Cerego is a “learning management tool” that allows users to study series and sets in a variety of different topics. Cerego defines a set as a collection of items (a word, a sentence, a fact, an image, or even a sound, and then its associated response, or answer) and a series as a collection of sets.As of right now the target audience is teenagers to adults, however with the development of age appropriate material it is possible for this app to become accessible to younger children as well.
The purpose of this application is to increase long term memory retention. Cerego achieves this by spacing out study sessions over progressively longer periods of time which they say ultimately leads to long term retention. The process is individualized to the needs of the learner since Cerego determines what the user would benefit most from studying at a particular time and the cues and responses in future study sessions based on user success rate
The user interface is very easy to use due to its straightforward design. Once logged into the web app opens automatically to the learn tab. This section of the app is broken into three sections: the memory back, series and other sets. The memory bank allows the user to review their study time (days and amount of time set) overall and by individual series and sets. Users are free to follow Cerego’s suggestions about what to study next or may choose what they what to study next.
Alongside the left of the “Learn” page there are two additional options, “Browse” and “Create.” Selecting the “Browse” option will allow user by featured series, featured set, by category or by searching with their keywords. Adding new series and sets can be done by selecting the add button or by clicking learn. In order to view information in the set or series prior to selecting it, the user just has to click the picture of the name of the series/set.
Viewing set information displays how much the user has studied it, the amount of time the set will take to learn, the number of users in the course and the cues and responses in the set. Users can compile sets created by other people into series by selecting create series in the when viewing set information. Viewing series information shows how much the user has studied it, the amount of time the set will take to learn, the number of users in the course and the sets included in the series.
Selecting “Create” will allow users to create their own sets. Users are required to provide a set title to begin creating, a description for the set, tags, and cover image can be added optionally. Sets cane be made private or public and can be worked on collaboratively. Cues can be pictures, audio or text and responses can be pictures or text – one cue is linked to one response. In addition to the creating cue and response, notes can be added to each group. These notes can include additional text, embedded Youtube videos, picture and audio. Selecting set options allows the user to select what type of questions will be generated when the set is in use: multiple choice and type in the answer. When the set is first created the default is to allow multiple choices for selecting cue and response and typing the cue or response.
When users select “Learn”, they have the option to participate in five, ten or twenty minute study session. Cerego will determine what cues to study that study session and will automatically generate questions for that study session. Cerego will keep track of how many questions a user gets wrong and increase/decrease the rate at which items are displayed in future study sessions depending on the needs of the user.
- Native Android browser
- Native Blackberry browser
- Internet Explorer
- Safari for iPhone/iPad
The mobile app is currently limited to availability on the Apple store. The app is compatible for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch running iOS 6.0 or later and requires 4.6 MB of space for installation.
The major strength of this application is that users are allowed to create their own sets and compile their own series. This feature would be very useful in the science classroom as a tool for both teachers and students. Another strength of this application is its ability to track the student’s progress and recommend what to study and adapt the study session to help the user learn the information they are struggling with.
One of the weakness is there is no way to review how the student did on a set. This weakness could potentially pose limitations to its use as a tool in the classroom. A workaround may be requiring the student to provide screenshot of the “Memory Bank” and the review page that appears at the end of every study session. Another weakness of the article is that the material for certain topics may be limited or not available in already made sets and series. This means that a teacher will likely have to take time to create their own sets.
One way a science teacher could use Cerego is create sets for a topic that will be taught in the class and have the students use the tool to review the material taught in class. Another way of using this feature would be to have students create sets and complete sets created by other students. A third way a science teacher could use Cerego is by having students pick a field in science that interests them and use Cerego to create a set that teaches others what that field of science is about, what jobs are available in that field, vocabulary related to that field, etc.
My tip for science teachers is to plan the information that they would like to be in the sets they create ahead of time in order to make the process faster. Having the information already typed out, pictures, audio and YouTube links collected ahead of time will save tons of time.
Additional Comment: Cerego is currently an open beta, features are always being suggested and they are generally very good at implementing those that have a lot of support. Cerego eventually hopes to add premium services that schools and institutions could take part in that would allow Cerego to be a tool that educators could use to monitor the progress of their students.