Now fully launched in the UK, Quizlet (www.quizlet.com) is one of the world’s leading user-generated learning platforms and apps (and the market leader in the US): each month, relied-upon by over 50 million active learners, from 130 countries, to study and master more than 300 million user-generated study sets, on every topic and subject, from languages, mathematics and photography, to science, economics, and history. Beyond providing students with seven study modes (in 18 languages) to help them learn, revise, and test themselves on a plethora of subjects (both on and off curriculum), Quizlet is also relied upon by more than one million teachers worldwide for its activities and collaborative in-classroom game.
Quizlet was first devised in 2005 by Andrew Sutherland, at the time a 15 year-old high school student in California who needed a flashcard application to help revise for a French exam. Following its popularity amongst friends and fellow students, Sutherland released Quizlet to the public in 2007 as he was enrolling in a Computer Science degree at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). However, within three years, Quizlet had hit one million users and, at the encouragement of his professors, Sutherland left MIT to focus on his business.
Today, Quizlet regularly ranks in the Top 10 lists for downloads in the educational category within the App Stores.
Early adopters and students in the UK embraced the Quizlet study platform, and today there are 1.5 million people using it on a regular basis here. The majority of study sets created and studied in the UK are focused on languages, science, and the humanities, highlighting how vastly popular Quizlet is among students in secondary school preparing for exams like the GCSE. The platform is also utilized by students who continue to use Quizlet for a variety of studies once in university and beyond.
The platform supplements existing modes of learning, enabling students to engage with the study material in a way that suits their learning styles, as well as providing teachers with a vast array of study sets they can use with their own students.
The learning activities and games on the platform help people effectively study over time and master foundational information. By using AI-powered technology, Quizlet also provides a customised learning experience, for example, giving guidance on what to study depending on the user’s level of understanding, suggesting ways in which to better master a subject if the user is struggling with a specific topic, as well as helping teachers recognise where to focus their curriculum content and roadmap.
According to Edtech UK (2015), education technology is one of the fastest growing digital sectors in Britain making-up 4% of all digital companies, and a report by Metaari shows that the global edtech investments surged to $16.3 billion in 2018.
Founder and CTO, Andrew Sutherland, says: “It makes me proud that what started as an online flashcard builder created for my high-school French exam has now become a tool depended upon by millions of students and teachers across the world. As Quizlet expands, we remain committed to providing affordable access to effective and engaging learning materials. Our aim is not to replace traditional learning but rather have a positive impact on education by offering a support tool for everyone.”
Matthew Glotzbach, CEO comments: “Technology is key, and education is no exception. With students increasingly seeking digital tools to feel better prepared for classes and exams, growing our consumer learning platform in the UK is a priority. Our vision is to serve students and teachers by offering access to personalised and affordable resources, in order to enhance their learning and achieve success.”
How Quizlet Works
Millions of learners get to experience Quizlet for free. In addition to the free-to-use service, there are three paid-for subscription options and Premium Content that can be purchased.
Study Modes and Games:
The content that is accessible for everyone includes the following seven study modes and a classroom game:
- Flashcards – users can study digital flashcards based on the terms and definitions from any study sets they create or from millions of study sets put together by others.
- Quizlet Learn – this newest study mode uses machine learning technology to identify where a student is having trouble and adapts the study sessions to help them move from easier questions to tougher ones until they master the subject. To ensure achievement within a set time frame, Quizlet Learn can provide an individualised plan to remind students of when and what to practice, identifying areas of focus along the way.
- Quizlet Write – users are quizzed on terms and their definitions by writing in the answer.
- Quizlet Spell – users can practice their spelling by listening to audio definitions, and then write-out the word that they hear. This mode is particularly effective for those studying a new language or practising spelling and pronunciation in their native language.
- Quizlet Test – users get a chance to see how they might perform on in-class tests. This mode allows users to quiz themselves on the material and choose different question types based on the user’s preferences or how their teacher typically administers tests.
