How FLOWSPARKS uses spaced repetition in e-Learning 


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FLOWSPARKS is proud to announce a major educational addition to our system. In this blog, we will explain to you how the ‘Distributed Practice Effect’, also known as spaced repetition, has been integrated into FLOWSPARKS, considering the key assumptions of our SaaS product (easy creation, no administrative overload, no  required knowledge of instructional design).

What is spaced repetition?

Spaced repetition is a learning technique that involves spacing out repetitions of learning material over increasing intervals of time. It is based on the idea that repetition is essential for encoding new information into the long-term memory. By spacing out repetitions, the brain has time to consolidate the information, making it more likely to be remembered in the future.


How does spaced repetition work?

Spaced repetition works by applying the spacing effect, which states that information is retained better when presented repeatedly over time. As you progress through your learning journey, you will get questions about the key information you are learning. When you learn new information, your brain creates new neural pathways to store it. These pathways, however, are fragile and can easily dissolve if not strengthened over time. By repeating information at specific intervals, spaced repetition takes advantage of the brain’s ability to consolidate information. As the intervals increase, the brain has more time to consolidate the information, increasing the likelihood of long-term retention.

What are the benefits of using spaced repetition?

Spaced repetition generates huge advantages when using it, such as:

1. Improved retention

Through spaced repetition of learned material, the brain has more time to consolidate the information, increasing the likelihood that it will be remembered in the future.

2. Save yourself some time

By focusing on the material that needs the most reinforcement, spaced repetition allows you to learn more efficiently. Consequently, you can study for a shorter time while retaining more information.

3. Improved learning efficiency

You can optimize your learning process and avoid wasting time on information that you already know well by focusing on the material that requires the most reinforcement.

4. Decrease forgetting things

By strengthening information at appropriate intervals, spaced repetition can help prevent that you forget knowledge. This is especially useful for subjects requiring memorization, such as language learning or medical studies.

How does FLOWSPARKS add this to e-Learning?

With the FLOWSPARKS Suite, you have everything that you need to offer the content to your users. But this is not enough: you need to support your learners to actively use their knowledge via spaced repetition.



You can already use this learning format to drill knowledge in combination with our authoring tool. This is how FLASHCARDS work: the participant solves several multiple-choice questions who aim to maintain or expand knowledge. It’s the participant’s mission to ‘defeat’ the cards by answering them correctly and quickly. Immediately after the question is answered, feedback is shown to reinforce the learning effect. If you make a mistake, the question is being placed back into the ‘pool’ and re-drawn at a later moment during the activity. To activate a gamification element in order to motivate the participants, you can add a ranking, so that participants can challenge their colleagues: Who can answer the questions the quickest?

So how did we implement the new spaced repetition strategy and how does it work in the FLASHCARDS learning format?

The FLASHCARDS start as usual: you get randomly drawn questions and if you answer all questions correctly, you will meet a break page.

When returning after the first recall (X number of days after completing the first round), the participant can continue. The questions are re-drawn and the participant must again answer them again successfully. How many times a participant has to answer a question correctly in order to succeed, depends on the strategy: this could be once, twice, or three times in a row (this is known as the Leitner principle). This process continues as many times as the author has created recall moments.

For each recall moment, this ‘Leitner’ principle is determined . If you know the answer, you are only bothered a few times. If you struggle, the drilling mechanism will start working.


In the image above, we have described the most appropriate schedule for spaced repetition in preparation for an exam one week after the final recall moment. You first start by asking participants to clear a ‘pool’ of questions where they need to solve each question twice in a row before it is taken out of the randomised draw. When they return 7 days later, participants only need to provide one correct answer per question. And when they return on day 28, they need to solve the questions two times in a row again before they are considered ‘done’. On day 28, this results in a final page congratulating them on completing this activity.

With this strategy being integrated in the FLOWSPARKS authoring tool, you are sure that your participants will have memorized all important elements.

Are you looking for a SaaS e-Learning platform to implement spaced repetition?

Is your organization looking to implement a SaaS learning platform that has build-in spaced repetition? Request your free demo here to see what FLOWSPARKS can do for you.


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