Spacing study sessions out over a longer time period leads to better long-term recall
Spaced learning is a way of committing ideas to memory by reviewing them in short sessions over a longer time period. Understanding spaced learning will help you understand how Dawnguide works, and it's also a general technique that you can use yourself to learn any kind of material.
Spaced learning leads to better recall than massed learning strategies, such as cramming for an exam. In psychology this is called the "spacing effect" and it's supported by a lot of research!
Dawnguide's form of spaced learning starts with reading a short passage about the key ideas of a lesson (such as this one). Afterwards, you'll be shown some question-answer review cards. Each time you remember the answer to a question, we'll wait longer before showing it to you again. This way you can memorize ideas for the long term.
You don't need any software to take advantage of the spacing effect, but there are a number of apps (like Dawnguide) that aim to make it easier. An app that uses spaced learning is often called a "spaced repetition system" (SRS). A common free one for making your own flashcards is Anki.
- Augmenting Long-term Memory by Michael Nielsen
- Cepeda, N. J., Pashler, H., Vul, E., Wixted, J. T. & Rohrer, D. (2006). Distributed practice in verbal recall tasks: A review and quantitative synthesis. Psychological bulletin. [pdf]