The Science

7spell is scientifically designed, and utilizes principles based on decades of research in learning, retention, and psychology. Here is a summary of the theory and research behind 7spell's effectiveness.

Craik, F., and Tulving, E. "Depth of processing and the retention of words in episodic memory." Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, Vol 104(3) (1975): 268-294. Print and PDF. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0096-3445.104.3.268

In this seminal study performed at the University of Toronto, Canada, the authors performed a series of tests in which they gave the study participants a sequence of words to learn, with information related to each word as it appeared in order. They discovered that when the information provided stimulated the participant's brain to process the word on a more involved level (referred to as "deep encoding" or "degree of elaboration" in the study), that word was more effectively learned and remembered. With 7spell, the user is given a wide range of additional information about each spelling word, including the word's definition - one of the key factors in enhanced memory, according to this study - as well as usage examples, synonyms, and antonyms.

Gelman, B.D., Gruber, M.J., and Ranganath, C. "States of Curiosity Modulate Hippocampus-Dependent Learning via the Dopaminergic Circuit." Neuron, 22 October 2014, 84(2): 486-496. Web. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2014.08.060

Students who are eager to learn are more likely to remember what they have learned, something that the authors of this study demonstrate. They used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to show real-time connections between a person's curiosity about a specific topic, and the production of dopamine, the neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and the brain's reward system. The authors also concluded that a higher level of interest and curiosity in a topic or question leads to better memory and enhanced learning. Including exercises that stimulate curiosity, and providing reward mechanisms as part of the study process, also increases a person's ability to absorb and retain information, as the researchers found. 7spell has a text import feature that allows each user to include and incorporate practice material that matches their interests, while learning the spelling of words in those texts. The system also uses several different reward systems to encourage users to continue working towards their defined goals.

Garcia, S.M., Tor, A., and Schiff, T.M. "The Psychology of Competition: A Social Comparison Perspective." Perspectives on Psychological Science, November 2013, 8(6):634-650. Print and web. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1745691613504114

Each person is influenced by a unique set of factors related to their own status and progress towards goals, but is also affected to a greater or lesser degree by the achievements and perceived standards of the people around them. This analysis of past and current studies looks at the way people view and are motivated by individual goals as well as societal achievement (competition). The authors conclude that effective use of motivational strategies must take both into account. This is something that 7spell accomplishes by providing each user with the ability to set personal goals, earn reward points, and view their own progress tracking reports, and also to publish all of those results on public social media platforms.

Kivetz, R., Urminsky, O., and Zheng, Y. "The Goal-Gradient Hypothesis Resurrected: Purchase Acceleration, Illusionary Goal Progress, and Customer Retention." Journal of Marketing Research, February 2006, 43(1):39-58. Web. http://dx.doi.org/10.1509/jmkr.43.1.39

In a study focusing on the influence of reward-scheme programs on behavior, the authors found that when people see visible progress towards their goals they are more likely to increase the activity required to reach those goals. The study also confirms that most people are also motivated by receiving rewards for completing specific activities, even if those rewards are not immediately transferable to actual material or monetary benefits. Status points, rewards, and real-time progress tracking are all methods used in 7spell to encourage frequent spelling practice by awarding points for the completion of exercises and activities. Because the user can access their progress charts at any time, they will always be able to see how close they are to achieving their personal spelling goals.

Buton, M., Winterbauer, N., and Todd, T. "Relapse processes after the extinction of instrumental learning: Renewal, resurgence, and reacquisition." Behavioural Processes, May 2012, 90(1): 130–141. Print and web. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.beproc.2012.03.004

Instrumental learning, also called "operant conditioning," is a method by which behaviors are learned in connection with a stimulus, a reward, or both. In this research done at the University of Vermont, the authors studied the ways in which the information connected to a specific behavior is retained when the stimulus is removed, and how subsequent repetition or reward reinforces information recall and a resumption of previously learned behaviors. They conclude that there are two primary methods of reinforcing active memory and behavior: by creating a different way to test the subject's memory, and by providing the opportunity for intensive focused repetition of that stimulus-behavior response. These two methods are widely used in the 7spell activities and games to create the link between instruction and memory that is so crucial in effective spelling learning on the student's part.

