I have another feature request for Stack Overflow... Flash Card mode! Imagine a system where you could upload all of your homework question from your CS 101 course, get them answered by professionals for free, and then after reading all the answers review them in a mode that concealed the answer until you hit a button signaling that you were ready for the spoiler.

Here is how it goes:

  1. Ask a question that you don't get on SO.. Here is a good example -- though mine isn't from a CS 101 course -- Haskell dividing num.
  2. Enter FLASH-CARD MODE on the Haskell tag.
  3. See if you've learned enough to get the right answer, or remember the points of the best answer.

I think this will greatly improve the educational quality of Stack Overflow.. There are 4106 questions tagged homework (as of Jul 29, 2010) realistically we should do a better job helping those trying to learn, rather than just pragmatically solving their problems. This might also open the door for SO to one day compete with the University of Pheonix or some other online college. There is a lot of money to be made in the online educational sector, probably more than just a mere professional Q/A network.

  • 22
    Come on, Evan, it wasn't funny to begin with and persistence isn't help: you're just persistently unfunny. Jul 30 '10 at 1:42
  • @dmckee, I'm not trying to be funny. I'm trying to help those that want to use SO to learn. Jul 30 '10 at 1:45
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    @dmckee Don't worry, I'm sure that month-long ban will convince him to change his ways. checks the date ...oh. Jul 30 '10 at 2:54

This already exists, sort of, courtesy of our very own balpha!


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    That is awesome!!!!
    – user27414
    Jul 30 '10 at 13:11
  • Thanks for the link Jeff! @Jon B, How come it is awesome when someone does it but "not funny to begin with and [...] persistently unfunny" when I suggest it... I think this speaks wonders of the SO 10k+ crowd. Jul 30 '10 at 16:11
  • @Evan - I'm not going to address dmckee's comment. I think balpha created a clever game based on SO, and managed to do so in an unobtrusive way.
    – user27414
    Jul 30 '10 at 16:32
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    @Evan: that whooshing sound you hear is the point going over your head.
    – Ether
    Jul 30 '10 at 17:12
  • That game is fun! Jul 31 '10 at 1:34

If you want a flash card app, you could always create it yourself using the API or data dump.

  • Perfect example. Hell that could even win a prize if you can get it submitted in the next 48 hours and get it +5 votes Jul 30 '10 at 2:06
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    @farseeker please tell more. what do you mean a prize? like 1k exp? Jul 30 '10 at 2:10
  • @Farseeker: No... I think based on the apps that are already there you'd need far more than just 5 upvotes. Jul 30 '10 at 2:10
  • @Evan: See my answer below. (Forget about getting a prize.) Jul 30 '10 at 2:10
  • @George, but 5 is all you need to get onto the apps page, and that's what you need to be in the running. Jul 30 '10 at 2:18
  • @Farseeker: I thought it was 6. Jul 30 '10 at 2:18
  • @Evan, fo shizz, you can win prizes by building an app that's popular and uses the Stack Exchange API. Better start now, the clock is ticking... (I would genuinely give it a +1 just because it's unique) Jul 30 '10 at 2:19
  • @George, I dunno, maybe it is 6. Or maybe it's just showing the top n... Jul 30 '10 at 2:21

I'm going to answer this seriously, Evan, because I'm taking it in good faith that this is a serious question.

Since it's very unlikely that (read never) the SO team will implement this on the site itself, why don't you write an application with Python or whatever that does something like this. It would be quite simple to do. Even if you have no skill writing applications, post a request on StackApps and maybe someone will write it for you if you can demonstrate a need for it.


Like Simon said, you could create your own app.

Here is a super primitive version of what you want:


It takes the 10 most recent questions and it displays only the ones with answers. There are "Show me the answer!" buttons for each answer that reveal the answer..... looks a little ugly due to lack of any CSS, etc, but it gets the job done.

I'll probably keep working on it to add styling, the ability to browse questions, tags, etc. But I'm not sure when. Feel free to clone the code and run with it.

If you scroll to the bottom of the page, you can see all the code I used to create it (2 PHP files).


Added in some tag browsing, you can click and pick right now, or type it in to the url, so to look at questions tagged homework in flashcard mode simply go to: http://peter-ajtai.com/examples/php/so.php?tag=homework

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