Turning flashcards into a collaborative class activity

Modified on by Andrew Cohen

Turning flashcards into a collaborative class activity

I hope you and your students are continuing to enjoy Brainscape!  Since you seem to be a progressive educator, I wanted to share a “collaborative flashcard-creation” lesson plan with you that many other teachers have found useful. Read on for more tips on turning flashcards into a social learning activity. Everything below can be done with a FREE Brainscape account for you and your students. 


Recall that there are three main ways that teachers use Brainscape with their students: (i) Finding ready-made flashcards created by other users; (ii) Creating flashcards for their students; and (iii) Having your students collaborate to create the flashcards.

The lesson we’re focusing on here is for case iii — “crowdsourcing” flashcard-creation among your students.  Many teachers have found this the perfect way to transform flashcards from a “drill & kill” exercise into a more collaborative and social experience (provided that they are comfortable with all students seeing each other’s flashcards).

The best part about this activity is that, by the end of the semester, all your students will have an entire set of student-generated adaptive learning flashcards to study in a web browser or on their mobile phone.  And you will be able to easily track their study progress as they go!

Setting Up Your Subject

  1. To begin, sign into your account at brainscape.com
  2. Click Create Subject on your Library screen
  3. Name your Subject (e.g. Biology 101)
  4. Create an empty Deck of flashcards for each lesson (e.g. Ch1, Ch2, etc.)
  5. Share the Subject with your class (just click the Share button to pick a sharing option)

Coordinating Flashcard Creation

  1. While still in your Subject on the Library screen, click “See All Learners” to see who has joined your Subject, and to manage editing rights
  2. In a separate class announcement, assign flashcard-creation duties to your students throughout the semester. (e.g. Mary & John work on Chapter 1 together, Billy & Sue work on Chapter 2, etc.)
  3. After each lesson’s flashcards are created, review the student-created flashcards, edit them as necessary, and reward course credit for satisfactory completion

Monitoring Students’ Study Progress

  1. As soon as any flashcards have been edited and approved, all students will immediately be able to study them, either using a web browser or the Brainscape iPhone, iPad, or Android app
  2. You can track student activity by revisiting the See All Learners screen.  Sort students by either their by Cards Studied or by Mastery %

We hope this helps you create an even more successful Brainscape experience for your students!  If you have any questions, please feel free to email us.  Best of luck either way!

Brainscape is a web & mobile education platform that helps you learn anything faster, using cognitive science. Join the millions of students, teachers, language learners, test-takers, and corporate trainees who are doubling their learning results. Visit brainscape.com or find us on the App Store .

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