Revita — frequently asked questions
You can use Revita in "guest" mode, without registering. However, if you register, Revita can offer you important features, such as:
- adding stories to your own private library (if you are not registered, Revita can't link the library to you),
- keeping track of your progress over time — analyzing your level of proficiency is essential to make sure that the exercises optimally fit your level: are not too easy and not too difficult too often.
Note, when you register, you create a user name, by which other users can see you in the system. Your email address is used for registration only, and is not published or revealed in any way — it is completely safe.
All stories you upload to your private library are visible only to you. There is no way anyone else can look inside your private library.
You can now share stories with your friends — you can choose a particular story and send it to a friend; if the friend accepts it, it will appear in her own private library.
You share any story you like with your friends:
- Select a story from your private library, and click Share story.
- Enter the friend's email address in Revita.
- You can include an optional message about the story.
- The friend will receive a notification - if she accepts the story, it will appear in her private library.
- The friend can also follow you: if she follows you, stories that you send her will be added to her private library automatically, without notification.
- The list of followed friends appears in the Profile page.
Revita analyzes each story, breaks it into small snippets (2-3 sentences each), and for each snippet creates exercises based on your skill level, as follows:
1. All phrases and words in the text are linked to certain language concepts, which the learner must master eventually. You can see an outline of all concepts by clicking "Settings" ⇒ "Advanced settings". The concepts can be enabled / disabled manually, but it is recommended to leave all concepts enabled, so Revita can estimate your skill levels more accurately.
Your skill levels are estimated based on all previous answers — which concepts are easier for you and which are more difficult.
2. Revita tries to match the exercises to your skill level on average, because:
- if the exercises are too easy for you too often, you will get bored and will quit learning,
- if the exercises are too hard for you too often, you will get frustrated and will quit learning.
That is why it is very important that the exercises match on your level on average — "on average" means that you may still sometimes get a very hard or a very easy exercise, but not often.
3. The exercises are selected randomly, so each time you practice with the same story, the exercises will be different — this allows you to practice with the same story more than once, without getting bored.
For each story, Revita tries to estimate its level of difficulty. The difficulty depends on many factors: on the levels of difficulty of the concepts found in the story, on how difficult/rare the words in the story are, etc. The story''s rating is used in computing the learner's rating, explained in part here.
In the library, the difficulty is marked by one to three stars.
Revita creates Flashcards for you when you are reading or practicing with a story: any time when you see an unfamiliar word, you can click on it — that will display the word's translation (in a language of your choice), and will also add that word to your deck of flashcards. The flashcard will contain 3 things:
- the word
- its translations
- a "hint" — the context (sentence) in which you saw and clicked the word.
You can review your vocabulary in the "Flashcard" exercises. If you don't remember the word, you can ask to look at hints. You can practice with your vocabulary
- either with all of your flashcards (by clicking Flashcards on the Menu Bar),
- or with each story separately (by clicking Flashcards under the story).
You can add new flashcards, edit any flashcard in your deck, and delete any flashcards you don't like / need.
Flashcards track how difficult you find words in the vocabulary. Easier words — whose meaning you know most of the time — have greener color, and more difficult words — which are harder to remember — have redder color, and words in between are yellowish.
The color tells "how well" you have mastered this word so far. Cards are shown in random order which is based on the spaced repetition algorithm to use the psychological spacing effect.
Blue cards are special —
- They are words that you saw in some story that you read, but you did not click — i.e., you probably know these words. They are chosen to be among the "hardest" words in the story.
- To estimate your vocabulary skill as accurately as possible, Revita occasionally shows you some blue cards.
- A blue card will appear only once if you know the meaning of the word.
- If it turns out that in fact you do not know it, your vocabulary esimates take this into account. Also, the card will enter into your deck (as a red card).
Groups in Revita are created by teachers — at a school, a university, private tutors, etc. A teacher can add her students (and additional teachers) to a group. The main purpose of a group is:
- Each Group has its own Library, where the teacher uploads stories that he recommends and believes are helpful for the students.
- The teacher can see how well the students are succeeding with exercises based on the stories. The teacher can see — for the entire group — which concepts the students have mastered, and which concepts are more challenging, so the teacher can plan her time with the class better.
Optional: The teacher can also control the learning settings for all stories in a group — which exercises are enabled. The teacher can also enable Tests — for a fixed period of time — for some languages.
Groups are organized by the teacher. The teacher invites the students to join the group by
- adding the students to the group (using the student email addresses) and sending them invitations. The student has to accept the invitation to join the group.
- OR: the teacher shares a secret key with the students (e.g., by email). The key allows the student to join the group immediately (no invitation needed). The key is valid for 30 days (if the student has not joined in 30 days, a new key must be requested). To join a group using a key, go to My groups (for student) ⇒ Join a group.
The teacher can create any number of groups for students. To create a group:
- Select from the Menu Bar: My groups (for teacher) ⇒ Create New Group
- Add to the form the name of the group, a short description (optional). Then click Create
- The teacher can enter a list of students into the same form — their emails. The teacher can also attach additional teachers to the group. The students will receive an invitation — after they accept the invitation, they join the group.
- Recommended: a more direct way to add students is to go to the Management tab in the Teacher's Groups view, and click Show group key — the key is a long sequence of letters. The key can be given to the students, who use it to join the group themselves.
- Recommended for schools / universities: A teacher can request the status of "Master of Domain" by contacting the Revita Team. A "Master" can add students within the school email domain, without invitation.
After the group is created, the Group Library will appear. The teacher can share any story from her own private library to the library of her group.
The teacher can follow the performance of the students in the Group by going to the Analytics tab.
The rating is based on the Élő formlula — it is the method used to rate players in chess and in many on-line games — except here the "players" are the learner and the exercises. Each exercise has a difficulty level, which is its own "rating".
The Élő rating in Revita means approximately as in chess:
- a beginner (who just knows the rules of the game) has a rating of 1000 or below.
- a fairly strong player is above 1800.
- a master is between 2200 and 2400.
- a grandmaster is above 2400 (the world champion is usually around 2800).
The Élő formula updates the rating after every exercise (every "match") as follows:
- if the learner has a low rating and the exercise is very difficult — if the learner answers the exercise correctly, her rating gains many points.
- if the learner has a high rating and the exercise is very easy — if the learner answers the exercise correctly, her rating gains very few (or no) points.
- if the learner has a high rating and the exercise is very easy — if the learner answers the exercise incorrectly, her rating loses many points.
|learner rating||exercise difficulty||answer correct?||effect on score|
|low||high||-||small (or no) drop|
|high||low||+||small (or no) increase|
The idea is that the increase or loss reflects the expectation or surprise — a low-rated player is expected to answer a difficult question wrong, but it is a big surprise if she answers a difficult question correctly! So your rating changes depending two things: your current rating and the difficulty of each exercise. For more details, please read about the Élő formula (e.g., in Wikipedia).
Based on your rating, Revita also tries to estimate your CEFR level — a rating around 1000 is near A1, rating over 2200 is C2, and the rest are in between. These estimates are approximate, and will be improved over time.
Your personal information can be viewed and edited in the Profile ⇒ Account View. You can reach it by clicking on the Profile icon or the Settings icon.
The Account view allows you to change your user name or your password. Currently, the email of the account cannot be changed. In the near future we will enable also the changing of the email.
If you've forgotten your password, you can always request a form to renew the password via your email address.
If you have any questions — or suggestions or comments — please contact the team through the Contact page, or write to the Revita team at revita(at)cs(point)helsinki(point)fi