Friday, February 17, 2017

About Our Review Process


Thank you for coming to our site, and we hope you will find our reviews valuable.  This seemed like a good time to overview our review criteria, selection criteria and expertise.

Criteria:

As we revitalize this site over the coming months, it is an opportune time to provide the review guidelines we use. As we conduct each review we ask ourselves the following questions.

  • Is the science correct
  • Does the app provide a sophisticated, effective and creative view?
  • Does the software offer good value for cost?  
  • How engaging and intuitive is the user interface?
  • Does the app fill a valuable niche in the ecosystem of existing software?
  • Is there evidence of validation of the software by the developer?
  • Are their negative aspects such as intrusive advertisements or update requests?

Overall Rating:

The relative importance of each element depends on the app being reviewed, and our overall score for each review is not simply an average of scores on each of these elements.  The meaning of our overall numerical score is indicated below.
  • 10: This software is outstanding.  We saw few areas that could be improved.
  • 8-9: Excellent. We strongly recommend the software.
  • 6-7: Good. If the software is appropriate to your needs, you should consider it, but there are some items that could be improved.
  • 4-5: Marginal. While some users may find the app useful, there are significant concerns.
  • 0-3: Not Recommended.  Issues are so significant that we do not recommend purchase.

What We Review:

  • We only provide of reviews after we have fully engaged with the software, never on the basis of press releases or other secondary data. In most cases we only write reviews after an extended period of use, since first impressions are sometimes misleading.
  • While we are not opposed to receiving a code from developers for an app, we will never agree to give a positive review for such consideration.  If we have received a code for free access, this is indicated in the review. Most reviews are on software that we have purchased at the normal price.
  • While we review apps for doing or learning about all disciplines in science, the reader should know that our main scientific expertise is in physics, astronomy, space science and electronics. 
  • My background includes M.Sc. and Ph.D. in physics, as well as a B.Ed. (and some M.Ed. level individual courses). We have multiple local, regional and national teaching awards. As well as extensive solar system astrophysics research, I have conducted research in science teaching, physics education research, informal science learning and educational technology.  I have taught at both the high school and university level, as well as in a B.Ed. program including methodology and educational technology.

Your Input:

We welcome your suggestions at any time, either ideas for apps you would like to see us review, or comments on our review methodology.  Please leave a comment here, contact us directly by email (address below in image format to discourage spammers), or direct message us through our Twitter account (@AppsScience)

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