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Optometry student, David Akgun, studying with Brainscape flashcards

In this time of erratic lockdowns, optometry student, Davud Akgun, has developed an innovative way to enhance his remote education by adopting “digital flashcards” to improve his process of remote learning. 

Put simply, flashcards show a cue or a hint on one side and a corresponding answer on the back side. The cue can be a question, an image or a concept designed to prompt an anticipated response. Used regularly in learning environments, they are now available in digital format and Davud turned to a website called Brainscape to generate the flashcards he now uses to support his online study.

To date, Davud has produced three collections of flashcards that comprise of 411 decks. He says they allow him to use a special technique to help him learn and retain information.

‘The platform uses a method called spaced repetition when presenting flashcards to you during revision,’ he said. ‘I have found them invaluable when preparing for my exams and continually refer to them.

‘With spaced repetition, you rate the flashcards based on how well you know the content. Once you do that, it’ll show the cards you struggle with more often to help target your weaker areas.’

Davud has heavily relied on this system of learning particularly in the face of lockdown as he finds it more stimulating than conventional lectures and recordings.

Collaborative learning among students

Davud’s digital flashcards have also proven to be an encouraging learning aid shared among his peers. From creation, they have been accessed by at least 265 students throughout Australia and overseas.

He has also reported an increase in the number of requests for them, especially during the lockdown period last year.

‘In my year level, and in the previous years as well, there have been students using them,’ he said. ‘There are an increasing number of people I don’t know contacting me and to whom I give access to.’

While users are able to peek a preview of his cards through the Brainscape website, Davud says he is happy to grant full access to any student who requests it.

A preview of his flashcards can be accessed here.

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