Elliott Bartsch

Elliott Bartsch is Firecracker's data scientist, responsible for Firecracker's adaptive questions, white papers, and all things data.
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Recent Posts

Welcome to Your New Daily Review

Posted by Elliott Bartsch on May 5, 2017 11:49:39 AM

Same retention, fewer daily questions.

You know that Firecracker's Daily Review tasks are driven by an algorithm that we relaunched back in July 2015 and have been improving steadily ever since, based on user data and student outcomes.

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Topics: Firecracker MD, Firecracker DO, Firecracker algorithm

2016 Firecracker Step 1 Performance Analysis

Posted by Elliott Bartsch on Sep 16, 2016 5:39:25 PM

Since August 2014, we’ve surveyed medical students annually about their Step 1 scores. We've gathered score reports from both Firecracker users and non-Firecracker users and used these reports and our own data to determine if Firecracker usage creates better Step 1 outcomes. Today we’re releasing the updated performance analysis based on this student data. This most recent data set includes 228 Firecracker users and 499 non-Firecracker users. We wanted to focus our analysis on users who have been active on Firecracker in past year because of the significant changes we have made to the platform since summer 2015 - the launch of Firecracker MD and Firecracker DO.  

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Topics: Learning & Memory Science, USMLE Step 1, Research, Data Science

Predictive Validity of Firecracker’s Dedicated Test Prep Practice Blocks

Posted by Elliott Bartsch on Aug 19, 2016 4:55:47 PM

Earlier this year, we launched a special mode in Firecracker – Dedicated Test Prep Mode – which allows students to continue – or even start – using Firecracker during those last few weeks leading up to their boards (i.e. right before and during your dedicated prep). Historically, students stopped using Firecracker during this period for the industry standard UFAP (U-World, First Aid, Pathoma). And while our goal was not necessarily to replace any or all of UFAP, we did want to provide students with the option to use features which we believed were more effective and couldn’t be found anywhere else, either independently or alongside other resources.

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Topics: USMLE, Big Data, Dedicated Prep

Firecracker's Daily CV Algorithm

Posted by Elliott Bartsch on Mar 24, 2016 10:15:40 AM

You may be wondering, how does Firecracker pick my clinical vignette for the new Daily CV feature?

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Topics: Firecracker algorithm

Firecracker Step 1 and COMLEX Performance Analysis

Posted by Elliott Bartsch on Nov 20, 2015 6:52:28 PM

In August 2014 and again in October 2015 we surveyed medical students - Firecrackers and non-Firecrackers - about their test performance and scores. Through this initiative, we gathered USMLE Step 1 scores (actual score reports) from 1,115 students and COMLEX scores from 180 students. We’ve used this data to update our 2014 analysis on the efficacy of Firecracker for boosting exam scores. These are the results - including (for the first time!) results on Firecracker usage and COMLEX outcomes.

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Topics: Big Data, USMLE Step 1, COMLEX

Taking a Look Under the Hood at Firecracker’s Algorithm

Posted by Elliott Bartsch on Oct 26, 2015 12:21:04 PM

Firecracker’s daily recommendations are designed to keep you on top of what you’ve learned by preventing you from forgetting anything.

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Topics: Spaced Learning, Firecracker algorithm

Firecracker's Adaptive Recommendation Algorithm

Posted by Elliott Bartsch on Aug 17, 2015 5:09:00 PM

Whenever you learn something new, you need to refresh your memory at certain points in the future to make sure you don’t forget. For medical students, it’s an impossible task to track how well you know each piece of information you’ve learned and when you need a review. Especially when not all facts are equal - some facts are rapidly forgotten while others can stay in your memory for years.

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Topics: Firecracker algorithm

Welcome to Firecracker

Firecracker is an adaptive learning platform that uses amazing content coupled with spaced repetition to help medical students crush their exams. We offer programs for both individual students, and entire medical schools. If you'd like to learn more contact us at chat@firecracker.me.

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