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Tool Review: Kahoot

Looking for a fun way to review content with students in your classroom?  Interested in gathering a bit of formative assessment information in a nontraditional way?  Want to freshen a staff development session or a faculty meeting by building in a bit of audience participation and fun competition?  

Then you will be interested in checking out Kahoot:

Kahoot is a free service that allows users to create and deliver online quizzes, surveys and discussions in a competitive game-based environment.  As participants answer questions, they earn points – either as individuals or as members of learning teams – and receive instant feedback about their own mastery of individual concepts.

Users can join a Kahoot competition by visiting from any internet connected device -- mobile phone, tablet, laptop -- and entering a unique "Game Pin."  After all teams have signed up to play, the game's host can begin presenting questions to the audience.  Participants are awarded points based on how fast they can answer questions correctly -- and after each round of questioning, the game's leader board is updated.

Need to see an example of Kahoot in action?  

Then find a few friends and challenge them to play this public game that asks users to identify popular animated cartoon characters.  While it's not an academic game designed for reviewing class content, it IS a lot of fun to play -- particularly if you are a parent who has spent the better part of the past decade watching animated movies with your kids!

After you have finished taking Kahoot for a whirl, consider answering the following questions:

  • How will your students respond to Kahoot?  Will they enjoy playing?  Why?  Will you have them play as members of teams or as individuals?  Why?
  • How can you keep the novelty of Kahoot from wearing off?  Will Kahoot be as engaging to your students after they have played with it four or five times?
  • Does Kahoot have value as a formative assessment tool?  Does Kahoot make giving instant feedback about mastery of core concepts in a timely way more doable for teachers?
  • How can you increase the instructional value of Kahoot?  Would you ever consider having students create their own quizzes?  Why?  Can you find ways to make Kahoot about more than just knowledge-driven multiple choice questions?


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1 Comment

Dawn DuPriest commented on September 3, 2014 at 7:42pm:


I've exchanged some e-mails with Kahoot and asked them questions about its use as a formative assessment tool. Their response was that they know it's not ideal for every type of assessment, but the goal is "100% engagement". In this, they do their job REALLY well. My kids love Kahoot quizzes. We do them once a week or so. The excitement is palpable and they are truly 100% engaged in it the whole time. I've used online quiz tools, but nothing else does the job better of turning a classroom into a raucous game show.

As with any multiple-choice tool, it has limitations for the types of questions you can ask. Every student can also see all of the other answers in the room, so don't use it if the integrity of your data is important. Great for a speedy and fun review of low-level information.

I do believe it would be fantastic to have students create their own Kahoot quizzes, and they're very easy to make. Once you have the kids create the quizzes, you're going to have to play them all, so I might put them into pairs or small groups to increase the quality and lower the number of the quizzes. When I consider the thinking involved in a) identifying key concepts you've learned, b) thinking of great questions that get to the heart of those concepts, c) considering not only the correct answer but common mistakes that would fool people into picking incorrect choices... you have a great learning activity.

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