This is a guest post from Hélène Fyffe, an undergraduate starting her final year at Edinburgh Napier University, having spent a year on placement with Microsoft UK Education as part of her course.
It's come to that time of year when students at school, college and universities are faced with the looming wrath of exams. Whether it’s studying for prelims, mid-terms or university module finals, exams are challenging for most students regardless of their age or academic stage, due to the fear of the unknown and to the unnerving prospect of not remembering the key facts.
Today I'm going to show how the Windows 8.1 app 'Flashcards Pro' can make the revision experience a lot less linear and help students to internalise the facts they wish to bash out in their exams.
With research showing that many learners learn more effectively with visual and interactive aids, Flashcards Pro provides a visually and audibly stimulating environment to get to grips with all the facts.
Students will be delighted to hear that millions of flash cards have already been designed for varying subject categories which means that they can simply browse them on quizlet.com or cram.com via the app. Students will be able to find sets of flashcards which they can then download for free onto Flashcards Pro to use to study. When browsing through the websites, I was impressed to see that even the most specific topics such as Brand Equity which I'm currently learning about have sets of flash cards created to download onto Flashcards Pro.
However, for students who can't find ready-made sets for their topic or who would prefer to create their own sets of flashcards, this can be carried out on the Flashcards Pro app.
A great way of actually remembering content would be creating flashcards which would involve students analysing their notes, figuring out the essential themes and then transposing these to flashcards. Essentially what I'm expressing is that creating flash cards is a fun way of students summarising content, which can be a very effective method for understanding and recalling information. There are several nifty features that Flashcards Pro have architected to help students to make and remember their facts:
With exams comes remembering facts. Students are forced to remember all sorts of content from theories, processes, dates, facts, quotes, policies and references to complex equations. It's tough to remember facts when they're transcribed as screeds of lines of words on a page, so by having a clear image to accompany text, students can break it down into more edible chunks. It is recognised in education that when images are used to learn, students often find it easier to remember content as the facts are associated to a visual print which is more fun and engaging than screeds of words.
I was really impressed to learn that not only can learners insert images to their flashcards to help them remember, but they can even integrate audio playback in 19 different languages. This feature will be great for memorising grammar. To illustrate, learners can choose two different languages for the front and back of the card to learn and test themselves. So if they wanted to learn the verb conjugation for 'he or she admits/agrees' in Spanish, the front of the card would read and spell this out in Spanish, giving the learner time to anticipate what the translation is, and then once the card is flipped, would articulate how the translation 'conviene' sounds and appears in English. This would also be an effective tool for practicing how to pronounce and articulate foreign languages outside of the classroom!
Finally, the app makes it really simple for students to group their flashcards into subject categories and sub-sets so that when they're on their tablets preparing to revise, they can seamlessly access the flashcards they need.
Your learning groups can download Flashcards Pro for free using this link and use the app on their Windows Phones or on Windows 8.1 devices.
To find out more about the range of Windows 8.1 learning apps, look at the flyer below: