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Flashcards in Science of Brainscape Deck (32):

Is the use of re-assessment of knowledge unique to Brainscape?

No. Other flashcard programs are also based on repetitive presentation of information.


What is the novel aspect of Brainscape’s re-assessment strategy?

It is designed to display information at intervals based on the user’s confidence in her own knowledge.


Why is the user's confidence rating important to using Brainscape?

The intervals Brainscape creates based on the user’s confidence result in optimal (maximally efficient) study.


Why are Brainscape's intervals of study optimal?

They allow the user to memorize a maximum of data by directing study time away from easy material and toward difficult material.


What is the difference between behaviorist and constructivist theory?

Constructivist theory promotes the construction of knowledge through real-world examples. Behaviorist theory promotes the acquisition of knowledge through repetitive drilling.


Is Brainscape behaviorist or constructivist in nature?

Neither. It can act as a complement to either, and incorporates aspects of both.


What three recommendations from the U.S. Department of Education guidebook underpin Brainscape’s design?

(1) "Use quizzing to promote learning." (2) "Space learning over time." (3) "Help students allocate study time efficiently." (Pashler et al. 2007)


Which is more likely to result in robust recall: multiple choice tests or fill-in-the-blank tests?

Fill-in-the-blank tests. Brainscape uses this paradigm.


Why are active recall tasks more useful than recognition tasks for promoting robust recall?

Recall requires active, “deep” processing, whereas recognition can occur through mere associations with the material or process of elimination, failing to insure the ability to produce (and use) the information.


What study showed the advantage of recall over recognition tasks in retention of words?

Karpicke & Roedinger (2006).


What did Karpicke & Roedinger (2006) show about alternatives for memorization of data?

That recall tasks were much more effective than recognition tasks in the retention of words.


Which is more likely to result in robust recall of a given body of information: a single exposure, multiple exposures in rapid succession, or multiple infrequent re-exposures (spaced repetition)?

Multiple infrequent re-exposures (spaced repetition). Brainscape uses this paradigm.


Why is spaced repetition more useful than a single exposure or concentrated re-exposures for promoting robust recall?

Because we forget, regardless of the strength of the initial exposure. However, by repeated exposure to the stimulus at certain intervals, the effects of forgetting can be minimized.


What study showed the advantage of spaced repetition over alternative temporal organizations?

Cepeda et al. (2006).


What did Cepeda et al. (2006) show about alternatives for memorization of data?

That spaced repetition was much more effective than other temporal organizations.


What study showed that the advantage of spaced repetition overwhelms advantages imparted in other ways (multimedia, context-embedding, etc.)?

Janiszewski et al. (2003).


What did Janiszewski et al. (2003) show about spaced repetition?

That spaced repetition’s advantage to robust recall overwhelms the advantages of other factors (multimedia, context-embedding, etc.).


What is the expanding effect?

“ISIs [inter-study intervals] should be progressively increased as learners are repeatedly exposed to material.” (Katz, 2008). Brainscape uses this paradigm.


What is the principle according to which “ISIs [inter-study intervals] should be progressively increased as learners are repeatedly exposed to material” (Cohen, 2008)?

The expanding effect.


What is consolidation theory?

A principle of neuroscience that says that short-term memory created on an initial exposure to a stimulus is “consolidated” into long-term memory over time, and that subsequent presentation of the stimulus “inherits” the consolidation of the previous presentation. (Wicklegren, 1973).


Which is more likely to result in robust recall: review based on arbitrary intervals imposed externally, or according to an individual’s judgment of knowledge (JOL)?

Review according to an individual’s JOL. Brainscape uses this paradigm.


Why is allocating study time on the basis confidence/judgment of knowledge more useful than basing it on a dictated, invariant schedule?

(1) For optimal study, difficult information should be reviewed more often than easy information. (2) Individual variation will insure that the information different people consider easy or difficult will vary.


What study showed the advantage of allocating study time based on judgment of knowledge rather than a dictated, invariant schedule?

Kornell & Metcalfe (2006).


What did Kornell & Metcalfe (2006) show about alternatives for memorization of data?

They showed that allowing subjects to allocate study time based on their own confidence (judgment of knowledge) resulted more robust recall.


Does Brainscape provide feedback about users’ answers as correct or incorrect?

No. Users do not input their answers into Brainscape, because the learning benefits of assessing one's own confidence are greater than having a computer assess accuracy.


What are three advantages of allowing the user to self-assess, as in Brainscape, rather than evaluating accuracy by computer?

(1) Faster study. (2) No false negatives (typos) or false positives (lucky guesses). (3) Greater flexibility in types of information Brainscape can quiz (lines of reasoning, speech, ideographic script, etc.)


How many categories of confidence does Brainscape use?



Why is a five-point scale useful when asking a user to assess her confidence in a concept?

Users are familiar with five-point evaluation systems (Likert scales, etc.).


What determines when Brainscape injects new information into the learning process?

New information is injected into the learning process when the number of cards rated “1” dips below a certain level. Brainscape will add new concepts only as quickly as the brain can digest them.


What psychological principle does Brainscape draw on in limiting the amount of low-confidence information it presents at a time?

The theory of proximal learning. (We are most able to gain information that is slightly more difficult than the most difficult items we have mastered.)


What study shows that people are very accurate in their judgments of knowledge, based on subsequent assessment?

Dunlosky & Nelson (1994).


What did Dunlosky & Nelson (1994) show about judgments of knowledge?

That they closely mirror actual performance.