I have recently been trying to include more technology-based activities in class in order to ‘modernize’ the feel of the class and appeal to my tech-savvy EAP students.
One activity that has worked well recently is Kahoot! – a free application which allows teachers to create multiple choice quiz questions that students can answer using any mobile device. This application can be adapted for individual or collaborative work, and is equally useful for reviewing content, introducing new concepts, generating discussion or simply energizing the class with a quick ‘warmer’. Anyone who has previously used ‘clickers’ in class for any reason will appreciate the versatility of the program, which requires only internet access, a shared screen and a mobile device (all of my students used their phones). No player accounts are required, so in-class time is used efficiently.
Teachers begin by creating a free account at www.getkahoot.com . The program provides a sample quiz and walks you through the steps required to create a multiple-choice quiz with up to four choices per question. Once your quiz is created and ‘launched’ on your computer, the students in your class simply log into www.kahoot.it and type in the game PIN that is provided on the screen. Having the questions and answers projected on a shared screen brings the attention to the front of the room and provides a game-show atmosphere. The program even plays a catchy tune while the students are mulling over their responses (optional!).
No account is required for students to participate. They only need to go to the website www.kahoot.it and input the PIN for the game. The students can participate using their real names or choose nicknames for anonymity (this is actually part of the fun – the nicknames get pretty creative!). If working collaboratively to discuss their answers, they can choose a team name. The program tracks players’ progress after every question and provides a leader board of the top five players. This adds an element of competition that my students found motivating and fun. Kahoot! quiz creators also have the option of adding videos, images and diagrams to enhance the presentation, although I must admit that I simply used the quiz without these enhancements – the ease and speed of preparation was one of the aspects that appealed to me the most during limited prep time!
Lots of Great Ways to Use It
While I used Kahoot! to review grammar points, it could just as easily be a vehicle for quizzing vocabulary, checking reading comprehension, or polling opinions on various topics to spark discussion in a speaking class. It is a lively way to include formative assessment on just about any topic.
Once the game has been played, players can choose to play later in ‘ghost mode’ to try to beat their previous scores. You can also encourage learners to create their own kahoots to challenge their friends, or as a fun introduction to a presentation.
Kahoot! also offers users the option of perusing previously constructed quizzes, with millions currently available publicly. You can search through these on the www.getkahoot.com home page
In a Nutshell
• Kahoot! is a free to use online application for making interactive multi-choice activities.
• Very little technical expertise or time is required to set it up (I am a testament to that!)
• Students get involved and have fun answering questions in a competitive game-show style activity.
• You can use existing quizzes or make your own.
Have you used Kahoot! in your classes? Please share your innovations!