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New Age of Studying

Trey Williams uses Quizlet to study vocab terms.

Trey Williams uses Quizlet to study vocab terms.

Alex Maisenhelder

Trey Williams uses Quizlet to study vocab terms.

Alex Maisenhelder

Alex Maisenhelder

Trey Williams uses Quizlet to study vocab terms.

Alex Maisenhelder, Online Sports Editor

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In this new age of technology and lots of school-based things moving online, digital studying tools have become more prevalent. Which raises a question, which tool should I use? In my opinion, it all depends on your end goal and what you are studying. With some of the main tools being Quizlet, Gimkit, Kahoot, and Quizizz.

First off we have Quizlet, which is a multi-faceted, well-rounded studying tool. It has many different features within the “solo-user” aspect of the app. Such as the “Learn” feature which is relatively new. The learn tool works best for attempting to memorize vocab terms and with the repetition of going through each correct answer in a multiple-choice format, then moving on to having to type it out.

This helps the information better stick, with it requiring you to correctly type it out more times if you have been missing the term, giving you extra practice with the more difficult terms; really useful for those pesky terms that keep slipping your mind.

      It also has a “flashcards” feature that allows the user to select whether they are looking at the term, or definition and swap between the two as if you were using physical notecards, but without the fear of losing one and not learning the term.

There is also the “write” section which forces you to correctly “write” out the answer twice for each term in order to earn 100% completion. “Match” is a feature that’s usefulness is limited. It is a really good and viable tool if you are required to just merely match terms as your end goal, but for being able to make the cognitive link and get it with only one part, it is not as effective as the three aforementioned choices.

“Test” is the last of the five options on mobile, allowing you to select how many of the possible questions you want, whether or not you want instant feedback, what you have to answer with, (definition or term), what kind of questions you want; including options like, true/false, multiple choice, or written, allowing you to practice in the format that the test will be in.

I am personally a huge fan and advocate of the “learn” feature due to its usefulness of combining the written and multiple-choice possibilities. It has been a major help for me in memorizing, English terms, AP World vocab, Latin vocab, etc.

While I do not use them as often I am a big fan of the written and test options, because if you can write it out from memory, then matching or writing it out will not be a problem, whereas just doing the matching will make it harder to write from memory.

In addition to these useful tools on mobile, the desktop version of Quizlet offers two additional forms of studying. “Spell” and “gravity” are both desktop specific features, with the “spell” feature asking that you type out what you hear, and if you answer incorrectly it corrects it and over audio identifies the mistake.

The “gravity” feature is more of a game, with it having the term or definition fall down your screen as the name implies, with you having to type out the corresponding words in the text box before it gets to the bottom of your screen, focusing more on the speed of recollection.

Furthermore, Quizlet has a multi-player mode, Quizlet live, in which you can choose random teams and whether or not you want to answer the definition or term. The team aspect allows for the betterment of communication skills under stress and teamwork, in addition to the learning of vocab and other things.

Overall, based on what I have used in the past and now, Quizlet is by far my favorite and studying tool of choice for many classes. I would rate it at a 9.5/10; the only feasible way I could see to improve it is to implement all features on the mobile app. Other than that I feel it is amazing the way it is.

Kahoot: Easy to use

Kahoot is a popular choice of review for many teachers, given the ease of its multiplayer aspect; allowing the entire class to participate in the answering of questions simultaneously. Kahoot consists mainly of only the one multiplayer function, with anywhere from two to four options, and a point system based on how fast you answer.

Kahoot happens to be my least favorite because it realistically only has a single purpose, the game like feature of seeing a question having a few seconds to read it, then answering from the choices provided.

While it is good for entrancing the participants, one of my biggest gripes is that it is not a time effective way to study with the delay between questions and answers. Also, it is a fully multiple choice format which is not the best way to study vocab and terms, because you do not always have the luxury of being able to do process of elimination.

In addition to this, if you are attempting to do with friends, the game has a tendency to lag degrading the level of enjoyment which usually makes studying more bearable if it is set up in a game format.

In short not only does Kahoot is my least favorite of these studying tools, due to it only having a single option, meaning it has way less features and studying tools than Quizlet, it also lacks the enjoyment and fun that come out of a tool like Gimkit, in addition to the timing of the questions not allowing the complexity of Quizizz. I would give it a 3.5/10, for it just not being too useful or enjoyable to use.

Gimkit: Strategy based thriller

Gimkit is relatively new on the scene and was actually made and maintained by a high school student in Seattle, Washington. In addition to being fast paced, it also incorporates a strategy to it. This entails a very competitive aspect to it, which I enjoy, but not everyone does. There is a system of powerups like money per question, streak bonus, multiplier, etc.

Gimkit has both individual and team modes, with the team mode allowing all of the players combined funds from answering questions to be spent, allowing for strategy of does everyone buy? Or does one person buy up to allow others to profit later? I personally enjoy the second method as it allows a collective goal for one person, who can use the powerups to help aid their teammates.

Gimkit is probably the best tool on this list for mass amounts of vocab, useful for languages in my experience, such as old chapters vocab that you need to refresh on. The money per question is not reliant on how fast you answer, but on whether or not it is correct, and what powerups you have purchased. Allowing for people to work at their own pace if they do not care for the competitive aspect.

Sometimes it is also the small things that are nice touches, like Gimkit allowed for the purchasing of aesthetics via money earned through answering questions. You can get themes, and play music if you are feeling confidant.

One deduction I have to make is that it requires a game pin to use it, unlike Quizlet and Quizizz which both have mass amounts of already made studying sets laying around to use. Other than that it does not have many features, but I enjoy the competition and speed at which you can study. I would have to give Gimkit a 7.5/10.

Quizizz: Take as much time as you need

      Quizizz is another online studying tool, popular among science teachers. It has a highly customizable format, allowing different lengths for questions, or in some cases just purely the questions with no time. Similar to the other one it has a scoring system based on how fast you answer, but if you choose the unlimited time, points are earned just based on correct or not.

      One feature that I like is that the different amounts of time allows teachers and other scholars alike, to include tough mathematical problems, or ones that require a multi-step process. This aspect would be useful for math or science questions, like balancing equations or solving for that third angle in a triangle.

      Another feature that I am a fan of is that after you finish the set, it tells you your score in the form of a percent, a fraction, and your place relative to the rest of the people in the study set. It also tells you which questions you missed and places them at the top for convenient studying of the missed questions.

      Overall I would have to give Quizizz a 8/10, placing it second out of four, mainly for its ease in adding complex problems to the study set and its configurable question system, with points and time among other things.

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