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The promised improvement seems to be miraculous and questionable.

The exercise is unique to all other curricular activities offered to the students. The platform is a database driven program with certain built-in artificial intelligence to arrange the most optimized word-set for a student to study every time. No two students will ever do the same exercise generated by the program. For this reason, the exercise fits the need of individual best.

In contrast, all other curricular activities being used target a particular age group or class, despite the individual difference within the group or class. This makes the effectiveness of those activities far from ideal.

Furthermore, the exercise is also highly time effective. Among the 11,347 exercises done by the F1 students in the period of 2011.1.1 to 2011.6.30, the median time to finish an exercise is 10 minutes. On average, each participant made a total of 9858 revisions on the words in his word bank last year.Note  The effectiveness of the system well surpasses all other revision practices.  According to Folse (1999), it is the frequency of the retrieval that matters most in remembering of words, not the form of retrieval.

Comparing  the days with the exercise done in the first term and the second term by the Form 1 students of 2010-11, a strong regression relationship with a  p-value < 0.007 was observed between the change in the days with the exercise done and the change in form position. The projection suggests that, on average, a student has his form position advanced by 1 for every extra 11.5 days with the exercise done.

Though the relation may not be absolute, the projection suggests that the exercise may be able to help a student to advance his position in the form by 31.7 a year (365 /11.5).

If the extrapolation is limitless and linear, though not probable, a bottom-ranking Form 1 student can advance his form position to the top (i.e. numerically by 180 places) in his 5.7 years time in Wah Yan. At the moment, safety factors are incorporated in judging the cost-benefit of the program.

Provided that the current JUPAS degree offering rate of F1 acceptance of the school is about 30%, by a safety factor of x4 (advancement of 45 places in 5.7 years), the rate can be increased to 60%.

 

 

As the government is subsidizing each UGC degree place an average of $180,000 every year for 4 years, the financial benefit of the improvement can be interpreted as :

Safety   Factor

JUPAS   degree offer

(Extra places   – (a))

UGC   degree program offering rate

Financial   benefit / year

(a)     ×   $180,000 x 4

X1

149(108)

100 %

$77,800,000

X2

131(90)

88%

$64,800,000

X3

101(60)

68%

$43,200,000

X4

86(45)

58%

$32,400,000

X5

77(36)

52%

$25,900,000

X∞

41 (0)

28%

$0

The extrapolation is only based on a regression analysis of the data collected from 144 Form 1 students last year. It is subjected to further confirmation.

On another hand, considering the development of human history, the impact of a lot of inventions, e.g. microscope and penicillin, was also deemed to be miraculous and questionable at the time when they were invented. From the perspective of history, besides philosophy, invention of tool is another thing that is capable to steer the course of development of history.

Note :      The actual frequency should be even higher as the program will ask the user the new and wrongly answered questions repeatedly until the user gets the answer correct 2 times consecutively. It was estimated that the student was actually required to do about 100 retrievals instead on 60 in an exercise and gave a total of about 16430 retrievals in a year.

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