- The lessons are in video-form, followed by a set of (usually) multiple-choice questions. It is a mastery-based program where students must answer 3-5 questions correctly (depends on the course) in order to move to the next lesson. At which point, the student sees another video and works on another set of questions. After about 10 lessons (depends on the course), there is a review where student has access to the videos in the lesson to prepare for the unit exam. If the student passes the exam, they progress. If they do not, the program resets them to the beginning of the unit to try again. Teachers can override the student's placement if necessary.
- Predictable and easy to follow.
- Easy to calculate how much to do each day.
- Good for students who learn best by listening.
- Students can work fast if they pay attention to the lessons.
- Can be monotonous.
- If a student is not understanding a concept, they can get set back a lot and end up frustrated.
- It is a bit of a "Reader's Digest" version of the curriculum, lightly covering the most important concepts. Students learn at the recognition level vs. higher order thinking. In other words, there is no analysis, reflection or critical thinking.
- Students must do assignments in 2 programs to receive full credit for the course: Acellus for lessons and tests; Canvas for written assignments and projects. There is no analysis or writing in Acellus, so all students are required to do extra projects in Canvas that have been created by the teacher in order to flesh out these areas - deeper thinking, and more writing.
- Students can't go back and see previous questions or videos except in Review lessons before tests.
- Parents cannot see what the student worked on. Teachers can see records of time worked, lessons completed, answers and scores for lessons and the whole course. The student (and parent) can only see how many lessons have been completed and what the next lesson is.
- Students sometimes get complacent. The videos sometimes start out short and may get longer throughout the course, so students might under-estimate how long it will take to finish their work.
- Only one of the 3 monitoring features on the student screen is accurate. Student needs to ignore the other two.