Memorang was designed from the ground up to be the next generation adaptive learning platform. In fact many hard-core Anki users have switched over to our platform and love it! The main difference is in the ease of use of both creating and consuming content. Anki has the underpinnings of supermemo, which is designed for the ideal learner. In a couple of experiments that we've done partnered with large institutions, one still underway, we have shown that most students are not "ideal learners" in that most still cram right before big exams or deadlines. The original study focused on efficacy, you can find the slides we did for an NSF sponsored presentation here http://www.slideshare.net/gjcourt/memorang-nsf-mooc-2014. The latest study is still in the works, but will involve significantly more data.
Anki is a fantastic program and many people love and use it everyday. If you have loved and used Anki as much as we have, then give Memorang a try and see what you think! (or come help us improve the future of learning https://www.memorangapp.com/jobs)
Edit: Read about our data-model here http://blog.memorangapp.com/post/108094496626/tags-more-how-...
While many people may love Anki, you can count me out. I used it extensively during my first 2 years of medical school along with trying physical cards, Quizlet, and even my own custom batch files and macros. I think that it works for a very particular use case, and you need to fully commit to it to get the intended benefits.
My personal belief is that an "adaptive" learning system doesn't just adapt to the spacing effect, but to your study habits, emotional state, learning style, and even the global activity linked to certain concepts. (e.g. If you have a centralized API, you can track which facts learners struggle with and use the algorithms weight those facts for first-time learners). Learning isn't just meant to be something you do in isolation - there is a community aspect and there are endless things you can with a big data approach.
Our goal is to take spaced repetition and this new concept of meta-adaptivity and apply it to the masses, not just the hardcore users. Yeah, it sounds like a fancy vision but we're further along than you'd think. Would love to start a discussion on this and possibly get more manpower on making this a reality. (I dropped my career as a surgeon to make this happen, so we're all-in at this point).
A few references:
1. Dyrbye LN, Thomas MR, Shanafelt TD. Systematic review of depression, anxiety,
and other indicators of psychological distress among U.S. and Canadian medical
students. Acad Med. 2006 Apr;81(4):354-73. Review. PubMed PMID: 16565188.
2. Beard C, Clegg S, Smith K. Acknowledging the affective in higher education. BRIT EDUC RES J. 2007; 33(2): 235–252
3. Burleson W, Picard R. Affective Agents: Sustaining Motivation to Learn Through Failure and a State of “Stuck”. Social and Emotional Intelligence in Learning Environments Workshop in conjunction with the 7th International Conference on Intelligent Tutoring Systems, Maceio-Alagoas, Brasil. August 31, 2004. http://affect.media.mit.edu/pdfs/04.burleson-picard.pdf
4. Durlak JA, Weissberg RP, Dymnicki AB, Taylor RD, Schellinger KB. The impact of
enhancing students' social and emotional learning: a meta-analysis of
school-based universal interventions. Child Dev. 2011 Jan-Feb;82(1):405-32. doi:
10.1111/j.1467-8624.2010.01564.x. PubMed PMID: 21291449.
Earlier in my career I was a chef de partie in a two Michelin star restaurant with a team of 4 cooks under me. If a cook made a mistake, the chef didn't talk to him, the chef would literally scream at me. I asked one of the cooks who worked with the chef for many years why the chef was yelling at me instead of the cook and he said that I was responsible for everything that happens on my station.
Here is the striking contrast between learning in the real world and learning in a school. In the real world, the teacher is responsible for the failure of the person learning, while in the school the student is responsible of the failure to learn.
As a chef, I can break people's spirits day and night, I have a mouth like chef Ramsey and scars on my chin where I've been punched hard, but that doesn't serve me any purpose. People breaking emotionally happens a lot especially in kitchens. There is a reason there is a lot of drug use and alcohol abuse in restaurants.
If I opened a restaurant in the town I'm in now I would never find decent cooks. I would have to train them. Unlike a college professor I wouldn't succeed by giving out F's and pushing people to drop out. I'd have to know on a case by case basis how far I can push a person to learn; to know when to give a cook a hug and to know when to scream, "where the fuck do you think you work, McDonald's?"
Some people hear things like that and they change a behavior to end a chef being annoying while others see it as a threat to their employment. The same feedback is different with people. The ability to hire or fire someone gives an employer an enormous amount of power over that person.
Absolutely, adaptive learning must address the emotional state of the student. Not only does every student have a different rate of learning and different types of intelligence, for example, some people are much better with kinesthetic reasoning while other verbal reasoning, everybody has a different stress threshold before they break emotionally or give up.
We're working on a version of our platform where you could define need-to-know facts for your employees and then give them an engaging, adaptive way to learn. These data would be fed back to you and you could determine how to help your employees, or who is falling behind. Maybe even aspects of your "curriculum" for employee training that are insufficient.
