Kahoot! Is a free online game-based classroom response system. In other words, it is a website on which you can create quizzes, discussions and surveys. Then, you can project your quiz on a screen at the front of a classroom, and students can answer questions in real time on their own mobile devices.
How it works and features
Kahoot! is very simple to use, but most of all, it is really fun! It can be played in different environments, for instance in classrooms of any levels, during conferences or lectures, with families, at the workplace to check the understanding after a meeting, etc. The game master simply has to create an account (free) on https://getkahoot.com. Then, the game master can create as many different quizzes as he/she likes. After the quizzes are created, the game master can project his/her Kahoot! on the screen at the front of the group and invite the players to play via their own mobile devices.
- First, after logging in your account, you select what kind of Kahoot! you want to create: A quiz, a discussion or a survey.
- You give your new quiz a title.
- You create your questions.
First, you type your question in the “Question box”. Then, underneath the “Question box”, you have another box into which you can drag or drop an image or video from your computer. If you choose not to upload one of your pictures, Kahoot! will put one of their own for you. This way, it makes the quiz more engaging. Then, you add as many multiple choices of answers in the little boxes underneath the image. You simply have to select which answers are true, and which are incorrect. More than one answer could be a correct answer. You can assign how many points the questions is valued, and the time limit for the participants to answer it (between 5 and 120 seconds).
- Then, you can add questions to your quiz, delete questions, duplicate questions or save your completed quiz.
- At the end of the quiz creation, you have to set in what language it is, you have to choose the privacy settings (public or private*) and select the intended audience (school, university, business, event, social, etc.). You can optionally add a description of your quiz, and assign a difficulty level (beginner, intermediate, advanced). Finally, you can tag your quiz with key words like for instance the topic, the academic qualification level, etc.
* When you choose the public privacy setting, everyone using Kahoot! can play your quizzes and duplicate them and edit them. If you choose the private setting, you will be able to play with your whole class if they have the PIN, but everyone else using the website will not have access to it.
- Only if you wish to, you can give your quiz a cover image.
- At any time, you can go back to all of your different quizzes and edit them as you like.
- If you wish to, you can share your Kahoot! on the website community page, on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google Plus or by e-mail.
- Your quiz is now completed and ready to be played!
How to play with other people!
- Hit play now. You will get the a page with the name of your quiz at the top, and different choices of settings: Display game-pin throughout, randomise order of questions, randomise order of answers in each question, play music in the lobby while waiting for people to join the quiz, display your venue’s wifi details to players, etc,. After choosing your settings, click on Launch.
- The “Lobby” will now be opened for players to join in. You have to project your Kahoot! at the front of the class.
- Participants who have a mobile device and access to a wifi or their 3G have to go on the internet and go to the website: Kahoot.it
- Then, they have to enter the game-PIN showed on the game master screen. They choose a nickname and automatically appear on the “Lobby”.
- On the Lobby, you see the number of players logged in.
- The game is now started! Each questions appear on the game master screen, with the different choices in different color rectangles. On their devices, the participant do not see the question, nor the answers. They only have the color-coded rectangles associated with the answers displayed at the front of the classroom. They have to select their answer by choosing the right rectangle on their devices, and fast enough so their beat the clock.
- When the time is up, the right answer is displayed on the game master’s screen, with statistics of how many people chose which answer. (For example, 10 people chose yellow, 3 people chose red, 6 people chose green and 12 chose blue.)
- There is an icon “re-show image” that allows you to go back to the question and give the explanations for the right answer.
- Next, the scoreboard is shown on the screen, showing the 5 best positioned participants and their points.
- You repeat this sequence question by question until the end of the quiz.
- At the end, participants can rate the quiz on their devices, according to how fun they found it, did they learn something, and would they recommend it to somebody.
Kahoot! for ESL teachers
Kahoot! is a very nice interactive way of teaching and learning. It can be a really fun way of checking the understanding of the students for many different levels. For instance, if you play with a group of second grade students who are learning English as a second language and are real beginners, you can play Kahoot! by showing pictures of vocabulary items they are learning as questions, and they have to match the correct definition. For instance, you show a cat, and they have to tell whether it is a cat, a dog, a mouse or a duck. You simply allow them a longer time to respond, according to their ability level. For a little more advanced group of students learning prepositions, you can show a picture of an apple on a desk. The answers should suggest: Is the apple on the desk?, under the desk?, beside the desk?, etc.?
English teachers can also use Kahoot! at all secondary levels. An interesting way of doing it would be for instance, if the students had to read a book, the questions could all be related to the content of the book. This way, by seeing the students’ answers, the teacher can easily check the understanding of the students, which part were more difficult, and which students in particular did not seem to understand anything, or even who did not read the book at all.
Using this tool once in a while keeps the students interested, and it can bring a less fun teaching topic (like grammar) to be more exciting and enjoyed by the students because of the interactive side and the competitive aspect. A teacher can use the tool to identify what is the hardest for the students and then go back to it and give further explanations. It is also very motivating and rewarding for the students to see their name in the top 5 on the teacher’s screen. The competitive aspect can engage students to do better and better. Also, you retain more information when you are engaged in the process. By remembering “Oh yes, I saw this question when we played Kahoot!” the student might remember more efficiently the material.
This latter idea was also mentioned on the Ed Tech Review website. The author cited an old Chinese proverb that well illustrates the idea: “Tell me and I forget, show me and I remember, involve me and I understand.”
An Edshelf review adds that it is a great idea for students to create their own quizzes. By doing so, they reinforce their learning because they are thinking of some tricky questions about the material, but also, they have to think of potential wrong answers, and this helps them get the hang of materials that could be confusing to them.
My personal opinion
I have discovered Kahoot! during a SPEAK on Campus conference at Laval University. The lecturer made us get our cell phones out to play the quiz. I thought it was really fun, because it is different from what we are used to in classrooms. It gave a different beat to the room: everyone who were sleeping in their seats woke up and were excited to play something different and engaging. I really like the competitive aspect, as it motivates everyone to answer well and rapidly, so as to find our names on the top 5 chart. I believe that using Kahoot! as a way to quiz the students is less stressful for them compared to a traditional test on paper, that has to be completed in silence in a certain amount of time. Students see it more as a game, but because they want to gain points, they respond thoroughly to the questions. I also liked the fact that it is very simple for all the students to log in. It takes maximum 3 minutes for everyone to join, because there are only 3 clear and concise steps. I will definitely use this tool in my future ESL career, and I find the invention very exciting.
The only pitfall of this tool, is that most of the time, cell phones are not allowed in classrooms. In this case, allowing students to play Kahoot! on their phones would go against the school rules, and I am not sure it is a good idea. But, it may be feasible if you have the principal’s permission, and if you are sure that your students are responsible enough not to take out their phones on “off Kahoot!” time. However, nowadays, some classes are provided with iPads for every students. These classes would certainly benefit from using Kahoot!.