MobyMax and IXL are two sophisticated and highly effective online learning platforms that help students hone specific skills and knowledge across a number of subject areas through instruction and focused practice.
Popular in both schools and homeschool settings, both programs can seem similar at first glance and it can sometimes be hard for parents to choose between the two.
To help out, we decided to compare the two programs and examine their similarities and differences.
What Is MobyMax?
MobyMax is a well-known online learning platform that provides personalized and comprehensive instruction and practice..
The program uses an adaptive learning algorithm and approach to tailor lessons to individual students’ needs, providing interactive instruction, practice and assessment in a user-friendly, gamified environment.
What Is IXL?
IXL is one of the most prominent online learning platforms around, offering customized instruction and focused practice to students.
Covering nearly all core subjects, IXL uses an adaptive approach and sophisticated software to assess each student’s proficiency and deliver tailored and interactive content, such as instruction, skill-building exercises, quizzes, assessments and other exercises, in a dynamic and engaging digital environment.
Both IXL and MobyMax are popular in traditional school settings, largely thanks to their customization ability, their adaptive learning algorithm, their assistance with self-study and independent learning and their broad skill coverage, all of which make them very valuable for busy educators.
However, both platforms also specifically cater to homeschooling families and students learning from home.
Both programs offer dedicated accounts and features designed for families (rather than schools or organizations), with specific pricing and account management options that are more useful and appropriate for home use.
MobyMax and IXL differ a fair amount in terms of their overall curricular coverage.
As an online learning platform, IXL covers the entire K-12 grade range, offering instruction and practice resources to help hone thousands skills across ELA, Math, Science and Social Studies, as well as dedicated practice for standardized testing.
IXL also comes with initial diagnostic placement testing in both math and ELA subjects, which can be very helpful for new or uncertain homeschooling parents as it can help them find a good starting point based on their student’s actual knowledge and skill in these areas.
In contrast, MobyMax is more aimed at the elementary and middle school level, covering 27 different subjects and skill sets across the K-8 range.
It should be noted however that, as with IXL, MobyMax also includes practice materials for standardized tests and offers placement tests in key areas such as math, reading, and language skills that can set an appropriate starting point for the student.
Method of Instruction and Review
Adaptive learning is an important feature in both MobyMax and IXL.
In other words, both programs contain built-in algorithms that assess a student’s proficiency in real time and adjust the difficulty of their lessons and practice accordingly, making things easier or more challenging depending on the student’s actual ability.
In this way, both programs can provide a more personalized approach that tailors educational content to individual student needs, ensuring that each student progresses at their own pace, reinforcing strengths, addressing actual weaknesses and generally giving them a more customized experience overall. .
While perhaps best known for their adaptive practice questions and automated assessments, both IXL and MobyMax also offer engaging mini-lessons to supplement the learning process with direct online instruction.
Both programs offer short, skill-specific lessons that incorporate various interactive questions and activities to reinforce understanding.
There is a slight difference in their overall look and feel, however.
MobyMax’s mini-lessons, for example, are more centered around text with read-aloud capability, and also contain various illustrations, animations, and a host of interactive exercises and assessments.
Simple, comprehensive and straightforward, these lessons cover the material needed for practice in a way that is both engaging and not that distracting to students, which can be a distinct benefit for some.
IXL’s mini-lessons generally also contain text, illustration, voice over, animations, and interactive exercises.
At times and for some subjects, however, it can also offer access to video tutorials and instruction hosted by tutors, which can make it a little bit more multimedia-rich at times, which can cater to diverse learning styles and preferences.
It is important to note that both MobyMax and IXL are Common Core aligned.
The topic and skills covered in each program is in sync with the established benchmarks for each of their grade levels, which can offer a more structured, easier to integrate and comprehensive learning experience.
Interestingly, IXL also incorporates a number of textbook-specific skill paths/integrations.
This feature might be particularly valuable for homeschooling families, as IXL supports a wide array of textbooks, including popular titles like Saxon Math, Elevate Science, GoMath, and Math In Focus.
This extensive integration not only aligns with Common Core standards but also facilitates a connection with the numerous diverse homeschooling curricula out there, which can provide greater flexibility and ease of use for families pursuing alternative educational paths.
Both MobyMax and IXL are essentially designed with independent learning in mind and don’t typically require a lot of day-to-day parental oversight or teaching.