- Quizlet Match – this study game has users match up terms and definitions from their study sets and compete for the best score.
- Quizlet Gravity – in this space-themed game, users can gain points for identifying the right answers before the asteroids hit the ground.
- Quizlet Live – this collaborative classroom game lets teachers test students on specific topics as they work in teams to identify the right answers and get the most points.
In addition to the seven modes and the classroom game, Quizlet also offers:
Quizlet Diagrams – allows students to upload images and pin information to them. This new feature is useful for visual-heavy subjects, such as geography, anatomy, and architecture.
There are three types of subscriptions available for those who want enhanced study tools and resources.
For students, Quizlet offers two subscription options, which allow access to these additional features:
- Quizlet Plus (£1.67/month) – offers users advanced content creation tools including image uploads, advanced diagram creation, night mode, and voice recording capabilities. Quizlet Plus subscription is ads-free and unlocks offline studying.
- Quizlet Go (£1/month) – offers users an ad-free experience and the ability to study offline. Quizlet Go also offers a night mode, which automatically shifts the colours of the display, making it easier to read at night.
For teachers, Quizlet also offers a subscription option:
Quizlet Teachers (£20/year) – gives access to ‘Class Progress’ which allows teachers to analyse an individual student’s study activity and provides data on the performance levels of a whole class, such as terms their students miss or on which they most frequently score. This empowers teachers, enabling them to focus on future lessons.
Quizlet’s Premium Content provides students with expert-curated study materials, many of which directly align with textbooks, online courses, standardised tests and certifications. Students can either purchase an entire study guide or an individual set within a study guide. Materials are immediately ready to be used across any of Quizlet’s study modes.
To offer Premium Content, Quizlet partners with creators who have exceptional reputations in both academia and among students, in order to provide high-quality (and sometimes exclusive) content for the Quizlet user base. Partners include publishers, Oxford University Press, Pearson, and Kaplan. Other partnerships are with top learning companies such as language learning app, Babbel; study platform for human anatomy, Kenhub; and learning platform for Chinese and Chinese culture, Chineasy.
The Quizlet Premium Content study sets cover a range of subjects, including:
- Sciences (Anatomy, Physiology, Chemistry)
- Languages (English, Japanese, French, Spanish, and Chinese)
- Exam preparation (GCSE/IGCSE, MCAT, USMLE COMLEX, GMAT, GRE, TOEFL, SAT, LSAT, PSAT and Finance – Series 7)
- Professional Certifications (EMT, MLT/MLS)
Quizlet is headquartered in San Francisco, California, and opened a second office in Denver, Colorado in November 2018, taking its employee count to over 100.
Since its founding in 2005, Quizlet has grown year-over-year and is used by teachers and students in 130 countries. The platform has had 40 million mobile installs and has 50 million active monthly users.
Quizlet is backed by Icon Ventures, Union Square Ventures, Costanoa Ventures, Owl Ventures, and Altos Ventures. The company raised a $12M Series A round in 2015, with a valuation of $72M. In February 2018, Quizlet closed a $20M Series B round (at a $200M valuation).
Senior Team – Biographies
Andrew Sutherland, Founder and CTO, devised Quizlet in 2005 as a sophomore at Albany High School in California, originally building a simple website to help himself study French vocabulary. He studied Computer Science at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), leaving after three years to continue developing Quizlet. As CTO, Andrew is in charge of building the technology that powers more than 300 million study sets and allows millions of students to learn more efficiently. In 2012 and 2013, he was featured in Forbes Magazine’s ‘30 under 30’ list of emerging entrepreneurial stars.
Matthew Glotzbach, CEO, has over 20 years of experience building large scale, engaging products that solve real-world problems. Matthew joined Quizlet after 12 years at Google, where he was most recently VP Product Management at YouTube. Prior to this, he was on the founding team of Google Apps. Matthew studied mechanical engineering at Cornell and was raised in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
The Quizlet app is available on iOS and Android, and free-to-download from the App Store and Google Play Store.