Friday, March 2, 2007

Quizlet: A Web 2.0 Tool for Test Preparation and More

Quizlet is a great example of a Web 2.0 application. It handles a relatively simple task using free, online software and also creates a community of common interests. This is not necessarily a tool that would be used every day, but it can definitely be useful in appropriate situations. Perhaps the greatest use for Quizlet would be with kids – it is a perfect application for school work.

Simply put, Quizlet generates flash cards and practice tests. Once you sign-up for a free account with Quizlet, you can create sets or use many of the sets that have already been created. First, you create a list of terms and matching definitions and enter them online. This will become a “set.” Once created, a set can be used to familiarize and then learn terms. This can be done on-screen or by printing physical flash cards. Then one can assess their progress in learning through the testing function. It is very easy to switch between other quiz formats, such as fill-in, multiple choices, true-false and matching. It is also possible to flip the terms with the definitions and test again.

Quizlet also supports groups that can create and share sets. There is a group for medical students that is collecting useful sets in one place - human anatomy, pathology, pharmacology etc. Thus, Quizlet supports medical students who desire to interact and study together. It is possible to create groups and sets that are private or even restricted to individuals, but much of the material is open to all.

This is a link to a Medical Diagnostic Procedures quiz set. This uses a “scatter” format where terms and definitions are all scattered on a blank page. Using your mouse, you drag the term onto its definition. If this is a correct match, then the term and definition vanish. The goal is to very quickly make all the terms and definitions go away. When this is accomplished, you get the timing and are encouraged to try again.

Quizlet is only 500 days old, but already has 8,551 registered users, 538,396 scores logged, 258,820 terms entered, 36,693 discussion messages sent, and 6,998 sets made. Perhaps the most remarkable thing is that this application was created by a fifteen-year old who was looking for a more interesting way to study French vocabulary. Well done!