I would love to hear your thoughts.
After a while I forget what the exact temperatures are but I have them written down on an index card in my recipes folder.
In the restaurant, there are some things that need to be memorized. First and foremost is the menu, every new employee needs to memorize it and it is hard to do. I worked 3.5 years in a restaurant that changed the menu every Thursday night. Nobody had a clue what was going on until Wednesday the next week. The second thing is the wine list and which dishes go with each wine. For the bartenders, they need to memorize 100s of different drinks. Both the cooks and the wait staff need to memorize the ingredients as many customers are allergic to nuts, dairy, and shell fish. Who doesn't know that there is lobster in the paella?
A restaurant will have 30 - 40 recipes and memorizing them greatly increases the speed of the cooks, a lot. However, many restaurants consider these trade secrets and like the fashion industry a recipe can't be copyrighted. The restaurants I worked in never really kept the recipes a secret because few people had the skill to implement them correctly. That paella recipe isn't a big deal going back to what I said earlier that the most important thing was sucking at making it for a long time.
You seem to have successfully, in your mind, justified verbal abuse ("it's OK if they can handle it and I gave them a hug last week").... let's call that "enlightened bullying" verses straight up bullying.
The ability to put up with bullies in the workplace do not make a better chef (I would prefer to see a study if you disagree, not just hear about engrained culture). It selects for psychopaths, not good cooks. It's not the military, it's a kitchen.
I train people everyday. Failure for them to learn is my failure. But I never insult or belittle them in private or public. That achieves nothing.
Nonetheless, are you training people who have graduated college? Because there is a very big difference between training someone with enough self disciple to get through college and training someone being paid $10 an hour who was just released from jail or partied with cocaine and escorts the night before. I never used drugs which made me an outsider in the restaurant industry. I strongly believe that a lot of the people I worked with sometimes needed a hug and sometimes needed someone to yell at them. And, definitely they needed someone who knew the difference.
I also strongly believe the reason they ended up with me screaming at them was a total failure of the educational system in the United States. You train people everyday. Unlike a college professor you also have financial incentive to be effective at it. They do not.
The point I was making is that learning including memorization and behavior correction which is a type of learning is more than just linear memorization and punctuated adaptive learning, that learning must include emotional and stress assessment and consideration of the power relationship between a teacher and student which isn't inherently bad.
You do understand that your comment is aggressive and you are correct which gives you the right to be aggressive? However, you would never outright challenge your boss like that. Aggression is appropriate in certain circumstances. There is something very powerful about the pigs in Angry Birds taunting the player when the player fails and when the birds cheer. The pigs taunting is very motivating pushing people to learn the spacial reasoning to get better at the game. Can you imagine how angry people would be if the Khan Academy used subtle taunts to motive kids like Angry Birds does? Critics will say we don't know if that motivates kids or not. I say let's do A/B testing. We will know in a week and I wouldn't be surprised if taunts from the pigs and, on the other side, to keep the emotions equal, supporting cheers from the birds strongly motivates children to learn. That is on topic. What is the psychology of motivation?
I'm stating the obvious here, but verbal abuse is not ok in a professional setting, never ever. There's nothing to justify it, not even "success" (a better cooked meal, more revenues coming in for the company etc).
Not even winning a war, saving a child from a burning building or eliminating behavior that kills surgery patients? Is nothing as important as a bruised ego?
The case that OP is making is that X is the only acceptable way to talk to people in the work place.
When it comes to violence, enough of us agree within our "populations" so to speak. When it comes to how people should communicate with their words, there is enough diversity to warrant freedom of choice. I think that it's important that OP be able to choose to not work in a place where their competency is questioned without regard to their feelings. However, it's completely unreasonable to tell everyone how their businesses should be ran, or how their bosses should talk to them. Not all of us enjoy being patronized, or are ok with being dishonest about how we really feel. Enough of us disagree on the best way to communicate in the workplace that there shouldn't be one right answer. OP presented their case without any regard for the other side, "never ever" as they put it. They didn't even consider the possibility that not all of us are so sensitive, that not all of us are helpless marshmallows squashed at the first f bomb, creamed by the first, second, or hundredth joke at our expense. That is the argument I'm making. Not that rules should not exist, but that rules need to address the fact that different things work for different people, and society cannot work if it is run under the assumption that what works for one person works for everyone.
Fair enough, some people like a culture with directness, swearing, etc. Fwiw, though, you come across as equally sensitive and marshmallow-like as the OP, it's just that your point of sensitivity is the idea of people ever talking behind your back, while for example I accept (and expect) that as the natural behavior of nearly all humans. If you're cool applying your logic to that, too, and just choose to opt out of being around people who aren't direct, then that's fair.
