Review by Pamela Brittain, Common Sense Education | Updated April 2019

Parsegon

Free math assessment tool requires teacher time investment

Subjects & skills
Subjects
  • Math

Skills
N/A
Grades This grade range is based on learning appropriateness and doesn't take into account privacy. It's determined by Common Sense Education, not the product's publisher.
7–12
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Pros: Dynamic question types, self-marking, and solid reports.

Cons: Limited options for showing student work; lack of description of how to use "English math" could make certain types of questions difficult for both teachers and students.

Bottom Line: For simple assessments, this could be a great tool, though it relies heavily on teacher question creation.

Use Parsegon to assess student learning from classroom lessons or to introduce new math topics and then test student understanding. This could prove highly useful for online learning or for students who are either ahead or behind their peers and need some additional support or challenges. Though Parsegon could be used for just about any grade (content-wise), the interface is better suited to older students (grades 7 and up) as it's quite plain and minimalist. 

While Parsegon is free for both students and teachers, students require an email address to access the questions and to have their responses tracked by the teacher. To avoid any privacy issues, consider using parent emails or a classroom Google account with dummy email addresses. Note: Creating an account triggered a security warning, and on subsequent logins, a message about insecure data being transmitted. Also, a student report provided a broken link.

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Parsegon allows teachers to create rich, complex, self-marking assessments for their math classes using a wide variety of formats, including plain text, math notation, matrices, geometry, and images. Teachers can write detailed instructions and provide background information on a question before it's posed to students, as well as allow for multiple attempts.

Feedback provided to students by Parsegon is limited to "correct" or "incorrect," but teachers can write more detailed comments should they like. Both students and teachers can receive a detailed report on their answers. Aside from a few template questions and some auto-generated challenge sets, Parsegon relies heavily on teachers to create their own materials from scratch.

As a straight assessment tool, Parsegon is a good little platform. It's easy to understand (for the most part) and provides teachers with a wide variety of tools and options to make their assessments rich and dynamic for their students. The self-marking part of the tool is also handy -- saving time for teachers down the line -- and the additional space for comments allows teachers to provide individual feedback to their students. 

There are some drawbacks: Parsegon doesn't really allow for student work to be shown on the assessment (there's an option for it but it's limited), so students who prefer to write their answers on paper and then input the final answer could be at a disadvantage. There were some inconsistencies between the student and teacher report marks when a "free-style" answer was accepted and information wasn't provided on how the system marks such questions. Parsegon also lacks much in the way of instructions or help. While most of the tool is pretty self-explanatory and easy to follow, the lack of instruction on what English terms can be used to write the math is confusing both for teacher and for student.

At its core, Parsegon is best used for assessment, as it's somewhat limited in interactive elements that are more useful for online teaching. But the ability to add in images and to allow students (and teachers) to record their answers using a variety of formats can make it a powerful tool for teachers willing to put in the time.

Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

Parsegon is minimalist in presentation; student and teacher interfaces focus just on what's needed. 

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

There's a heavy reliance on teachers to come up with questions, but all the tools are there to make a wide variety of them.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

While most of the tool is easy to navigate and understand, teachers and students are on their own to understand and apply the "English math" used for answering questions. 


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