Flashcards and Testing with RecallPlus

RecallPlus can produce Flashcards

A subset of RecallPlus' functionality includes being able to print out your cards as flashcards, with a Question on one side and answer on the other.
This is useful for the vast majority of the population who are not always next to their powered up laptop when they have time for some revision.

What is a Flashcard

Flashcards were from the start, designed as a method of testing and learning, using unsurprisingly, a card with a prompt on one side, and an answer of some sort on the other.
The prompt, on one side of the card, should approximate a problem in the real world that you have to recall the solution to... e.g. what do o you do when someone has a heart attack.
On the other side of the card, should be the information you have to recall, when faced with the prompt in the real world.
Flashcards are generally used in packs, with one card after another shown to the learner.
The learner is to attempt, in response to seeing the prompt side of each card, to recall what is on the answer side of the card.
Cards that are recalled correctly are put in a pile to be re-tested in the more distant future.
Cards that are not recalled correctly are put in a pile that are to be re-tested in the near future.

Why would I want to use flashcard style learning?

Flashcards do 2 obvious things:
1) Unlike if you are simply reading over your notes, you really know if the information that you are trying to learn has or has not 'gone in'. See the Forgetting Curve.
2) You can keep track of which material you need to revise more, and which material it would be a waste of time reading through again.See the Spacing Effect.

In addition, if you use a computer program which does flashcards style testing, you can also take advantage of what is known as the spacing effect. This will decrease the total number of repetitions that you will have to do to retain material in memory for longer.
Specifically, the 'spacing effect' refers to the process of increasing close to exponentially, the interval of time between revisions of material, so that a longer and longer period of time elapses between revisions.
An example would be to learn a japanese word and it's english equivalent, you might first revise at 10 minutes, then at 80 minutes, then the next morning and then a week later.
If you do it this way, at a month you are more likely to recall that fact, than if you revised it 4 times in the first hour.
There is a lot of information in the scientific world pointing to the fact that the Spacing Effect improves retention of material.

Testing with RecallPlus

Cards of information and indeed each part of the cards of information that make up Chapters of RecallPlus notes, are tested by the RecallPlus system, so that you take advantages of Flashcard testing and the spacing effect.

To get a good idea of how this works, download a free copy of RecallPlus, and try it out.
Check out the tutorial chapter in RecallPlus for training in this aspect of the software.

Basically RecallPlus will show you parts of the Diagrams that you have produced at a time, to check that you know them.
Each part of the diagram is tested separately if you wish, or you may press 'Auto' and automatically show the whole thing to quickly move on if you know it and want to save time.

If you are not interested in the Testing functions of RecallPlus you may simply not use them. It is up to you entirely.


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