Anki Stats - Date added

NB: I am posting this under Desktop only because it needs a category. This is cross application.

I am using Anki to track practice effort across students in my classes. I give the students decks, let them practice, then ask them to submit a Stats Report to track their progress. I am getting very inconsistent results that I do not understand.

The semester is about 4 months. I ask the students to set the report length to “all history”. (They are new users of Anki across the board.) For some this gives a nice report with bars spread across 120 days. With others I get reports that are spread across multiple years! As a result the practice record is squeezed into a tiny space on the right side and becomes invisible.

When looking at the “Added” section, the root of the problem becomes somewhat clearer. Since I have been using decks that I have made years ago, some decks seem to register as many years old. (But confusingly I would have thought that all my students are using the same decks, so why the difference?)

Even assuming the “age” of my decks is the culprit, I can’t understand why “Added” would care about the age of the deck, rather than the date on which the deck was actually added. Is there any way to create decks that are “ageless” and stop this problem?

It sounds like you included scheduling information when you exported your decks. That is, your students imported your cards with the reviews you had done on them.
However, even when you uncheck that option, the creation date will still be ex- and imported.

Here is the corresponding section of the Anki Manual.

Thank you for that information.
Actually I already suspected as much and had already resaved the packages that I use removing the scheduling information. However my experiments with this were mixed. I still found that these decks behaved the same way. Though it is somewhat variable. Some students end up with practice records that do not have this problem. I’m not sure why there is the difference.

Question 1:
Is there any way to tell whether an .apkg has scheduling information included?

Question 2:
After all this I still don’t understand why Anki behaves this way. Why does Anki show a deck that I import today as being added 5 years ago? Who thinks this is ever what a user wants?
Maybe I don’t understand what “scheduling information” is supposed to be…

Keep in mind that Anki might update existing notes when importing, so if you added the scheduling information before, it won’t go away by just importing again without it.

The easiest way to find out would be to import it, wouldn’t it? Ideally into a new profile. Then you can easily see in the browser or stats if there are any reviews.

I might be wrong, but I think the creation dates are preserved because Anki uses them to decide the cards’ positions in the new queue. Now, you could argue that means creation time is scheduling information, too, so maybe the GUI should speak of “review information” instead.

Hi Rumo,
So you talk about this like you really know how it works. But here’s the thing:

So I took my deck, exported it as .apkg with scheduling clicked off, and then imported it into a new profile. When I check I find:

  • earlier prior practice info is gone
  • the order of the cards is random
  • but the Date Added for the cards is still there 5 years old

Indeed this is what I found previously. I think, what I did ultimately was at some point I exported as .txt or something like that and effectively recreated the deck from scratch. Apparently I am going to have to check all iterations of the decks one-by-one with the switch profile method until I’m sure I have eliminated all the ones with the past information, and hope I can find one which no longer reports the cards as old.

I still don’t understand why one would want the creation date of a card kept when all other dated information is gone.

And as further tests reveal. The deck will always have an age. So the deck that I managed to recreate at the beginning of this semester is if I load it now 3 months old. If I were to reuse it next semester, it would be half a year old.
There doesn’t seem to be any way to turn this dating of new cards off, except for recreating the deck from scratch each time.

The note order should follow the creation dates. Apart from that, what’s the thing? It’s what I described above as the expected behaviour.

What do you mean?

But is that a problem? It doesn’t influence the scheduling in any way. Apart from the new order, of course, and that is useful at best and irrelevant at worst.

The creation date/time is what identifies each card as unique, so it needs to be preserved in order for Anki to be able to apply updates when importing modified cards. I can see how an argument could be made for marking cards as “created” when they are imported, but that is not possible without breaking other functionality. As Rumo said however, it only alters what is shown in the added graph, and will not change how the cards are scheduled. If you don’t want your students to know the date you created the material, you could work around this by exporting to a text file, deleting the cards, and importing them back again.

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It’s a problem because when I have my students make a report using “all history” the age of the cards determines the display of the report. If the cards are 5 years old and the students practice for 3 months then the report is 95% white space and the part I want to see is all squashed into a blob on the right edge.

Yes, that’s what i have now found out the hard way.
I don’t really care that the students “know” the creation date, it’s just using “all history” seemed the easiest way to get my students to give me the report that actually showed what they did during the semester (which is usually a bit more than 3 months).

I guess then the better question is whether it would be feasible to create an add-on that the students could use that easily gave the report that I need. Maybe I should invest some time in trying to do that?

As far as I recall, the creation date of cards only affects the added graph. Presumably you’re wanting to look at the reviews the students have done, and even with “all history” selected, that graph should go by the times cards are actually reviewed rather than when they were created, unless you’ve accidentally included your own history when exporting.

The data could be gathered with an add-on, though a savvy user could fake the data if they wanted to.

I think you are probably right. The deck must have one or two ancient reviews in it. It’s hard to be sure as its not really visible in the graph, and I only get the pdf from the student.

I’ll have to consider how best to achieve what I want. I’m not too concerned about students faking data. I don’t have that kind of student.