As a result, both programs can be a good learning and practice solution for busy homeschooling families and those on tighter schedules.
With IXL, skills can be automatically suggested based on student performance, testing, the program’s algorithm.
As with most other learning programs, parents can also assign particular skills (such as modeling decimals and fractions, identifying decimals, graphing fractions and so in Grade 4 math), browse recommended skills that the program feels might be helpful or generally follow a grade-standard skill plan (which will adapt to student performance as they go, of course).
Students then go through a cycle of mini-lesson and practice for each skill.
With MobyMax, students can follow an assigned learning path for each subject, which is more or less based on their demonstrated skill on placement tests, their grade level and their individual performance.
Students click on a subject they want to learn about (math, for example) and the program takes them through their lessons automatically.
Parents can, of course, override or modify this from their parental controls and create custom learning, but in general it can be a good option for those who seek an even more hands-off approach to learning.
Both IXL and MobyMax are notable for their ability to deliver tailored learning solutions to individual students.
As mentioned, both programs are adaptive and alter the difficulty of their lessons and practice as a response to actual student performance, not just grade level expectations, and, in addition to offering suggestions through testing, allow parents to pick and choose subjects and skills for their students to work on.
Both programs also do a pretty good job at breaking subjects and topics down into smaller, bite-sized concepts and skills, giving parents and students far more fine-grained and specific control over their practice and learning, which parents can then track through the programs’ rather robust and detailed progress tracking / analytics systems.
Finally, both IXL and MobyMax are gamified.
In other words, both programs incorporate video game-like elements and rewards to make learning more engaging and motivating for students.
In particular, both platforms reward students’ participation and effort in their studies with a host of badges, awards, points, and certifications that they earn as they go along.
Interestingly, both programs also offer access to high-quality, mobile-style video games as an additional reward and incentive for study.
One thing to note, however, is that the programs differ in the kinds of video games they offer and how they fit into study.
Broadly speaking, IXL’s games are highly educational and, while fun, generally are designed to reinforce skill development and practice, aligning with the student’s overall learning objectives.
MobyMax’s games, however, focus largely on being entertaining and don’t tend to have a direct correlation to academic content, being more of a “just for fun” reward.
As a result, IXL’s games can offer an engaging and fun way of getting further practice, particularly for students who don’t necessarily enjoy traditional drill, while MobyMax’s games can be a good way to lower the stress of learning.
When it comes to cost, IXL and MobyMax are a bit different when it comes to their pricing.
When it comes to their family packages, IXL offers several pricing options.
As of writing, parents can subscribe to IXL for a single subject for $9.95 per month, combine math and language arts for $15.95 per month, or get access to all core subjects for $19.95 per month.
It should be noted that additional students can be added to a package for $4 per month each, which can be good news for larger families.
This array of different options gives families a bit more flexibility when it comes to subscriptions, letting them take into account their specific goals, preferences and, of course, budget.
In contrast, MobyMax adopts a simpler pricing model, providing all-access to its resources starting at $7.99 per month, which can make it a bit cheaper overall. .
|Starting at $9.95/mo
|Starting at $7.99/mo
|Common Core Aligned
|Method of instruction
|Interactive, written text, audio, illustrations,adaptive questions and exercises, some video
|Interactive, written text, audio, illustrations, adaptivequestions and exercises
|Subject and skill selection
|Student Progress Tracking
|In app video games
Bottom Line: Which Is Right For You?
Both IXL and MobyMax are popular, excellent choices for those looking for online, personalized, self-study instruction and practice.
As a result, it can be hard for some families, particularly homeschoolers, to pick between the two.
To help parents reach a decision, we created the small chart below.
|I’m a parent and I want…
|A solid online practice and instruction for students in kindergarten through middle school
|A program that can help teach students all the way through high school
|An educational program that rewards students for playing and performing
|A resource that incorporates practice into game-based rewards
|A resource whose video games are just for fun and won’t inundate my student with more practice and drill
|A resource that combines short instruction with targeted, immediate practice and assessment
|A resource that also can includes occasional video instruction
|A resource with an automated learning or skills development pathway
|An option that better fits a very tight budget
|An option with powerful student diagnostics and analytics for detailed progress tracking
|An option with ready practice for SAT, ACT and so on
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About the Author
David Belenky is a freelance writer, former science and math tutor and a tech enthusiast. When he’s not writing about educational tech, he likes to chill out with his family and dog at home.