Spaced repetition methodologies adapted to the forgetting curve

      The “forgetting curve,” developed by the German psychologist Herman Ebbinghaus in 1885, shows that the loss of retention over time has an exponential decay when no effort is made to review the information. If what is learned is reviewed at the appropriate time and using active learning tools that force you to react to questions or triggers, the forgetting rate is reduced, making the time needed between each review increasingly longer, until the information is finally fixed in the long-term memory. The objective of the present project is to transfer the Spaced Repetition System to STEM studies, with the purpose of consolidating concepts that are the basis of more complex knowledge and often forgotten by students by the time they reach the last years of their undergraduate studies.

      For this particular project we will use Anki, a free and open source software developed by Damien Elmes based on the SM2 algorithm . It works on the basis of cards created using HTML, which can include text, images, sounds, videos and LaTeX equations. The type of activity contained in the card can be of many different types, but always looking for a proactive response from the student, rather than a mere reading, to properly reinforce the knowledge. Depending on the difficulty the student had to remember the answer, the software calculates how much time has to pass until the question is displayed again, so that the probability of correctly remembering the concept studied is not lower than a certain threshold, according to the forgetting curve, thus making the long-term retention increasingly higher.

  • To establish the characteristics that the learning techniques based on Spaced Repetition must have for their application in the STEM field.

  • To elaborate teaching material adapted to the learning techniques based on the Spaced Repetition, taking into account the opinion and needs of the students.

  • To improve the intensity and duration of the student’s memory for the concepts studied.

  • To favor that the student gets used to a regular study in time, instead of a punctual study close to the evaluation tests, showing him/her the advantages that a Spaced Repetition has in comparison with the conventional study.
Ongoing 47%

Project info

30 September 2021 – 15 June 2023

Total budget: 2,030 €

General coordinator
M. Bailera (
University of Zaragoza

[1] Ongoing…

This project has received funding from the University of Zaragoza under the programme “Proyectos de Innovación: Docencia, Tecnología, Orientación, Social y Transferencia” with reference number PIIDUZ_21_125, and PIIDUZ_22_763.