Numerosity: review of a new Math app from ThoughtBox!


Today I’m so fortunate to be blogging to you from the West Indian island of Grenada…the Spice Island…where there are frequent reminders of the fact that the issues we debate here on this blog truly are “first-world problems.”

This week my colleagues at ThoughtBox, based in Dublin, Ireland, released their long-awaited for first Math app, Numerosity.  It has been received with great acclaim by many app review sites that are run by teachers and parents.  And I know ThoughtBox has worked a very long time on this app, so congratulations are in order!

Numerosity is available in the App Store and its initial purchase price is FREE.  That price includes one level each across five math topics…addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and negative numbers.  If you would like to go deeper into any topic, you can purchase additional levels for $0.99 each or you can purchase everything for $5.99.

As those of you who read this blog regularly have come to expect, I’ll tell you that there are some things about this app that I really like and some things that I think could be improved.  As ever, my hope is that this review will help you decide whether or not you’d like to purchase Numerosity, but in addition, my goal is to provide some useful feedback to the ThoughtBox team when they prepare to version the app.

What I like about Numerosity:   The app is mastery-based, requiring a learner to master the skills in one level before the next level unlocks.  There is immediate feedback for both correct answers and errors.  In addition, the user interface is clean, uncluttered and easy to use.  There is also a short tutorial at the beginning of the app that shows the learner how to interact with the interface.

Improvements I would like to see:  There are three aspects of the app that I’d like to see modified.  First, within a level I would like to see the individual problems increase in difficulty as the learner gets them correct.    Next, when a learner makes an error I would like to see some remediation for the problem…even something as simple as removing the incorrect choice from the array so that the learner may not choose it repeatedly would be good.  As it stands now, the learner may make infinite errors.  Finally, Numerosity currently lacks a student performance report that includes actionable data.  Including the information, say, that every time the number “8” is present, the learner makes an error, would be very useful to a teacher or parent.  Of course, not every teacher or parent would use these data, but for those who would, making the data actionable is key.

ThoughtBox is exactly the kind of company I love to work with because they’ve got so much of it right and it’s clear that they are committed to making a great product.  With just a few tweaks, I think this app could be really amazing in v.2.

To learn more about ThoughBox, visit them here.  Numinosity may be found in the App Store by clicking here.

About karen mahon

i am a behavior and learning scientist. i hold an ed.d. in educational psychology and am trained as an instructional designer. i have spent more than 15 years working in education and instructional software design.
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