Xue, G., Mei, L., Chen, C., Lu, Z-L., Poldrack, R., Dong, Q. "Spaced Learning Enhances Subsequent Recognition Memory by Reducing Neural Repetition Suppression." Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 2011;23(7):1624-1633. Print and web. http://doi:10.1162/jocn.2010.21532

In this study comparing long-term and short-term memory, the study authors tested the neural activity of participants as they memorized a set of images. Half of the study participants used massed learning techniques, in which each new image was presented multiple times in a row; the other half were given the images in a spaced repetition mode, where the images were shown in alternating order. Although each participant saw each image the same number of times, the people in the spaced-repetition exercise were able to accurately remember more images, and for a longer period of time. Repetition is a key technique in learning spelling, and 7spell incorporates spaced repetition in two ways. First, the system uses randomized selection of spelling words from the user's current list to populate the activities and exercises, ensuring an interval between word reviews. Second, the system's Word Discover feature provides pop-up instant review of the words on that list, again in random order. By providing users with multiple opportunities throughout the day to read and review their words, 7spell provides all of the benefits of the spaced repetition methodology in its spelling instruction.

Blocki, J., Cranor, L., Datta, A., and Komanduri, S. "Spaced Repetition and Mnemonics Enable Recall of Multiple Strong Passwords." Cornell University Library, January 3, 2015. PDF. http://arxiv.org/abs/1410.1490v2

Spaced repetition is a memory training tool that relies on frequent and consistent review of information; mnemonics is a memory technique that involves multiple ways of looking at that information, such as the incorporation of images or story lines. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University focused on the combination of spaced repetition and mnemonics in evaluating how best to train people to remember specific pieces of information: computer passwords. They found that by combining the two methodologies, the results in both ease of learning and retention were increased. 7spell uses each method separately and together to help users learn and remember new spelling words by using the same words in multiple exercises, presenting spelling words in a variety of formats, and encouraging users to add information related to each word to make a personal connection that helps them to remember that word and its correct spelling.

Private Policy

I. Overview

eReflect Software is strongly committed to protecting the privacy of its Clients and of its interactive products and services. Throughout cyberspace, we want to contribute to providing a safe and secure environment for all our Clients, Customers and Visitors. While this privacy policy applies to the eReflect Software site and all of the other Internet-accessible eReflect Software branded services, we will refer here only to eReflect Software to make reading this policy easier. The purpose of this eReflect Software privacy policy is to inform you, as a welcomed Client of eReflect Software Services, what kind of information we may gather about you, how we may use that information, whether we disclose it to anyone, and the choices you have regarding our use of, and your ability to correct, the information. Finally, please note that this policy applies only to eReflect Software and Web sites that carry the eReflect Software brand, and not to other companies or organisations’ web sites to which we link. We have clearly marked the eReflect site and these branded Web sites with our logo so you know where this policy applies.

II. Definitions

“Client”: The trader being a company, partnership, sole trader or other organisation or any individual, which undertakes to accept eReflect Software Services.

“Partner”, “Affiliate”: A third-party organisation that provides Internet development, hosting and/or Internet access services and/or other services to the eReflect Software and/or Client.

“Services”, “Products”: Computer software, upgrades, technical support, ordering information, order processing, helpdesk communication, e-mails, newsletters, or any other product, service, and/or means of communication solicited by and provided to eReflect Clients, Partners, and/or Affiliates.

III. Collecting Information

About All eReflect Software Web Site Visitors: In general, our service automatically gathers certain usage information like the numbers and frequency of visitors to eReflect Software and its areas, very much like television ratings that tell the networks how many people tuned in to a program. We only use such data in the aggregate. This collective data helps us determine how much our Clients use parts of the site, so we can improve our site to assure that it is as appealing as we can make it for as many of you as possible. For example, eReflect Software uses a technology nicknamed “cookies” that tells us how and when pages in the site are visited, and by how many people. eReflect Software cookies do not collect personally identifiable information and we do not combine information collected through cookies with other personally identifiable information to tell us who you are or even what your screen name or e-mail address is. We also may provide statistical “ratings” information, never information about you personally, to our eReflect Software partners about how our members, collectively, use eReflect Software. We do this so they too can understand how many people use their areas and our site in order for them to provide you with the best possible Web experience as well. How our service automatically gathers certain usage information:

1. “Cookies”: A cookie is a piece of data stored on the user’s hard drive containing information about the user. Usage of a cookie is in no way linked to any personally identifiable information while on our site. Once the Client closes their browser, the cookie simply terminates. For instance, by setting a cookie on the site, the Client would not have to log in a password more than once, thereby saving time while on our site. If a Client rejects the cookie, they may still use the site. The only drawback to this is that the Client will be limited in some areas of the site.

2. Log Files: We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track Client movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.

