Project THOTH

Project THOTH is the name of the current major update project we’re working on for the Study Suite program.  Why “THOTH”?  Thoth was the Egyptian God of Knowledge and Wisdom.  I chose this name for the project since the next major version of Study Suite will be, in large part, an update with new features to enhance students’ knowledge even further with a brand new mode of studying.

Self-critiquing my own software, I know there is not a whole lot of structure to it.  You need to make your own study plan, keep track of what you’ve done already, and decide on what to study next.  It’s overwhelming.  Students might spend too much time in a specific category and not enough time in other categories.  Some topics simply get missed.  Not all of the study modules are fully utilized.  It’s like handing someone a box of spare parts with no instruction and asking them to assemble something.  Structure is good, so why shouldn’t your study guide have structure too?

I’ve been imagining these new features for the past several years.  Actually, not long after launching the initial release of Study Suite in 2016.  I wanted to develop an all-in-one, self-guided, smart study system.  An all-in-one study guide is one which provides information to learn as well as methods to test the knowledge.  You may be saying, “well, there are already some out there”.  Yes, indeed.  But what will make Study Suite stand out from the crowd is the self-guided and smart pieces.

So, what do I mean by “self-guided”?  Let’s say you set your test date three months from today.  Traditionally, you would count the number of weeks until your exam, divide that by 4 (for the 4 domains in the RD Exam), and study one domain at a time.  A self-guided study guide will do this for you, tell you what to study, and present you with the material to study on that day.

Still not impressed?  Allow me to tell you what I mean by a “smart” study guide.  After you read the assigned material for the session, the software will choose supporting videos to watch and practice exam questions and matching categories to test your knowledge on the material you just read.  Prepare, then practice.  The topics answered incorrectly will be saved, and the software will prompt you to review the reading material again.  Then it will test you again.

 

Roadmap (as of 7/2/21)

This page will be updated periodically with the progress of the project, so check back regularly.

The items below are ordered by priority:

  1. (In progress) Comprehensive study guide library:  By far the largest component of Project THOTH.  Hundreds of topics covering the material, grouped by likeness, and ordered in an understandable fashion.  This will be in electronic version at first and be fully integrated into the Study Suite’s system.  A paper copy may come later in the future.  I’m going to be honest.  I truly enjoy coding.  Content creation, not as much.  Creating content is VERY time-consuming and detailed.  I actually began working on the first bunch of guide pages in 2017!  I’d set some time aside from the regular monthly software updates to work on a few.  But that’s just it.  Only a few were created.  And we all know the vast amount of information that students need to know for the exam.  Since the pandemic hit in 2020, I’ve been spending a lot more time writing the guide.  The last major update to the software was in 2016, just before the new testing cycle came out for 2017-2021.  Now that we’re coming up on the next CDR test cycle beginning in 2022, I felt it was time to make this part of the project a priority.
  2. (Completed!) Linking all practice exam questions, videos, matching categories, hanging words, and flash cards to the comprehensive library guide topics
  3. (In beta) Mock CDR scores:  An anticipated score of the actual exam after taking a simulated exam
  4. (In progress) Full smart search capability with the comprehensive library guide:  Looking for something?  Search for it!  Type in a few letters, and the system will provide suggestions to search.  Then it will search the whole database of the library and display the top hits, which can then be clicked and viewed
  5. Study sessions calendar:  Choose an exam date or a default amount of time to study, and the software will choose what to study and when
  6. Built-in self-evaluation:  Prior to a study session, the software will ask you how well you know each topic that will be presented in the material.  Following the practice piece, you will be shown a report of how well you actually know it compared to how well you think you did.  This piece will also be used to “re-study” the topics you are not performing well in
  7. Post-test report improvements:  Show a list of topics missed and give an opportunity to revisit the topics to read again
  8. Updated charts and graphics
  9. New My Plant images and challenges
  10. (In progress) Brand new user interface
  11. Study meditations:  Audio files which begin with a relaxation of the body and mind, followed by terms and topics to recall and reflect of what was recently studied

 

I am aiming for a completion of Project THOTH by October 2021, just in time for FNCE.  But please note, this is only an estimated completion time.  As you can see by the roadmap, there is a lot of work that needs to get done.  The guide content alone will take me well into the summer.  Until then, I will continue with regular software updates to include any new content, new and improved features, and bug fixes.

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