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Handwritten Flashcards or Digital Flashcards?

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In this article I discuss the pros and cons of handwritten flashcards and digital based flashcards for studying.

Handwritten Flashcards or Digital Flashcards?

  1. 1. What type of flashcards do you prefer?

    • 5
      Handwritten
    • 2
      Digital
    • 10
      A mix of both

17 members have participated

What Type of Flash Cards Do You Prefer?

Handwritten Flashcards or Digital Flashcards?

Most college classes have a lot of information in them! If you are in pre-nursing, you usually know that they may require flashcards with certain courses, such as sciences. Whether they are handwritten or typed, they can be very beneficial to your success as a pre-nursing student. Here are the pros and cons of internet-based flashcards vs. manually written flashcards.

Manually Written Flashcards 

These are the flashcards in which you write down the information as you go along! I remember doing this method for regular and honor classes in my high school days but stopping as soon as mid 9th grade / soon as I began AP classes. 

Here are the pros and cons of this method

PROS

1. Completely free of the internet - Technology plays a factor in our lives, and sometimes it can be bad. One of those is that sites that allow users to create certain flashcards usually have to upkeep maintenance, making a dent in studying. With Handwritten flashcards, there are no internet interruptions and distractions.

2. Cheap – If you’re not with technology or it is scarce in your area. You can get a pack of 100 flashcards for at least a dollar at your local dollar store, which I liked about this flashcards method.

3. Retained information much better – When using handwritten flashcards, I found that I kept the information much better before and after the tests. While studying with handwritten flashcards, I had no problem recalling the questions and study material. I do feel that using the handwritten notes from class and transferring them to flashcards helped a lot.

4. Record important information – I feel that with handwritten flashcards, you record the information you need rather than extra things.

CONS 

1. Time-consuming – depending on the subject and the size of the chapter that your professor goes over it. For example, if it’s a huge lecture test that may consist of 4to 6 chapters, you may find yourself writing a lot, which can take hours. When creating handwritten flashcards for some of the heaviest classes and chapters, I dedicated at least 3 and a half hours to make flashcards. My hands were sore after that.

2. The wear and tear – When creating handwritten flashcards, I’ve noticed that many of the earlier cards I made suffered stains, tears, and bends, and as time went on, some of the ink work and bled out.

3.  Not really for visual learning – If you are a visual learner like me, you may find that handwritten notes may lack pictures and visual understanding. While it wasn’t a deal-breaker, it was a frustration.

Internet-Based Flashcards

If you read the following articles, you see that I am a Quizlet zealot. While I used this for most of college, I used Quizlet, and while it has been successful, it does have its falls. While it is popular, here are the pros and cons of using internet-based flashcards.

PROS 

1.  Sharing – due to internet-based flashcards online allowing you to share with friends, class, and pretty much the entire world.

2.  Variety – When studying, there are several ways to learn, such as on Quizlet, there are the learning and spelling options.

3.  Better for visual learners – If you are a visual learner, I believe that internet-based flashcards are better because you can get a picture or some sort of diagram to go with them while logging them. This was very helpful in classes such as Microbiology, which was very visual-based.

4.  Free of costs – When it comes to internet-based flashcards, the sites were free, a plus. Although some have memberships that you can upgrade to.

CONS 

1.  Internet difficulties – By internet difficulties, I mean both technical errors and also distractions from the web.  For example, while Quizlet can be effective for studying, it can also be filled with obstacles. Along with this, if you have no internet connection or if the site is down for maintenance, you cannot access the flashcards you’re learning from.

2.  Misinformation – There will be times to where you see that there is misinformation amongst internet-based flashcards. During some classes, I have reviewed courses that gave wrong information, and it made studying difficult.

3.  Memorization is a hit or miss – Although I did like using internet-based flashcards, I found myself having trouble memorizing certain objectives that we needed to know for exams.  This was more towards the end of certain classes, especially when the material got heavier.

4.  Some teachers absolutely hated Quizlet –  I have had certain teachers who despised quizlet, mainly because they said it was awful , that you didn’t memorize anything, and allowed students to cheat.

 

For those in school and who have been to school, which form of flashcards did you use? Did you think one was better than the other? 🙂 

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6 Comment(s)

Tacocat, ADN, RN

Specializes in Community/Public Health. Has 1 years experience.

I personally found that hand-writing all my materials helped me to retain it better. I bought a pack of colored InkJoy gel pens and used those to write all my study notes and flashcards. 

Flashcards are also not for everyone. I preferred to write outlines on notebook paper. Some things cannot just be rote memorization, and by writing outlines I was able to highlight and color-code important connections that I needed to know.

1 hour ago, Tacocat said:

I personally found that hand-writing all my materials helped me to retain it better. I bought a pack of colored InkJoy gel pens and used those to write all my study notes and flashcards. 

Flashcards are also not for everyone. I preferred to write outlines on notebook paper. Some things cannot just be rote memorization, and by writing outlines I was able to highlight and color-code important connections that I needed to know.

  Outlines worked really well for a majority of classes that I've been in , especially with the color coding and highlighting. And thanks , next semester I was gonna try just doing all handwritten flashcards , I started cracking open the old notes 2 weeks ago and started 1 chapter and yes , it does retain a lot of information.

2 hours ago, Tacocat said:

I personally found that hand-writing all my materials helped me to retain it better. I bought a pack of colored InkJoy gel pens and used those to write all my study notes and flashcards. 

Flashcards are also not for everyone. I preferred to write outlines on notebook paper. Some things cannot just be rote memorization, and by writing outlines I was able to highlight and color-code important connections that I needed to know.

How did you write your flashcards out?

Tacocat, ADN, RN

Specializes in Community/Public Health. Has 1 years experience.

37 minutes ago, TheNursingdoll said:

How did you write your flashcards out?

It depends on the class and what material you're studying. Sometimes I would write a question on the front and the answer on the back, or sometimes it would be a key vocabulary word and then the definition. 

I think in a previous post you mentioned you were restarting Microbiology? My pre-reqs were not my strongest suit but if you have any questions or need tips please feel free to message me on here. 

1 minute ago, Tacocat said:

It depends on the class and what material you're studying. Sometimes I would write a question on the front and the answer on the back, or sometimes it would be a key vocabulary word and then the definition. 

I think in a previous post you mentioned you were restarting Microbiology? My pre-reqs were not my strongest suit but if you have any questions or need tips please feel free to message me on here. 

Thank you! ❤️

ThursdayNight, CNA

Specializes in Wiping tears. Has 3 years experience.

I take notes with my tablet. No need for ISP for it.