Exactly, everyone has their own values. I value honesty. OP values dishonesty.
I'm pretty sure verbal abuse has a specific definition (not related to morality), and is not the same thing as "offensive to me", so you can't just redefine it as you did above.
Your post is defending verbal abuse, which might be a legitimate argument you could make. However, don't pretend what you do to people is not verbal abuse with some mental gymnastics to convince yourself that someone talking to HR behind your back about a problem is what real verbal abuse is.
If a professor abused his students in this way, they would rightly be fired.
Could you please create a mailing list for different professions/subject areas so potential customers could be alerted when relevant premium study sets are released?
For example, have a sign up list for people interested in accounting, one for law, one for technology exams etc. I would totally give you guys my email address so I can be alerted when relevant expert card sets are released.
As it is, I'll probably just forget about memorang.
That is a fantastic idea, thank you so much! We can definitely create a few mailing lists and I'd be happy to keep you all in the loop. We currently have 10 new subjects in development and are scaling to release at a rate of (ideally) 3-4 per month by next summer. We hired a director of content specifically to recruit teams of experts and to oversee this creation process more fluidly. I'm going to set this up ASAP.
Send your email to firstname.lastname@example.org and your intended subject. It's possible one of our next releases will be appropriate for you.
That's interesting, how do you assess the marginal benefit of extra adaptation beyond the spacing effect? My understanding is that the spacing big is pretty big to begin with, compared to a blunt read and re-read approach. How better can it be with personal adaptation? Do you improve memorization time by 10%, 100%, more?
What does this mean? The students said that Anki didn't motivate them, and that study fatigue (Not the spacing effect) was the key differentiator. As a medical student I am very familiar with this, and so one of our main goals with Memorang is to keep people engaged in vivo, not just have an optimal algorithm should you religiously follow it to a T.
I love the stellar memory that Anki gives me but it's BORING. So so so BORING. It's the primary reason why I don't use it more often. I've been thinking about an alternative for some time, so it's nice to see that someone else is working on it.
I'm not actually too sure of what you're doing that's different though, and the slides you provided have been a bit vague.
Can you elaborate more on what exactly memorang does that keeps people "engaged in vivo"?
And how exactly does it "adapt to [..] study habits, emotional state, learning style, and even the global activity linked to certain concepts"?
Between algorithm choices, learning modes, and other customization options there are dozens of ways you can learn the same material instead of simply flashcards like Anki.
For the other components, some of these are works in progress and others are already present. I would encourage you to learn a subject towards 100% and you'll see exactly what we mean. Part of the answer is gamification via scores and leaderboards, some is advanced study stats where you can compare your progress, gain insights into how you learn, and see how you stack against the global average. Another part of the answer is targeted feedback via the "tutor" which will introduce study tips and humor depending on your progress.
We also are launching a 2.0 version very early next year which will be a fruitful step in the right direction.
Overall, we have a pretty broad vision for what we think we can accomplish and are actively working towards getting there from a tech point of view (development) and via academic research with well known universities. The ultimate goal would be that you could just sit down, select what you need to know, and then be perfectly guided towards subject mastery in whatever way is most optimized for you as an individual.
"The ultimate goal would be to be perfectly guided to mastery"...? Yeah, and the ultimate goal of every NLP startup is to have 100% natural language understanding by the machine... but that doesn't mean that any of them can promise that in the foreseeable future, or that I won't laugh at them if they do.
"I would encourage you to learn a subject towards 100% and you'll see exactly what we mean."
That... is already what I do with Anki, or at least as reasonably close to 100% as possible under reasonable time constraints. It's patronising of you to assume that I don't, or to claim that your product is the only way to reach that.
Good luck with your startup.
I'm pretty sure he is saying "use our product to learn a single subject to 100% and you will see what I mean".
Often it is hard to explain the benefits of a platform with a few quick comments on hn.
When I wrote "I encourage you to learn a subject towards 100% mastery and you'll see exactly what we mean" it was purely meant to encourage you to learn a small subject on Memorang to help answer your questions about the methods you inquired regarding interacting with the learning system. It wasn't, as you seem to believe, a statement that you couldn't learn via alternative methodologies.
I will give it a go, the screenshots look quite nice.
That being said, combatting boredom is a really important thing to consider.
What was the reason Memorang changed for the students that Anki didn't provide? Better default flash cards? Gamification? Or multi-factors?
I've been using Anki for about a year, and I've read a lot about Anki burnout (missing a few days means I'm going to dedicate 2-3 hours on the weekend to catch up). I don't procrastinate this as much so this becomes less of a fear.
We're developing a learning platform for Anatomy, called Kenhub and we've built our own quizzes with some aspects of spaced repetition already. We're looking at ways of taking it to the next level in terms of adaptability. We're also considering ways of re-purposing our original content to reach wider audience (we have thousands of our own anatomy illustrations and meta-data). Perhaps there's a way to collaborate with you?
