This is an electronic flashcard system for learning vocabulary etc.

I have used it for learning Russian vocabulary, and have found it an effective way of doing so. I reckon the system could be used for any subject which requires one to memorise large amounts of small pieces of data.

The system runs like a sort of screensaver, so every time one closes the program one is working in, one sees a few electronic flashcards, as it is running in the background. It is surprisingly hypnotic.

This is how it works:

You see the French etc. for four seconds*, e.g.

la plume de ma tante**

You then get the English for three seconds*, e.g.

my aunt's pen

Then the next item is loaded.

*This is an obvious area for research. How long should the items appear on the screen so that the system works to best effect?
**Corny examples do seem to stick in the memory better ...

Under the bonnet

The system works by pulling an Excel database into Word as a Catalogue/Directory and then pulling the Word file into PowerPoint as an Outline. One sets PowerPoint to loop, with animations to control the timing of the elements.

Here are details on how to do it (with thanks to Penny Everett of the Learning Technologies Support Service) and here is a sample file of the system in action.