New book on deliberate practice featuring Anki and cognitive science: Cognitive Productivity

lucb's Avatar


05 Feb, 2014 01:52 AM

This is to let the Anki community know that I've written a substantial book on effective ways to learn with technology. Anki figures prominently in this book. It is written from the perspective of cognitive science. (My Ph.D. is in cognitive science and I'm Adjunct Professor of Education at Simon Fraser University.) Its peer reviewers include experts in test-enhanced learning, distributed recall practice, educational technology and cognitive science.

The book is Cognitive Productivity: The Art and Science of Using Knowledge to Become Profoundly Effective

  • Part 1 of the book describes the cognitive opportunities and challenges we face: needing to process and learn huge amounts of information.
  • Part 2 describes cognitive science that is pertinent to learning with technology like Anki. Ch. 7 presents literature on test-enhanced learning, distributed recall practice, cognitive skill acquisition, and expertise which are very relevant to Anki users.
  • Part 3 has 5 full chapters on learning with technology, two of which are fully devoted to Anki (Chapters 13 and 14).

One of the main ideas of the book is that reading is not enough, one needs to practice in order to learn. That means practicing with software (Anki). The book develops the concept of productive practice, which can be performed with Anki.

Another big idea in the book is that Anki is not just useful for memorizing information. It's useful for developing skills, attitudes, self-regulation, and all kinds of personal development.

I expect this book to put Anki on the radar of a lot of people who would not traditionally use flashcard systems. (People who are not students and not learning a second language.) It will also help people use Anki more productively. Plus, it may help Anki users better understand their own learning.

This is a Leanpub book, which means that I will continue to improve it as I receive feedback. The book is completely written, but Part 2 (containing the science) will go through a final round of proof reading. Updates are free, just as the they are with software on App store.

I would love to get feedback from the Anki community about this book before I publish a version for Amazon and iBookstore. I.e., people who comment on the book have an opportunity to influence the book. (If you do comment on the book, please let me know if you are OK with being mentioned in the Acknowledgments section.)

The book is Cognitive Productivity: The Art and Science of Using Knowledge to Become Profoundly Effective. It's available on

PS I intend to write another book in which Anki figures prominently.

  1. 1 Posted by lucb on 05 Feb, 2014 03:49 PM

    lucb's Avatar

    Ch 7: (Deliberate practice) 23 pages
    13-14: (Productive practice) 68 pages

    The concept of practice figures prominently throughout the book.

    Luc P. Beaudoin

  2. System closed this discussion on 22 Feb, 2016 11:40 PM.

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