I have some very different ideas about how anatomy could be ideally taught in some scenarios (which I am in the process of developing!) but certainly wish I had of had access to what looks to be an excellent resource you have developed.
It must have taken an age and a small fortune to get your own illustrations! would you ever consider a licensing deal?
You can email us at email@example.com and it would be great to pick up the conversation!
I have a very large Anki deck that I've spent years building and curating, I'm not interested in surrendering all that labor to a closed ecosystem that may or may not be around in the future....
I would love to have you be a member, email me and we can work something out.
On a different note, from reading through these comments it sounds kind of like you guys are specifically focused on full time students and the unique problems they face trying implement anki. Does your service offer benefits to people who aren't and don't have the resulting new card review burden or need for cramming?
We have this at the admin level and plan on making this a user-accessible feature as soon as we can.
>Does your service offer benefits to people who aren't and don't have the resulting new card review burden or need for cramming?
It depends on your goal. In its current iteration, Memorang functions very well for mastering new concepts on a shorter-term scale (e.g. hours, days, or a semester). However, long-term retention on the order of years is something that we are working on a different implementation of. That will be a huge focus in the next semester after we finish shipping this 2.0 launch in January.
What kind of approach will you be taking to long term retention? Do you expect it will differ substantially from the existing srs approach?
What we're borrowing is the concept of memory decay, but I don't think there are many similarities beyond that. Imagine learning spanish in college: you could set a goal for your final exam but also have a lifelong learning goal. Whether you're following your schedule or cramming, your answer events will communicate with the intersecting algorithms so that you're being optimized for several different use cases simultaneously. When we launch the "goal setting" feature, gjcourt may write a blog post about it and post it to HN...
I'm just concluding that off of basic scale. After using Anki for a couple of coursera courses and being overwhelmed with cards for months until it calmed down, I realized there was no way I would have been able to keep up with retaining all learned knowledge in college, several classes per semester. The Anki review burden just would have been too great.
I think the problem with Anki can be distilled down to root assumptions it makes about how people should ideally learn and how to model what is forgotten over time. In studying for a course there are basically three strategies: (1) cram at the end (2) study reasonably throughout the whole course (3) try to keep re-learning the course indefinitely.
We've thought long and hard about how we can cater to these different styles and think we've done a good job with a hybrid of #1 and 2. What would make more sense is something coming early next year as an option feature, which is inputting the date of the final exam of your course and then periodically adding in flashcards to a growing playlist that optimizes retention for the day of your exam. After you finish, you don't necessarily have to continue, but you could set a longer-retention date. An example of this would be that you have weekly quizzes and a final exam, and the algorithm could adjust the date for each quiz while balancing the overall arc towards the final.
It sounds like you're not so much challenging that as you are offering more flexibility and control over what and when you'd like to retain?
(I wonder what college degree programs would look like if they actually were structured in a way to better reinforce long-term retention.)
Nothing wrong with just using Anki for things that you, personally, feel you'd like to remember.
You also learn to be smarter about what you actually Ankify -- this isn't something you think about, because the best way to succeed in a cram model is to spend a few extra minutes that one time on something that might not be on the test, but it might be. With Anki, you can focus on actually learning the core material and cultivating a deep understanding.
Another thing I would do is just delete cards that weren't interesting to me after the course was over. There are some things I want to remember forever, and there are some things that aren't worth it.
It also helps to use the mobile app to review a few cards whenever you get the chance throughout the day rather than batching them all up. This is better for remembering them as well. This also fits very nicely with pomodoro-style working.
You do really address the issues that prevent me from using Anki, and I'd be happy to pay for it once you do have that API.
The site itself is free, and you can print material that you create. We only charge for premium content which is material that we've specifically created for exams and is guaranteed to be high quality and accurate.
We allow for imports from top flashcard programs including Anki, however Anki files tend to be large so for the time being there is a 10MB (I think) cap on the size of an Anki deck you can upload. I can do it manually for larger decks if you pm me. Export is something we don't support at the present, but will probably get built at some point in the future.
I imagine three use cases for myself in the nearest future:
* Learn some new foreign language,
* Upload and study a bunch of book quotes that I'd like to always keep in memory, and
* Create a card deck for the course I'm teaching.
Hope to get to it soon.
Happy to help you design something for your coursework, we are actively looking to build an educator service allowing you to share course materials with students. Stay tuned for updates on this in the near future.
I don't see it on your site or on Anki's.
