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VTrain (Vocabulary Trainer)




VTrain, in full VTrain (Vocabulary Trainer), is an educational software developed by the German engineer Paul Rädle.

Its purpose is to aid in spaced repetition in order to beat the forgetting curve. Repetitions are scheduled in terms of growing intervals, and the program website claims that 7 reviews per year are enough to retain a foreign word over time.

Additional recommended knowledge

Contents

Features and limitations

VTrain is based on electronic flashcards. This means that training occurs in terms of questions and answers, like in a quiz. Repetitions can be scheduled in terms of minutes, days, or weeks. In addition, VTrain reminds you as soon as a flashcard needs to be reviewed again. In addition, your current status of knowledge is illustrated visually by way of a "learning cardfile" (see flashcard).

It includes a Word-style editor that supports international Unicode fonts, image insertion by OLE and audio recording. Bilingual typing is enhanced by way of automatic detection of the proper keyboard layout and by on-screen keyboards in 100 languages that resemble the Windows Character Map.

A striking feature of the program is its rather quirky file system. VTrain makes use of two file types at a time: "Decks" of flashcards you can edit and "Cardfiles" you use to schedule repetitions. This approach comes in handy to share files with other users, in particular for computer-supported collaborative learning over local area networks. But, on the other hand, it may well put off novice or inexperienced users. For this reason, the software may not be suitable for young children, at least not without teacher guidance.

The program ships with only a few samples of vocabulary files, but you can download additional modules in several languages from the official website.

Versions

VTrain is currently available for various versions of Windows. There are separate releases for English, German, and Spanish speakers.

  • (Due 2007) VTrain 5.5 for Windows 2000/XP. Supports hyperlinks.
  • 2007 VTrain 5.1 for Windows 2000/XP. Supports multiple right answers on the same flashcard.
  • 2005 VTrain 5.0 for Windows 2000/XP. Supports international Unicode fonts. Adds on-screen keyboards in 100 languages and feedback on typed-in answers.
  • 2003 VTrain 4.5 for Windows 95. Includes a scheduling feature for spaced repetitions.
  • 2003 VTrain 4.0 for Windows 95. Supports file sharing over local area networks.
  • 2001 VTrain 3.0 for Windows 95. Supports image insertion by OLE.
  • 1999 VTrain 2.0 for Windows 95. Supports Rich Text Format and multiple keyboard_layouts.
  • 1997 VTrain 1.6 for Windows 3.1. Supports Spaced_repetition based on the Leitner system and audio recording.

Licensing

VTrain is distributed as shareware, although the author expressly encourages anyone who "honestly can't afford it" to apply for a free license. A free trial version is available for download.

Schools are offered free site licenses. According to the program website, VTrain has been registered by 40 universities and by hundreds of other educational institutions.

References

  • Böhlke, Olaf (2002) "VTrain 4.0 (Vocabulary Trainer)" CALICO Software Review 11/02
 
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "VTrain_(Vocabulary_Trainer)". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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