Appy Mondays: Anki Spaced Repetition Software

Banner showing Digital Derby and Appy Monday: Exploring mobile apps for learning and teaching

What is it?

Spaced Repetition Software is a method of learning which facilitates memorisation of information through a systematic process of displaying content in a flash card format spaced over time.

Gwern.net explains is as:

“The spacing effect essentially says that if you have a question (“What is the fifth letter in this random sequence you learned?”), and you can only study it, say, 5 times, then your memory of the answer (‘e’) will be strongest if you spread your 5 tries out over a long period of time – days, weeks, and months. One of the worst things you can do is blow your 5 tries within a day or two. You can think of the ‘forgetting curve’ as being like a chart of radioactive half-lives: each review bumps your memory up in strength 50% of the chart, say, but review doesn’t do very much in the early days because the memory simply hasn’t decayed very much!”

What can it do?

Create flashcards of information you’re trying to learn and the system displays these ensuring you are exposed to that information multiple times in different orders over a period of time. Some software (e.g. Anki) uses an algorithm to predict then optimum time to redisplay a flashcard for most effective learning.

Download it now…

Desktop: http://ankisrs.net/

App: iPhone    Android

How could it be used for learning, teaching and assessment?

This has been reported to be a very effective system for learning information, especially vocabulary in foreign or second languages. However it can be used for learning any kind of discrete chunks of information.

Short task

Install the app and create some flashcards of information you’re trying to remember. Use the system to learn the information.

Important note

Before using any mobile application or online service please check the terms and conditions to ensure you are aware of the implications of using the service. In particular, look out for items covering data security, ownership of content and public/private sharing options.

Further support

Further support

If you would like further support to get an idea of how you could use Anki within learning and teaching, please contact the Technology Enhanced Learning team on tel@derby.ac.uk or ext 1865

One thought on “Appy Mondays: Anki Spaced Repetition Software

  1. I have often encouraged students to use flashcards for learning. There are two additional programmes that can be used which include web versions and apps for tablets including games, flash card races and tests once the flashcards are built see Quizlet, http://www.quizlet.com, https://quizlet.com/6550710/names-of-bones-flash-cards/ I use this for teaching about bones and StudyBlue https://www.studyblue.com/

    Also see my paper at http://derby.openrepository.com/derby/bitstream/10545/550618/2/flashcards_ver1.pdf and a paper at http://multivu.prnewswire.com/mnr/learnlift/36230/docs/36230-Spacing_Effect_and_Mnemonic_Strategies_color.pdf about the theory behind how flashcards support learning.

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