In plenty of time for this year’s examinations, CRASH Course this month looks at Letts Keyfacts Revision software for O Level GCE, CSE and GCSE.

Over the years, Letts have built up a solid reputation as publishers of the highly successful Study Aid series, and have now turned their attention to the computer education market. Their Keyfacts Revision software is the result of a great deal of research among teachers throughout the country to determine the most appropriate technique and content for computer-based learning. Letts are keen to stress that the programs are not designed merely as cramming aids for exams, but rather are planned for use throughout courses. Quite a number of large educational publishers are now producing similar types of software for a wide variety of subjects, but not all of these programs are educationally valid, and in some cases, the student would achieve better results using a good set of notes.

The Letts programs use a variety of approaches to capture the learner’s interest and to introduce an element of enjoyment into home study. The major advantage of computer programs over the normal textual study aids is that they can encourage greater participation in the learning processes and improve motivation. The computer can also mark the answers and, in the case of subjects such as mathematics, can actually demonstrate various constructions and solutions. Used in conjunction with other methods, the Letts programs are extremely useful indeed. Each package contains two cassette tapes and a booklet describing the software, and retails for £11.50.