For the last year, I have been volunteering on the Advisory Council of ID2ID, a collaboration of Penn State and Educause that connects Instructional Designers, and gives us a community to connect, work on projects, or meet people around the globe working in our field.
In the Universal Design channel, one Instructional Designer asked about Accessible Flashcards or Flipcards. Here’s the list of tools and programs that the community contributed.
An Open Source Solution
H5P is a popular plugin for building interactives that is popular among the Open Educational Resources creators.
Pros of H5P:
- It’s open source- If you have a WordPress, Drupal, or Moodle Site, you can install a plugin, create original H5P and own all your own data.
- Accessibility- H5P flashcards are accessible. Not all H5P content types are accessible, but H5P.com keeps a list of which modules conform to WCAG 2.1 standards.
- Attractive and modern design- It looks nice, has slick animations and transitions, and can easily be navigated by the keyboard.
Cons of H5P:
- Self host or paid- Anyone who hosts their own WordPress, Drupal or Moodle can get full access to H5P for free. But if you don’t have those skills you can purchase individual licenses at H5P.com. Licenses at H5P.com can be expensive- ~$250 per user.
- Analytics- Unless you are connecting to H5P.com with your LMS through LTI with one of their premium licenses, you won’t get completion data.
Quizlet is a popular online flashcard creator. It’s free to use with ads, or a teacher can subscribe and remove ads on their content.
Pros of Quizlet:
- Easy import and export- It’s pretty easy to get your information into or out of Quizlet. The interface is easy to use, and you can also import from Google Docs, Excel, and Word files.
- Collaboration- With Quizlet you can set rules over visibility and who is allowed to make cards. Could be created in groups or as a class project.
Cons of Quizlet:
- Intrustive ads- One of the IDs reported that the ads wer were seeing on the free version made it difficult to navigate with her keyboard, a key accessibility test.
- Paid features- Quizlet is free to try, but to get full features, you have to pay for their $35/year subscription. You can remove ads from sets you generate, turn cards into multiple choice, or add audio.
- Analytics- With “Class Progress,” part of the premium package, you can get data on student completion and what they are studying.
- Ethics- Quizlets is one of the sites that is often used by students cheating on online exams. Often entire textbook question banks are uploaded to quizlet and when students copy an entire question and google it, quizlet is often one of the top responses. Some educators may not want their content associated with the site.
A newer tool for Microlearning
If you want your deck to look like an Instagram story, 7taps clean interface and simple inputs might work for you. While 7taps markets itself as a microlearning platform and calls the things you create courses, you can see how its card-style layout could be easily adapted to give you a flashcard feel.
Pros of 7taps:
- Simplicity- This app is delightfully simple, yet at the same time, has some really nice features. Want to write a script and have an AI-generated video autocreated? Want to add in multiple choice? Branching scenarios? I was really impressed at the possibilities while still having a very simple interface.
- Looks great- For people who are familiar with Tik-Tok, Instagram, or Facebook stories (read: almost everyone) the content generated looks good and feels familiar.
- Analytics- Basic analyrics are included with the free tier.
Cons of 7taps:
- Freemium model- This nice app is free for your first shared course, but as soon as you want to share a second course, you need to bump up to their $25/month tier. To get their full features, you need the $99/month tier. You are also limited in the free tier to only 3 videos or 1 AI-video.
An old friend
I had forgotten about Flippity. This tool has been around for about a decade. It works by connecting data stored in Google Drive or Google Sheets and converting it into flashcards, jeopardy boards, or other content types.
Pros of Flippity:
- It works: This app isn’t glamorous and is probably the least attractive of any of the solutions shared.
- Always free: It does have a banner ad on the website, but all features are free.
Cons of Flippity:
- UX: The dated user interface isn’t always clear what the buttons or icons will do.
- Analytics: Since there are no user accounts, you won’t know if your students are using them or how they are doing.
For me, the choice to use H5P is simple, but I have to admit it is because of the institutional infrastructure that we have already put in place. We have Pressbooks servers, an H5P studio, and the ability to create unlimited interactives with unlimited professors because we have laid the institutional groundwork with our Domains of One’s Own initiative. Not every institution has that. For my money and time, the best fit for my institution is using the open source version of H5P, and not spending the money to integrate with Blackboard through h5p.com.
Writing this review forced me out of my comfort zone a little, but I’m really glad to have seen and played with the 7taps application. With an unlimited budget, this might have been my favorite software, but with their per-user pricing of $300 (middle tier) – $1,200 (top tier) per year, I don’t see any way to scale that at my institution. Part of the allure of open source here is that it can be made available to unlimited numbers of users. While it isn’t free, because server space is a paid resource, it is an investment that scales well. We can make open source tools available to everyone, and pay for the space and resources that we actually use, as opposed to paying for a license for specific users or a team.
Do you have a favorite Flashcard generator that we should have tried out?