Sunday, 26 November 2017

What is Memoriser and How to Use It. Part 1 - Practising with Memoriser

Our previous posts were about Ready vocBlocks and My vocBlocks. Today’s post is about Memoriser, the tool helping you practise your new vocabulary by doing different types of exercises.

Part one of this post is a guide on how to practise with Memoriser while part two will be a guide on customising your Memoriser.

Once you have chosen a Ready vocBlock or created your own for learning, you need to press the ‘Learn’ button to start practising. When you press 'Learn', a Memoriser session is started.

Please note that when you click the ‘Learn’ button, a Memoriser unit for this vocBlock with the name ‘Memoriser unit: [vocBlock’s name]’ is created. It can be found in your Memoriser section. If you go to the Memoriser section, you will see a list of all Memoriser units that you have.

Memoriser Sessions

When running Memoriser sessions, you can see a number of buttons that allow you to perform certain actions. Let me go into a bit more detail on each of them.

Edit. This button allows you to edit the displayed vocBlock entry (i.e. a word or phrase you recorded for learning).

Very often it is when you are doing your exercises, you notice that you made a typo while adding a word or phrase, haven’t made clear what type of speech a word belongs to or have recorded an explanation/translation/synonyms that just don’t help you recall the word.

There is no need to stop the session, go to ‘My vocBlocks’, dig out the vocBlock and then the word in question and rectify the issue. The ‘Edit’ button here is a convenient shortcut which you can use for fixing a vocBlock entry without stopping the session you have started. Once you have amended the entry, just click ‘Ok’ to save changes (or ‘Cancel’ if you have changed your mind for some reason) and you can go on with your exercise.

Delete. This button allows you to delete the displayed vocBlock entry (i.e. a word or phrase you recorded for learning).

When doing your exercises, you might find that you already know and use a word or phrase you recorded some time ago as you have come across it several times while reading or listening and have even been using it yourself, so there is no need to keep it and learn it.

Also, you might find that you have changed your mind and do not want to learn a word or phrase anymore. It seemed interesting and necessary when you came across it and therefore you recorded it for learning but now it seems boring or not needed. Again, there is no need to stop the session and rummage in your vocBlocks to find this word or phrase, as you can just delete it and go on with your exercises.

Sound on/off. This button allows you to mute the sound, so it doesn’t play automatically when a word is shown.

For example, if you are learning your words during lunchtime in your office and don’t have headphones at hand, you can just mute the audio pronunciation and do your exercises with the audio on next time when you are able to play it. Please note that if you click the ‘Play’ button, the audio for the displayed word will still be played.

Show keyboard shortcuts. As you have guessed from the hover over text for this button, when you press it, you will be able to see a list of keyboard shortcuts available in Memoriser.

The keyboard shortcuts are one more way to save your time while doing the exercises using your desktop or laptop computer.

Stop. As you have probably guessed, this button allows you to stop your session.

Stopping your exercises doesn’t mean, of course, that you will lose any results you have already achieved in this session. The correct answers are counted once you have made them, so you can stop the session at any point when you need to. For example, if you have been doing your exercises while waiting for your doctor’s appointment and have been called in or if your kids have started fighting and need to be separated for a cool down.

Help me. This button allows you to view the answer if you are struggling to recall it.

A friendly advice here is to try to recall the required word or phrase to make your practice more effective. Even if you don’t manage to recall the answer, it is shown automatically after 10 seconds (this time can be changed in Memoriser settings by the way), so you won’t lose much time in any case. Doing your best to recall a word or phrase is important as part of active (and therefore effective!) learning.

Check. This button allows you to have your answer checked.

If the answer is correct, you will see it in green and it will be counted as such, so you will need to give a correct answer for this word or phrase only one more time for this type of exercises (at the learning stage) or at this revision stage. If your answer is incorrect, you will see it in red and it will not be counted as correct, so this word or phrase will be shown again before you have given a correct answer twice (the number of correct answers can be changed in Memoriser settings).

As Memoriser sessions include only 20 words by default, depending on the size of your vocBlock, it might take more than one session to complete each stage. If in between sessions you cannot remember how many times you have already given a correct answer for each word, you will be able to see it below the right-hand upper buttons.

For example, when it says ‘Entry 2 of 20, 0 correct answers’ it means that the second word is currently displayed and you have 20 words or phrases in this session in total, so 18 more words to go before the session ends. The number of correct answers for this particular word is 0 for this type of exercises or for this stage, so this word will be shown again before you have given a correct answer twice.

