Approximately August 25, 2016, 8 days after we returned to school, the teachers introduced us to a new learning program called I-Ready. The page itself looked rather shady, having a picture of only a few characters and a login screen.
The website, being a "learning website," I didn't really have high expectations for... I was right. The teachers told us to go through a diagnostic test, of which we were introduced to some character named Jake, a former rockstar who bakes "healthy" foods. "You know, because all children must eat lowfat foods just because there are some obese kids." Anyways, upon the diagnostic test, the test mostly felt repetitive.
It was either things to do with pronouncing words, choosing the correct words, synonyms and antonyms, to things to do with passages. The passages were extremely boring generally, being about people nobody even knows, very old books (just because you liked it doesn't mean others will,) things on "how to do this stuff," etc. Upon completing the test, it turned out that we couldn't go fast on it at all. Even worse, I actually had to retake the test "because I was rushing".
Many other people had to too, because IReady is expecting everyone to be slow on the test. The math test started out simple, before turning into a bunch of discouraging questions. I know this was stated in another review, but I'm gonna say it again. While they're just seeing what level we're on, the questions really felt too absurd and discouraging.
Also, for all of you guys doing the diagnostics, because the algorithm expects you to be very slow, you have to wait 20 seconds before going to the next question. Just a heads up for those of you who want to get to the highest levels you can. Afterwards, the teachers gave us lessons on there. The lessons, however, were not fun at all.
I'm not gonna criticize the designs of them, despite the designs kinda making it harder to take them seriously, but rather the fact that the stories all felt pointless. They were all either about charities, dictionaries, healthy foods, or building, depending on which lesson you get. It's worse because the lessons are completely random. For instance, let's say that you don't like Bake Stars (let's just assume this,) and then suddenly, you end up with them, being unable to change at all.
Also, the higher level the lessons, the longer they're set to be. As a student who has only made it up to Level H at my highest, I can't really determine how much longer lessons after that are, if there even are any lessons afterwards (level K was the highest I've seen, but I'm probably mistaking it). The lessons at the lower levels feel like seconds, while the lessons at the higher lessons take up so much more time, especially if you get blondie and his two girlfriends. The lessons, as well, feel very bland for most of it, to the point where it would be normal to question if doing them for that long is really worth it.
You mostly get stereotypes that have actually died off long ago, because the developers want to fit in with the "cool kids" of nowadays, you get very bland puns that even the characters get annoyed by, and a lot of talking, more than the actual lesson itself. Afterwards, you get quizzes. The quizzes are very strict, and expect you to do stuff exactly their way. On the higher lessons, they don't even give you feedback if you mess up, they just have you move on.
Then, when you're finished, they're very strict with their scoring, where anything under 70% is an instant fail. In my opinion, it should be anything under 60% if not 50%, because if they got more than half right, they should be able to understand the lesson well. However, the website tends to disagree. However, we do get to do the lesson again, to try and learn again, in hopes of getting a better score.
The website itself had a lot of potential, actually putting stories into the lessons and even the quizzes, along with an actual cast for each thing. However, the stories and characters, like I said, feel very bland. The characters are all blank slate characters; they're devoid of personality, actual actions, everything. The voice acting could really make a change too.
It's very hard to take my lessons seriously with voices that either sound like they were made in speakonia, or that have bad accents (yet they expect us to understand it.) You don't really get much of an award for these lessons too. Only 20 coins, where you can only use them on games. The games themselves feel very bland, even though they're the most fun we can get on the website, and one game costs 50 coins. So, in review, the website is a very bland website, with nothing interesting that comes out of it.
The quizzes and lessons, especially the higher ones, feel very tedious and discouraging, and the art style and voice acting makes it impossible to take the lessons seriously at all.
You don't get any reward except for a few coins for passing lessons, and everything feels way too strict. I do not recommend this program for any school district to use, because of the reasons stated.
Product or Service Mentioned: Curriculum Associates I-ready Program.
Reason of review: Bad quality.
Monetary Loss: $300.
Preferred solution: Let the company propose a solution.
I liked: Innovation.
I didn't like: Costs money, Bland, Repetitive.