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Why Studying with Online Flashcards Works

By Scholarly

7 min read

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Studying with flashcards has been a traditional and effective learning method. However, with the advancement of technology, online flashcards have gained popularity among students and professionals. In this article, we will explore why studying with online flashcards works and the benefits it offers. We will also discuss best practices to maximize your learning experience.


Past State

In the past, flashcards were physical cards made of paper or cardboard. They were often used in classrooms and personal study sessions to reinforce learning and memorization. Flashcards provided a convenient and portable way to review and retain information.

Current State

With the rise of digital platforms and mobile applications, flashcards have become more accessible and interactive. Online flashcards offer a variety of features such as customizable decks, multimedia integration, and spaced repetition algorithms.

Future State

The future of studying with flashcards lies in the integration of artificial intelligence. AI-powered platforms can analyze individual learning patterns and provide personalized recommendations, enhancing the effectiveness of online flashcards.


  • Improved Retention: Online flashcards utilize techniques such as spaced repetition to optimize memory retention and long-term learning.

  • Engaging and Interactive: Multimedia integration allows for the inclusion of images, videos, and audio, making the learning experience more engaging and interactive.

  • Portability: Online flashcards can be accessed from various devices, enabling learners to study anytime and anywhere.

  • Time Efficiency: The ability to quickly create, organize, and review digital flashcards saves time compared to traditional physical cards.

  • Collaboration: Online platforms allow users to share and collaborate on flashcard decks, promoting group study and knowledge sharing.


The significance of studying with online flashcards lies in its ability to enhance learning effectiveness through active recall and repetition. Research has shown that active engagement in the learning process improves knowledge retention and understanding.

Online flashcards provide a structured and organized method for reviewing information, making it easier to identify areas of weakness and focus on key concepts. Additionally, the use of multimedia elements enhances visual and auditory learning, catering to different learning preferences.

Best Practices

  • Create Meaningful Prompts: Craft concise and specific prompts that require active recall and encourage deeper understanding.

  • Organize Flashcards: Group flashcards by topic or concept for better organization and easier navigation.

  • Use Spaced Repetition: Take advantage of spaced repetition algorithms to review flashcards at optimal intervals, reinforcing memory retention.

  • Mix Up Order: Randomize the order of flashcards to challenge your recall and prevent reliance on sequential cues.

  • Regularly Review: Consistently review flashcards to reinforce learning and prevent forgetting.

Pros and Cons


  • Flexibility: Online flashcards can be accessed anytime and anywhere, allowing for flexibility in study schedules.

  • Interactive Learning: Multimedia integration makes studying with online flashcards engaging and interactive.

  • Efficiency: Digital flashcards are easy to create, organize, and review, providing a time-efficient study method.

  • Collaboration: Online platforms enable collaboration and knowledge sharing among students and learners.

  • Personalization: AI-powered platforms can offer personalized recommendations and adaptive learning experiences.


  • Dependency on Technology: Reliance on online platforms may limit access in areas with poor internet connectivity.

  • Distractions: The digital nature of online flashcards may be more prone to distractions from notifications and other online activities.

  • Lack of Tangibility: Some learners prefer the tactile experience of physical flashcards, which online flashcards cannot fully replicate.

  • Variability in Quality: Not all online flashcard platforms offer the same features and quality, requiring careful selection.

  • Limited Customization: Certain features or customization options may be limited or unavailable in some online flashcard platforms.


There are numerous online flashcard platforms available, each with its own unique features and functionalities. Let's compare a few popular platforms:

  • Scholarly: Scholarly offers AI-generated text completion, flashcard creation, auto-complete, and TTS (Text to Speech), providing a comprehensive and AI-powered studying experience. Sign up for Scholarly.

  • Anki: Anki is a popular open-source flashcard software with a spaced repetition algorithm and extensive customization options.

  • Quizlet: Quizlet allows users to create and share flashcard sets, as well as access pre-made flashcards covering a wide range of subjects.

  • Brainscape: Brainscape focuses on adaptive learning and offers a library of flashcards created by experts.


Method 1: Active Recall

Active recall involves reviewing flashcards without looking at the answers, actively trying to recall the information. This method enhances memory consolidation and long-term retention.

Method 2: Spaced Repetition

Spaced repetition involves reviewing flashcards at gradually increasing intervals over time. This method leverages the spacing effect to optimize memory retention.

Method 3: Mnemonics

Mnemonics are memory techniques that use associations or visual cues to aid in information retrieval. Creating mnemonic devices for flashcards can make them more memorable and easier to recall.

Method 4: Shuffling

Shuffling flashcards helps prevent rote memorization and promotes the ability to recall information in a non-sequential order.

Method 5: Contextualization

Contextualizing flashcards by relating them to real-life examples or personal experiences enhances understanding and meaningful learning.

AI Impact

AI Applications

AI is revolutionizing the way we study with flashcards. It enables personalized learning experiences, automatic generation of flashcards, and adaptive algorithms for optimized learning.

AI Techniques

AI techniques such as natural language processing and machine learning contribute to the development of AI-powered flashcard platforms. These techniques enable smarter data processing and personalized recommendations.

AI Benefits

The integration of AI in flashcard platforms brings benefits such as automated content generation, in-depth analytics, and intelligent tutor systems, enhancing the overall learning experience.

AI Challenges

Despite the advantages, there are challenges in implementing AI in flashcard platforms. These include data privacy, algorithm bias, and striking a balance between automation and human interaction.

AI Online Apps

  • Scholarly: Scholarly combines AI-generated text completion, flashcard creation, and auto-complete features to provide an all-in-one studying experience that leverages AI. Sign up for Scholarly.

  • Brainscape: Brainscape uses AI to optimize learning schedules and determine the most effective flashcard repetition intervals.

  • Memrise: Memrise incorporates machine learning algorithms to personalize learning paths and make flashcard recommendations.

  • Cram: Cram utilizes AI to generate smart study plans and adaptive flashcards based on user performance.

  • Quizlet: Quizlet uses AI algorithms to improve the accuracy of auto-generated flashcards and recommendations.


Studying with online flashcards offers numerous benefits, including improved retention, engagement, portability, time efficiency, and collaboration. By following best practices and leveraging AI-powered platforms, learners can maximize the effectiveness of online flashcards. However, it is important to be mindful of potential distractions and select platforms that align with individual learning preferences and goals. With the continuous integration of AI, the future of studying with online flashcards holds even more promise for personalized and optimized learning experiences.


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