How To Use Flashcards In Teaching: Learn the Details

Teachers worldwide try their best to make their students relay and recall information about different topics using many methods. In the case of learning, it’s not practical and effective to expect the student to remember the information given by the teachers everytime. There are several ways to help students to recall information. In this blog, we will be sharing one of the ways known as Flashcards. So, let’s take a closer look at how flashcards in teaching help and why you should get them for your students. 

The Concept behind Flashcards

It’s okay if you are unfamiliar with the concept of flashcards. We are here to explain to you. 

A flashcard is just a piece of card with language learning information on both sides of the cards (e.g., vocabulary), which is used for memorization. Suppose a teacher creates 10 different flashcards for teaching the students from 1 to 10, where one side of the card carries the number in the student’s mother tongue with the answer on the other side of the card in the targeted language. 

Flashcards in teaching are grouped by subject matter. For example, a collection of flashcards for teaching English that all are about countries of the world. If you pull out one card that has “The United States Of America”  On one side of the card and the other side has the information. Flashcards in teaching can be big and small and are mainly used by teachers and students. 

How to Teach Using Flashcards

Flashcards promote active recall. This is the main reason why flashcards are so effective. Active recall is a process where information is retrieved from the brain. 

There are two types of processes. First is passive learning, and second is active recall. Passive learning is when you read a specific subject repeatedly, but when a direct question is asked, like “What are flashcards“? Answering that question is a form of active recall. 

flashcards in teaching

However, with flashcards in teaching, students will see a term or an image. After seeing this they will try to remember information actively about the subject they have learnt. The other effectiveness of using flashcards in teaching is retrieval practice, which is the core idea behind making and using flashcards. 

Retrieval Practice:

Now, a question can arise in your mind: what is retrieval practice? So, it is a process to recall information from memory. Students have to keep in mind whatever they have studied and also have to remember it. After recalling whatever they can, they may take the help of their notes to check what they have missed.

They get a chance to make mental and physical notes of what they missed and what they remembered. Some students may have trouble with this until and unless they feel confident in what they remember. 

By encouraging retrieval practice methods like flashcards, your students will be able to recall information from memory. Active recall helps transform short-term into long-term memory. Now, it is very clear that practicing retrieval practice, creating flashcards, and the practice of revising them daily will help learning and active recall. 

Advantages of Using Flashcards in Teaching

There are a lot of reasons why flashcards have been a mainstay in teaching. Some of them include:

  1. Highly flexible – To teach any language, flashcards can be used. They can be used anywhere, like in a formal classroom, at home, in a cafeteria etc. They can be simply created on scrap paper or professionally produced anywhere and anytime and also can be created by students and teachers. 
  1.  Inexpensive – Creating flashcards is a very inexpensive method of studying. It can be created on a note card or a piece of paper, which is very cheap and affordable. The physical material of the flashcards is not important; the important thing is the information they put on them. So students need not to use any fancy cards. 
  1. Portable – We know that textbooks, binders and notebooks are not easy to carry around. However, flashcards can be easily carried from one place to another. Multiple flashcards are easier to carry around than a textbook. Students study different subjects simultaneously. So it’s easy for them to carry multiple sets of flashcards easily. 
flashcards in teaching
  1.  Confidence building – Flashcards are very motivating for students to take a quick check on how much they actually know. This helps them in tackling bigger challenges that lie ahead. If students become nervous about demonstrating the question asked in class, they can practice using flashcards at home to build up confidence. 
  1. Customizable – Flashcards can be created on any material. Therefore, students can customize them according to their wishes and make them unique. They can give different color codes for different subjects. Also, they can put images for better memorization. Creating flashcards can result in enhancing personal experience. The students themselves do not make premade flashcards, and they are not written in their own words. This can create disconnection in learning.
  1. Versatile – Flashcards can be made for any subject. Students can use them for point ideas like calculus and languages, which are commonly used in exam preparations. 

Disadvantages of Flashcards in Teaching

However, flashcards have a huge number of benefits but have a few disadvantages. They are listed below:- 

  • Too much information can overburden the brain.
  • Sometimes, they are boring and uninteresting.
  •  Creating flashcards can be time-consuming. 


  1. How do flashcards help in improving learning? 

Flashcards help students to get engaged in the process of active recall, which helps in remembering information and also helps to transform short-term into long-term memory. 

  1. How to maintain flashcards? 

Keep your flashcards together with a quick hole punch and put them on the binder ring. This will help keep your flashcards in place. 

  1.  Do flashcards help in learning a language? 

Flashcards are very popular for learning languages. They help you memorize pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary and many more. 

Final Thoughts

Flashcards are very versatile. Moreover, children of all ages can use them. Flashcards in teaching are a good memorising technique. Hence, this technique from the preschool age can build a strong foundation for future learning. 

Flashcards are very useful tools for students in their revision period. Hence, it should be used skillfully to get the maximum effect of flashcards. There are a few strategies students should use. 

The regular use of flashcards includes mixing up the topics. It is one strategy one should follow to get the most out of the effects of flashcards. Practicing these strategies will prepare your students for their upcoming exams well. 

Eager to learn more about using flashcards in classrooms? Do not forget to visit GravEiens today. 

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