1. When you sign up, the dashboard guides you through picking subjects.
2. You can search for what others have made: https://www.memorangapp.com/find
3. You can create your own decks, or import from Quizlet, Excel, Anki, Cram, and StudyBlue with one click: https://www.memorangapp.com/create
4. You can purchase expert-authored content on our premium marketplace: https://www.memorangapp.com/premium
You can choose to remove yourself from that community ecosystem, but it's not exactly our ethos or why we started on this endeavor.
Actually, it sounds like he is trying to put the community and the product first.
A collaborative learning system works so much better with forced sharing.
The hardest and most time consuming part of using standard SRS software is building your deck.
A collaborative system helps share this load across all users.
If you want privacy choose a different product. For example I don't use GitHub for my projects because I don't want to share them.
This is because that's the initial learning phase. You can't just download a spaced repetition deck and run it though any program and learn it in any meaningful sense. The cards I need to create to learn a concept will be totally different than the cards you create and so on.
Connecting your cards to the relevant nodes in your personal semantic network isn't just the most effective way to learn, it's the only way human brains encode information. If you're not doing this purposefully, you're just trying to glue someone else's relevant retrieval cues into your own semantic network.
There are other ways the comment parent's site could avoid this, but inevitably in my experience this leads to FALSE learning, where you have very sparse retrieval cues, basically limited to what you see on the screen in the learning app. This gives you a feeling of progress, because you really can recall the information in the app, but very little practical use.
> The cards I need to create to learn a concept will be totally different than the cards you create and so on.
I don't use SRS software to learn a concept. I use it to remember concepts I already know. As such creating the cards is just tedium.
SRS software allowed me to stay "fresh", at an advanced level, on around 6-8 languages and platforms despite not using them for long periods of time.
Learning and remembering are very different processes.
I've had great success sharing cards and decks and haven't found my own cards any more valuable than the cards I've gotten from friends.
If you haven't found your own cards more valuable than cards other people made, you're making cards wrong, and could be remembering them MUCH easier.
So, the best cards you can make are cards that refer to concepts, internal to you, that are highly associated. What I try to do is encapsulate the statement that originally made me understand the idea, which is usually a metaphor or analogy for another concept I've deeply overlearned. Then I make a few other cards that elaborate on the concept to get away from the metaphorical link and into the specifics.
See also: https://www.supermemo.com/articles/20rules.htm . The rules that are related to what I describe here are 11-14. This is written by the godfather of spaced repetition.
I'm also going to lend my opinion: I agree entirely. If you don't find your own flashcards better than other people's flashcards, you aren't making the right connections or you aren't using mnemonics to aid learning. Personal ones work better a supermajority of the time (unless someone has a particularly clever mnemonic that resonates well with you)
This is a good first-approximation to an ethical system, but ultimately fails in many areas of the real world. I would prefer that the systems that provide me with food do so without demanding that I pay them money, but that is in direct conflict with the need to pay people to do the work to create and maintain that system.
I would prefer that there exists a system where I can store flashcards for studying various things and that that system not charge me money. That is in conflict with the need to pay people to create and maintain that system. One way to resolve that conflict is to only require payment for some features of the system.
Additionally, do not give them credit for providing a paid privacy system. Their paid privacy system is not private. The admins still have access. Other companies have shown that they are able to share and sell this information with impunity. The past has also proven that these companies have no responsibility to adequately protect this data from attackers.
The owner presented their product as a better Anki. Anki is a product that you download. You are the only person who has access to the flash cards you create. You own and control your own creations. This is not a better version of Anki if you are forced to give away control of your own content so that others may profit off of it.
The business model here is not to sell you a better wrench, but to give you a better wrench in exchange for everything you create with it.
I could be ok with this, if the author was just honest about it. But instead the author is adamant that they are just selling you a better wrench. So because the creators are clearly not interested in being straight forward, because they use double-talk to try to placate people and hide their true business model, fuck them. And fuck anyone who's going to treat their users in ways they would never treat themselves.
Sorry that was so long. I appreciate you taking the time to read my previous rant and type up a response. I would love to continue this discussion.
edit: you are the same person who brought up the github argument. My argument there is that git can be used completely independently of github. In this case, github completely owns and controls the use of git. "They own the wrench".
You can also click the search bar in the top left and go through the user-generated database. I believe there are about 5 million flashcards there currently.
* Thousands of free decks
* An open ecosystem
* Source code
* Doesn't spam your email
* Isn't just a straightforward monetisation of anki's general premise
I could see some value being produced from this, but it just isn't there right now.
>A better app that doesn't crash as much
Working on it. Worth noting that it's free to download.
>Thousands of free decks
Memorang has about 5 million free flashcards currently as part of the crowdsourced ecosystem. You can get content in 4 ways: creating, importing, searching, and purchasing. You can import from Quizlet, Excel, Anki, StudyBlue, and Cram, or collaborate in groups on common topics.
