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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


5 Tips To Achieve Writing Efficiency

Categories: Spelling Resources |

Improving your skill at writing efficiently is not difficult. In fact, you will see an improvement in your writing skills quickly, if you practice the following tips consistently.

1) Improve every aspect of writing

What makes up your writing skills? Well, spelling and grammar are the basics, and they’re basically two of the most important skills you can learn. Unless you master the fundamentals you cannot advance in your program of improving your writing efficiency.

Enrich your vocabulary and ensure you perfectly know how to punctuate sentences. Never use words whose meaning you don’t know, especially if you’ve never seen them used in writing before. Avoid using big words just for the look of them, and try to refrain from using overly-complex and long sentences. Keep it simple and clean!

2) Read like there’s no tomorrow

Good writers are first and foremost avid readers. Reading everything from magazines to menus, scientific journals to science fiction, improves your vocabulary, your ideas, and your overall knowledge.

Reading also exposes you to different types of content, from literary to business topics, and ensures you have ample opportunities to advance in your own writing skills: first by copying others and then by building upon what you creatively emulate.

3) Interact with others through written communication

The Internet is your playground for personal improvement as well as games. Forums and site comment sections offer you the opportunity to practice your writing, and to refine your ideas and critical thinking skills in the process. Discuss your opinions on videos, lectures and other forms of media online to fine-tune your writing skills; by watching those lectures or other content available in MOOC you’ll learn new and exciting things while you’re at it.

Make it a goal to always engage in conversation with intellectually stimulating people. It will offer you plenty of insights on how to better express your own thoughts in written format, as well as when you’re speaking.

4) Edit and proofread thoroughly

Remember the five C’s of effective writing: clarity, control, correctness, conciseness, and coherence.

Clarity refers to using the right word in the right context to communicate the intended meaning.

Control refers to how well and intuitively organized your writing is.

Correctness is your ability to abide by the rules for a language’s spelling, grammar, and syntax.

Conciseness means writing economically without fluff, repetition, or wordiness.

Lastly, coherence is the ability to present your ideas and thoughts in a way that flows smoothly and doesn’t impede the reader’s processing and understanding of what they read.

5) Have fun with your writing practice

Writing shouldn’t intimidate you. See everything as a challenge to improve your writing, and look for opportunities. For example, you can participate in writing improvement activities such as short story contests. Play games that help you enrich your vocabulary, or brush up your spelling skills through a smartphone app.

Keep an online or paper journal. Write letters even if you never get around to posting them. Simply put, make writing a daily habit. As the adage goes, practice makes perfect!
Apply these five skills regularly and consistently, and you will soon see an improvement in your writing skill efficiency.

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments

Leave a comment

Have your say!

name *

email *

message *