We’ve added Back-to-School Hubs with exciting back-to-school content for both families and educators! They highlight our Fall Power-up skill plans, Real-Time Diagnostic, implementation guides for any classroom format, and various other resources that help users kick off the new year with IXL.
State standards skill plans for all 50 states
We’ve added state standards skill plans for 7 new states—Alaska, Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, West Virginia, Wyoming, and Arkansas—completing our coverage of math and ELA standards skill plans for all 50 states!
Now, teachers in all US states have direct access to the precise skills that best cover their state’s curriculum. These custom-built plans remove guesswork, so teachers know exactly what their students should work on to meet key benchmarks. Teachers can suggest skills to students, check for understanding, and track overall progress directly through the skill plans.
A redesigned Real-Time Diagnostic stats page
The diagnostic stats page for students has a fresh new look! Both math and ELA diagnostic strand levels are now displayed in a fun visual format, resembling fireworks or a star-burst. Students can also easily explore their recommended skills for each strand in a carousel directly from the stats page. Our Diagnostic Action Plan has a more colorful look and feel, too!
LaunchCards, now available on all apps
Learners can now use LaunchCards, our quick and easy QR code sign in, on IXL’s Android phone and tablet apps! Already available for our iOS apps, LaunchCards make the sign-in process much easier, especially for younger kids, as it eliminates the need to know and type in a username and password.
In addition, LaunchCards are now available for all school licenses! Any administrator can turn LaunchCards on or off for their school through their account management setting.
School Progress & Growth now shows all available diagnostic data
In Analytics for School Leaders, the School Progress & Growth report, as well as the CSV export, now shows all available diagnostic data (previously, data was only shown if a certain percentage of students had diagnostic data). Administrators will have even more information and support to implement the diagnostic and ensure student growth.
An improved roster upload experience for administrators
It is now easier for admins to set up their roster file from a template, figure out which columns are missing in the files they’ve uploaded, and choose the right upload options. These improvements will empower admins to more quickly set up their rosters for the new school year. For more information on how to enhance your experience, watch this video on how to easily update your roster!
Updates for greater accessibility
To make IXL more accessible for every student, we have made updates to optimize the experience for those using a screen reader:
- “Skip to content” quick navigation—When a student hits the TAB key to interact with any page, an option to “Skip to content” will appear. The student can select this option to skip the navigation elements and jump directly to page content, eliminating reading of repetitive elements as they navigate across multiple pages. This feature is also consistent with accessibility best practices and ADA guidelines.
- Expansion of alternative text on visual elements on the homepage, header, and footer—This update makes visual icons more clear to screen readers.