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Spaced Repetition: the tool that helps student better reinforce their learning over time

In Education, repetition and theory’s application on the field are part of the learning and acquisition process regarding lessons seen within the classroom. We have to be sure that knowledge has successfully been assimilated and reinforced over time. However, the organization behind a revision schedule that has been made by the student independently or guided by the teacher, is complex to achieve. How can new technologies automate part of the revision’s plan construction to increase the education’s impact?

Spaced Repetition

1 – Spaced repetition, the best learning reinforcement method

In class, students take time to learn and acquire knowledge. Homework through practical exercises should allow them to master their learning process and identify their difficulties. In 1885, the work of Hermann Ebbinghaus, a German experimental psychologist, has highlighted the “Forgetting curve1” hypothesis, according to which a loss of information is likely to occur when individuals do not ‘reactivate’ their knowledge, or in other words do not try to retain it.

Today, thanks to cognitive sciences’ contribution, we now know that several mechanisms have been tested to avoid this phenomenon:

  • The revisions’ spacing over time, at varying time intervals according to the memorization’s level
  • The student “active” behavior, who answers questions rather than consulting lessons or videos
  • Mixing various subjects in the same revision session

The concepts’ mastery and memorization will condition the students’ transition to the next grade. Some students will build up relevant and regular revision sessions independently, while others will rather “cram” the day before exams. The students’ ability to assimilate and maintain their knowledge over a long period of time is a determining factor in their academic development over the years. To encourage the students’ knowledge consolidation, Domoscio provides teachers with an intelligent software component of Domoscio Spark, an innovative and modular technological product designed for the education field.

2 – “Spaced Repetition”, the digital solution that responds to the need to maintain knowledge

Domoscio Sparks’s Spaced Repetition functionality combines cognitive science input on the best learning reinforcement methods and artificial intelligence to optimize a revision schedule adapted to the needs and profile of each student. The objective is to reinforce skills acquired over the long term while also helping students to acquire organizational skills related to the act of learning.

Spaced Repetition is a technological module that can be integrated into an educational tool.  On the tool, students have to answer reminders regarding concepts seen in class in the form of questions or activities. Each of the resources allows to remobilize the skill in the student’s brain and to assess his memorization capacity on the subject. These reinforcement sessions’ frequency is calculated by the algorithm according to the learner’s answers: if the learner answers correctly, the next reminders will be more spaced out in time. Otherwise, if the learner is wrong, the algorithm will estimate that he needs more frequent reminders.

The model’s adaptativity according to the notion to be consolidated and the student’s level of memorization is a key factor of success. Indeed, the suggested questions’ results as revisions feed the model with data allowing each student revision’s schedule to be optimized. This functionality is adapted to a nomadic and mobile use because it is characterized by a short, efficient, and occasional usability. Considering the users’ availability and preferences in terms of notifications, uses and connectivity will be integrated into the model to offer them a complete experience, integrated into their daily lives without being intrusive.

3 – Many positive feedbacks

As part of the Innovation Partnerships on Artificial Intelligence and the Navi project, Domoscio, alongside education players as Hachette Education and Beneylu, has been able to test and make available to teachers its intelligent assistant Navi for teaching students reading and writing from 1st grade to 3rd grade. Navi is a teacher’s assistant that takes the form of an online learning platform for teaching French.

Thanks to the positioning and assessments provided by teachers in Navi, artificial intelligence can improve students’ memorization on target concepts. From the tool, teachers can see when it will be most effective to submit a memorization activity. They can then register the activity’s result in the interface. Depending on the feedback given by the teacher and the spaced repetition system’s calculations, new revision dates will then be calculated. These dates are adapted to each student’s memorization rhythm.

To conclude

Cognitive sciences have long proven the effectiveness of the spaced revision systems on which Domoscio Spark is based. Artificial intelligence makes it possible to individualize and scale up this approach on a national scale. Either by suggesting to the teacher a revision plan adapted to each student, or by suggesting directly to students’ reinforcement activities, Spaced Repetition improves memorization and changes the way in which education is used to increase its impact.

1 Hermann Ebbinghaus’s hypothesis about the “Forgetting curve”.