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Electronic Flashcards as a Tool to Improve Exam Readiness

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Improving course effectiveness

Tagged Divisions

Engineering Management, Engineering Economy, and Industrial Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.471.1 - 23.471.5



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Paper Authors


Susan L. Murray Missouri University of Science & Technology

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Susan L. Murray is a professor of engineering management and systems engineering at Missouri University of Science and Technology. Dr. Murray received her B.S. and Ph.D. in industrial engineering from Texas A&M University. Her M.S. is also in industrial engineering from the University of Texas-Arlington. She is a professional engineer in Texas. Her research and teaching interests include human systems integration, productivity improvement, human performance, safety, project management, and engineering education. Prior to her academic position, she spent seven years working in industry including two years at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.

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Julie Phelps Missouri S&T, Educational Technology

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Julie Phelps has a B.S. in Education from The University of Missouri, Columbia and a M.A. in Information & Learning Technology from The University of Colorado - Denver. She has 17 years of teaching experience and has facilitated professional development for K-12 teachers for 10 years. Since 2010, she has been applying her experiences with teaching, technology, and professional development into higher education as an instructional designer. At Missouri S&T, she assists faculty in course redesign and in matching the right tools with the best teaching practices.

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Electronic Flashcards as a Tool to Improve Exam ReadinessAbstract:Many college classes have basic information that must be learned before students can master themore complex application and analysis of advanced ideas in the class. Students often strugglewith identifying and learning these facts, terms, and principles. This paper reports on a projectthat evaluated the use of electronic flashcards in an undergraduate human factors class. Thestudy materials (online flashcards) were developed in conjunction with the university’sEducational Technology Office.A student worker who was also a student in the human factors class worked with the instructor todevelop a set of electronic flashcards. As a faculty member and student working together, wewere able to make sure the flashcards would be clear to the students. The resulting flashcardswere embedded in the class’s Blackboard page. Students can choose to review them in a varietyof formats. Figure 1 is a screenshot of two electronic flashcards. The top card displays the termand its definition at the same time (for initial study). The lower card is showing just one side,allowing the students to test themselves. After answering the question, the student canelectronically “flip” to the see the correct answer. The card sets from each chapter can becombined and shuffled. The material can also be presented in a random matching exercise aswell. The electronic flashcards were built using Quizlet ( paper evaluates students’ attitudes towards the study aids and their effect on examperformance. Specifically we evaluated: 1) Student perceptions – Do students like the electronic flashcards? Do they use them when they are provided by the instructor? How do students use them (i.e. print paper copies, within Blackboard, on handheld devices, etc?) 2) Feasibility – Are there technical difficulties in preparing and using electronic flashcards? How time intensive is the process? 3) Learning – Does the use of electronic flashcards improving student’s performance on exams? Is there a correlation between use of electronic flashcards and test performance? Do students have a stronger understanding of the material included in the flashcards? The results should aid others in determining if electronic flashcards are an effective learningtool.Figure 1 – Screenshot of Preliminary Electronic Flashcards

Murray, S. L., & Phelps, J. (2013, June), Electronic Flashcards as a Tool to Improve Exam Readiness Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19485

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