>An open ecosystem
While I think we could do a better job with content discovery, the collaboration tools on Memorang do not exist on Anki. If you wanted to work together on an Anki deck, it would have to be with some combination of dropbox or git. My opinion is that Anki is pretty antisocial.
I think HN readers know more than anyone that there's nothing wrong with not open sourcing your company's code. Developers need to eat too. That being said, we are open to making our API publicly available to build learning applications on top of.
>Doesn't spam your email
I welcome your suggestions regarding email and onboarding. Currently we send a welcome email and account verification. Over the course of 1-2 weeks we give short snippets of how to use certain learning modes on the platform. You can unsubscribe from emails at any time via the unsubscribe link or via your account settings.
>Isn't an obvious monetisation of anki's general premise
It's worth pointing out that the creator of Anki has made tens of millions of dollars off of charging for downloads. I'm not sure what "premise" you are referring to - but ours is that the core learning application should be free and not a paid download.
>How anyone thinks that paywalling a bunch of flashcards is a good idea (when anki offers them free) is beyond me
Crowdsourced content is free on both Anki and Memorang, so I think you may have missed that the "paywalled" flashcards are actually an optional upgrade. As a bit of background, we've spent thousands of dollars on content creation and are committed to continuously upgrading and maintaining that content. For example, our USMLE Step 1 and MCAT content are one-time purchases for lifetime access and we maintain updates to stay current with the latest medical information at no extra charge. Users are happy to pay for that level of trust and security.
I hope the above information helps you better understand what we are doing.
I would greatly prefer to hear students raving about a learning product rather than their instructors. In your case you seem to be a bit underwhelmed by what they offer.
In reference to people wanting freebies - that's just human behavior. If they see sufficient value in a product (e.g. iPhones), then they will happily pay for it.
"I've started using Memorang instead of anki, as it allows me to retain information in the long term as it has multiple ways to approach/learn the same info."
Anki allows you to memorise things in the long term too.
"Add the fact that it's free to generate your own content which is perfect for me"
... what? Any SRS method allows you to generate your own content.
No offence, but seeing as you registered just to say all of that, you sound like a shill.
My problem was that a job and location change altered my daily routine entirely, so I stopped reviewing the cards. One year later, I have forgotten most of the characters I knew. However, the characters I learned while living in Japan, in context, are still fresh in my mind.
I think that spaced repetition isn't the memory panacea it's always touted to be. It's a great tool for cramming, but soon becomes a pain when you have hundreds of cards to review every day. I've heard good things about the goldlist method, a much more low-tech pen and paper approach. Does anyone have any experience with this technique? It claims to be better for long-term memory: http://huliganov.tv/goldlist-eu/
It works as a browser extension for reading web-pages or you can upload texts and whole novels to read via the web-app. You can then click-to-translate words and phrases that you don't understand, and it generates cloze flashcards for use in it's own flashcards, or for export to apps like Anki.
Would love to hear feedback from anyone who tries it!
As a memory researcher, I'd love to see a good example of how you (or someone else) implemented readlang to learn a language. The site seems good at conveying how readlang can get flashcards cooking, but it would be interesting to hear how it was used as part of someone's language learning process (the big picture). I saw on the about page that you used it to learn Spanish, and there are a bunch of posts on the site, so it may be there and I missed it.
I'll definitely look more into it later this evening, but a few questions/thoughts I had were..
1. is there a good way to programmatically pull out flash card information (as say a JSON object)? Is the export to Anki as a csv/tsv?
2. How fleshed out is support for Chinese? What should I expect from it being in beta?
3. I was intrigued by the video player functionality, clicked the "Find something to watch now" on the features page. Clicked blindly. Arrived on a page of text in Spanish. Backed up. Realized that it was a mix of text articles and video articles. Scrolled down to a video article. Was very impressed with the player, but thought with a little less patience I may have missed it. This seems like an incredible feature (similar to fluentU's approach), and one that the link should take people to with as little friction as possible!
Sorry if any of this should have been clear from a more thorough read. I didn't have a lot of time to look, and was really impressed, so thought I would fire off my impressions before giving it a more thorough look :).
I agree it would be nice to include examples of how Readlang fits into a different people's language learning process. Here are a couple of articles I found online:
To answer your questions...
| 1. is there a good way to programmatically pull out flash card information (as say a JSON object)? Is the export to Anki as a csv/tsv?
Export is by CSV (or you can specify your chosen delimiter) and you can choose from a number of different fields. You can't export data from the spaced repetition algorithm since I felt it would make the UI confusing. But you can access this data via the API: https://github.com/SteveRidout/readlang-api
| 2. How fleshed out is support for Chinese? What should I expect from it being in beta?
