What is Product Deconstruct?
As a part of my blog, I look at learning solutions, not from an educator’s lens but as an aspiring product builder. I focus on the user experience, stickiness and refrain from divulging into content and quality of the content. My goal is to learn from these learning products, understand what sticks and drops and sharpen my product sense. I hope you enjoy reading these!
Quizlet was founded in 2005 with the focus on helping students learn and master their subjects using activities and games. Quizlet was created by Andrew Sutherland to study high school French vocabulary.
Students use the solution to create their own sets of quizzes to practice and master content. Alternatively, teachers use the offering as an activity for engagement and practice. Quizlet is a great tool for both teachers and students to prioritize content and create a personal learning experience.
- 60 million learners use Quizlet monthly
- 2 out of 3 high school students avail Quizlet for their learning
- 90% of the users who use Quizlet report higher grades
Source: Quizlet Website
Quizzing in learning and its impact
Before jumping into the product deconstruct, I wanted to research the impact of quizzing in learning outcomes and how retrieval practice impacts the learning experience.
Through my research, I narrowed down four advantages of quizzing:
- Quizzing has a direct impact on memory. Once a question is presented, the learner’s brain highlights the information and helps retain the information. Simply put, the learner is asked a question, retrieves information, gets feedback and continues the learning loop.
- Quizzing has greater feedback than other practices such as making and reading notes. If we follow the learning sciences research, quizzing can range from multiple choice to image recognition that sparks memories and encourages retention.
- Quizzing promotes self assessment in learners. A learner can get feedback, redefine their learning path by identifying gaps.
- Quizzing is asynchronous and gives agency in the process.
For this Product Deconstruct, my user persona is Callie. She struggles with art definitions and wants to try quizzing for practice. We will discover Quizlet through her experience.
The sign up carousel screens are impactful. The information is focused on the advantages of quizzing and how the experience can be personalized. Quizlet is showing value before sign up and increasing their chances for sign up and retention.
As Callie signed up, she was brought to the Setup Page. She is given two options – Create or Search and choices of subject. This flow gives Callie agency to decide her path.
Quizlet has five learning modes categorized into study modes and study games.
In this mode, the app creates a personalized learning plan for Callie. Based on her answers, the app notifies if it’s correct or incorrect and the answer.
If Callie wants to just review her art definitions, she uses the Flashcards mode. In this mode, she gets to read and review all definitions, shuffle them for randomness and use text to audio to help retain through auditory inputs.
I wonder: If Callie inputs the wrong spelling, would she be prompted to check her spelling or would it mark ‘incorrect’?
In the Write mode, Callie can spend time reviewing definitions without the help of choices. She inputs the answer and gets a response back. If she inputs the incorrect answer, the app corrects it.
When Callie is feeling confident for a round of practice, she uses the Test mode. She gets to choose the kind of practice questions and if she wants instant feedback.
I wonder: Callie took the test twice but can only see the recent test scores. I believe showing a range of test scores and list of misses and gains would be helpful to understand the gaps and make adjustments.
To make things fun and gamified, Callie uses the Match mode to check for her recall. The timer increases if Callie matches wrongly.
To understand the offering, Callie has selected some textbook practice exercises, an art set and architecture. The homepage gives her options to select the set and choose her learning mode.
I wonder: To track progress, would it be helpful for Callie to know which set has been previously chosen with the learning mode? This will help Callie to prioritize new versus practice content.
Overall user experience
Quizlet learning modes are fantastic and can be personalized. As a learner, it’s important to understand the mode of learning needed in different stages and Quizlet adapts the experience.
While technology and products don’t replace teachers, they enable the learning experience and learning outcomes. Teachers can create study sets, provide these as practice activities in class and at home. Quizlet solved the need for innovative teaching and learning practices in school and at home.
Quizlet grew to 60 million monthly learners in 2021 from 50 million in 2018. They offer targeted subscription models:
- Quizlet Plus at $47.88/year for access to progressive and adaptive learning and textbook solutions. This model allows students to schedule quizzes before tests. For those who prefer not to pay, the same is offered without scheduling and adaptive features.
- Quizlet Plus for teachers at $35.99/year provides teachers the opportunity to organize classrooms, track student progress and use images and videos.
Through my research, my understanding is that Quizlet focuses on growth in their daily and monthly active users with a focus on engagement.
Two ideas arise to increase engagement:
- Peer learning and activities
- Build peer pods that would learn together through quizzes. Track student progress individually, within peer pods and classrooms. Given that the product core offering is gamified, peer activities would increase engagement.
- Life skills focused content
- While Quizlet focuses towards academic progress, an alternative path could be exploring life skills content and building communities around these offerings. I believe offering content such as finance 101, how to network would help build a new academic-adjacent offering targeting young adults.
I had a fantastic time researching and exploring Quizlet, as my user Callie and an aspiring product manager. If you have feedback or recommendations, or want to chat about edtech products, feel free to write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.