If you make a typo or a spelling error when typing in your answer, your answer will still be counted as correct and the correct spelling will be displayed. If you aim at practising your spelling as well, you can press the thumb down button described below, and this word or phrase will be shown you again so that you could practise it more.

Instead of pressing the ‘Check’ button, you can press ‘Enter’.

Thumb down. This button allows you to increase the number of instances the displayed vocBlock entry is shown.

The default Memoriser settings mean that for each word or phrase you need to give a correct answer twice before it is marked as learnt and not shown any longer for this type of exercises (learning stage) or at this stage of revision. However, if you feel that your knowledge of this particular word or phrase is shaky, you can press this button and this word or phrase will be shown again even if you have already given a correct answer twice. Please note that you will be able to see this button only after you have given an answer and pressed ‘Check’.

Thumb up. This button allows you to decrease the number of instances the displayed vocBlock entry is shown.

If you have given one correct answer out of the required two and feel that you know the word or phrase already, you can press this button and this word or phrase will be marked as learnt even though you haven’t given the correct answer twice. This word or phrase will be shown again only for the next type of exercises (learning stage) or at the next stage of revision. Please note that you will be able to see this button only after you have given an answer and pressed ‘Check’.

Next. This button is there for you to proceed to the next vocBlock entry (the next word or phrase).

Please note that you will be able to see this button only after you have given an answer and pressed ‘Check’. Instead of pressing the ‘Next’ button, you can press ‘Enter’.

Timer. The default Memoriser settings mean that the timer is set to 10 seconds. You will be able to see the countdown below the left-hand upper buttons. At the fourth second of the countdown, warning red background starts flashing to let you know that the answer will be displayed shortly if you don’t manage to give yours.

If you feel that 10 seconds is way too little time for a particular vocBlock or for all of the vocBlocks you practise, you can easily change the timer settings either in the Memoriser unit settings for a particular vocBlock or in your profile settings for all of your vocBlocks (please see part 2 - Customising your Memoriser for details).

Memoriser Units

Once your session has finished, you will be taken to the Memoriser section. If you would like to run one more session, you can just click on the relevant Memoriser unit and a new session will start.

There are some other actions you can perform in the Memoriser section by pressing the relevant buttons. Let me go into a bit more detail on each of them.

New. This button allows you to create a new Memoriser unit out of one or several vocBlocks you have in ‘My vocBlocks’.

For example, you have a series of vocBlocks: one vocBlock for each episode of ‘The Big Bang Theory’ TV series. Say, you have decided that each of them is too small to be practised on its own, so you create a new Memoriser unit and choose all vocBlocks of this series from the list of your vocBlocks, so that all of them are included in one Memoriser unit.

The two numbers to the right of each Memoriser unit indicate the number of words already learnt for this type of exercises (learning stage) or at this revision stage and the number of words this Memoriser unit has in total.

Edit. This button allows you to edit the relevant Memoriser unit. For more details on customising Memoriser exercises please see the next post: part 2 - Customising your Memoriser.

Delete. This button allows you to delete the relevant Memoriser unit.

Please note that once a Memoriser unit is deleted, all records pertinent to it are deleted as well, so you will no longer have statistics on how many words from this Memoriser unit you have learnt.

The vocBlock, from which this Memoriser unit was created, will not be deleted. However, if you need to delete this vocBlock as well, you will need to do it from ‘My vocBlocks’.

Mark as finished from the ‘More’ dropdown. This button allows you to skip any work that you haven’t yet finished on the relevant vocBlock.

For example, you created a vocBlock with words on the topic ‘Cooking’ but have been watching so many YouTube videos and TV cookery shows that learnt most of the words in this vocBlock. For now you would like to concentrate on other vocBlocks you have but would still like to keep the 'Cooking' Memoriser unit just in case you want to brush up the vocabulary on this topic in the future. So you can just mark this Memoriser unit as finished for now.

Restart from the ‘More’ dropdown. This button allows you to return to the beginning of the first (i.e. learning) stage so that you could start working on a particular Memoriser unit from the very start.

For example, you have already finished the learning stage for a vocBlock but when it was time for the revision stage, you felt that you could have learnt this vocabulary better. So, in cases like this, you can just press ‘Restart’ and go through the learning stage again.

Run word cards from the ‘More’ dropdown. This button allows you to look through the Memoriser unit entries without doing any timed exercises.

For example, you can start your practice by running cards with words and phrases, look at the pictures and listen to the audio, so that later it is easier for you to do the Memoriser sessions for this vocBlock.

We hope that you find this (not too) short guide on how to practise with Memoriser useful. But if we have missed anything or you have a question please do not hesitate to drop us a line.

Happy Learning!

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