What is spaced learning?
With advancement in science, learning and retaining the absorbed knowledge has become easier. The constant researches and studies that are conducted on human brain, have helped guide students to learn in a smart way rather than toiling for hours and burning midnight oil.
Spaced repetition is one such learning technique. This technique advises you to incorporate sufficient gap of time when undertaking review of previously learned material. This will help exploit the psychological spacing effect of human brain.
This principle especially comes in use when a student must study a bunch of chapters and retain all of it for an indefinite period. In simple language, if you have a lot of syllabus to cover, and need to memorize them well, you are to space out the repetitions or revisions to improve your retention capacity.
Technology to help you with spaced learning.
To make your life easier, there are quite a few computer softwares that can help you make a schedule of your spaced learning revisions. The software is programmed to help students achieve their target level (e.g. to be able to recall 90% of their studied material at any given time), and it adjusts the repetition spacing interval accordingly. For example, portions of the material that is hard will appear more often than the easier ones.
How does spaced learning work with the software
It is like learning with flashcards. The items that you wish to memorize need to be fed to the computer program in the form of question-answer pairs (in the form of text, audio files or images). When a specific pair becomes due to be reviewed, the question will be displayed on the screen, and the student must answer it. After answering the question, the user must manually enter the correct answer and also let the program know about the difficulty level of the question. The program will then further schedule the pairs as per the spaced repetition algorithms.
(Software examples: Mnemosyne, Anki, Barinscape, etc.)
How to use it in practice?
Let us take an example for studying vocabulary for your GRE exam or any English exam for that matter. When you learn 20-30 new English words on one day, it might prove to be a challenge to recall them all the very next day (unless you are a prodigy). Spaced learning with flashcards will come to your rescue in cases like this! While some words are easy to recall, the others are extremely difficult. A programmed algorithm in any spaced repetition software will space your reviews according to the level of difficulty (as decided by you), so that you ace your verbal section in GRE!
Useful tips for using the spaced learning software:
- Try to make the questions and answer pair flashcards as clear and unambiguous as possible.
- Avoid using multi-choice questions.
Trick your brain for better retention power by Spaced learning