3. “Tell-A-Friend”: If a Client elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. eReflect Software will automatically send the friend a one-time email inviting them to visit the site. eReflect Software stores this information for the sole purpose of sending this one-time email. The friend may contact eReflect Software to request the removal of this information from our database.

IV. Collecting Personal or any Specific Information via On-Line Forms

Sometimes, we may specifically ask for information about you (for example, when you request technical support, or when you order a product). We may need certain information — such as name, Internet address, billing address, type of computer, credit card number — in order to provide that service or product to you. We may also use that information to let you know of additional products and services about which you might be interested. You can choose not to receive such information if you don’t want to by letting us know on the registration screen when you sign up for the product or service. We may ask you for information about your interests so that both you and we can take advantage of the interactivity of the online medium, but you may always choose to respond or not. Additionally, we may provide you with an opportunity to be listed in a directory on one of our eReflect Software Branded services; these listings are also optional and you can make changes to or eliminate this information when you want to. How we may collect Personal or Any Specific Information:

1. “Registration”: In order to use some parts of the eReflect Software Website or gain information about a certain product or/and services, the Client must first complete the registration form. During registration the Client is required to give their contact information (such as name and email address). This information is used to contact the user about the services on our site about which they have expressed interest.

2. “On-Line Payment”, “Shopping Cart”: We request information from the Client in our order form and/or service payment form. Here the Client must provide contact information (like name and shipping address) and financial information (like credit card number, expiration date). This information is used for billing purposes and to fill the Client’s orders. If we have trouble processing an order, this contact information is used to get in touch with the Client.

3. “Surveys and Contests”: From time to time eReflect Software site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the Client therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose this information. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and shipping address), and demographic information (such as zip code, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the use and satisfaction of the relevant eReflect Software Site, Service or Product.

4. “Newsletters and Notifications”: If the Client wishes to subscribe to our newsletter(s) or notifications (Special Offer, Site, Product and Service Updates, etc.) – we ask for contact information such as the Client’s name and email address. The Client will always be able to unsubscribe from such Newsletters and/or Notifications by using the appropriate function clearly shown on the corresponding subscription page.

V. Use, Collection and Retention of Client Information

eReflect Software collects, retains and uses only the information about our Clients that is required by law to administer eReflect Software business and provide high-level services to our Clients. We retain this information no longer than necessary to meet these objectives.

VI. Maintenance of Accurate Information

eReflect Software has established procedures so that a Client’s financial and personally identifiable information is accurate, current and complete in accordance with reasonable commercial standards. Any request to correct inaccurate information is responded to within a timely manner.

VII. Limiting Employee Access to Information

All eReflect Software employees are educated about the importance of privacy and confidentiality. Only those employees having a business reason for knowing such information have access to personally identifiable information.

VIII. Protection of Information via Established Security Procedures

eReflect Software maintains rigorous security standards and procedures regarding unauthorised access to Client information. Therefore we do not intend to send or receive any sensitive information (such as passwords or credit card information) in an unprotected way or via unencrypted e-mails.

IX. Maintaining Client Privacy in Business Relationships with Third Parties

We do not use or disclose information about your individual visits to eReflect Software Sites or information that you may give us, such as your name, address, e-mail address or telephone number, to any outside companies. But sometimes it is necessary to provide personally identifiable Client information to a third party. If so, eReflect Software shall insist that the third party adheres to similar privacy principles that are provided for keeping such information confidential and Client Authorisation should be requested.

X. Restrictions on the Disclosure of Account Information

eReflect Software provides information about Client’s accounts or other personally identifiable data to third parties only when: (1) the information is provided to help complete a Client-initiated transaction; (2) the Client requires it; (3) the disclosure is required by/or allowed by law; or (4) it is necessary to process transactions and provide our services.

XI. Disclosure of Privacy Principles to Clients

eReflect Software Clients have the right to know what information we keep about them and how the information is used. Clients have the right to have any inaccurate information corrected or deleted.

XII. Unsolicited E-mail Circulars Policy

Unsolicited email circulars (SPAM) are becoming an increasing nuisance to Internet users. These mass direct mail-shots can cause inconvenience, annoyance and expense to recipients. eReflect Software does not condone such practices in any form, nor do we sanction such applications by other websites.

XIII. eReflect Software Privacy Policy Changes

If we decide to change our privacy policy for eReflect Software, we will post those changes here so that you will always know what information we gather, how we might use that information, and whether we will disclose it to anyone.

XIV. Summary

All services provided by eReflect Software to the Client are subject to the above eReflect Software Global Privacy Policy.