Artwork by Elena Campos
We all can agree that Quizlet is important to St. Mary’s girls, but recent confusion among students concerning our favorite online study tool leaves some wondering … what are the Quizlet rules, exactly?
To a vast majority of St. Mary’s girls, Quizlet is crucial. From creating flashcards for the next VCR test to mastering those elements for Dunlap’s next quiz, Quizlet seems to play a pivotal role in our daily school lives. However, some confusion among students has arisen in recent years regarding how Quizlet should be used appropriately.
Dr. McFadden, last year’s faculty Honor Council sponsor, has great insight into these problems. “The person who makes the stack reaps five times the benefit in terms of long-term memory vs. someone who just looks at the stack that someone else worked to create,” he says. “Sharing it presents an unequal benefit to the author, but choosing to get less out of an exercise isn't dishonorable, just unambitious.”
Another issue that has emerged in recent years is when Quizlet is used beyond the memorization of facts but rather for the outlining of an essay. When multiple students study someone’s essay outline that has been shared publicly on Quizlet, they all may ultimately write the same essay containing the original creator’s ideas.
However, Dr. McFadden does believe that there is a strict difference between studying a set with objective information like vocabulary or identification items and studying the analyzed ideas and responses of an essay prompt. “I would consider studying for an essay using a Quizlet outline cheating,” he says. Essay responses require thought and analysis. There is no one answer to a prompt because it involves analyzing data, sifting out what is irrelevant, and synthesizing what is relevant into a coherent and logical answer to a question as it is asked. That is, in a sense, each person's intellectual property, a unique creation of her own perspective and experience.”
These issues can both be avoided by simply creating your own individual Quizlets and making them private. This way, students rely on their own knowledge rather than using other public flashcards that can be questionable in accuracy and reliability. Or, if the teacher allows it, students may study a Quizlet on which they have worked collaboratively.
According to Ginny Bratton, Honor Council President, this is the bottom line, “As of right now, it is up to the teacher to decide his or her Quizlet rules. Many teachers do not allow students to work in collaboration on Quizlets, and it will only become an issue with the honor code if students disobey that rule. But if the teacher does allow it, then it should not be a problem at all.”
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