2020 may end up being the most bizarre “back-to-school” year ever because, for many, it will mean not going back to school at all. Fortunately, there are tons of online resources available to make back to home school a bit more exciting, like playing a flash card game online. You’ll learn here how to make a simple flash card game in Google Slides that can be used to introduce or reinforce concepts in learning while also allowing you to brush up on a few software skills.
Related: if you are new to Google Slides, check out this list of Google Slides tips to save you time.
Accessing Google Slides
Since, Google Slides is part of Google Docs, go to Google Docs and log in to your Google account.
Go to the side menu and select “Slides.” Click the “+” button at the lower-right corner to create a new Google Slide.
Edit master slides
To edit the master slides, go to “View -> Master.” Select one of the masters and edit it like an individual slide from the presentation. Remember anything you drop on here – images, text, lines – are persistent, so it’s perfect if you need to brand your cards.
For this project we’re only going to need four different master designs to cover the title, questions and answers (right and wrong). We started with the Momentum theme, then removed the master slides we didn’t need and adjusted the colors (right-click the background and select “Change background”). We’re keeping it simple and just changing the color to cover our different needs. Next, we grabbed an icon from the Noun Project and inserted that with a title across the different masters.
Next we’re going to go back into the editing interface (“View -> Master”) and add a title and subtitle to the first slide. Remember the formatting here is all managed in the Master slides, so if you need to make changes to the style, go back there.
Three new slides, a question, right answer and wrong answer are now added. We’ll join them together once we’ve added the content.
Start in the question slide. Click into the text which says “Click to add title” and type your question. You can also add a chart to your slides if you want. We’ve added an additional text box above the question (“Insert -> Text”) and added a line to denote a category.
Beneath the “question” we’re going to create two buttons for the right and wrong answers. We select a shape (“Insert -> Shape -> Shapes -> Rounded corner box”), use the stroke and fill options in the toolbar to give it a button feel, then double-click the object to add text.
All of the usual text options are available, so we have centered the text, increased its size and changed it to white. Next we duplicate the object (Ctrl + Shift + click and drag to the new location). Finally we centered the two buttons on the page by selecting them both and using the guides to find the center – a guide will flash red when you’re correctly lined up.
Linking the answers
After making the questions, we need to create the right and wrong answer pages. You can be as elaborate or simple as you like, depending on what you’re trying to achieve, so long as it’s very clear which is which. Once this is done, click back into the question page and choose the “correct” button.
From the toolbar, select the Insert link option (or “Insert -> Link” from the menu), select Slides in this presentation and choose the correct answer slide. Do the same to link the incorrect answer.
You can test how it works by clicking the Present button at the top right of the interface and running through the first question.
Pull it all together
Now that the basic logic is set, you can either create new pages or duplicate the existing ones, adding new questions and linking to the appropriate right and wrong answers. When relinking your buttons, select the button and click the “Edit” link option. You’ll need to remove the existing link with the X icon before adding a new one.
Finally, in each of the answers (right and wrong), you need to create a button which leads to the next question. You can copy one of the existing buttons, change the text and add the appropriate link.
Share to play
Once all your questions are done, select “File -> Publish to the web,” and you’ll have two options for sharing your creation.
The first is a “Link,” and this option will always advance through the slides, so we’d recommend choosing the longest time before auto-advance, which is currently one minute. You could organize your deck to advance to a “time out” slide after each question so make sure all the questions and timeout slides are together and the answer slides correctly linked. As your production becomes more elaborate, remember to test often!
The embed option exposes a few things you can change within the actual embed code, including switching off auto-advance (make sure you see the text
start=false in the code) and changing the delay time to anything you like. (Look for the
delayms=3000 line and change the number to something larger in milliseconds.)
Now that you know how to create a flash card game in Google Slides, you can also make use of Google Forms to create fully-featured quizzes complete with multiple choice options and scores. It can’t compete with the visual aspect of doing the same job in Google Slides but does provide more options for feedback and collating statistics. As such, it is a great addition to your home classroom.
Andy Channelle is a writer and web developer who has written for Linux Format, Mac Format, 3D World and others, and has also published best-selling books on Ubuntu Linux and OpenOffice.org. He’s recently worked on web projects and campaigns for the International Red Cross and the UN. He produces – but hardly ever releases – electronica under the name Collision Detector. Andy lives in Wales, UK.
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