Troy Patterson

Educator, Thinker, Consultant

Moodle FlashCards

I work with some truly wonderful people. Chris Kenniburg, Bob Harrison, Amy Gwizdz and Sean Williams are four of those terrific people. Together, they have developed a way to do FlashCards in Moodle.

Why FlashCards? Well, there are several sites that allow for FlashCard creation. However, these all take the user out of Moodle. FlashCards can be a terrific way to study vocabulary and other concepts. Even better, doing so in Moodle means that the students can create the FlashCards. (I’ve noticed that teachers tend to create flash cards for students to study. I believe that this is backward. Let the students create. That is where the learning really happens.)

So, Chris was the lynch pin in this project (he is after all, a particularly helpful moodler). He put together a few disparate pieces of information: a request for FlashCards, a post by the Moodle Fairy (AKA Mary Cooch) on postcards, and a post about CSS tips. Chris started running with the CSS. Unfortunately for us, the CSS “flips” the card on mouse roll over. This is not ideal for kids and flipcards. Fortunately, Chris was able to change the CSS so that the card “flips” on click, not roll over. We also wanted a way to select a random card instead of just moving along in a linear fashion. Enter Sean. Sean whips up some javascript so that we have a Random Card button that, well, displays a random entry instead of a sequentially ordered card. Perfect.

Off to the Tech Coaches for thoughts and feedback. Bob and Amy propose some changes. They provided several tweaks to make things look and work better. One of those suggestions was the addition of “Next” and “Previous” buttons. This allows the students to work through the cards in order.

There are many things about this that I really like. First off, it allows for the students to create the flashcards. I’m really, really big on the students creating the content. Since this is a database activity, the teacher could set it so that the students would have to create some FlashCards before they would see any of the already created ones. The teacher can also approve the FlashCards before the students see them. Since it is a database activity, the FlashCards are visible for the entire class (again, once approved if the teacher wants to review them first). The FlashCards can contain text, images and/or video. Text, images and videos are available for both the front and back sides of the cards.

We still have a few things to work out. We are working on Ratings. We’ve thought about tagging. However, we aren’t sure if tagging would just make things too complex and not really solve anything. Using FlashCards per unit, for example, might be better than creating a large FlashCard set that is tagged with the each unit.

The teacher ends up having significant control over the FlashCards. For example, we’ve removed the Card numbers from the side of the screen. The teacher can easily have those displayed if that is desired. (We removed them for several reasons. First of all, it clutters up the screen. Secondly, a number doesn’t really say what is on the card. Third, in large datasets, this could quickly be over) We certainly understand that the teacher may want those displayed. Thus, it is easy to remove by visiting the CSS template (where there are directions on adding the page (card) numbers back in).

What does this look like?

Here is the front of a card that just contains a picture.

6th Grade LA Part 1: FlashCards 2016-03-04 22-34-40

The buttons say:

  • Previous
  • Flip the Card
  • Random Card

Here is the back of another card:

6th Grade LA Part 1: FlashCards 2016-03-04 22-37-07

The buttons say:

  • Previous
  • Flip the Card
  • Random Card
  • Next Card

Notice that these are adaptive. Since the front card is the last one in list, there is no Next. However, the back card is one that isn’t the first or the last, so there is a Previous and Next available.

Here is an overview of FlashCards from Chris.

If you’d like a copy of the template, just contact me. I’ll share. (It has been submitted to Moodle, but hasn’t been approved yet.)

*UPDATE: See the Moodle Flashcard Update Post for, well, an update.

Here is an example file that you can install.


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More on Moodle FlashCards


  1. Dev

    Can you please share your template/plugin to do Flashcard.


    • Troy

      Sure. I apologize for the delay. I’ve added it to the bottom of the original post.

  2. Joëlle

    Hello Troy,

    I can’t see the template file , could you help me ?

  3. David Ng

    Could I have a copy of the database preset to do flashcards? Thanks in advance.

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