Wednesday, March 13, 2013

ILearn....Is It Rigorous Enough?

The NYC DOE has told many schools to use the "ILearn" program as a "credit recovery"  course that meets the City criteria of "rigorous instruction".  While I believe that the "ILearn" program is superior to many of the bogus "credit recovery" courses the City allowed the schools to use in the past to boost the graduation rate. However, it still is inferior to a real "credit recovery" course that incorporates a full range of academic work and real "seat time" The "ILearn" program does not show real student academic achievement in my opinion. Moreover, a recent study showed that 72% of students self-reported that they cheated on online tests.  How does the City handle the cheating issue? As far I am concerned they don't.

 Here are some of the problems that I believe makes "ILearn" suspect.

  • The tests are simple multiple choice questions and the student can take it as many tines as necessary until he or she passes it.
  • The online course allows for the opportunity for a stronger student to take the test for a weaker student without being flagged for cheating.
  • The passing of the "lLearn" tests seem not to help the same students when it comes to the "Regents exam" or "college and career readiness".
  • The "ILearn" course rewards students who choose not to go to class and with help, can finish the online course in as little time as a month.
If we are truly interested in improving student academic achievement than taking "ILearn" as a "credit recovery" course is not the answer.


I noticed that... said...

In the NY Post it had an article on the following:

“Nearly 80 percent of city public high-school graduates who enrolled in a City University of New York community college last year had to relearn the basics of reading, writing or math — the highest percentage in years.”

If memories serve me, in 2009 or 2010 there was an article in the Daily News where it mentioned that 72% of the HS graduates who entered a community college need remediation.

So Bloomberg's education reforms have definitely shown an 11% increase in students not being prepared for the future nor for the rigors of college.

I figure in 3 year the newspapers will report that over 90% of those students who used ilearn to accumulate credits will not be allowed to even fill out a college form because those students will not be able to handle the rigors of remediation.

Theorem Ox said...

I remember iLearn. A small Manhattan high school that I have worked in my career so far were pretty big on it. Usually, the school had students use the platform for credit recovery purposes, but the school was also using it to "expand" their course offerings.

It was a very mixed bag in terms of the quality of the courses offered and how students would approach using it.

Noticed that the few students who were taking iLearn courses voluntarily treated things seriously.

Unfortunately, the majority of the students (at least the ones I was tasked to supervise) just didn't care. They would find ways to skip straight to the exams and do whatever they can to get the bare minimum passing grades.

The ways those students went about doing so? Well, I suppose it fit in perfectly fine with the school's theme of collaboration. Whatever.

Anonymous said...

You forgot another important fact about the ILearn courses.....the teacher in charge has the power and authority to override and give credit to students even if they haven't finished the coursework! Has this happened, yes, in both schools that I work in! WHAT A JOKE!

Anonymous said...

ILearn and the like, sadly are here to stay. Bloomy and his minions have to keep the diploma mill going, and heaven forbid the kids who don't go to class/do less than the bare minimal amount of work, are held responsible and don't get a diploma.