Published: Oct. 2, 2017

Try Anki. Anki is an application that presents flashcards based on how many times you get a card right or wrong. It’s design reinforces spaced learning and retrieval practice as mentioned in this month’s teaching tips section. Anki will show cards you get wrong more frequently until you get them right, then you see the cards you guess correctly less frequently. But a card never completely goes away; it will continue to show up. In this way, you are using “spaced repetition,” as coined by the German psychologist, Sebastian Leitner in 1885 (Brown, Roediger, and McDaniel, p. 64). While flashcard sessions should still be spaced out, this provides a more systematic way to retain what you’ve learned.

Anki has many flashcard decks already created for your use or new ones can be developed. Break content into sections and ask groups of students to create flashcard decks. This can be an easy way to encourage students to use the spaced repetition study method. It’s free to use browser based version of Anki or download the application and flashcard decks for offline use. The mobile app version does require a fee.