A Modern Takes on Classic Study Methods

Next weekend I’m taking final exams for the first time since Clinton was in office. (If you missed the news, I’m a full-time student again). This has given me an opportunity to test some modern takes on classic study methods including flash cards and Jeopardy-style games.


From the first day of the semester I started making flashcards on standard 3” x 5” index cards. Initially, I digitized them along with my notebook notes using Google Keep. While that was helpful as a method of backing-up my work, it wasn’t great for studying things like Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12.

Until midterms I was fine reviewing my physical notecards. After that I had too many to keep in my pocket. I then transitioned to using Flippity for my flashcards. With Flippity I was able to create a spreadsheet of my notecards that then became digital flashcards that I study on my phone whenever I have a spare moment (it does take some discipline to look at the flashcards instead of Instagram).

Here’s a little demo of how to make flashcards with the classic version of Flippity Flashcards. And here’s a demo of the more flexible Flippity Flexcards. Both are good options and both work well. The classic version is what I used because I only needed words on my flashcards and not videos or audio clips.

Jeopardy-style Games

I had a small study group that met every weekend throughout the semester. Some weeks we just worked through practice questions together. Some weeks we ended up chatting about our kids more than anything else. And in preparation for finals I made a Jeopardy-style game for us to play. Again, I did that with Flippity. There are a bunch of other ways I could have made a Jeopardy-style game. Those methods can be seen in the videos here on my YouTube channel.

Summary Construction

The syllabi for all of my courses this semester explicitly stated not to use ChatGPT or similar AI tools for summarizing textbook material or assigned cases. I honored that rule for two reasons. First, because I’m a rule follower. Second, because I had a hunch that ChatGPT wasn’t going to be able to create summaries or case briefs that provided what I needed.

None-the-less, I needed to test my hunch. And when I did test my hunch it was confirmed as correct. I tested it with a case in which truck drivers filed suit against a dairy farm. The outcome of the case hinged on the used of the doctrine of the last antecedent. While ChatGPT could generate a summary, it couldn’t generate a summary that actually addressed the legal issue connected to the doctrine of the last antecedent.

For subjects that aren’t as complex as evaluating the use of the doctrine of last antecedent, ChatGPT and other AI-powered tools are probably fine when you just need a set of facts and or basic review questions. To that end, a couple of options besides ChatGPT and Google Bard that are worth mentioning are Knowt (demonstrated here) and Whimsical (demonstrated here).

Here are some tutorial videos that I’ve recently published:

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This post originally appeared on TechToday.