Squiz’s spaced repetition is the best way to master the learning of core scientific vocabulary, which helps ensure effective higher-order learning during class time.

What is Squiz?

Squiz is a free flashcard app available on smartphones and tablets that explicitly teaches definitions of scientific terms required for a particular Stile unit. It was designed and heavily prototyped with students to use as a pre-work, consolidation or revision learning activity for students to do in their own time.

It is the perfect accompaniment to Stile — every Year 7–10 unit in Stile has a corresponding Squiz with 2–3 levels of vocabulary to master. The vocabulary in each level becomes increasingly complex from the simplest vocabulary in Level 1 to more difficult in Levels 2 and 3. Students must master each level before moving onto the next one.

Each Squiz level consists of 6–10 questions meaning it can be used virtually anywhere in just a few minutes. As a teacher, you can set levels for students to master for homework. This is a great opportunity to encourage agency in your students. As each level is quick and fun to complete, students can often complete this homework before they even get home!

How to set Squiz for homework

  1. Create a lesson in Stile that directs students to the Squiz topic and levels you’d like them to complete. You can use our template lesson here.
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2. Add a student upload widget and include instructions asking students to upload an image of their completed levels in the lesson. Green circles in Squiz show mastery of each level.

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3. Release the lesson to your students.

4. Once students have completed the assigned levels, they can upload a screenshot with the relevant green circles in the student upload widget of the Stile lesson.

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By asking students to upload screenshots, you can check who has completed their homework and leave feedback. Aside from this, it will be obvious which students have completed the levels by the vocabulary they use in class discussions.

The pedagogy behind Squiz

Stile has been informed by evidence-based teaching strategies and is ideally suited to be used as a blended learning tool. The aim of Stile is for the teacher to be in the classroom, collaborating with students as they learn. We designed Squiz to be Stile’s trusty sidekick — helping to provide students with additional opportunities for spaced repetition and exposure to vocabulary and to improve their scientific literacy.

We know that for students to succeed in science, the language of science must move from surface to deep knowledge. In his book, Visible Learning, Professor John Hattie states that spaced repetition is one of the largest influences on this movement to deep knowledge, with an effect size of 0.71. This key concept of spaced repetition has been interwoven into Squiz’s design. As students complete a level, Squiz learns which concepts they understand and which they are struggling with. If students respond incorrectly, they will repeatedly face the same question in multiple different ways (spaced with other questions) until they respond correctly, ensuring their understanding is met. Essentially, Squiz’s spaced repetition algorithms allow students to master the core vocabulary at home — meaning more class time can be spent on the applications of science!

John Hattie also recommends using quick, corrective feedback for lower-order concepts while more in-depth feedback tools should be used for higher-order concepts. To move knowledge from surface to deep learning, it can require spaced practice over several days, and using different activities to vary the interactions learners have with new knowledge. All curriculum-aligned units are available in Squiz so, when coupled with learning in Stile, students are provided with another opportunity to encounter, engage with and elaborate on their knowledge and skills.

Squiz’s spaced repetition is the best way to achieve mastery learning of this core scientific vocabulary, which helps ensure effective higher-order learning during class time.

You can download the app now! Let us know what you think — we’d love to hear your feedback. Email me at clare.feeney@stileeducation.com.