Our Senior Primary School Correspondent, Bruce T, recently checked his daughter’s homework and found that Mathletics was marking answers she had right as being incorrect. Now I’m going to guess that Bruce is unusual in that he went through and checked the answers rather than just assuming Mathletics was right – and that raises the question: How many other questions is Mathletics getting wrong?
At one level everyone makes mistakes. I don’t know if the mistake Bruce found came from programming or the content-creator’s maths; given the depth of content on Mathletics it’s almost inevitable that an occasional error will creep in. But it seems to me that Mathletics is like a bank: It works on trust and has to hold itself to an extraordinarily high standard – it simply cannot afford to make anything other than the rarest of mistakes. Matheltics advertising says it is “trusted and used by more than 10,000 schools and 3.5 million students”; that’s an awful lot of people who assume that when Mathletics says a student got an answer wrong they actually did so.
I have long been a big fan of Mathletics, from when users were numbered in thousands instead of millions, and think it’s a genuinely useful online teaching resource. I’ve never noticed an error before; but seeing something like this at very least makes me realise the value of checking what your child or student has done.