As I made the rounds at several educational technology conferences and events this summer, one of the most talked-about technology tools was Kahoot!, a self-described “game based classroom response system.” Kahoot! is a free (unlike other student response systems) online resource that allows teachers to quickly find or create quizzes, surveys, polls, etc. that are colorful, fun, and media-rich. Kahoot! has great potential as a formative assessment or “exit ticket” tool. It has a lot of potential as a fun (where that is still allowed) tool for reviewing concepts in a humorously competitive environment. I liken it to Socrative in a lot of ways, only minus the app and with more bling. The following is a very over-simplified guide to getting started with Kahoot! (By the way, that exclamation point is part of their name, by the way. I know I over-use them, but not this time! Oops.)
Get started by registering at https://getkahoot.com.
Click Next: settings, then select the quiz’s language, privacy settings (public or private), audience, and difficulty level (Beginner; Intermediate; Advanced). Type a short description and enter a few tags, which will help others find your quiz.
It should be noted that at any time in this process, you can go back and change your questions by clicking the Edit Questions button at the bottom left of the dashboard.
Click Next: Cover Image.
On the next screen, there are a few quiz options. It might be a good idea to turn on the “Display game-pin throughout?” option, in case students are late getting logged into the game. A warning: the lobby music option is eerily reminiscent of an elevator, only more grating.
Next, students open their devices’ browsers, navigate to http://kahoot.it, and enter the game pin. This is the screen view of a typical smart phone:
Students next create a player name and click Join Game. They’ll see a confirmation screen, and the teacher’s screen will display the student’s game name.
When ready, click Start Now to begin the quiz. The first question displays for a few seconds without showing the answer choices, allowing students time to think before clicking.
When all questions have been completed, click the End button to stop the quiz. A result screen will appear announcing the quiz’s winner (It helps to be playing against no competition.).
That’s all there is to it. Well, it’s actually not, but that is enough to get you started. You should also take the time to check out the thousands of quizzes, polls, and discussions created and shared by other users–might be a great time-saver. From your dashboard, just click on the Public link at the top of the screen. You’ll be able to search by topic, intended audience, or activity type.
I think you’ll like the usability of Kahoot! and the level of engagement you’ll see in your students. If you have any thoughts, ideas, or questions, please share them in the comments below. Best wishes for an incredibly successful school year!