Spaced Repetition

Spaced Repetition

Memory and learning go hand in hand, where the goal is to embed concepts learned into long-term memory. The better information is absorbed, a deeper understanding can be achieved and these learned concepts are more likely to be applied in meaningful ways. 

EdApp, a completely free microlearning platform with award-winning built-in features, has one such feature that’s proven to increase memory retention and ultimately drive better learning results. Based on the concept of spaced repetition and the principles behind memory retention, EdApp’s built-in Brain Boost feature uses spaced repetition to help you successfully train your staff.

What is Spaced Repetition?

Before we dive in, let’s explore the principle of spaced repetition. By definition, spaced repetition, also known as distributed practice, is an extremely effective learning approach where lessons are retaken at increasing intervals until knowledge is fully embedded in long-term memory.

The invention of mobile learning technology and apps has made it even more popular among learners nowadays, and continues to drive better retention rates and learning results. The technique of spaced repetition involves taking information that you need to memorize and repeating it across increasing intervals. Information that is recalled easily appears at wider intervals, while information that a learner is struggling with gets shorter intervals.  In a more detailed manner, let’s see how spaced repetition works.

Spaced Repetition - Sentence Construction Template


How it works

Think of the human brain as a muscle, just like the biceps. For instance, if you wish to have stronger arms, you don’t go lifting hundreds of pounds on your first gym visit. Instead, it is advisable to start by lifting five-pound weights and give your body some time to relax.  Then proceed to seven pounds and ten pounds as your body becomes accustomed.

By working your way up to weightier lifts in each session, you will get stronger arms each time. Your brain functions in a similar manner. Well, the human brain’s version of progressively lifting heavier weights is remembering information, over extended periods.   

Spaced learning technique aims at reviewing information before it is forgotten and progressively increasing time intervals between repetitions until the said information has been stored in long term memory.

A simple illustration of How spaced repetition works

For instance, you learn the word “Z” today at 7 AM in the morning. At 11: AM, you get a chance to review the same word just before forgetfulness creeps in. Again, at 5:00 PM, approximately 8 hours later, the word “Z” is ready for you to review. Another review takes place 12 hours later the following day.

This is how spaced repetition works
Implementations like Brain Boost spaced repetition app can enhance how spaced repetition works.

One may question the need for all these successive reviews, but they are simply meant to reinforce the memory. Once you successfully review the word “Z “after 12-hour interval, subsequent reviews can take place 24 hours later. Then a 48-hour interval and so on… The intervals basically keep on increasing. This combats the Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve. Understanding that is key to understanding how spaced repetition works.

Roughly, the next review can happen 7 days later, then 30 days later, then 90 days later, and then 180 days later.   

Leitner System

The Leitner system is a method employed to utilise flashcards in an approach to embrace spaced repetition. It was proposed by German science journalist, Sebastian Leitner, in the 1970s and is essentially the act of reviewing different cards from a Leitner Box in increasing intervals. For instance, Level 1 cards each day, Level 2 cards every two days, Level 3 cards every four days, Level 4 cards every eight days, and so on.

Bottom line

Undoubtedly, the spaced repetition method is far better than cramming everything in a single study session. That said; it is good to note that, manually planning these repetitions can be quite overwhelming. Thankfully, there are software and apps available nowadays to help you identify the sweet spot of optimal learning. Immediately when your forgetfulness goes below a certain level, these apps jump in and ensure your brain remains on track. How cool is that? Now you have some idea as to how spaced repetition works.

Spaced Repetition System

Spaced repetition is made easy with EdApp, automatically incorporated into microlessons. EdApp has a unique feature, Brain Boost, which functions in accordance with spaced repetition. It enables learners to learn a greater volume of information in a shorter period of time through what does not even feel like learning!

Spaced Repetition with a mobile learning application

If you’d like to learn more about EdApp’s spaced repetition system, including our Brain Boost feature, get in touch at You can also use our mobile LMS to train your teams – large and small by signing up free here

How spaced repetition works - EdApp LMS

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