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Messages - Chris

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General Discussion / Re: How do you learn best?
« 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 :-)


PalmStackz / Soon to be released...
« on: January 15, 2006, 10:43:31 PM »
The PalmStackz beta version is quite stable, and we plan to release it soon. Please join the beta test to help us find the last small problems!

PocketStackz / Where do you use PocketStackz?
« on: January 15, 2006, 10:41:07 PM »
Where do you usually use PocketStackz, and what are your experiences with mobile learning?

PocketStackz - Solved Issues / Re: Pocketstackz and linefeed character
« on: January 09, 2006, 08:12:15 PM »
If I understand you correctly, then you are referring to the card list view, which indeed displays linefeeds as squares.

Please note that this display restriction only applies to the card list view, the test and learn dialog show the linefeeds correctly.

The Stackz Wordlists / What wordlist is missing most?
« on: January 08, 2006, 10:18:49 AM »
Is there a wordlist you would like to have?

General Discussion / Do you still use paper flashcards?
« on: January 08, 2006, 10:17:10 AM »
Stackz allows to manage a large number of flashcards electronically. How much paper-based learning material do you use besides Stackz?

General Discussion / What ColorMode do you use the most?
« on: January 08, 2006, 10:14:35 AM »
The first Stackz ColorMode was 'RefreshDate', it simply shows for how long the card has not been tested positively. The 'RepeatAdvisor' ColorMode refines this concept by putting less emphasis on the easy words.

What mode do you use most of the time?

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