Learning apps put to the test: Learn cleverly with digital index cards

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Vocabulary, historical data, rules or formulas – some things have to be learned by heart. Card index boxes with several compartments for flash cards have proven themselves to bring system into the buffalo: There is a question on the front of the cards, the answer is hidden on the back. If it is already “seated”, the card moves from the first compartment to the next and is now queried less frequently. The others stay in the first subject and have their turn more often.

Learning with card index goes back to the Austrian publicist Sebastian Leitner. In its original form, the system promised that everything would be learned in 90 days. For each of the classically five subjects in the card index, there is a time schedule recommended by learning researchers for repetitions, which is intended to permanently consolidate the knowledge acquired.

Interesting apps for iOS and Android:

The modern form of flash cards is in mobile apps for cell phones and tablets. Each app sets the learning rhythm a little differently. Many claim the implementation of the original Leitner principle, others a “Spaced Repetition Algorithm”. The learning theory behind the index card method considers a point in time shortly before what has been learned to be forgotten to be ideal for repetitions. In order to pinpoint this point in time, an app has to ask how well the fabric is already sitting; only a few do that. Most apps do not elicit any details about how their repetition scheme works. If you want to influence the learning rhythm, you need an app with adjustable settings – indispensable if the exam is due in 14 days.

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