Chinese, Japanese, and Thai aren't that well supported at the moment. The main omissions are:
- Lack of "word" boundary detection (these languages don't use spaces to separate words)
- Lack of Pinyin translations
- Lack of word frequency lists to prioritize flashcards by usefulness.
| 3. I was intrigued by the video player functionality, clicked the "Find something to watch now" on the features page. Clicked blindly. Arrived on a page of text in Spanish. Backed up. Realized that it was a mix of text articles and video articles. Scrolled down to a video article. Was very impressed with the player, but thought with a little less patience I may have missed it. This seems like an incredible feature (similar to fluentU's approach), and one that the link should take people to with as little friction as possible!
Thanks, glad you like it! I agree these should be more discoverable. BTW: These videos are all added, sync'd, and shared by Readlang users using the web-app, here's a short guide: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szcvArpfxWI
With Chinese, though, it should be simple. Just allow users to make flashcards of any number of contiguous characters. Unbound morphemes aren't something you need to worry about and even a single character part of a larger word could reasonably be a vocabulary item.
This system should work.
I'm especially impressed by the accuracy of contextual translations. I've just done a few simple texts, but it always provided the correct translation in context even for words with several meanings. How does this work?
You get unlimited single word translations and flashcards for free, so the free plan is actually very usable. But if you want to translate more than 10 multi-word phrases / day, you need to upgrade to premium.
There still remains the problem of review card creep, though. After adding about 5 new cards a day for a year and reviewing them every day, I ended up having to review hundreds of cards a day. Your suggestion might fix this too, though, now I think about it. If I'm using the memorised information outside of Anki (by reading Japanese articles, etc), I'll remember them better, leading to less reviews of those cards in the future.
If you have hundreds to review each day then you've gone nuts adding new items too fast. I know, because I've done exactly that and have seen tons of other people make the same mistake. Adding something like 5-10 new items per day (max) keeps things manageable in the long run. I would suggest that if you're spending more than 10-15 minutes in review that you stop adding new items until your review is under control.
Another problem I've had that seems in common with others is that using SRS is somewhat addictive, feels productive, and gives you nice concrete numbers to gauge your "progress". Many people, like me, fall into the trap of spending more and more time doing SRS, displacing other parts of the curriculum.
> However, the characters I learned while living in Japan, in context, are still fresh in my mind.
So much this. I haven't lived abroad, but I listen to podcasts and other media in my target languages. Things that I've heard and looked up and then heard again multiple times are pretty much permanent now. However memory works, this seems to trigger "this is important and useful, don't lose it!"
A great intro to it is an article called "Leave me alone! Can't you see I'm learning your language?"
 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Total_physical_response
 - http://www.tpr-world.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Catego...
 - http://wolofresources.org/language/letmealonech1ch2.htm
I think this could also be partially solved by making better cards.
I think Heisig says you will forget eventually though, and need to read some Japanese daily for life to retain them, ultimately.
I'm only using Anki to reinforce a Pimsleur course I'm doing, orally. I'm not sure that I'll use it for anything else, depends on the use case. I'm finding reviews pretty tedious.
Anki is still a great system, there are just limits to keep in mind.
Edit: The RTK method for Kanji involves making a story with the component elements of the character. So you use the power of imaginative memory to retain the characters.
For kanji, just remember the radical readings, and memorize vocabulary with the different readings of the kanji you're trying to learn. Knowing that 貢献 sort of kind of sounds like cocaine does nothing to help me remember that it means contribution. But knowing 献血 and 献金 help me memorize that けん is a reading of 献
DuoLingo is probably the best thing if you're starting from scratch but I feel like something is really missing to help people maintain what they've learned.
My point is: devote an hour a day to any endeavor and you'll go far.
Why is this still a problem in Linux-land? Why can't we just make some but not all packages rolling-release? Making Anki rolling-release won't make the distro unstable by any sensible meaning of the word.
Does that include Anki's dependencies? And if it does, does it include all other packages that depend upon Anki's dependencies?
Also, does it include thousands of other packages similar to Anki that also "won't make the distro unstable by any sensible meaning of the word"?
Don't think you'll have a "just some rolling-release packages" distro by the end of that. Unless you think this specific package is somehow deserving of special treatment by Linux distributions (why?).
If handling this is a huge problem, why not have all the rolling-release programs include their own dependencies. Most of us have so much storage space that, without films/games/music, we couldn't fill it even if we tried. It's cool to use minimal amounts of storage when you're on a virtualized machine on Azure/AWS, but those machines aren't used to run Anki anyway. Storage for executable usage is effectively infinite nowadays on consumer devices.
Yes, and do that with every other package as well.
Are you even considering the implications of what you're saying? The next-to-latest version of Anki is for example in the repos of the most popular distribution. The latest version of Anki is not in the repos, and its dependencies break something in that distro.
You're free to install Anki's latest version, but there are reasons why stable distributions will not just jump on the latest version of a fairly unknown package.
