Use Skill-Builders Strategically

Flashcards and other skill-builders—such as fill in the blanks, multiple-choice questions, and drag and drop activities—provide a strong basis of learning and practice for all projects. These essential activities reiterate fundamental content and help students figure out and review material in small chunks.

Skill-builders are both necessary and versatile: while they provide excellent ways of reinforcing basic content, they can also be deployed to cover more challenging concepts and material. For instance, it might seem most intuitive to use fill in the blanks to help students recall vocabulary, individuals, or events. But, with clear directions included, these activities can also help students do the following*:

  • Make judgments or assign categories
  • Provide short answers to questions
  • Solve problems or complete calculations
  • Translate phrases or sentences

Identify what skills students should practice or what tasks they should accomplish, and then consider how you could leverage skill-builders and their capabilities to help meet those needs. Remember many of the individual skill-builder types can be combined in question sets. Question sets can include either groups of similar, related activities or scaffolded activities that increase in difficulty—such as a set that progresses from true/false to drag and drop to multiple choice.

Whether you use individual or scaffolded skill-builders, getting to know these activities’ capabilities and approaching them creatively will help you use them to cover LOs more thoroughly and provide your project with even more advantages.

Additional resource: For further recommendations and examples of using popular skill-builders in different disciplines, see Editor’s Toolkit: Interactive Skill-builders.

* Note these auto-graded questions require exact right answers (alternate answers may also be specified). We also offer an ungraded fill in the blanks activity that auto-checks answers based on keywords.