Suggestions please

I am an instructor and I want to create flash cards for commercial pilot training students. There are scores of subject areas each of which contain hundreds of facts. Regulations, navigation, systems, airspace and many others. Each of these have many distinctly different subtopics. I need help with how to arrange them. Here’s what I have considered so far so please tell me if this is on the right track.

One or a few main decks each covering main topics such as refs others for airspace for example. Sub decks for subtopics so that they can be studied independently from each other. All of the cards with tags so that students can Find all cards covering airspace regs for example.

The problem with sub decks is that the speed intervals place emphasis on the first subdecks and leave the later sub decks so that the learning limits may not cover them adaquatly.

So what is a good way to organize such a massive catagorized subject? This field is enormous much like medicine.

Any suggestions.


Is there any way to arrange the decks in an order where the topics go down top-down rather than across each higher level? I must say this is one of the classical knowledge hierarchy problems.

My limited knowledge of anki prompts my question so I may be thinking wrong to start with.

Here’s what I think I know.

Sub decks, while convenient for organization, has the problem that if a student selects the main deck the the limit quota comes from the sub decks in alphabetical order therefore the last sub deck might not be covered if the limit has been substantially reached from the sub decks above it.

That tends to suggest one deck with no sub decks. But one big deck is too broad for this type of knowledge base.

By the way, as wonderful the programming is for anki, you would think that this would be a simple problem to solve by programming, that is, a configuration choice that forces anki to show cards with equal distribution across many sub decks, rather from top down until a limit is reached. In other words, the limit should be distributed across all sub decks or as a custom distribution. But I digress…

I want to use tags for searching capabilities.

So, decks alone or decks with sub decks. If decks alone there would have to be at least 30 decks which is too many to manage updates of which there will be many.

That tends toward many sub decks. Is there a way to specify certain sub decks as part of the learning or review sequence? For example, out of 20 sub decks can I specify sub decks 1,4,16 and 20 as the sub decks to study from?

On another point. I want to be the source of the decks. I will update them when needed and provide the updated decks for download. Most of the students have enough on their plate to have to spend time on the learning curve to use anki. So is there a way to provide the anki download or an anki config file so the student does not have to learn how to set limits and such? I would do that for them and they would simply download the decks and the preconfigured anki and start studying? Is that possible?

My main concern now however is the proper hierarchy for organizing the cards.

Thanks in advance

Generally, it’s advisable not to have too many decks for all the reasons you mentioned. Anki doesn’t do a good job in randomising cards from several subdecks, but the more predictable the card order, the harder it will be to apply the learned content in a different context.
One good reason to use separate decks is the need for different options, for example because the cards have an inherently different difficulty.
If there isn’t a reason like that, I would always prefer having cards in the same deck. With hierarchical tags, you can have the same content structure as with decks, and if it becomes necessary to study subjects separately, you can use them to quickly set up a filtered deck.

Another option, Instead of one mega-tree,’‘sort’’ the decks in order they have to be learned. Here is my Trees–>

Maybe train users to use filtered decks and provide hierarchy using tags. The end users could then decide how they proceed.