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/10.1037/0096-3418.104.22.1688
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.
Every year, March is filled an array of cultural activities . Across the world, people and cultures commemorate heroes and honor religious and cultural personas through national and international events.
So what exciting and lesser known events are taking place this March?
Many countries including Bulgaria, South Korea, and Morocco, celebrate their liberation or independence day in March. Bulgaria on the 3rd, South Korea on the 2nd, and Morocco on the 1st of March are commemorating days that forever changed their countries’ course in history.
March, the month of the French Culture and Language
March is dedicated to Francophonie, the French language as it is spoken around the world. The celebrations culminate March 20 through cultural initiatives and projects across the world in an effort to raise awareness of the French language and honor French culture.
Thousands of people out of more than 274 million French language speakers will celebrate International Francophonie Day.
Across the US, the United Kingdom, and other western and eastern countries, women’s organizations, charities, NGOs and other bodies will celebrate Women’s History Month as a way of highlighting the contribution, sacrifices and achievements of women. The month-long observance coincides with March 8, International Women’s Day, during which local and national events that celebrate women are at their peak.
St Patrick’s Day
This cultural and religious event takes place on the 17th of March every year and celebrates the arrival of Christianity in Ireland. St Patrick’s Day is commonly perceived as a celebration of Irish heritage and cultural legacy more than a religious event these days, however.
Cultural events including parades and the customary wearing of green apparel are among the most distinctive practices people partake in when celebrating this special day. St Patrick’s Day is observed in the US, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom and other regions across the world where Irish people live.
Spring will be sprung on the 20th of March!
Europe officially marks the onset of Spring on the 20th of March every year. The Northern Hemisphere’s Vernal Equinox is considered the first day of spring, and many people spend the day engaged in ‘spring cleaning’ and other observations of renewal and rebirth as a way of passing from winter to summer through optimism-driven activities.
Iran and Belgium both celebrate trees and nature as a whole with two movable special days that happen to take place in March this year. On March 6, 2016 Iran celebrates its National Tree Planting Day and Belgium launches its National Festival of Trees on March 18, 2016.
Other Important Events Taking Place in March in 2016
Canada observes the Epilepsy Awareness Month during March while in the United States, organizations and NGOs supporting the American Dietetic Association celebrate National Nutrition Month through campaigns and initiatives to raise awareness on proper nutrition for children and adults. In the same vein, the National Association for Music Education runs several initiatives nationwide in schools and beyond.
Cultural Events Near You In March
March is a fascinating month with many international and national music stars embarking on world tours while big play productions are premiering. From Adele to Muse and shows like ‘Wicked’ in Paris, there are plenty of options for music lovers and drama aficionados.
So, if you’re traveling to a big city in Europe, Asia or the US, make sure to attend the best music and cultural events on display this March!