Exploring the Web: Quizlet

When selecting a web based tool to research I looked for a web tool with applicability to my current leadership position in education and settled upon Quizlet. Quizlet is an online learning tool that assists learners with memorization and long-term retention through flashcards (Quizlet, 2017). The tool was created by Andrew Sutherland, a high school student at the time, who was looking for a study method that would assist him in memorizing terms for a high school French quiz (Wan, 2015). After studying for hours with his dad and memorizing the terms for his quiz, he decided to write code for a web tool that would assist him in memorizing his vocabulary terms. The tool allows users to create their own custom flashcard sets and quiz themselves on their knowledge of the terms from the flashcards. Since creating Quizlet, the use of the web tool has grown immensely, with 1 billion study sets and 100 million users (Wan, 2015). The users of Quizlet tend to be K-12 students and college students. Currently, Quizlet is used by one in every four high school students daily in the United states (Quizlet, 2017). Quizlet charges students $15 dollars for for a premium membership that eliminates ads and allows users to add pictures and diagrams and $25 for educators using it for classrooms and group application that allows them to track individual student progress (Quizlet, 2017).  The content is created by users and 87 percent of users share what they produce with other users (Karagians, 2009). Currently, Quizlet is considered one of the top 50 websites in the United states (Karagians, 2009).

Quizlet as a web tool helps students study terms in a multitude of ways using various study modes and games such as, flash cards, gravity, learn, long-term learning, speller, and match. The tool requires users to create a set of terms that need to be studied. The web tool is good for teachers and self-learners to study vocabulary words or concepts that require memorization, and for test preparation for the SAT, DAT, GRE, MCAT or LSAT. For teachers, the site is perfect as a flashcard tool and for games and competition because students are forced to manipulate the content and are encouraged to memorize and retain information. The web tool is very useful for higher education environments for teaching specific content and encouraging retention of information. This tool is appealing to the learning center that I direct because it is a tool that our tutors and academic enrichment coaches can use to facilitate increased student learning. One critical use for Quizlet in our learning center is with tutors in weekly group review sessions. We will encourage groups to prepare flash cards to share with group members and collaborate in preparation for an exam. For example, if a weekly review group has six student-athletes, each student-athlete will enter several terms and concepts into Quizlet to share with the group. The tutor will then use the content entered by each group member to make practice test questions through Quizlet, use for manipulation through games in Quizlet, and to share a s asset of flashcards with the group. For example, a tutor can use the feature of Quizlet live in a tutoring session where the students can be divided in teams against one another and can engage in question-and answer matching in a fun and competitive way.

While Quizlet has many educational benefits, there are a few drawbacks. Since Quizlet has many users, the content is primarily generated by users, therefore sometimes the content is not always reliable or appropriate. Therefore, users must be conscious of the notion that all content posted in the web tool is not good or accurate content. In addition, the tool lacks a method that allows a user to check the accuracy of the content available. Primarily, the tool is used for memorization and is not as useful in learning content that requires learners to apply the information. In the future, the web tool needs to address more high order thinking as they review vocabulary and terms (Corcoran, 2012). One of the greatest challenges of the web tool is that you must dig to find information that can help you navigate the site because all help information is located at the bottom of the page.

Recently, the web tool has undergone some significant international expansion, translating content in several languages including, German, Spanish, Chinese and Japanese (Wan, 2015). This focus upon international expansion and the sharing of content globally, supports the idea that this web tool adds to the flattening of the world through technology. Learners can access content that is developed by individuals around the globe and can share their own content without any geographical limitations.

References:

Corcoran, B. (2012). Quizlet’s growth puts on the top of the Edtech stack. Retrieved from http://www.edsurge.com/news/quizlet-s-growth-puts-it-on-the-top-of-the-edtech-sack

Karagianis, L. (2009). Freshman Andrew Southerland develops Quizlet, a web based study tool to help students around the world. Retrieved from http://spectrum.mit.edu/articles/quiz-yourself

Quizlet, (2017). About Quizlet. Retrieved from https?quizlet.com/mission

Wan, T. (2015). Bootstrapped Since 2005, Quizlet raises $12 million to reach 1 Billion learners. Retrieved from http://www.edsurge.com/news/2015-11-23-bootstrapped-since-2005-quizlet-raises-12-million-to-teach-1-billion-learners

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4 thoughts on “Exploring the Web: Quizlet

  1. Adrienne:
    Thank you for this thorough review of Quizlet. As I read the review I was concerned about the accuracy of the shared content. It seems from your comments that shared content cannot be corrected or updated. That is unfortunate for users who do not look at content from a critical perspective. Nonetheless, it seems to be a great tool to introduce to students. My institution has tasked me with expanding our University learning commons and centralizing tutoring services. Quizlet would be a great tool to provide. I assume there is the possibility of an institutional account? Thanks for letting me know about this technology.
    Randy Roberts

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  2. Hi Randy,
    The fact that the shared content is not reviewed for accuracy is a concern for users. In the way in which I am thinking our tutors will use Quizlet, the accuracy is not as much of a concern. Our expectation is that our students will generate the content and our tutors will review the content for accuracy and then use it in study sessions and encourage students to use the flashcards to study the materials. I searched for subscription types other than premium and teacher and I did not find any other subscription type, so I do not believe that there is a University subscription rate, but that is a great idea. Good luck with your expansion of of tutoring services.
    Adrienne

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  3. Quizlet seems to be a great tool with a huge number of applications. However, it’s best used as a memorization tool. What are your ideas for a tool that will help college students in other areas, such as debating, or writing papers, or doing research?

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    1. Hello Dr. Robinson,
      I think Quizlet has a technological advantage in that it is sharable content that users can create. This capability could be expanded to users creating sharable content on subjects such as guides for writing and conducting research; however, my suggestion would be for that information created by users to be fact checked by an internal research department. To help college students in the area of debate, Quizlet or a subsidiary of Quizlet, could use technology similar to Facebook live that would allow individuals to enter a debate chatroom and go live for a debate on an issue, that is moderated by the the web tool. I am sure that there would be a great deal of kinks to workout, students would have the opportunity to exercise debating skills in a controlled environment.
      Adrienne

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