Don't start with the last lesson

Hi! I don’t know if other people will agree with me, but I find it very annoying/ineffective that WK very often starts the reviewing on the last lesson that you reviewed. So I mean that I’m learning 5 lessons, I read through them, try to remember the mnemonic, etc, and then I start the quiz and I’m immediately asked to input the answer for the thing I saw last. I think it would be better if that was not possible, so you make sure that you’re actually recalling it, instead of typing what you just read.
I don’t know if that makes sense, but it’s something that I personally don’t like.

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I share that sentiment with you! And I also think it happens way too often. Better to forbid the last word entirely for the first round of quizzing.

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So instead of typing what you read just now, typing what you read just 30 seconds ago? It makes zero difference.

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For me it often makes a difference if my short-term memory gets interrupted by being quizzed on a different item. Just waiting for 30 seconds alone doesn’t cut it, I agree.

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My working memory (“I have to remain aware of this until I finish this task, then I’ll drop it”) allows me to keep the last thing in mind even if I haven’t fully internalized it (yet). If I have to remember other items first, this effect is lessened by a lot.

I don’t know that this really affects things much long-term, though - regardless of what happens during the quiz, you’ll have to remember it hours and days later during the reviews.

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I used to type in “dog” or 「ど」really quick any time that happened to skip it till later, but eventually, I stopped caring and it doesn’t seem to affect my memory, idk.

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It’s admittedly a minor annoyance (I’ve usually forgotten the new item by the first real review anyway), but it is a daily annoyance. I’m definitely with @kittengeneticist and @NicoleRauch — it would be a really nice tweak to prevent this from ever happening. Even one intervening question has a profound effect.

It’s the same reason I strongly prefer the standard behavior of randomly interleaving other questions between the meaning/reading quizzes for a given item. Self-study and other scripts have a “back-to-back” mode where both parts of an item are always quizzed together. I find this doesn’t test my real-world recall nearly as well.

Note that it’s technically a lesson quiz, not a review — it’s not yet in the review schedule until you’ve answered all parts correctly during the lesson quiz. Sadly, I think this means there is no way to accomplish this with a user script, it would require a change in the actual Wanikani code.

I’m going to drop a note to help@wanikani.com — I think that’s the preferred route for RFE’s.

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It is. they’re pretty quick to reply to any suggestions for improvements. In the forums, it’s best to tag them if you want response. But, it’s also a good place for debate and talking about the issue, if that’s your main aim of an OP post. :slight_smile:

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As promised.

Here's the RFE I submitted

To: help@wanikani.com
Subject: RFE: don’t start lesson quiz with last item taught

Hello.

This was brought up on the forums: Don't start with the last lesson

This is only a minor annoyance, but at least a few of us would love to see it fixed.

Current behavior during a lesson session is to teach (display) 5 items in a row (by default) then quiz on those items in random order. Unfortunately, “random” means that occasionally the first quiz is for the information that was just displayed on your screen, making it trivial to answer correctly!

It is surprisingly more difficult to answer a lesson quiz if there is even one distraction between being shown the information and then being quizzed on it.

It would be quite helpful, in my opinion, if the first item quizzed was never the last item taught. In other words, it would be nice to “reshuffle” the quiz if the last item taught happens to end up being for the first item quizzed.

Thanks for reading!

Best regards,

Rex

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Hey, that’s really nice! Thanks for doing that. I wasn’t aware there was an email address we could send suggestions to, but was curious to see if I was the only one who found this annoying. I’m glad I’m not!

To the others who commented that it doesn’t really matter in the long run: that’s probably true, but it can be frustrating none the less.

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It makes a big difference, because if you have to review at least one item before, then your last lesson item momentarily leaves your brain, putting you in an active recall situation. Whereas if it comes up immediately, all the information is already in your mind and you don’t have to recall it.

It’s still in your short term memory.

Yes, it’s just a minor thing. But for most of us, quizzing an item that was literally just displayed is significantly easier than if even one item intervenes.

It’s precisely why I dislike “back to back” mode for reviews. It’s easier, but not as good for testing my retention of even short-term recall.

I think there are degrees of “short term” memory and that there isn’t a clear divide between “long” and “short” term.

Definitively, the act of recalling things seems to strengthen our memory. Quizzing something I’ve literally just read doesn’t seem to strengthen that memory at all for me.

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Probably effect things, but probably insignificantly so in the grand scheme of things. But if it makes people sleep better at night it’s probably an easy fix on the other end.

Agreed. You won’t burn things any faster. It’s a minor annoyance, little more.

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Aye, the email is the better option. I’m guessing that creates an actual ticket on their end vs the forums which they aren’t always obligated to action.

I have this option turned on and I don’t think this ever happens to me now.

Isn’t that just for reviews? If I understand this thread, the OP is requesting that first question in the five-question quiz during lessons not be the card that was just taught. (That said, the option might affect lessons, but based on it’s wording, I’d be surprised.)

Not true in my experience. Often when reviewing, if I’m not fully focused (which I rarely am) then anything more than 3 seconds old in my brain is completely gone.

Many times in reviews I’ve gotten an item wrong, answered two more items, gotten that same item again, got it wrong, answered a different item, gotten that same item a third time and proceeded to get it wrong yet again. I feel like my record has got to be over 10 times in a review session. Is it stupid? Yes. But that’s just my brain. Getting items back to back in lessons would just allow me to more easily pass items I haven’t learned, when I should be punished for that.

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I rate my memory to different levels.

  • Forgotten within seconds
  • Remembering within an hour
  • Remembering within days
  • Remembering within months

At least I would try to get past the first step, but I feel that “lesson” and first “review” distinction is bad at what they are trying to do.

So I do Extra Study.