Skip to content

skill learning with supermemo

January 6, 2010

There is a very popular myth about the amount of information that stays in your head once you hear, read, or do something. Although I haven’t been able to find an specific source of how this affirmation of 5% when hearing trough 90% while doing rule was formulated and why this is not valid, I’m firmly convinced it is. You can test it yourself. Many things you don’t even intend to remember get so deeply ingrained in your noddles that they come to mind effortless at any time in other cases doing something you want to learn doesn’t get that same amount of staying power. Its almost like it went into one ear and out of… perhaps saying into my hands and out of my body is more appropriately.

An important distinction between knowing how (semantic knowledge) and been able to actually do it (procedural knowledge) is necessary. Many skills you need to learn can’t be practice with Supermemo, but I guess is was never the objective as it deals mostly with semantic knowledge, the kind in which you know a fact (e.g. In what continent is located France?).

I’ve tried in the past to use SuperMemo to remember some skills (e.g. what are the steps required to do a venous blood extraction?).

I would normally enumerated the steps in the answer; so, before disclosing it I’ll imagine my self doing the actual procedure, this makes most sense for me. I understand that after this initial learning and with a lot more practice you’ll get to the point where you progress from a semantic knowing to a more automated procedural knowledge (skill expertise), but a least in the first initial steps this way of learning has helped very much in the past.

Currently I’m not learning much skills, an overview of ways to improve skill learning with supermemo is on the ToDo list hence I’m all open ears to new ideas.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. LittleFish permalink
    January 6, 2010 18:43

    I’ve been experimenting with a book called “Worst Case Scenario,” a book series that details how to get out of scary situations (How do you survive a jump from a bridge into a lake?).
    Although I have never done any of the things mentioned in the book (I have no experience doing those activities), thanks to Supermemo I DO have certain steps in mind when it comes to those activities. It is more of a fun experiment than a serious endeavor, but knowing the steps of CPR (I have attended a class in the past, so I guess that it doesn’t count), or knowing how to jump from a moving car makes me feel a little better somehow. Anyways, learning skills is an interesting task, and should be explored more (As should the entire field of Spaced Repetition Implementation).

  2. January 7, 2010 16:35

    Hi guys,
    I’ve been using procedural SuperMemo for a couple of years now, mainly for learning the violin, but also for guitar, computer games and what I call “pen&paper” items (closely related to declarative subjects with procedural components, such as maths).

    If you want to hear about my experiences, please visist my blog at

    Actually, all I have done so far is to write an introduction, which I did about 10 minutes ago! However, I will be beefing it up, so have a look if you want any inspiration on this topic.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: