Flashcards are cards bearing information, as words or numbers, on either or both sides. Usually, on the one side, there is a question or a term, and on the other side, there is the answer or the definition. Such cards are widely used in education, especially in classroom settings.
Flashcards can also be used in online courses with lots of benefits for learning. They motivate users to study and retain factual knowledge, especially when you know the right situation to use them:
Flashcards are the best tool to help users review content after they have studied a course. They promote the process of actively retrieving memories out of our brain, they utilize users’ metacognitive faculties, that is the act of self-reflection when users reveal the answer side of a flashcard, and they can be studied in a short amount of time.
Some general useful tips while creating your flashcards:
- Prompt users to say the answers out loud.
- Add pictures to your flashcards to make them a lot more memorable. Good flashcards include images mixed with words. Our brains are very sensitive to imagery.
- Break down complex concepts into multiple simple questions.
- Create only one question for each flashcard so that users can see clearly what they don’t know.
To understand how to create effective flashcards, let’s describe a bad flashcard first. Suppose you want to teach the different groups of elements in the periodic table (Alkali metals, transition metals, etc.). Maybe you go and make a flashcard like this:
Well, this flashcard is not so effective because when users test themselves, they may know only some of those groupings. Or they may know all of them but one. In this case, the user can’t understand why they are really struggling. So then, what is the right design?
Make many flashcards that only highlight each one of those groupings with each of their names on their backside.
This example indicates why it is essential to break down your concepts into multiple simple questions.
Create and embed Flashcards using Quizlet
Quizlet is a multi-function site that creates and designs tools like flashcards and various other quiz modes used for studying and learning.
1. Login to your Quizlet account (or create one in case you don't have one yet) and create your Quiz. In this video, you can find more information on how to create flashcards on Quizlet.
2. Once you have created your items, you can create different study modes of them (learn, write, spell, test, match, gravity). To see your material converted into flashcards you click on FLASHCARDS the second option.
3. Then select the Quiz you would like to integrate into your course and on the bottom right side of your set, click on the... icon and select <> Embed.
4. Select the mode that feels more suitable for your course and copy (Ctrl+C) the embed code (In our example the type is Learn).
5. In your school, create an embed learning activity in order to embed the relevant code from Quizlet.
Note: The Flashcards should be Public in the Quizlet in order to allow users to have access to the embed learning activity. Non-paying users will have free access to Flashcards in Quizlet as well.
How can students use Flashcards
Urge users to study the flashcards for about 15 minutes, take a 5- minute break and then study some more. Tell them to wait a day and then, review them again. This technique is called spaced repetition and is one of the most effective ways to study flashcards!
If you have a vast amount of flashcards and want your users to achieve the best result, create a PDF of your flashcards. This way, users can also print them and cut them out. Prompt users to do so, so they can separate the flashcards with which they struggle more from those they are already familiar with. They can then practice only with that list (a technique called confidence-based repetition).