Help for students

See also help for instructors.

Getting started

Adding quizzes

Advanced features for quiz creators

Getting started

What is dailyvocab.ca?

Dailyvocab.ca was developed at McMaster University as a learning tool for Latin and Greek vocabulary. It can be used for learning words in any language and for other similar memorization tasks.

Daily Vocab's design is based on the spaced repetition learning technique. Words are reviewed at increasing intervals until they are permanently memorized. Spaced repetition improves long-term recall while reducing to a minimum the number of times each word needs to be reviewed.

Who can use dailyvocab.ca?

Dailyvocab.ca is for students whose instructors have chosen to use it as a learning tool.

Even if you are not a student, you can create an account and use dailyvocab.ca for independent study.

If you are an instructor who would like to use dailyvocab.ca for your class, please contact us at spacedrepetitionquiz@gmail.com.

How do I set my password?

If you are a student and you do not already have an account, your instructor will create it for you. Once your account is created, you will receive an email, which will contain a link that will allow you to set your password.

Choose a password that is easy to remember but hard for another person to guess. Once you have a password, you will be able to log in to dailyvocab.ca using your email address as your username.

screenshot of set-password page

How do I log in?

Got to the login page. Enter your mcmaster.ca email address and your password and click on "Sign in."

screenshot of sign-in page

What information can I find on my quizzes page?

Once you log in, you will immediately go to a page with information about all of your quizzes. If your instructors have not yet set up quizzes, this page will be empty.

screenshot of home page

Information about each quiz will appear in a box which can be hidden or revealed by clicking the black triangle in the top-left corner. At the top of this box, you will see the course code of the course that the quiz is for (for example, LAT 1Z03) as well as the name of the quiz. Each course may have more than one quiz, and you may be enrolled in more than one course.

You will see a big green button near the top of the box with the label, "Do quiz." You can click on this to try the quiz.

Next to the "Do quiz" button is another button with the label, "Use flashcards." You can use the electronic flashcards at any time. You do not get credit for reviewing the flashcards, but it may be useful to do this, for example, before an in-class test.

Below these two buttons, there is a table with several fields:

How many words have I reviewed today?
The first message lets you know how many words you have already reviewed today.
How many words can I review today?
The second message lets you know how many words are still available for you to review today. This number will not include words you have already reviewed today or words you have recently reviewed.
How many words must I review today to earn my daily point?
The third message shows you the minimum number of words you must review to earn your point for the day. This number will depend on the number of words available and the number of words you have already done.
How many points do I have?
The fourth message tells you how many points you have earned this term and how many points are available to earn. Your instructor may base part of your grade on the number of points you earn.
The third messages shows you the minimum number of words you must review in order to earn your point for the day. This number will depend on the number of words available and the number of words you have already done.
"Words attempted"
This shows you how many different words you have reviewed this term.
"Total attempts"
This shows you the number of times you have reviewed any word.
"Successful attempts"
This shows you the number of times you have given a correct translation.

Below this table is a second table with more statistics about your quiz:

"1 time right"
The number of words you have gotten right once. Normally you see these words again the day after you get them right.
"2 times right"
The number of words you have gotten right exactly twice in a row. Normally you see these words again three days after you get them right.
"3 times right"
The number of words you have gotten right three times in a row. Normally you see these words again seven days after you last got them right.
"4 times right"
The number of words you have gotten right four times in a row. Normally you see these words again 14 days after you last got them right.
"5 times right"
The number of words you have gotten right exactly five times in a row. Normally you see these words again 21 days after you last got them right.
"6+ times right"
The number of words you have gotten right six or more times in a row. Normally you see these words again 28 or more days after you last got them right.

How do I do a quiz?

From your quizzes page, click on the big green button with the label, "Do quiz."

In large type in the middle of the page, you will see the word you are being asked to translate. Enter your translation into the box beneath the word, and press enter.

The page will show you right away whether you translated the word correctly. If the sound on your computer is not muted, you will hear a sound indicating whether the word was correct. An icon will appear briefly beside the translation input box as well, indicating whether you got the word right.

If the systems detects that your translation is almost correct (for example, if you've made a minor typo), it will not count the word as wrong, but instead give you another chance to translate the word correctly.

If you get a word wrong, it will appear again in the quiz after you have reviewed the other available words.

When you get a word right, another word will appear for you to translate until you have reviewed all the available words.

As you review words, the last four attempts will appear in a table below the input box. That table will show a list of valid translations as well as your own translation. An icon will show you whether you translated the word correctly.

You can do quizzes on your phone or tablet, but you need a connection to the internet so that the website can communicate with the server as you answer questions. If you lose your internet connection, the quiz will be interrupted and you will not be able to continue until you have restored the connection.

Flashcards, once loaded to your computer or phone, no longer require an internet connection, so you can take them with you on your commute and do them in your idle time.

screenshot of home page

Adding quizzes

How do spaced repetition quizzes work?

Students are invited to use the site on a regular basis to thoroughly learn the vocabulary for their course. Depending on how the instructor configures the quiz, students are asked to log in on 50 separate days during the term. The website gives students one point for every day when they correctly review the required number of words. The instructor can configure how many days a student must practice and how many words per day a student must successfully translate.

All quizzes are spaced repetition quizzes. This means that the system keeps track of how many times in a row the student has correctly translated a word. The more times in a row a student correctly translates a word, the larger the interval before that word appears again in the quiz.

For example, if a student gets a word right once, they will normally see it again the next day. If they get a word right a second time, they will see it again after three days, and if they get it right again a third time, they will see it again after 7 days. If a student ever forgets a word and gets it wrong, they start over at the first interval.

