Application prompts can systematically test combinations of details in the text

The mnemonic medium can help readers apply what they’ve learned through simple application prompts. The simplest application prompt might involve only one detail from the text. For example, one might transform the declarative prompt What’s the matrix representation of the X gate into a simple application prompt: What’s the output of the X gate applied to [0 1]?. But a more complex application prompt might be What's the output of this circuit? [Picture of a circuit with |+> as input, passing through X]. This prompt requires using several details simultaneously: simple circuit notation, the definition of |+>, and the definition of X.

One can think of such prompts like a slice of the power set of some related set of details in the mnemonic essay. This one’s roughly degree 3. It would be laborious, but one can imagine writing questions which would represent much of the complete power set.

These prompts would share many of the same conclusions described in Simple application prompts can be presented the same way as recall prompts in the mnemonic medium, but fungibility of variants is considerably muddied. This kind of question would probably benefit from ITS-style knowledge graph analysis, using inferences to identify which detail is particularly weak.

These combination prompts could escalate in complexity over time. Perhaps they only appear after the reader’s finished the second level for all the in-text questions. This is an example of a way in which The mnemonic medium can be adapted to author an experience which unfolds over time.