SuperMemo 99 for Windows

SuperMemo 99 for Windows is a program for computer-assisted learning. It uses a number technologies that make the learning process more effective. It can be used by individual students or by authors of learning material. It is most suitable for self-instruction but it also provides authoring features needed to develop attractive interactive hypermedia courseware and presentations. It can help you (or your students) remember whatever you think is worth remembering. It can also help you convert the knowledge from the Internet into rock-solid knowledge in your memory. You can start using the program in minutes. In the beginner mode, you only need to know two operations: Add new (adding new learning material) and Learn (memorizing and rehearsing the material). You can then gradually progress to the basic, middle and professional levels. If you find this text too long, jump directly to the Screenshot Tour

Most important technologies used in SuperMemo 99

  • repetition spacing - SuperMemo 99 implements repetition spacing, a modern speed-learning method based on computing optimum intervals between repetitions. This method greatly increases the speed of learning new material and practically eliminates the problem of forgetting. This technology is proprietary to SuperMemo World and has been the key to the success of SuperMemo over the last nine years
  • active recall - SuperMemo 99 makes it easy to properly represent material used in learning and helps the user to create simple quiz elements based on active recall. For example, question-and-answer pairs, spelling tests, pronunciation tests, cloze deletions, drag-and-drop tests, point-and-click tests, multiple choice tests, mind maps, programmed learning procedures, and many more
  • mnemonic hypermedia - SuperMemo 99 combines all popular computer data formats such as HTML, graphics, sound, animation, video, etc. These formats are enhanced by programmability with interpreted scripts and binary components developed for procedural learning. All elements taking part in learning are placed in a tree structure called the knowledge tree that simplifies the knowledge access and navigation (picture). All components, including text, sounds, graphics, etc. can be hyperlinked with other parts of the learned material
  • linear, selective and thematic learning modes - learning can proceed in the sequence programmed by the author of the course (linear learning), in the sequence chosen by the student (e.g. pick-and-learn mode, find-and-learn mode, random learning, etc.), or in the sequence determined by the subject matter (thematic learning)
  • reading lists - reading lists are prioritized sequences of articles (e.g. imported from the Internet). These articles can be read or reviewed in the sequence of priority and converted to active recall material suitable for efficient memorization
  • dual knowledge representation approach - there is a strict division between knowledge that is used for learning, and knowledge that is used for rehearsing the learned material. In addition, knowledge used only as reference or comment can also be included in the learning material
  • processing attributes - all portions of material used in learning are clearly marked as: (1) reference material, (2) unprocessed reading material (sorted by reading priority), (3) unprocessed learning material (sorted by learning priority), and (4) processed learning material (sorted by the rehearsal priority). The program provides rich learning statistics that illustrate the student's progress in processing individual sections of the material

General steps in using SuperMemo 99

  • the student or the author creates collections of pages containing the learned material. It the simplest case, these are just questions and answers; however, these pages can also include graphics, video, special exercises, reference material, executable modules, hyperlinks, mind maps, OLE objects, and many more
  • (optionally) the author collects reading material from the Internet (and other electronic sources) for prioritized processing and conversion to knowledge suitable for active recall learning
  • (optionally) the author builds knowledge tree by organizing all pages into a tree structure (this tree can also be used to automatically generate the learning scenario)
  • (optionally) if there is a larger group of students or customers, the teacher or students themselves create a subset copy of the learning system for individual use by each student (including learning statistics, editable material, individual comments and annotations, etc.). An alternative solution is to replicate the learning material on CD-ROM media
  • the student proceeds with learning. The program is able to hide the authoring shell behind the learned course. This way, the student can practically go through the entire course by knowing only the button Learn

Note: there is no compilation stage before releasing a CD-ROM course in SuperMemo 99. Indeed, the author can give the students a free hand to expand and/or improve upon the learning material!