Spaced repetition quizzes allow students to focus their efforts on those words

  • that they have not yet learned, or
  • that they have forgotten, or
  • that they have not seen recently

The intervals are configurable by the instructor or quiz owner. Though the default intervals work well, an instructor can shorten the intervals, for example, for the compressed summer term or lengthen them. Intervals can be specified in half-day increments.

What kind of quizzes are there?

There are two kinds of quizzes. There are the quizzes created or added by instructors, and there are the quizzes created or added by students. All students enrolled in a course run will be able to see the instructor-added quizzes, but the quizzes created by students will, by default, be visible only to themselves and their instructors. The instructor however, with the consent of the author, may choose to share these quizzes with the class.

There are also personal quizzes that are unaffiliated with any course. Personal quizzes can be used for individual study.

How do I create my own quiz?

Students are encouraged to create their own quizzes for to help in studying. Feel free to create quizzes for other courses or for private study.

Click on the menu icon at the top of the page. The menu icon is a stack of three short horizontal bars. The side menu will appear on the left-hand side of the page. Click on "Create your own quiz" in the side menu. Select the course you would like your quiz to be associated with (your instructor will be able to see your quiz) and give your quiz a descriptive name. Then click "Create Quiz."

Instead of selecting a course, you can indicate that the quiz is a personal quiz.

screenshot of new student quiz page

How do I add questions to my quiz?

There are a number of ways to add questions to your quiz. You can add questions one-by-one using the web interface provided. You can copy the word list from another quiz, or you can upload a spreadsheet in CSV or Excel format.

How do I add questions to my quiz manually?

To add questions one-by-one, click on "0 questions" from your quiz page and then click on "New question" in the menu. Fill out the form with a word or prompt and any number of valid translations or responses.

If you would like to remove a translation, click the "X" icon at the right end of the input box. If you would like to add a new translation, click on "+" icon near the bottom of the form. Once you have filled the form, click the "Create Question" button.

You can only create questions for existing chapters. Every quiz is created with a empty first chapter. You may add chapters by clicking on "Chapters" in the menu and then "New chapter. Fill out the simple form. Once you have added a chapter, you can add questions to them.

Continue in this way until you have created all your chapters and questions.

screenshot of new question modal

How do I copy questions from another quiz?

One way to add questions to your quiz is to copy a world list from another quiz that is already in the system.

From your "Manage Quiz" page, find the box entitled "Copy vocabulary" and choose the quiz whose chapters and questions you would like to copy into your own quiz. Then click "Copy vocab." It may take a few minutes to finishing copying the word list.

screenshot of copy-vocab-segment

How do I upload questions from a spreadsheet?

To add questions to your quiz, you can upload a spreadsheet. We currently accept CSV files, Excel files, and Open Office files.

Find "Upload vocabulary" on your quiz page, and click "Choose File." Select your file and then click "Upload vocab." It may take a few minutes to upload your vocabulary.

The format of your spreadsheet should be like this: the first column should have the chapter number. The first row of each chapter can specify the chapter name in the secon column. For the other rows, the second column should have a word or phrase you wish students to translate (the prompt), and the third and subsequent rows should have valid translations (responses).

If you are preparing your word list in CSV format, it should look something like this:

1,"Introduction to Greek Verbs"

1,"αἴρω","I raise","I take up"

1,"ἀρῶ","I will raise","I will take up"

You can upload more than one spreadsheet for the same quiz. Questions and chapters will be merged intelligently into your quiz, removing duplicates.

screenshot of upload vocab segment of quiz page

What are student-created quizzes?

If a student creates their own quiz, no other students will be able to see it. However, instructors are able to see the quiz and manage it and may choose to share it with other students. Students are encouraged to use the "Create your own quiz" functionality to create quizzes for other courses, including courses in other departments.

Advanced features for quiz creators

What are omittable prefixes and how do I specify them?

Omittable prefixes are small words such as, "to," "I," "the," "a," "an" which often appear at the beginning of valid translations. For example, in a French quiz, you might include the verb "faire" for which you might specify "to make" or "to do" as valid translations. Sometimes students omit the "to" part of the answer. If the quiz owner wants answers such as "do" and "make" to be counted as correct, they can add "to" to the list of omittable prefixes for that quiz.

This practice is highly recommended as a way to make quizzes more flexible and less frustrating for students. For quiz-authors, this practice also eliminates the need to specify multiple variants of the same translation. In this case, the author of the quiz could specify only two valid translations, "to make" and "to do," but these translations would cover "make" and "do" as well.

You can specify omittable prefixes from your quiz page by clicking on "Edit quiz" in the left-hand side menu under "Quiz links" and then updating the form.

screenshot of omittable prefixes option

How do I specify variant translations for a word or phrase?

Another way for quiz-authors to cover multiple possible valid translations without exhaustively listing them is by using parentheses to indicate optional parts of the translation.

For example, if your valid translation is "on the one hand...on the other hand," you may find slight variants acceptable and want to specify them in the quiz. The recommended way to do this is to add parentheses around optional words, for example, "on (the) one hand...on the other (hand)".

Without parentheses, you would have to to list each possible variant separately. Parentheses also allow you to add extra information about word beyond the simple translation. For example, you specify a translation such as "yes (emphatic)". In this case, a student could type yes (emphatic) but they could also just type yes, and their answer would be counted as correct. In either case, the quiz would respond by reminding the student of the extra nuance.

screenshot of parentheses in translations to indicate optional parts