QuickLearn

A language learning App for Android

Welcome to QuickLearn! This app is part of a scientific study with the goal of understanding more about situations in which language learning is appropriate and effective.

We often lack the time, motivation, and resources in order to achieve fluency in a new language. Research has shown that people improve their vocabulary by encountering words repeatedly. Incidental vocabulary learning is a gradual process in which gains are made in small increments.

QuickLearn invites users to review their language vocab by identifying opportune moments for learning. In situations where we wait for the bus or stand in line at the supermarket, we pull out our phones to quickly check some messages or news. What if we used these seconds for reviewing some vocab and thereby strengthening our language skills instead? What if we were reminded in exactly those idle moments to quickly review a few words?

From time to time, QuickLearn will suggest you to review some vocabulary, mostly through notifications. You can review words directly in the notification bar. If you don't want to wait, you can also proactively launch the app and start learning.

multple choice
flashcards
language learning in notification drawer

Available Languages

English
Spanish
German
French
Arabic

Vocabulary

The vocabulary is taken from high frequency English nouns as measured in the British National Corpus. The words were translated to the available languages using Google Translate, after which native speakers manually reviewed the resulting word list for inaccurate translations and highly ambiguous words.

Data Collection

This study is dedicated to understanding opportune moments for language acquisition. While the app is installed and used, various aspects of the phone usage is being processed. We guarantee that users' data is collected anonymously and securely stored on university servers.

Anonymization

All collected data is being anonymized. From this data, we will not be able to identify you.

Wait! But how?!

We use the fact that each Android device has a unique ID code, such as 3d08d4c1227b720. From your device ID + a password inside the app, we compute a hash, such as: c5939788c46718b91816a25e926d6a. A hash is computed by a one-way function, which means that there is no way of restoring your device ID from the hash. Hashes are commonly used to store passwords on servers, so it’s a safe and proven technology. From this hash, we use the first six letters as your participant ID, such as: c59397. We use this code to compute general usage behavior when using QuickLearn.

When do we collect?

To not drain your battery, the logging will only be activated when needed. It will be enabled when you turn on the screen. It will be disabled, if the screen is off.

What do we collect?

For research purpose the app collects

  • When QuickLearn is launched and words are reviewed
  • Date and time
  • Ringer mode (silent, vibrate, normal)
  • Screen status (on or off)
  • Charging (being charged or not)
  • Amount of data received/transmitted
  • Proximity sensor (detects when the screen is covered)
  • Semantic location (the phone computes where you spend
  • most of the day and night and tries to distinguish between 'home' and 'work', we only collect this information, no actual location info.
  • Device orientation
  • Meta-data of Communication
  • Phone calls (time when they are placed or received)
  • SMS (time when they are sent or received)
  • Notifications (when and which app, such as org.whatsapp)
  • Notification center (when you visit it, when you clear notifications)
To not strain your data plan, log data will only be transmitted when the phone is connected via WiFi.

What we do NOT collect

We will not log any content of your SMS or notifications – we will only log when they arrive. No information from your contacts is collected.