Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Students must understand how and why Anki works

Thanks to Jennifer for making me think about this!

In her comments on an earlier post about what teachers have learned about using Anki, she describes how she gives her students a hangout explaining the science and principles behind Anki. In that way, her students understand what they are supposed to do and why.

I had tried to explain this to my students, but I suspect that between their English listening and my limited Japanese skills, they did not really understand why I was asking them to do this new thing. Yet another crazy foreign teacher, I guess...

So, I looked on the Anki website and found some Japanese language support information, mentioned in an earlier post. From that information, I cut and pasted a handout that summarized the important parts of Anki..

In three classes today, I gave the students the handout and asked them to quietly read it. Then I tried to explain why I am trying to teach them how to use Anki, not only for my class, but so they can use it in other classes. Finally, I had them do their partner Anki study activity. I can only hope that they did it with a better understanding and perhaps appreciation of the process.

Next year, I will definitely have to do this at the beginning of the semester!


  1. If you want I can make a video on youtube about it in Japanese. And then you can show that in the class. ^^
    I was thinking about a 5 minute video? Or do you want it longer/shorter?

    Anyhow we'd need to wait for anki 2.0 to come out.

  2. Mesqueeb,

    That sounds like a great idea! It would be nice to have a short, effective video that summarizes the key points of Anki (in Japanese). We should work on a short script that captures all the important information.

    Not so much a video guide to how to use Anki (although that could be a bigger project) because there already exists Japanese versions of the manual, but a video that emphasises how Anki work and how to use it correctly...

    Let's keep talking about this! My deadline would be April of next year when my new semester starts...



  3. You can always email me at mesqueeb [at] gmail.
    If you can make the script in English I'll make the japanese version by March, and put it on YouTube. ^^

    It should be something short and sweet right? ^^