Flashcards are a really useful learning tool as they encourage repetition and recall. The beauty of virtual flashcards is that you can create your own set of questions and answers, or use a pre-programmed library of cards on a vast range of topics. Some of these libraries are curated, others have been created by users who allow public access to their lists, so just check that the content is both correct and suitable for your needs. You can also often access them from your phone, so you can learn on the move, or during any down time.
I am interested in the best sites for creating flashcards for student learning. Choosing, organising and inputting information is all part of the learning process, so I am not proposing to comment on the quality of the existing libraries offered by these sites.
The scores below do not reflect the quality of the sites overall, only my opinion on their usability for personalised flashcard creation.
This is a nicely laid out tool that not only facilitates the creation of flash cards, but you can easily make your own mindmaps, quizzes, flow charts and slide sets. All for free. Choose the question you want to answer on a virtual flash cards, and click to see the answer on the reverse.
Good for: older students due to the wide range of tools available
Our score: 6/10 You can’t dive straight in to making flash cards, and compared to other sites they are hard to set up. Geared towards using their library of courses
The memorising mode offers enables you to flip from the question to the answer side of a card. Testing is by multiple choice selection which is not great as all questions are shown simultaneously so there is a lot of reading and process of elimination which is not really how a flash card should work. Your flash cards can be shared with friends or class mates, and downloaded onto your phone via an app for revision on the go. It is not an exciting interface but does the job, and unusually enables you to program in a hint for each card if you are finding it tricky.
Our score: 5/10
Quizlet is a clean user-friendly site that has some really nice features.
Images are extremely simple to add with the predictive library. You can enable a voice option to read you your foreign words. For a fee you can record your own voice to add to the cards. If you tell the system you are learning a language it will offer you any language specific keys (eg acute accent) so you can accurately type you answers. Need to learn to spell? They have got it covered and will read you a word so that you can type the answer! They have recently introduced interactive diagrams. The system is simple and intuitive to use. It is one of the one sites I have found where you have an option to answer a flashcards by typing the answer into the computer (as opposed to simply clicking to turn over the card). This encourages a far more active type of learning and for this reason alone I would choose Quizlet as my go to provider for online flash cards. Also available on iOS and Android
Good for: learning to spell (audio function)
learning languages (audio function)
all ages, easy to use
Our score: 8/10
Brainscape is a nice tool for making your own flashcards. It is slightly less intuitive to set up than Quizlet but its distinguishing features are that (a) it uses “confidence based repetition”. Using the users own assessment of how confidently they answered a question the program will prioritise showing that card to increase familiarity (more advanced features are available for a fee), and (b) it has a library that is expert curated (access is fee based)
Good for: people who have a lot to learn on flashcards due to the computer identifying your less confident answers
Our score: 6/10
Flashcardmachine.com is a free service for creating web-based study flashcards that can be shared with others or used on your phone. It is a basic program that does what it says on the tin. You can make your own flashcards for self-testing, choosing whether to flag a tricky card and whether you want them to be shown to you in a random order. The interface is a bit clunky when compared to some of the other sites on offer.
Our score: 4/10
The next three sites have not been scored as they are not free online flashcard creation tools. However, they do have some useful features which are worth mentioning.
Studyblue.com is very slick and professional but is geared more towards teachers who would like to create lists for their classes, and it has very limited tools for free. Useful features include being able to choose whether to be tested on your cards in order, or randomly, and it will track your progress for each set of cards.
Good for: teachers
Efaqtl.com “works best for subjects that require a lot of memorizing and understanding information, as opposed to practically applying it. The core strength of the tool is helping you fight your way through long, difficult text books where you have to learn by heart dozens of pages with terms and concepts.” It is not aimed at a user who simply wants to make flash cards to learn German vocab, times tables, or capital cities, but is worth a look if you need to study subjects or books that would benefit from a mind map to connect ideas or you want to input course notes onto your computer. For a small fee you can also have a timer, inactivity alerts (daydreaming again?) and review reminders
Good for: more detailed study tool
A simple program to help you make your own paper flashcards. Choose how many cards you want to put on a sheet of A4. The image library is very limited, but if you just need text this could be the one for you. One nice feature is that you can use a “pencil” to draw simple line drawings
Good for: printing your own flashcarads
incorporating simple line drawings
A good article "How Students and Teachers Use Digital Flashcards" can be found here
By Kate Cooper