App review by Patricia Monticello Kievlan, Common Sense Education | Updated May 2017
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App to find, create, use digital flashcards; website is better

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Learning rating
Editorial review by Common Sense Education
Community rating
Based on 27 reviews
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6–12 This grade range is based on learning appropriateness and doesn't take into account privacy. It's determined by Common Sense Education, not the product's publisher.
Subjects & Skills
Character & SEL, Critical Thinking

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Pros: Intuitive interface and flexible review features bring the best of paper flashcards to convenient digital form.

Cons: Features for uploading and reviewing flashcard sets are limited on the app and better supported on the Quizlet website.

Bottom Line: A convenient way to find, create, and review digital flashcards, which have all the advantages and disadvantages of paper flashcards.

Teachers might use Quizlet to share flashcard sets with their students, or ask students to generate their own flashcard sets for individual or small-group review prior to assessments. Teachers might also encourage students to use Quizlet for rapid-review sponge sessions that reclaim idle time: Students can review for a history exam or a Spanish quiz when they've finished their seatwork or while standing in line. Keep in mind that the multi-language audio features are a serious standout: These flashcards are a great tool for foreign language classrooms and for ELLs. 

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Quizlet is one of the most widely used digital flashcard creators in education. Users can create and upload custom sets of flashcards and then review those flashcards on demand. They can save their flashcards for private use or publicly upload them to the Quizlet website, where users can search among millions of flashcard sets by title or subject. Flashcard sets in Quizlet can be reviewed in five ways: Users can flip through their sets in the Cards view, play a game in the Match view, type in the “back” of a card through the Write view, quiz themselves with the Test view, and indicate their confidence with each card in the updated, more adaptive Learn view.

The Quizlet app lacks several of the website’s best features for uploading content. It’s tougher to create flashcards through the app than it is on the website, making it tempting to simply review someone else’s cards rather than generate your own.

Studying with Quizlet means working with digital flashcards, and Quizlet flashcard sets have the same benefits and drawbacks as their paper counterparts. It’s useful to have a fast way to create, search for, and review digital flashcards, and it’s convenient to have flashcards available at the tap of a screen. The view that offers the best chance for engagement and deep learning -- the aptly named Learn view -- has been extensively updated for mobile, which is a big help, and it's nice to be able to search for flashcard sets and to tap many cards to hear the text read aloud. However, while the app offers easy access to that content, it might not inspire deep learning or serious engagement. Unless you're searching for your own flashcard deck or for cards made by someone you know, it's hard to find consistently good content. And, once you find a good flashcard set, there’s little to stop a user from clicking mindlessly through a set of flashcards. 

Ultimately, Quizlet is good for rapid-fire review or rote memorization; if that’s an element of how a student wants or needs to study, this app could be a useful tool. In some ways, Quizlet offers a valuable digital learning community, with existing flashcards on a range of topics, from driver’s ed to calculus. The same rule applies here as with paper flashcards, however: There’s a learning opportunity in making the flashcards as much as in using them, and it’s possible that users could rely entirely on others’ flashcard sets rather than creating new ones.

Overall Rating

Engagement Would it motivate students and hold their interest? Is it visually appealing? Would it inspire teachers to try something new or change their instruction?

Multiple means of engagement through the Cards, Match, and Learn views keep flashcard review fresh and engaging.

Pedagogy Does the tool help teachers promote a more student-centered experience? Will students gain conceptual understanding or think critically? Does it deepen teachers’ pedagogical thinking?

One benefit of flashcards is the process of creating them. While that’s easy to do on the Quizlet website, it’s much tougher here, leading to a possibly more passive user experience.

Support Can students and teachers get assistance when they need it? Is it created with people of different abilities and backgrounds in mind? Is learning reinforced and extended beyond the digital experience?

Multi-language audio capabilities are impressive. Limited help features on the app make its missteps more glaring.

Common Sense reviewer
Patricia Monticello Kievlan Foundation/nonprofit member

Community Rating

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Featured review by
Rachelle Dene P. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Riverview High School
Oakmont, United States
Great way to reinforce key terms and much more, many activities for vocabulary building!
it is a great way to introduce, reinforce and support vocabulary building, and is applicable to any content area at any level. Students can select from many choices for how to practice with flashcards, audio, games like Scatter and Gravity, listen to audio, take tests and more. It is very helpful to have students create their own sets and share with the class, in order to build the resources for all students. it also is a good way for teachers to track student progress, to learn what areas the studen ...
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