With that said, you can make some but not all packages rolling-release with apt-pinning and using stable and sid or testing which are rolling.
Bingo. That is the #1 reason (the only reason?) that a package doesn't get promoted to Testing from Unstable, because it has known bugs and they haven't been fixed. This is Debian policy manual 101.
Fix the bugs, release a new version, if no more bugs are reported on the new version for two weeks, then it gets promoted to Testing (as long as it's not a freeze?) and it will be in next Stable after the freeze is completed.
I'm on Arch and I get fresh Anki same day or week.
Installing the latest software has never been easier, especially with the AUR.
However, I daresay that this is a usecase that is tailormade for the mobile rather than the desktop in any which way.
I wonder why the core team is spending effort behind a desktop app, rather than go full mobile.
The problem is that org-mode is too flexible. I use it as a flattened kanban board.
I use Memrise, but Anki is my extended memory. Anything I want to actually remember is there.
It's no replacement for actually learning the concepts, but they help in drilling down the foundational knowledge that helps me understand the bigger-picture concepts better.
Gwern has an excellent overview of spatial repetition software too: http://www.gwern.net/Spaced%20repetition
The synchronization feature between devices has also proven to be very useful, as I use my laptop usually to put in new questions, but use the iPhone app to quiz myself whenever I have a few spare minutes during the day (waiting in line, walking to work, etc).
UI is a little wonky at times, but its features and flexibility more than makes up for it for a dedicated student.
It's meant for use cases like reminding yourself about lessons you've learned in books, to keep yourself inspired, or for encoding tidbits from short term to long term memory.
Here's a recent Lifehacker post about us: http://lifehacker.com/remembered-io-offers-smart-reminders-t...
The website looks underwhelming, but the app is amazing. The more I use it, the more it's flexibility impresses me. There are lots of options to review the cards, and it'll use card data to make quizzes, etc for you.
http://mnemosyne-proj.org/ is pretty good too.
That said from all these tools I prefer anki since it has a web-based UI and an android app.
You definitely are correct and I agree with you 100%. The problem is that you can't just throw a tool at people and expect it to stick - ultimately people need good content to study. For us at https://www.memorangapp.com it comes down to two things: (1) Better collaboration and (2) Pre-made expert content. The latter takes a lot of money and time as we've effectively split the tool into a publishing platform and technology platform in parallel. (You can see an example of the expert marketplace of content at https://www.memorangapp.com/premium).
You can check it out at the website and there's another discussion in this thread. We have a web-based UI and Android/iOS apps currently. Brand new versions of these are being released next month as part of a 2.0 launch.
Do you have export functionality?
If it's any consolation, we already prepaid the next 2 years for AWS and are cash-flow positive. (i.e. not going bust anytime soon).
I'm using anki now to learn French and it's a central pillar of my learning experience for vocab.
I wanted to have a more modern UI and plan on adding the ability to share decks between users. I would welcome any feed back! :-)
Space repetition just works.
The only novelty on my app is that it uses an algorithm based on upvotes/downvotes (e.g. HN, Reddit, etc) to measure card performance rather than a variant based on SuperMemo and friends.
I already wrote a spec on it (feel free to steal =P): https://github.com/grokdb/spec
That said, if you're up for beta access, shoot me an email at r.letmein [a] ruru.name and i'll see about access
I found this sort of thing, can't remember if I used Anki specifically, incredibly useful for remembering dates and percentages and so on when taking my A Levels. There were something like a hundred different studies that you had to learn for a good grade in Psychology - at least the way we were taught it - you could't derive them or anything, you just had to memorise them over the term.
It was similar for wanting to remember specific quotes from books for English Lit.
The vast majority of the work I put in for those exams was just trying to eat a textbook so I could vomit it back up. :/ For which this worked great.
I recall reading that because they didn't make the app friendly to casual newcomers, they didn't pick too low a price-point that would attract them and their support load.
That said, complaining about an app's price on HN is pretty disappointing. Though they might have found more success with a recurring/IAP approach that makes payments more palatable.
Seems development has largely stalled on the iPhone app though.
That's one way to couch it; another is charge what the market will bear. IOS devs routinely tout all the polls/studies that show Apple customers pay more and more often for software than Android customers.
1. Users nag developers about not having an iOS app
2. Developers start considering creating the iOS app. Finds out they have to pay $100 a year, on top of spending time to develop the app.
3. Developer decides to charge the users that wanted this app at a price where they can be fairly sure to at least regain monetary expenses.
This seems fair to me.
Not all FOSS software developers are against making money. Often FOSS projects can be a starting point to launching a commercial product or service, whether it was originally intended to be one or if a long-time hobby project happened to grow to the point that making a business around it becomes a viable new option.