Application prompts should vary when repeated

The mnemonic medium can help readers apply what they’ve learned through simple application prompts, but Answers to application prompts shouldn’t be drawn from memory. Our simple solution is that we’ll ask readers different questions each time, so that readers are always computing the answer anew.

As a practical matter, there will only be a handful of variations, since they’re hand-authored: Application prompt variations are challenging to automate. But because they’ll be presented across many weeks, readers will be unlikely to memorize the answers.

We’re targeting around 5 variations per prompt, but implementations should support variable variation counts.

Q. What happens if the question asked by an application prompt in the mnemonic medium doesn’t vary from session to session?
A. The application prompt turns into a recall prompt.


Conversation with Michael Nielsen, 2020-01-17

Conversation with Michael Nielsen, 2020-01-20

Given all this, I'm inclined to (a) write targetting 5 variations; (b) design it so the number of variations is allowed to be variable. So, e.g., if sometimes I get lazy and just have 3 or 4 variations, that's fine. But if I'm sometimes inspired and write 8, that should be fine as well.

Last updated 2023-07-13.