Author Topic: Some questions about StackZ  (Read 3261 times)

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NeoAragorn

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Some questions about StackZ
« on: December 28, 2010, 12:43:36 AM »
Hi,

first of all: if this is posted in the wrong section feel free the move it wherever it belongs.

I just downloaded the test version of StackZ and it's the best flashcard application for learning japanese I've found so far (probably because it's optimized for japanese i.e.). However, there are some issues I want to discuss in this forum before buying the product. In particular:

- Is it possible to add new boxes ? As I can see (at first glance) there are 5 boxes the cards can be put into. If I want 6 or 7 boxes, is there a way to accomplish that ?

- I want to use the program to learn japanese. Let's say I make a new lessen, called "Hiragana", containing all the symbols and their romanji. Up until there it works just fine. My problem occures when I want to learn/test the lesson:

When the test begins, every time the Hiragana is shown, I try to remember what the romanji is and if I'm right I declace it as known and so on. My question is:

What do I do when I want the romanji to be shown instead so I can try to remember the Hiragana ? Do I have to write a complete new lesson for that purpose ?

Even better would be the possibility of a "mixed" test session, so that somtimes the romanji and sometimes the Hiragana is shown (in the same test). Is something like that possible ? Learning "one way only" can't be good ...

I hope someone can answer these questions,

Thanks in advance,

René

Chris

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Re: Some questions about StackZ
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2010, 06:43:41 AM »
Is it possible to add new boxes ? As I can see (at first glance) there are 5 boxes the cards can be put into. If I want 6 or 7 boxes, is there a way to accomplish that ?

Stackz is limited to 5 levels to keep the complexity as simple as possible. Do you have any particular need for additional levels?

What do I do when I want the romanji to be shown instead so I can try to remember the Hiragana ? Do I have to write a complete new lesson for that purpose ?

Stackz uses "skills" to manage different attribute appearing orders. For each skill a different order of attribute appearance is used, e.g. hiragana -- roooma ji for reading Japanese, rooma ji -- hiragana for writing kana (which corresponds to "speaking", as hiragana describes the pronunciation). That way, any appearance order is explicitly linked to a meaningful name. Some notes:
  • There are many skills required when learning Japanese because pronunciaton and meaning of the kanji must both be mastered. This translates into different skills, such as "understanding kanji" (kanji -- english translation) and "reading kanji" (kanji -- pronunciation in hiragana). Stackz allows defining and training these skills individually if wished.
  • The examples you mentioned correspond to the predefined skills "Japanese comprehension" (hiragana -- english) and "Japanese speaking" (english -- hiragana) skills.
  • The current skill can be easily switched anytime while testing or learning.
  • Test statistics are not linked to skills: a success is a success, regardless of the used skill. This is to keep the complexity low and not to overload the proficiency estimation with too many details.
  • Skills are defined in the file options (tab "Skills"). Several skills are predefined, renaming or removing them, as well as adding custom skills is easy.

Even better would be the possibility of a "mixed" test session, so that somtimes the romanji and sometimes the Hiragana is shown (in the same test). Is something like that possible ? Learning "one way only" can't be good ...

This would correspond to a "random skill selection" in the Stackz system. This is not planned at the moment because it somehow contradicts the Stackz fundamental assumption that the student is in control of the action, not the program (i.e. the student decides what to study).

On the other hand it would not be hard to implement, although adding to the overall complexity and leading to difficult situations with many words that have several possible answers. If there are many votes for that it might make it to an upcoming release.