Important! SuperMemo 99 is ideally suited for self-learning. All complexities of the program can be circumvented by choosing only two options: (1) Add new which adds a new question-answer pair to the collection, and (2) Learn which rehearses the introduced material. Indeed, this mode has made SuperMemo the most popular software ever developed in Poland. See: ABC of SuperMemo 99

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Figure 1. SuperMemo in the beginner mode can be mastered in minutes

Most prominent features implemented in SuperMemo 99

  • Standard features of SuperMemo also found in earlier implementations (to see the completeness of implementation, please compare features of SuperMemo with independent Flashcard software evaluation criteria):
    • possibility of creating independently named bodies of learning material: so-called collections
    • repetition spacing algorithm, widely known as the SuperMemo method, used in computing optimum intervals between repetitions in the process of learning
    • comprehensive statistics for supervising the learning process including: daily and monthly calendar of repetitions, average number of items to repeat per day, average repetition time, expected number of future repetitions, difficulty distributions, inter-repetition interval distributions, etc.
    • tools for managing the learning process such as: selective memorizing and resetting individual elements, rescheduling outstanding repetitions, etc.
    • element browsers (for browsing memorized items, difficult items, item subsets, items selected by an item filter, etc.)
    • element editing tools such as clipboard operations, duplicating elements, etc.
    • collection file management tools such as Copy, Delete, Move, Transfer, Export, Import, etc.
    • fast searching for text substrings, search-and-replace, etc.
    • recovery procedure for rescuing corrupted files
  • Features of SuperMemo 99 not found in SuperMemo 7:
    • modern interface (dockable toolbars, tabbed notebooks, pop-up menus, hints, layout management, Question of the Day on start-up, context-sensitive help, configurability, configuration auto-save, etc.)
    • hypermedia (sound, graphics, animation, video, HTML, RTF, OLE, scripting, binary components, etc.) and all tools for composing learning elements and changing properties of individual components (e.g. hyperlinks, registry associations, color, font, size, alignment, sound, video subsections, scripts, and many more)
    • standard navigation tools (Contents, Search, Back, Forward, History, etc.)
    • knowledge that can be organized in a knowledge tree. A number of tools can be used to operate only on selected branches of the knowledge tree
    • maintaining objects registries with fast access to all objects in the system such as: texts, words, image files, fonts, scripts, OLE objects, programs, translation strings, transcriptions, HTML files, etc. including access to all elements that use particular objects. All registries, including the full lexicon are updated on-the-fly (i.e. there is no separate build operation). Registries are editable
    • possibility of hiding the authoring shell of SuperMemo behind the learning material (this exposes the student to the simplest interface possible). Including read-only and learn-only modes in addition to the full-access mode
    • practically unlimited number of elements that can be stored in the learning material
    • tools for easily releasing courseware and presentations on CD-ROM (including a separately available, favorable license for SuperMemo 99 itself)
    • greatly improved repetition spacing algorithm (also licensable for software developers as a separate DLL module)
    • export and import of the learning process alone
    • simulation of the learning process
    • Question of the Day
  • Novel features of SuperMemo 99 not found in SuperMemo 98:
    • The concept of a reading list (SuperMemo can now be used to import electronic texts from the Internet and help the user in prioritizing the material, splitting it into manageable portions, converting it into selections and items or separate reading tasks)
    • Tasklist manager for managing reading lists and tasklists
    • Reading list management options for text and rich text components (queue extract, remember extract, task extract, queue cloze, remember cloze, etc.)
    • Learning in a single branch that can be resumed between sessions
    • Category registry for better management of a large number of categories
    • Extended statistics (e.g. lifetime repetition time in days, average repetition time, daily working time in minutes, and many more)
    • New user interface based on four levels of difficulty: Beginner, Basic, Middle and Professional
    • Repetition ceiling to limit the inflow of new material into the learning process
    • Branch rescheduling to reschedule repetitions belonging to a single subject
    • for more see: What's new in SuperMemo 99
  • Specialist features in SuperMemo 99:
    • programmability (learning collections can be extended by scripts and programmed components written in any programming language)
    • user-defined degree of attention given to individual elements or entire branches in knowledge tree. By changing the so-called forgetting index, the probability of forgetting for all individual elements can be controlled!
    • element templates used for quick creating of a large number of pages designed along the same style
    • interactive translation of the entire course to other languages (the translation strings are kept in a translation registry like all other objects in the system)
    • translation of the program's interface to other language (note that only simple interface in Beginner and Basic modes is subject to translation)
    • customizable sound feedback in learning
    • tools for creating lexical word-pair collections associated with a given course
    • random learning and random review in the entire collection of elements, in browsers and in registries
    • orthogonal contents and browser operations
    • midnight date shift delay for those who make repetitions after midnight
    • manual inter-repetition interval adjustment
    • and many more

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Figure 2. SuperMemo in professional mode makes it possible to create interactive tests, multiple-choice-tests, drag-and-drop tests, and many more


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Figure 3. Detailed learning statistics make it easier to understand the learning process and the limitations of human memory


Further steps:

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