Based on my first semester attempt to incorporate AnkiWeb into my Freshman (first year) Economics faculty classroom, I made some changes in the second semester. One of those was to have the class meet once a week in a computer lab to create their own cards.
In the first semester, I created a class account on AnkiWeb. Then I created individual decks for each student from the class materials on my Anki desktop client program which were uploaded to AnkiWeb. The students were then shown AnkiWeb in class and given the shared username and password for the class account. There were three main reasons for this:
1) It allowed me to ensure the accuracy and consistency of the cards.
2) I was able to easily access each student's deck to monitor their progress.
3) I did not have access to a computer lab for the class.
However, at the end of the semester, I realized that even if students successfully used AnkiWeb and realized it potential, they would not necessarily be able to use it on their own. Due to my desire for control of and access to student decks, I had not created independent users of AnkiWeb.
So, in the second semester, I arranged for the class to meet every Monday in a computer lab. This allowed the students to create their own AnkiWeb accounts and cards from class materials. Overall, I feel that it was successful in creating more independence; however, there were some other difficulties that should be addressed.
When students were absent on a Monday, they would obviously fall behind in terms of creating cards. I asked those students to make the cards on their own time, but sometimes they would not and would fall behind. The same would happen with students who were late or who were slow typists.
Also, students would often make mistakes in terms of the content or the formatting of the cards. They would sometimes mistakenly make a new deck every class, creating multiple decks and subsequent confusion. With a class of 20, it was difficult to monitor all the students in the lab to make sure everything was going smoothly.
And finally, by not having direct access and control of student decks as I did in the first semester, it was very difficult check students decks for any of the problems discussed above.
With the students in the computer lab, I could look at their decks via AnkiWeb, but the interface only allows a very limited ability to examine and search for cards. It was also very time consuming in a 45-minute class period.
I did collect their usernames and passwords so I could access their decks directly via the Anki desktop client program. However, as the program has to be synced to each student's AnkiWeb account with a different username and password, it is also a very laborious and time consuming process.
So, there are definitely pros and cons to both student generated cards and teacher generated cards. However, in my opinion, I think creating independent users of Anki is more important than the desire/need for teacher control and access.
Perhaps the upcoming Anki 2.0 will have options to address these issues.