Pros & Cons of Using Quizlet in Your Classroom
Setting your students up for success means so much more than teaching daily lessons and hoping students do well on assessments.
You need to teach the information and then provide effective ways for your students to review what you’ve taught!
Some teachers like to create customized study guides and booklets for their classes, but that takes a lot of time and effort outside of school hours.
That’s why so many teachers consider using Quizlet, an online study tool, to save time when helping students prepare for tests!
But before you jump right into adding a new tool to your classroom, it’s important to understand the pros and cons of Quizlet to help decide if it’s right for you and your students.
In this blog, we’ll discuss the biggest pros and cons of using Quizlet to make your decision a little easier.
However, before we jump in it’s important to answer one other question -- what exactly is Quizlet?
What Is Quizlet?
Quizlet is a web-based application developed to help students study information through interactive tools and games.
Quizlet’s mission is to help students (and teachers) practice and master what they’re learning.
In Quizlet, information is organized into “study sets” that users like teachers or students add to their accounts.
When using Quizlet, students log in and choose the appropriate study set for the concepts they need to review. These can be created by a teacher or generated by other users.
Because of the flexibility and customization available, Quizlet can be used in any grade level and any type of class.
Now that you have an idea of what Quizlet is and how it works, let’s get into the benefits it provides to you and your students!
3 Pros of Using Quizlet
Overall, Quizlet can be a great tool for you and your students for three reasons:
- You can easily differentiate review for your students
- You can incorporate collaboration and teamwork into your classes
- Students have another way to prepare for tests
1. Quizlet Helps You Differentiate Review for Your Students
Quizlet has seven standard study modes that help students review in the way that works best for them:
- Flashcards – A quick way to review terms and definitions, just like paper-based flashcards
- Learn – A personalized study mode based on how well you know information in a study set
- Write – A fill-in-the-blank style study tool
- Spell – A study mode that dictates a term or definition that you must correctly type
- Test – An easy way to quiz yourself on how well you know information in a study set
- Match – A time-based game where the student must match terms and definitions
- Gravity – A level-based game where the student must answer correctly before being hit by an asteroid
When you create study sets for your students, you decide which modes to use based on how your students learn best.
Some study modes, like Flashcards, include text-to-speech audio prompts that help ELLs and students with IEPs learn and remember information.
You can also include images and diagrams as needed to provide better context for your students.
With all of these options, you’re creating a customized way for your students to review information, without you having to do a lot of extra work!
2. Quizlet Helps You Incorporate Collaboration and Teamwork Skills
It’s not always easy to teach collaboration and teamwork skills, but with Quizlet you can do it while helping students review.
Quizlet Live is an in-class game that teachers can use to help students review information while working together in teams.
The game randomly sorts students into teams to match terms and definitions, and the first team to correctly answer all of the questions wins!
Quizlet Live is fully focused on accuracy over speed. If a team answers any question wrong, they have to start over from the beginning.
This ensures your students’ competitive spirit won’t override the need to answer correctly.
3. Quizlet Helps Students Prepare for Tests
Ultimately, the other pros of Quizlet tie into this final benefit: Quizlet helps students prepare for tests!
With the engaging study tools and differentiation options available, your students have so many different ways to study information when using Quizlet.
Instead of having to look through notes, fill out worksheets, and create paper flashcards, they can just log in and start studying!
On top of that, if your students have a mobile device, they can download the Quizlet app to review information anytime, anywhere.
That means your students will have more flexibility to study what they want, when they want, and in the way they want.
Talk about the perfect way to set students up for success on test day!
But no study tool is ever perfect.
So now that we’ve shared the three biggest benefits of Quizlet, it’s time to talk about the cons.
3 Cons of Using Quizlet
Though Quizlet is designed to help students learn information, there are three specific drawbacks that can impact your student’s learning:
- Students can get distracted by ads
- Students could learn incorrect information
- Students may use Quizlet to cheat
1. Students Can Get Distracted by Ads on Quizlet
If you and your students use the free version of Quizlet, you’ll see ads on every page of the website.
Some ads are easy to ignore, but they can be overbearing. These ads are actually designed to distract your students away from learning.
You can upgrade to the paid version of Quizlet to remove the ads, but that may not fit into your classroom budget when there are more important things to purchase!
2. Students Could Learn Incorrect Information on Quizlet
Because Quizlet allows any user to create and share a study set, there is no guarantee the information is accurate.
If a student logs in and chooses a set created by someone else, there’s a possibility they could accidentally study incorrect information!
One typo in someone else’s cards could lead your student to studying the wrong information, miss questions on a test, and get a low grade they didn’t expect to receive.
Though you can instruct your students to only use the sets and games you’ve created, students can still come across other ones on their own.
3. Students May Use Quizlet to Cheat
If you create Quizlet sets for each assessment in your class, you’re providing excellent resources for your students.
But dishonest students may take advantage of those study tools to cheat on their homework and assessments.
Even though Quizlet doesn’t allow cheating or academic dishonesty, some students will push the boundaries and find ways to cheat.
It’s as easy as a student Googling a homework question, finding a Quizlet set, and copying the answers straight from the website.
In fact, it’s so easy that it may not even feel like cheating. Students might just want more information on a certain topic and stumble upon direct answers to their homework.
Cheating isn’t a problem unique to Quizlet, but it’s one of the most common issues for teachers using this tool.
To curb cheating with Quizlet, you can adjust the settings of your study sets or change the wording of your questions.
But there’s no way to keep other users from posting the information found on your assessments.
You can request for Quizlet to remove content that has been used for cheating, but even after the set is taken down, another one could pop back up in a matter of hours!
With these three pros and cons, there’s still one question left to answer -- should you use Quizlet?
Should You Use Quizlet?
When it comes down to using Quizlet, it all depends on the balance of pros and cons you’ll get from using it.
If you want to provide a customized study tool for your students to memorize and review specific terms and concepts, Quizlet could be perfect for you.
But if you start to notice a suspicious pattern of exceptionally good grades and word-for-word answers, it may be time to cut Quizlet from your teaching strategy.
While this decision is ultimately up to you, you can always ask other teachers for their thoughts!
Click below to jump into the AES Educator Community and see what teachers across the country say about Quizlet.