The best way to construct flashcards (using spaced repetition)

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#1 31 October, 2015 - 16:27
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The best way to construct flashcards (using spaced repetition)


I have just installed anki, after I read the following:
- http://www.gwern.net/Spaced%20repetition#literature-review (dealing with what spaced repetition is, why it is awesome and how to exploit it for learning)
and
- http://www.supermemo.com/articles/20rules.htm (20 rules how to formulate flashcards elaborated by a pioneer of the subject)
- I have also read some other blog posts from people talking about how they use flashcards for learning different things

Before I read those references I was convinced that the question on the flashcard had to be formulated such that it does not contain any clues about the answer. Further, I thought one concept should be put into one flashcard and not be chopped into many flashcards, so that one does not loose the big picture.
But in the super memo article it's the other way round: They, for instance, recommend the use of so-called clozed deletion question. Where one just has to complete a sentence. For instance:
Example from supermemo:


Q: Kaleida was funded to the tune of ...(amount) by Apple Computer and IBM in 1991
A: $40 million

Isn't this highly artifical? And doesn't it lead to that one only remembers the answer when the question is given like above?

Moreover, they recommend splitting up a question into several ones:
For example, instead of using:

Q: What are the characteristics of the Dead Sea?
A: Salt lake located on the border between Israel and Jordan. Its shoreline is the lowest point on the Earth's surface, averaging 396 m below sea level. It is 74 km long. It is seven times as salty (30% by volume) as the ocean. Its density keeps swimmers afloat. Only simple organisms can live in its saline waters

one should use:

Q: Where is the Dead Sea located?
A: on the border between Israel and Jordan
Q: What is the lowest point on the Earth's surface?
A: The Dead Sea shoreline
Q: What is the average level on which the Dead Sea is located?
A: 400 meters (below sea level)
Q: How long is the Dead Sea?
A: 70 km
Q: How much saltier is the Dead Sea as compared with the oceans?
A: 7 times
Q: What is the volume content of salt in the Dead Sea?
A: 30%
Q: Why can the Dead Sea keep swimmers afloat?
A: due to high salt content

What are your experiences with flashcards? Do you construct them as described above? Do you have tips and tricks?

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