Smart Terms

Keywords identified and explained

Smart Terms is a comprehensive set of subject-specific terminology flashcards.

Having command of the key terminology can make a real difference, not just in answering “state”, “define” and “describe” questions, but understanding the course content too. Craig’n’Dave have pored over every specification document to create a set of terms that are specific for the course being studied. Forensically exploring mark schemes, popular textbooks, and computing dictionaries to create the best succinct definition for each term.

Reflective mode

In reflective mode students can see the term on the front of the card and flip the card to see the definition on the back.

Parents can help their child by reading the term aloud to them and then check the definition they give by flipping the card. By using topic and confidence filters students can focus only on the cards they need to.

Interactive mode

In interactive mode students type in their definition which Smart Revise records so students can check their last answer.

Just looking at terms and flipping to the back of the card to check your answer is passive revision and it isn’t very effective. Interactive mode turns a passive technique into an effective interactive technique.

Recording confidence with each term

Unlike classic flashcards, before moving to the next card a student must record a self-assessment of their confidence with the term using a simple red, amber, green (RAG) approach. Students can easily update this assessment as their confidence grows with each term. Filter the deck of cards to focus just on red, amber, green or any combination of cards and see an overview in a personal revision report.

Teachers can use the confidence data in a set of useful reports to inform their teaching and show progress over time. Teachers can also see the definitions students are writing in interactive mode, and compare student answers side-by-side changing the confidence recorded by the student.

Rich reports

Using the suite of reports, teachers can use Smart Terms in many different ways. For example:

  1. To assess prior knowledge of a topic before teaching.
  2. To focus revision on least well understood terms.
  3. To reflect on the success of a set of lessons.

Spot the weaker topics

Using Smart Terms it is easy to see which topics and terms students themselves feel they are less confident with. This facilitates timely interventions and focused revision at the end of the course.

It is also easy to spot those students who are behind their peers, enabling the teacher to provide additional help.

10 awards to attain

To encourage students to engage with Smart Revise there are ten awards students can achieve simply by using Smart Terms.

What the educational research says

Stronger neuron connections

Active recall with Terms teaches your brain to remember terminology, a concept or process without context clues. By learning in this way stronger neuron connections develop because it is more difficult for your brain, making it more likely you can remember the information in the future.

Using Terms allows you to repeat the act of memorising until you are an expert on the information. It is important to rate your confidence level with each term and organise cards into three categories. Start with the least familiar (red) cards first, and when more confident promote these into the next category (amber). When you can regularly remember the content of the amber cards they can be promoted to green. Spend more time on the red cards, a little less time on the amber cards, but also don’t forget to practice the green cards too.

It is important that flashcards only contain the minimum amount of concise information. Although it can be a valuable part of the revision process to write your own cards, there is a risk you may miss something important or copy inaccurate information. Students can find it hard to write effective flashcards, often trying to capture too much information on one card. Smart Terms does the hard work for you.

Getting the most out of Smart Terms

Smart Terms can be used for revision, baseline assessments, end of topic / year / course reviews and catch-up planning.

  • After a topic has been taught, change the topic filters to just that one topic. Ask students to use Terms reflective mode and consider each term in the topic.
  • Students RAG rate themselves against each term.
  • Use the analytic reports to identify terms that students are least familiar with and focus on those in short recap teaching episodes.
  • You could also do this process before a topic has been taught to gauge current understanding or to give students an oversight of what they will learn more about in a topic. Take a snapshot of the Terms student overview report before and after to illustrate progress in learning.
  • Enable both Terms reflective and interactive when you are not using it for review, to enable students to undertake private revision.