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The Stackz Concept => General Discussion => Topic started by: rs on January 21, 2006, 07:06:01 PM

Title: How do you learn best?
Post by: rs on January 21, 2006, 07:06:01 PM

I just discovered Stackz a week ago, and love it!

I have a few questions about the way the cards are organized:
Title: Re: How do you learn best?
Post by: Chris on January 22, 2006, 11:24:56 AM
Any Stackz tool presents the cards in the order of the proficiency ranking of the currently selected ColorMode, from low ranking to high ranking. The order of equally ranked cards is randomized - use the 'DefinedOrder' ColorMode to insist on a constant presentation sequence.

It makes sense to select a big number of cards and iterate over them in a randomized, but 'low proficiency to high proficiency' order if you are already familiar with the cards and want to check the situation, starting with the most unsure ones. This is like an examination, you iterate over your words by testing yourself whether you know the word or not. In Stackz, this is called Test.

Just as in school, it's not at the test where you easily learn really new things. The test shows you where you are, points out your weak spots, and proves that you have mastered a certain topic. Doing a test before actually learning the content is a rather frustrating issue.

So if you have never known the involved cards, the first step is to learn them. Learning is a very individual issue, everybody learns in a different way. Reading, explanations by a teacher, or any other real life situation are very useful for learning. It's something that goes on in your brain, and the computer can only partially assist that process by pointing out your personal candidates for learning.

In any case, it seems practical to split your long list of 1000 cards into smaller learning units (Stackz lessons), or at least to present the cards always in the same order (by using the 'DefinedOrder' ColorMode) to concentrate on a digestable amount of cards.

Further on, using the same mechanism as in a Test does not seem to be promising for initial learning because a short one-time exposure is not enough to become familiar with a new word. Stackz offers a specific tool for learning new words. You start out with one new word in the LearnDialog, and when you feel comfortable with all aspects of it, you can add another new word to the dialog. After the second new word, switching back to the first word is challenging enough with difficult kanji, so you might spend quite some time with only two words in the LearnDialog, switching forth and back until you have those two words in your short time memory. Once you feel comfortable, you can add a third word and continue the training. If you have maybe 5 to 10 words in this short time memory list, you will not add more words, but replace the most familiar one with a new unknown word and continue to iterate over this list.

This proceeding gives you an intense repeated exposure to the new words. Note that you should not do any classification in Stackz directly after this initial short-time memory learning, the 'declare as known' button is disabled after the second exposure in the LearnDialog for that reason. In fact only the next test will show whether the learning effort was successful. Be honest to yourself and do the test not on the same day :-)

It is clear that you need to do this learn and test cycle on a quite small set of words. I'ts favorable to think in lessons of words that you can overview, learn as a unit, and test as a unit. Consider using the 'DefinedOrder' ColorMode for the first learning steps of a new lesson. After finishing the first lesson you will learn the words from the next lesson, but include the old lesson in the test. Maybe you will have to do learning sessions that also include the hard words from an older lesson too.

OK for now, hope it was clear!
I will try to answer the other questions in a different posting :-)

Title: Re: How do you learn best?
Post by: jonas on January 25, 2006, 05:25:09 PM
Listen to classical music! Especially music with one beat per sec. It helps stimulate brain activity, and makes you remember better.

Look at this link, or search google for "the mozart effect"

Title: Re: How do you learn best?
Post by: Chris on May 06, 2006, 10:37:32 AM
There is still an unanswered question:

  • what is the difference between the Stackz classic system and the Leitner flashcard system?

The Leitner system has its emphasis on structuring the process of learning new words - it tries to optimize the insertion of a new word to the human brain.

The Leitner system assumes that cards must be declared as known consecutively several times in a row to reach the "known" state. Cards start on the left and progress to the right side, cards declared as unknown are sent to the first box again from where the process restarts.

The Stackz classic system has its emphasis on representing the current proficiency state - it tries to separate the "hard" from the "easy" ones, with the assumption that this classification must be constantly refreshed to be valid.

The Stackz classic mode is based on the assumption that cards are hardly ever completely mastered, but need to be refreshed from time to time. In this mode, it is expected that a short refreshing action is enough to bring a once well known card back to a full known state. Therefore the "declare as unknown" action demotes the card one step to the left, the next "declare as known" action can move it right back to the rightmost position.

Generally speaking, the Leitner system may be better to learn new words in an intensive course due to the emphasis on flawlessly mastering the words and by punishing any mistake quite hard, which requires a high effort. On the other hand, the more loose Stackz classic system may be better after the course when less time is invested, but the proficiency state of the words (that are no longer systematically used in a course) shall still be observed.

After all, it's also a matter of personal preference what works better for you.