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Different Styles of Making Flashcards

Posted: Mon Jul 22, 2019 12:23 pm
by kingblanke
I'm wondering if there's an ideal way to make flashcards. For example, I've always just flashcarded common clues on QuizDB by writing 2-3 clues into a cohesive question on the back with an answer on the front. As in:

Back: John Foster Dulles refused to shake what man's hand at the 1954 Geneva Conference?

Front: Zhou Enlai

How do you find what clues to card, and how do you write your cards?

Re: Different Styles of Making Flashcards

Posted: Mon Jul 22, 2019 1:54 pm
by Oh No You Didn't
Max Schindler has some useful insight here

Re: Different Styles of Making Flashcards

Posted: Tue Jul 23, 2019 10:47 am
by AGoodMan
I've talked about how I approach flashcarding here. I hope it can be helpful. The whole thread is actually pretty useful.

Re: Different Styles of Making Flashcards

Posted: Wed Jul 24, 2019 6:16 pm
by QuestionCactus
This is the foremost guide to using flash cards: https://www.gwern.net/Spaced-repetition

Re: Different Styles of Making Flashcards

Posted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 9:39 am
by DavidB256
I am by no means an elite player, but I have done quite a bit of studying over the years, and have never used nor seen the appeal of flashcards. I take bulleted pencil-and-paper notes on the harder details of everything I study, and I don't understand how flashcards could be more helpful for me. Is there something I'm missing, or is it just a strategy that's not for everyone?

Re: Different Styles of Making Flashcards

Posted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 9:50 am
by Oh No You Didn't
DavidB256 wrote:
Thu Jul 25, 2019 9:39 am
I am by no means an elite player, but I have done quite a bit of studying over the years, and have never used nor seen the appeal of flashcards. I take bulleted pencil-and-paper notes on the harder details of everything I study, and I don't understand how flashcards could be more helpful for me. Is there something I'm missing, or is it just a strategy that's not for everyone?
The primary reason is that a lot of flashcard apps help you regularly review the information to keep it fresh

Re: Different Styles of Making Flashcards

Posted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 9:50 am
by vinteuil
DavidB256 wrote:
Thu Jul 25, 2019 9:39 am
I am by no means an elite player, but I have done quite a bit of studying over the years, and have never used nor seen the appeal of flashcards. I take bulleted pencil-and-paper notes on the harder details of everything I study, and I don't understand how flashcards could be more helpful for me. Is there something I'm missing, or is it just a strategy that's not for everyone?
Not everybody uses flashcards. A good litmus test: they're most useful if you often find yourself frustrated that you know what something is but can't remember its name. If you don't, sounds like your other memorization techniques are working pretty well for you.

Re: Different Styles of Making Flashcards

Posted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 10:27 am
by ryanrosenberg
Banned Tiny Toon Adventures Episode wrote:
Thu Jul 25, 2019 9:50 am
DavidB256 wrote:
Thu Jul 25, 2019 9:39 am
I am by no means an elite player, but I have done quite a bit of studying over the years, and have never used nor seen the appeal of flashcards. I take bulleted pencil-and-paper notes on the harder details of everything I study, and I don't understand how flashcards could be more helpful for me. Is there something I'm missing, or is it just a strategy that's not for everyone?
The primary reason is that a lot of flashcard apps help you regularly review the information to keep it fresh
When studying, I do the same thing (pencil-and-paper notes, occasionally some sort of longer paragraph-type thing if I'm trying to synthesize a lot of conceptual things). I then will occasionally read back through my notes to refresh myself. Flashcard programs are a similar system but with a more rigorous system of spaced repetition which is designed to maximize retention. So if you prefer taking notes manually, all power to you -- it's not the most efficient system, but a slightly less efficient studying method that you enjoy and will do regularly is far superior to a studying method that you have to force yourself to do.

Re: Different Styles of Making Flashcards

Posted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 10:52 am
by Cheynem
The key in any form of studying is what works for you. If you find yourself loath to use flashcards of any sort, no matter the efficiency, this is presumably going to at some point cause you to not want to do quizbowl. I've never used flashcards, but I know plenty of players who do. I usually get my studying done by reading through questions.

Re: Different Styles of Making Flashcards

Posted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 11:35 am
by heterodyne
In addition to the great points other have made above, one reason you might want to use flashcards is if you have trouble regulating your studying. A given number of flashcards is an easily measurable daily benchmark, and will keep you from having to think about study time and efficiency in the same way, assuming your cards are well made. If you don't have problems with this or with remembering specific named details, you probably don't need them

Re: Different Styles of Making Flashcards

Posted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 11:47 am
by John Ketzkorn
DavidB256 wrote:
Thu Jul 25, 2019 9:39 am
I am by no means an elite player, but I have done quite a bit of studying over the years, and have never used nor seen the appeal of flashcards. I take bulleted pencil-and-paper notes on the harder details of everything I study, and I don't understand how flashcards could be more helpful for me. Is there something I'm missing, or is it just a strategy that's not for everyone?
Flashcards embody some of the core principles of memorization, mainly:
1. Spaced repetition
2. Recall practice

Writing quiz bowl questions embodies:
1. Putting information in your own words
2. Elaboration -- adding on to what you already know / making connections.
3. Recall practice*

*assuming you're not just transferring info from one source into a question

With note taking, you can certainly do all the same things you could do with writing (you lose out on some "quizbowlification"), but it puts the onus on you to do spaced repetition on said recall practice. From what I understand, this is significantly different than just rereading your notes; you need to actually be /recalling/ the information from memory. Playing quiz bowl naturally tests your recall, but not systematically, hence the great appeal of carding.

Re: Different Styles of Making Flashcards

Posted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 10:31 am
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
I never used flashcards. I tried making them once (I think I made actual index card flashcards where the front was an object from Norse myth and the back was the owner of that object) and I found that I found the process of making flashcards to be boring and unpleasant. It was more fun to just read books, practice packets, or write questions. I'm fairly confident that a lot of quizbowl's greatest players of all time never used flashcards, but I also know that there are people who credit flashcards with helping them to become among the greatest players of all time.

So yeah, one more vote for whatever works for you. Give it a try and see how you like it.