Sunday, December 18, 2011

What are you doing wtih Anki?

I'd like to create a post where people can share their experiences with teaching with Anki. Please feel free to write as much as you like!

As of now, I'm primarily having my students use the Anki website on their smart phones in class. They work in pairs, with one student quizzing the other student on his or her deck. That way, they are all involved, nobody can check out of the activity, and not everybody has to have a smart phone to participate.

In one class, we use a computer lab once a week where the students do data entry of materials into their online decks. In some other classes, the students make their cards out of class on their own time.

So far, my main issue is making sure the students get enough hands on time with Anki so they learn how it works and become comfortable with it. However, I have to balance the amount of class time I can commit to that compared to other things...

I plan on surveying my students about the experience and usage. I also hope to get voluntary access to their accounts so I can compare reported perceptions and usage to actual usage.

So, what are you doing with Anki? Please share...


  1. I currently have 2 students. One which uses ankimobile, and I sync his deck once a week when I come there, only inputting new data with him once a week. He loves it, he's 10 years old, and mainly we just watch movies. Like tarzan. ^^ We watch 10 minutes, and then do anki for about 40. I have the deck already cut up in pieces.
    The other had some problems on the computer with using anki, she's an elderly lady, so the easiest way was to just let her use anki web. Anki web is great because I can see her charts every day and add anything any time. If I get my third student soon I'm also thinking of Ankiweb, but it might be better creating a new account for them. It's a bit dangerous having them too close to all my decks (= 4 years of my life xD).

    Other then that, I have successfully made 3 friends addicted to anki. I'd like this number to grow though.

    How do you let your students fill in the new cards? On ankiweb? (seems hard because of the lack of options...)

  2. Dear Mesqueeb,

    Thanks for the comment!

    With the elderly lady, do you have her Anki web account synced with your PC desktop PC program? Is that how you are able to see her charts?

    To have my students fill in new cards, I have them use Ankiweb. It seems to be the best option. Not all my students have smart phones, so I want them all to be able to make their cards. Also, having them do it all together on one day lets me sure that all the cards are made correctly. However, if you have some better ideas, please let me know!


    PS By the way, I am just curious to know how you found my website?

  3. Hmmmm, I don't remember how I found your website. xD
    I think the anki google group!
    Yes it's linked to my anki desktop version.

    Now I think there is a solution for seeing your student's graphs: You give everyone one account right? Do it with simple account names: e.g. yamamoto.yuki.2
    or something, their name and class, that you never forget, and a password should be something like: yoyi2 (first and last letters of family name and name and their class number or something)
    Now it's import you never tell the logic behind the passwords, otherwise the students can hack each other. But tell the students their passwords and say they are very secure and only you have access to it. So now you have a method to easy remember all the passwords.

    Now when opening anki on the computer, simply sign in on the desktop program with the first one, screenshot the graph, go on to the next, and so on. If you do this each week you can print out the weekly graphs, and you can even give them back in class to the students, giving them a grade for daily work as in "did they do their anki or not".
    I think when anki 2.0 comes out in januari it might simplify the process though.

    Then, lastly, I want to say that I have this double feeling. I think we should never learn things that are not fun to learn. And forcing anki on someone makes a chance they turn to hate it. So I am not sure.
    I was thinking to like use it 3 months in class, then ask them to continue reviewing (not taking graphs anymore) and a month later do a pop quiz, see the results, see the graphs, and show your class that the students who did continue anki have good grades. Of course while retaining anonimousity (is this even a word? xD).
    This way you show them how anki can be used to be successful. Then interview them one by one and ask them: "If we now go on to learning new words, and as we add them to your existing anki deck, would you like me to delete the cards from the first trimester?" → This gives them choice, this makes them feel as anki is something they have in their hands, this probably makes most people to say: leave them in. And I think it's not bad to delete the cards if the students ask so. That gives them a sense of freedom, and thus making anki "fun".
    Now. Another 3 months later do another pop quiz, and make it one with only words from the first trimester. Students who continued with the cards in anki have good grades, and people who asked you to delete have bad grades. Now again do a presentation in class showing the kids how in your class x% had good grades of which a% had the cards of the first semester still in anki. z% had bad grades of which b% didn't have the anki cards in the deck. The closer x is to a, and z to b, the better.

    I hope you understand what I am saying. ^^ You don't need to speak Japanese to show your students these graphs. I think this way you let them show how anki is successful.
    What do you think?

    Yours truly,