Execute Program’s prompts act both as application prompts and recall prompts

The Mnemonic medium’s basic prompt type is an atomic recall prompt in the typical Spaced repetition memory system style: highly atomic, strictly testing your memory. By contrast, Execute Program’s basic prompt type is—or at least looks like—an application prompt (see The mnemonic medium can help readers apply what they’ve learned through simple application prompts).

Students are asked to apply what they’ve learned to an example, either by predicting its result or by modifying the example to achieve some goal. For example:

Q. What’s the output of /a..b/.test(“a\ncb”)?
A. false

This is like an application prompt in the sense that the reader is being asked to apply what they’ve learned (this prompt tests several notions, principally that . doesn’t match \n). In the context of the lesson introducing that concept, this is very much an application prompt. But this is unlike an application prompt because it reappears verbatim the next day, and several days after that, and so on, contra Application prompts should vary when repeated. Answers to application prompts shouldn’t be drawn from memory, so the prompt becomes a recall prompt after the first presentation or two.

In this way, Execute Program’s procedural-knowledge prompts become declarative-knowledge prompts over time. Conversely, because Execute Program doesn’t have non-executable prompts, its declarative-knowledge prompts are all phrased in terms of procedural-knowledge prompts.

For more on the implications of this distinction: To what extent can application prompts supplant recall prompts in the mnemonic medium?


Q. Execute Program’s prompts initially behave like __ prompts but over time behave more like __ prompts.
A. application, recall