This is the second part of my thoughts on writing good SRS prompts after reading this guide by Andy Matuschak. In part 1, I mused on what it means for a prompt to be good. One aspect of judging whether a prompt is good has to do with what we intend to learn with the prompt. That is, how good is the learning goal underlying the learning tasks defined by the prompt? But given the diversity of goals that we might have, how do we know if the spaced repetition system is the right approach to achieve them?
To be more specific, SRS is tailor-made for memorization-type learning goals. But ideally, we want to learn things way beyond remembering facts, and it would be very exciting if SRS can be an effective tool for those as well. So this time, I want to focus on the very idea of using SRS beyond memorization. Do we have any reason to believe this is a good idea? What could go wrong? While I want to express certain concerns, I’ll also make some conjectures on how we might address those concerns.
Some time ago, I worked through Andy Matuschak’s guide, How to write good prompts: using spaced repetition to create understanding, and took some personal notes. Revisiting the notes, I decided to write a couple of blog posts to help me consolidate my thoughts.
上個月 The Chronicle of Higher Education 週報上有篇文章，題為 Sneaky Learning。大意是說有位心理學系的 Anne M. Cleary 教授在 Colorado State University 開了一門課，叫做 “The Science of Learning”。這堂課讓學生們接觸到學習技巧相關的學術研究，並鼓勵他們把一些好的學習原則拿來應用在自己身上。
The primary message, says Cleary, is don’t trust your gut. Learning is not intuitive. Research shows a disconnect between what people think are the best ways to learn and the habits that actually lead to true understanding and retention.