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Brainscape

Scientific Online Learning Tool


Tiny
Published 04/18/2012 and rated Ratingstars5 5 out of 5 stars
by Shel Gatto
What can you use the app for?

Brainscape is a study tool that uses a scientific approach to help users retain more information. The application is based around a spaced repetition method of learning. The application breaks the information down into small pieces that the brain can digest easier. This allows the user to repeat the bite-sized pieces of information and learn more efficiently. Scientifically, this approach is believed to strengthen the way the user’s mind recalls the data so it can be retrieved more quickly when it is needed. Brainscape lets users create their own flashcards to study with or search for their subject among existing lessons on the site. The user begins by choosing between test prep, language or knowledge junkie categories.

Brainscape screenshot
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What is the history and popularity of the app?

Brainscape was founded by Andrew Cohen. The project began as a basic Excel macro Cohen developed to learn French while living in Martinique. After about year of brainstorming, Cohen began a graduate program in educational technology specifically to develop the concept. The current version of Brainscape has earned some attention, especially with users in the education industry. The application isn’t hugely popular yet, but has a lot of potential to help many users develop their learning skills and grow knowledge.

What are the differences to other apps?

A number of applications let users create their own online flashcards. While this approach works, Brainscape adds a scientific twist to help users get more out of their learning tools. The application utilizes its “Confidence Based Repetition” approach to help users retain more of the information they digest while studying with Brainscape. Users can also share their flashcards and build a library of personal online learning tools.

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How does the web app look and feel to use?

Brainscape has a very modern, friendly feel to it that begins with the dark blue background and sleek logo. The interface is clean and contains no clutter to get between the user and their learning material. Simple graphics and an organized interface give the application a professional feel while the color scheme and design elements provide depth. Most users will need to apply minimal effort to learn how to use Brainscape, saving lots of mind power for the actual study session.

How does the registration process work?

A new user can join the growing Brainscape community by clicking the blue “Sign Up” link in the upper, right hand corner of the homepage. The form on the next page asks for a first and last name, email address and password. The user must also check one of the boxes at the bottom of the form to indicate whether they are a teacher or student. A blue “Connect with Facebook” button is available above the form for users who prefer to sign in that way. The user is automatically logged in after registering.

What does it cost to use the application?

Anyone can create a Brainscape account for free. There are no subscription fees and the user isn’t required to make any purchases. Many of the lessons are available at no cost as well. Users should note that some of the more advanced lessons must be purchased, however the fees are generally small and start around $1.99 per lesson. The user can buy as many or as few lessons as they want.

Who would you recommend the application to?

Brainscape is a helpful tool for anyone that is studying a subject the site covers. Even those who cannot find their subject on the site can create virtual flashcards that can be used or shared with others. The application applies a scientific method to the way users learn to help improve retention and the brain’s ability to recall information. Brainscape makes an excellent supplementary study tool for almost any student.

  • Explore a collection of existing study subjects
  • Create flashcards to study a new subject
  • Improve retention with a scientific study approach
  • User-created flashcard can be shared with others
  • Build a personal library of online learning tools


Brainscape video

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