Membean employs an “Adaptive Reinforcement Engine” (AR Engine), based on a model of human memory, to determine the optimum times for additional reinforcement of a word after initial learning. This article will explain what a Target Date is, and how the ARE affects it.
The AR Engine
The Adaptive Reinforcement Engine monitors and boosts the strength of each word to optimize recall on that target date. For standardized test takers, the target date is the “exam date.” For school students, it’s typically set to the end of the school year.
Target Date: 1 Year From Now
The AR Engine structures learning for long-term consolidation. New words are encountered less frequently and words are quizzed many times. Students sometimes feel that the AR Engine is quizzing them on words they already know well, but the AR Engine strengthens the word for recall far into the future (the target date). Progress is slower but words are learned robustly.
Target Date: 1 Month From Now
Each word needs just enough consolidation to be remembered 30 days from now. Consequently, a student sees fewer questions and less repetition, and therefore encounters more new words. The student appears to be progressing rapidly, but each word is learned just well enough to be remembered a month from today. Long-term recall beyond that span is not guaranteed.
Why is There a Difference?
This intuitively makes sense because of how memory works: if you currently have 100 words ready for a next-month target date, and you move your target date to sometime next year, it’s likely that you’ll need additional practice on all 100 words. These words are now no longer ready for the target date. More practice is required over the next year.