StudyBlue allows you to create and customise your own flashcards, which you can then use in a variety of different modes in order to help you study the material on them. It's also possible to keep track of your scores and assess your progress, and it facilitates collaboration with classmates.
StudyBlue is available for free from iTunes and Google Play, and via your browser. There is an option to upgrade in order to access additional flashcard decks and study guides.
What does StudyBlue look like & what can it do?
Research has shown that flashcards are the fastest and easiest way of learning new information. To create flashcards you must first condense and simplify the information being studied into its most important elements, then, when you move on to using your flashcards to study, you are forced to engage in what's called ‘active recall’ as you attempt to answer the question or statement on one side of the card without any prompts or study guides to help you, before checking your answer on the other side of the card. (Click here for information on active recall and how it can help your grades improve). Furthermore, StudyBlue Flashcards also help you engage in a study technique known as ‘confidence-based repetition’. As you study using the StudyBlue flashcards you can score your answer as either ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. The next time you study and use the cards you can choose to study just the ‘wrongs’ and again score your answers. Continue this process until there are no ‘wrongs’ left and you have mastered the material. Together, active recall and confidence-based repetition lead to better retention of information.
StudyBlue is a great app for creating digital flashcards and regardless of your discipline you'll be able to find a use for it - think of the difficult business concepts you're trying to get your head around; points of law you need to be clear on; procedures for experiments that you must know; or definitions or translations you must learn. The possibilities are endless really. Once your StudyBlue cards have been created, you can use them to test yourself over and over, even when you're offline, scoring yourself as you go, until you are confident that you know the material.
There's something for every learner type built into this app too but before we review its different features and how you can use them to personalise your learning, let's take a quick look first at how to create decks of flashcards.
To create a deck of cards for the first time you must first create an overall folder into which the deck will be saved. You can, over time, create as many folders as you wish, maybe one for each module or course you're studying for example. To create a folder tap to add an ‘interest’ and type your subject matter/module or course title into the search box. If your subject matter is found then select it, but if not, then add it. Now you can tap to ‘make cards’ to start building your own deck of flashcards relevant to that subject. When you're done building you can save that deck and chose a relevant file name for it. You can also choose whether your deck is private or available publicly. You can access and edit your own decks from any of your devices or on your PC. You must upgrade to access public decks built by others as well as the StudyBlue study guides.
To use your flashcards, tap on a deck you've created and choose whether you want to study by flipping the cards, turning them into a multiple choice, true/false, or type the answer type quiz, or by just reviewing the information on all of the cards. Here you can choose other options too such as which side of the card is presented first, seeing just the ‘wrongs’, seeing the cards in a random order, seeing just a subset of the full deck, or seeing just the ‘least studied’ cards.
The following sections explain how StudyBlue can help Visual learners, Auditory learners, Read/Write learners, and Kinesthetic learners access and engage with information, and demonstrate your understanding of it. If you do not know what your preferred learning style is, go to the student page and take the short questionnaire linked to there and read how understanding your preferred style can help you personalise your learning.
The StudyBlue app can help you access information and engage with it in a way that appeals to you because flashcards are, by their very nature, visual. That aside, there are also other features built into StudyBlue that you'll want to use…
when building flashcards the text can be done in different colours and it can be bulleted, numbered, indented, italicised, underlined and put in bold type. Super and subscript can also be inserted. All of this provides visual cues for you as you study, helping you to visualise cards and aiding recall
Images can be added to both the prompt and answer cards, so upload diagrams, photos taken of class whiteboards, images of doodles and mindmaps and anything else that'll help you visualise the material you're studying.
The way the app organises the decks of cards will appeal to you too. The idea of a backpack within which all of your folders sit filled with decks of subject specific cards will make sense to you and again will help you visualise your decks.
Press play on the sound file below to learn how StudyBlue can support Auditory learners.
To download the transcript, just click here .
Like the visual learners and auditory learners, StudyBlue will help you access information and engage with it.
- You can choose to create flashcards that are text heavy if you wish. Note however, that each card allows for about 13 lines of text only so you must write in a succinct manner
- You can copy and paste text onto cards from elsewhere
- When using your cards to study, you might also enjoy review mode as it'll allow you to see all of your cards (both prompt and answer cards) listed in full on one screen
- If you access StudyBlue via the browser, you can upload unlimited notes as well and review them through the StudyBlue app.
Of all the learner types, kinesthetic learners are, unfortunately, the group that are least likely to benefit from building digital flashcards. However, if you do build decks of cards, the interactive game-like modes available to you for studying the content of the cards might help you engage somewhat with material that needs to be learned.
Does StudyBlue provide opportunities for you to communicate and/or collaborate?
Yes it does! When you have built a deck of cards you can share it with friends if you wish and collaborate with them in building additional cards. This helps you plug any gaps in your knowledge and realise that your peers can be a learning resource for you also. You can send them an invite link via email by tapping the share icon at the top of the screen.
You can also see who else in your institute or school is using StudyBlue by searching for your institute and reviewing the different classes that have been set up.
Are your students having difficulty grasping aspects of a particular concept? You can create a deck of StudyBlue flashcards to help, and share the deck with them. You can also create a ‘class’ and invite your students to collaborate there. This is best done via the browser-based version.
Alternative Apps to check out
Quizlet is a great app for creating flashcards and it might suit your needs well. However, in-app purchases are necessary to use all of the valuable features that help you personalise your learning, like uploading images and recording audio.
If you are studying languages, then Voxy looks like a really neat app and definitely one to try out.
Search and see which of your classmates might already be using it at your institution. If they are taking the same subject as you, consider collaborating with them to maximise study time
Think of one area in your studies in which flashcards might prove useful
Tap to create a deck of cards in that area
Start building your deck and check out the different study modes.
Don’t forget to tweet comments, tips and hints about StudyBlue to #12appsDIT