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This content was published: April 9, 2018. Phone numbers, email addresses, and other information may have changed.

Breaking up boring content and testing knowledge with Quizlets!

posted by Ron Bekey

One thing that is difficult for many online students is reading pages and pages of content. Adding interactive activities can make the materials much more engaging. Many instructors use videos, which are great, but take a long time to prepare, and don’t provide any interaction or feedback. Self-Test Quizzes in D2L can be used to test a student’s knowledge, but they require leaving the lesson page to take the Quiz, which causes the student to lose focus.

The Quizlet tool has a lot of advantages:

  • It is really quick to set up a quiz
  • It can be “embedded” in one of your content pages, so the student doesn’t leave the page, and can continue the lesson after completing the Quizlet
  • It makes the lesson more “fun” for the student, and gives them positive feedback after they complete it
  • There is a phone app that lets a student take the Quizlets without a computer
  • It has audio, so students with poor vision can “hear” the words in the Quiz, and keyboard shortcuts for navigation in the Flashcards mode

There is one disadvantage:

  • The Quizlet tool is not accessible for students who require the use of a screen reader. If you have a student who requires a screen reader in your class, you will need to come up with an alternate activity for them. I have some suggestions at the end of this document for that.

Getting Started

  • Go to the Quizlet website.
  • Click Sign up to create your account. Enter a birthday, username, email and password. Be sure to check the I am a teacher box, so you get the correct screens for creating quizzes.
  • Click Or continue to free quizlet. The basic Quizlet account is free, and works fine for what I am demonstrating here.
  • The website will send you an email for verification. You will need to verify your email before you can log in again.

Creating your first Quizlet

  • Click Create a Study Set (you may need to do this twice)
  • Type a Title for your Quizlet.
  • You can add an image if you wish. Since we are embedding this in D2L, I suggest not doing that, as it clutters an otherwise very clean layout.
  • Enter your study terms (term) in the left column, and the definition of each in the right column. You will need to choose the language in at least one of the definition areas (usually English).

I have created a “demo” quiz with 4 terms about Quizlet. This is how the first 3 items looked while I was entering the information:

entering quiz items in the quizlet interface

  • 5 rows are provided by default. Click “Add Card” at the bottom of the screen if you want additional rows.
  • Click Create to create your Quizlet. Don’t worry if you don’t have time to finish it, or think you may need to fix things later. It is very easy to go back to them and edit.
  • Ignore the link in the next box for now. We are going to embed the Quizlet instead. Just close the box by clicking the X in the upper right corner.
  • You will see that there are an assortment of study options available. Although your students can choose any mode they want later, we recommend that you start with Flashcards, which is the most accessible mode. Click Flashcards to continue.
  • Test your flash cards to be sure they are set up correctly. You will notice that by default, the definition displays first, and the term is on the back.
  • If you click on the words or press the letter “a”, they will be spoken out loud.
  • If you press the space bar or click outside of the words, the card will “flip”, and the term will be shown. The back side of the card works the same way.
  • When you are ready to move to the next card, press your right arrow key or click the right triangle right triangle icon at the bottom of the screen to move to the next card.

Inserting the Quizlet into your D2L page

  • Go to the page you want to add the Quizlet to in D2L.
  • Click Edit HTML at the bottom of the screen.
  • Click the HTML Source Editor right triangle icon Button.
  • Put your cursor on the page in the place where you want to insert the Quizlet.
  • Return to the Quizlet page. Click Back in the upper left corner, hover over the 3 dots right triangle icon at the top of the page to see the menu, then click Embed.
  • Choose Flashcards in the dropdown box (the other modes are not accessible, so they should not be used as the default).

Your screen should look similar to this:

embed code icon

  • Click the Copy HTML button, or select the text in the box and copy it.
  • Move to your D2L page, and Paste the code into your file.
  • Click Save, then Update. You should now see the Quizlet in your web page!

Formatting and Accessibility tips

  • You may want to put the code shown in bold below around your Quizlet code, which puts a box around the Quizlet for a more professional appearance:<div>
    <iframe src=”https://quizlet.com/283843978/flashcards/embed” height=”500″ width=”100%”></iframe>
  • We also recommend that you give hints on using the tool, plus the keyboard accessibility shortcuts. I have included those in the box below.
  • Unfortunately the Quizlet tool is not compatible with screen readers. If you have a student with an accommodation that requires the use of a screen reader, you will need to provide an alternate activity that is accessible for them. One option is to create a table with the words in one column and the definitions in the second column. If you do that, be sure to use the proper table formatting for accessibility, as shown on the webaim site. Another option is to create a set of “matching” questions as a Quiz in D2L.

Here is the final appearance of the demonstration Quizlet on a D2L page:

A quizzer is complete

Editing your Quizlet

  • On the Quizlet website, close the Embed box if it is open.
  • If you don’t see your Quizlet, click on your username at the top of the screen, then click Your Study Sets.
  • In the menu at the top, click the Edit button.


Quizlets are a great tool for adding student interaction, making your assignments more engaging, and doing self-tests. Just be aware that they have limitations for users who require a screen reader, and be sure to provide an alternative for them. Have fun!

Editor’s note: We are exploring H5P as a way to create shareable, accessible activities that can be embedded in content as well. Please let us know if you’re already using it or have interest in exploring.

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Sorry, but the comments have been closed. If you see something that doesn't belong, please click the x and report it.

x (Comment #32711) by Peter Seaman 4 years ago (Comment #32711)

Hi Ron: Thanks for sharing this info on Quizlet. Seems as though it could be really useful. Some years ago I taught myself enough PHP to be able to do something similar on a web page, but the back end took quite a bit of work to set up (PHP hosting, etc). This tool sounds a lot easier to use, but I do wonder about the Quizlet funding model. Do they sell your e-mail address? Or do they hold back features and hope you will get hooked and then pay for advanced features? Or is there advertising? Anyway, I’ll check it out and ask again when I see you. I always wonder about the funding model. Thanks.

x (Comment #32720) by Melinda 4 years ago (Comment #32720)

This is something that I wish was in d2L. I looked at Quizlet and decided not to do it. Beside the issue of accessibility (and I seem to get quite a few students with vision problems), there is the issue of grading. There doesn’t seem to be any way other than having students take screen shots to find out how the students are doing. These might be fine for self-check, but it would be nice to have gradable quiz questions embedded in d2L content pages.

x (Comment #32729) by Ron Bekey 4 years ago (Comment #32729)

Hi Peter, thanks for your comments. Creating a similar tool by yourself in PHP is certainly possible, but it is a lot of work to make it look professional and there are potential issues with security and accessibility. The Quizlet company does display ads in their free accounts, but the ads don’t display in the finished product. If you pay for an account, there are no ads and there are additional features. They send email promotions when you sign up, but you can opt out of them. The company seems well-run, and not intrusive from what I can tell.

x (Comment #32730) by Ron Bekey 4 years ago (Comment #32730)

Melinda, thanks for sharing your comments and concerns. This tool is designed for self-assessment, not graded quizzes, which can already be done in D2L. Regarding the accessibility, it is actually quite good for people with limited vision in the “flash cards” mode, as long as they are not 100% dependent on a screen reader. The combination of arrow keys to move between cards, pressing the space bar to flip a card over, and speaking the words out loud when the words are clicked or the “a” key is pressed are all excellent accessibility features. I hope you will give it a second look.