Note: The SRS community is afflicted by a few cases of "received wisdom" - common knowledge that is held to be true, but may not be. SRSoterica makes the case against such "wisdom" because these beliefs have had profoundly negative consequences, discouraging the majority of SRS-aware people from successfully learning via the technology.
Perhaps the most harmful myth in the SRS community is the pervasive belief that students should write their own decks.
The problem with this should be obvious - students are not capable of writing their own decks, except in the simplest of learning tasks, and/or for the very best of students.
We call this the "Paradox of SRS" - by the time a student is capable of developing a good SRS deck for a complex subject, they no longer need the deck themself.
This document serves to collect the reasons why this is so, as well as refutations of other arguments in favor of students making their own deck.
(Note that we use "student" here to mean any person trying to learn a subject - regardless of whether or not they are doing so in a formal learning environment.)
Writing a good deck for a concept-intensive subject requires subject knowledge, as well as SRS and ISD (instructional system design) knowledge.
The 20 Rules is a good start, but it's nowhere close to a comprehensive pedagogy (not that it pretends to be) for working in the medium.
Students are usually trying to learn in situations with deadlines. In such situations:
How is a student supposed to feel about SRS when a semester ends and they have half of a deck and half of the subject understanding that they needed to develop?
Any possible benefit at the micro (individual student) level vanishes in comparison to the aggregate loss at the macro (societal) level.
Research shows SRS to be the most effective learning system known. Yet most people - even most educators - have never even heard of it.
We contend that at least 95% of people that have tried to learn a concept-intensive subject via SRS have failed to do so. The myth that you should write your own deck is the proximate cause for this failure.
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Last updated: April 18, 2020
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SRSoterica makes peerless Spaced Repetition System (SRS) flashcard decks for learning complex technology subjects. With our Python decks, you don't just memorize facts, you learn the concepts that are described by the facts. You learn when, why and how to use Python functionality, in everyday situations.
Our products are targeted at the Absorption stage of the learning process. We bring subject matter expertise, SRS expertise and instructional design expertise to every deck that we craft. You will come to understand Python at a much deeper level than most other programmers.