Quizlet - A Natives Answer to Vocab Quizzes Published 2007-03-06 under

I am no fan of the drill and practice method of teaching but doggone it, there are times when flashcards do come in handy. It would be great if we could all go to each of the state capitals and develop a personal experience with each city that would help us remember them all. Back in reality, we need to rely on memorization.

Andrew Sutherland decided to go all Web 2.0 over the simple task of drill and practice. He has created a site called Quizlet that lets you create online flashcards, review them, and finally test yourself. Let's say you want to study the top 100 SAT words. You would sign up on Quizlet and then create a "set" where you would type in the 100 words and their definitions. If you had the list in a text file, you could import your set. And best of all, if someone else has created a set similar to yours (and has made it public), you can use their set as is the case with the top 100 SAT words.

What makes Quizlet so cool is Andrew's attention to detail. It is very slick, very user friendly, very useful. There are three modes in which you can use a set of words/definitions: Familiarize, Learn, and Test. This correspond with how you might start by familiarizing yourself with the terms by looking at flashcards. You would then ask a friend to quiz you and finally you would take a test with different types of questions (fill-in-the-blank, matching, multiple choice, and true/false).

The site is well designed and very professional. And it is FREE! Oh, did I mention that Andrew is a high school student. He made this to help him with his French vocab. Because the site was born from a need to learn about French words, it provides a cool tool for inserting accented letters into the word.

As a web programmer, I am amazed at the quality of the site. I am also in admiration of the commitment Andrew has to the project. I know that this must have taken many many hours. He could have used that time to study his French vocab and I am sure he would be a master at the language by now. But instead, he has an real world example of his talent. What college (or employer) would not be impressed!

Well done Andrew, thank you, and best of luck!

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Diane Quirk said...

This is a really incredible piece of work. Did you notice that, when you go to play the Scatter game it actually generates code that you can use to embed the game on your webpage. I tried embedding it on a wikispaces page - works beautifully. Not sure that the research on teaching vocabulary would support this but I'll bet kids would love using it!

rob banning said...

I had not seen the Scatter game. So cool and lots of fun. I actually learned something while playing :-)