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/10.1037/0096-3422.214.171.1248
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. 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.
Online business marketing requires a comprehensive strategy if it is to have any chances of increasing sales and profits. One often overlooked aspect of business marketing is blogging, which if done strategically can boost your online presence, make your brand more relevant, and of course encourage lead generation and sales.
To be successful, business blogging needs to follow the foolproof tactics that big firms are using and which have been proven to work. Business size is truly irrelevant, as the Internet is an equally accessible tool for marketing your business online.
So what’s worth implementing and what’s no longer efficient when it comes to business blogging rules?
Don’t advertise your company or small business. No one likes a shameless advertiser. Rather, actively and substantially create content that’s meaningful and significant to your readers. Think about it. If your content is first-class, your followers won’t think twice, they will spread the word, simply because they find value in your blogging.
Rather than focusing on what you do and what you’ve achieved, it’s more worthwhile to share with your followers what your industry does and where it’s heading.
Give them access to facts, strategies, and ideas otherwise inaccessible to them. Becoming a reporter on your own niche or industry offers much more value than simply sharing one single perspective. Focus on the wider picture, give your readers a sneak peek into your industry as a whole – its trends, its new tools, the long-forsaken approaches, the promising new potentials.
By committing to providing persistently valuable content that’s sharable and valuable you ensure your blogging efforts will pay off.
There are many, many bloggers out there. To stand out, you have to establish yourself as an industry expert. This of course cannot be done overnight; it requires commitment, passion, and a plan.
What sets expert bloggers apart from the crowd is that their followers automatically turn to their blog as a resource of valuable, up-to-date content; readers know they blog about significant and tangible issues. An industry expert is a passionate professional who’s always ahead of trends, in line with current approaches, and has sound, fact-based viewpoints on their industry’s future. These are reasons why expert bloggers develop a solid, ever-increasing following.
What’s more, an industry expert shares ideas or insights bound to overhaul their industry or the way people conceptualize it. Can you be such a blogging expert?
Blogging is not about accentuating hierarchical differences or the consumer-business relationship.
If you advertise your product constantly, you drive your readers away; if you interact with them you increase engagement. Dial down any loud differences, don’t demand, don’t dictate. Instead, share, inquire and respond to your readership. Efficient blogging rests on the idea of you being a true part of the community you’ve created.
Bloggers tend to lose readers because they assume a falsely superior stance in relation to those readers. Expert bloggers, on the other hand, are the ones who creatively, persistently and strategically engage with their readers. By doing this, they tend to increase their readership and encourage follower loyalty.
Follow back your readers, comment on their reactions, share their ideas, answer their questions and overall engage with them at every level possible through your blog platform and other social media to ensure they will continue reading your blog.
Don’t just assume you know what readers want. Listen to their ever-changing needs, eavesdrop on what they’d like to read about, and provide it to them. And don’t forget to reward followers and readers with special, super-great quality content through email newsletters, exclusive free downloads, or promotions of ebooks and products that might be of use for them.
Don’t just recycle others’ ideas, find new perspectives to look at things from, and stretch out your scope of issues to discover new approaches to existing ideas.
Do your share of curation; show your readers other trusted resources for valuable content similar to yours. Show your skills in critically processing different viewpoints or approaches and your ability to express a uniquely different, but equally valuable, interpretation.
But don’t forget to provide unique, fresh content regularly on your own site. This is what will establish you as an authority and the go-to blog for the latest developments in your industry or niche.
Don’t shut yourself out of the world. Doing interviews, holding mini webinars, or having giveaways for dedicated followers is a great way to strengthen the reader-blogger bond and consolidate long-term loyalty.
Invite guest bloggers to your site. It increases both blogs’ exposure to new audiences and it provides new ideas and strategies, all the while reminding your readers of your active involvement in your industry. Ask top bloggers to be featured in their blogs as a guest blogger or encourage others to do the same at yours.
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