Alternate card types for Anki

by DavidLS 1 min read29th Mar 20127 comments


Recently I have started using Anki in a new and complimentary way. I am curious if any of you find it similarly useful and/or have other anki tips :)

The basic idea is that instead of putting down a challenge/response pair for facts, we put down a challenge/response pair for ways of thinking. A train of thought. Ideally, this is something akin to a game except tailored to your area of focus.

A simple example from algebra:

The fact based approach would be to make a card titled "what is the quadratic formula?" with the answer of "x == (-b +- Sqrt(b^2 - 4ac)) / 2a"

The way I am recommending is to make a card titled "derive the answer for ax^2 + bx + c == 0" with an answer that shows the steps. When shown the card, you would then either solve it in your head, or using a pad of paper. I assume that sub minute tasks are ideal.

The specific area I have been using this in is the study of algorithms, with challenges like "Hopcraft-Karp algorithm for bipartite matching", and it has so far proved very helpful at getting fluent with the names, deepening my understanding of the algorithms themselves, and with seeing new places to apply them in my coding.

This might be overstepping, but something like this seems like it might be appropriate for The Center for Modern Rationality. Something like "critique the logic of the following three sentences", or "Sue is about to buy a car. How should she go about making a decision".

This is my first real post to LessWrong, so if you have style corrections those are solicited alongside any comments on the post itself. Thanks!