Note: You are currently viewing documentation for Moodle 1.9. Up-to-date documentation for the latest stable version is available here: Memorycards.
by Gary Anderson of Seattle Academy
Memorycards is is an Moodle activity module designed for managing the forgetting process. Items which have been previous learned are represented in the form of question/answer pairs (which may be text, pictures, sounds, videos, or combination of these). Reference material is also associated with each question for the purpose of relearning if needed. Based on the theory of optimal spaced repetition, items are scheduled for review for the purpose of maintaining knowledge at a desired level of recall for an indefinite amount of time.
A number of similar applications are available that are mostly stand-alone programs. Most prominent is Supermemo (a commercial product) whose development is lead by Piotr Wozniak. However, Memorycards has an interface based originally on the much simpler implementation(and used with the permission) of Peter Bienstman with the Free and Open Source Python project Mnemosyne. While there are a number of design elements which are distinct for group learning and the Moodle environment and the algorithm is originally derived, both of these projects played as a critical starting point for this activity.
The spaced repetition model assumes that items, once learned, decay exponentially if not refreshed. Many items, for example, my have a half-life of 7 days and have a nearly nil probability of recall after just a few weeks. However, by scheduling the review of properly constructed questions/answer pairs based on the prediction of when an item might begin to be risking being forgotten, one can maintain knowledge for an indefinite amount of time. In addition, with each successful cycle, the subsequent half-life of the item becomes longer by a factor of perhaps a 2 or 3. Items not successfully remembered should be scheduled for relearning.
The Memorycard activity is currently in the Beta process and is having its parameters calibrated by Gary Anderson and his colleagues and students at Seattle Academy. After the first trimester, it is anticipated that Gary will begin involving others in the Moodle community to begin using the activity (provided it is stable and effective).