As I walked through the halls of St Ursula in Horn, The Netherlands, I heard laughing and ‘chirps’ of excitement coming from a classroom. As I politely knocked on the door, I was greeted by a very enthusiastic teacher who welcomed me into her Year 8 classroom. She explained that these students were just finishing off an assessment! I have never seen such positively motivated students completing an exam before. Usually these environments are full of fear, anxiety and dread but this was a different story! To complete this assessment they were using a web app called Kahoot.
Kahoot is an online application that I saw used on a number of occasions at St Ursula. The teacher uses an Internet browser to create the quiz after a free sign up to the web 2.0 tool. Teachers are able to add images, questions and short videos to the quiz followed by four multiple choice answers for students to choose from.
The teacher then provide students with a code to enter the quiz on their individual device, they release each question to the whole classes and students have a limited amount of time to answer the question individually. It is possible for the teacher to display the points of each student in a public place (such as the IWB) throughout the game. For the students in the classes I was observing this was very important and helped student to become more engaged. The correct answer is displayed on the device allowing for immediate feedback and the game continues.
This gamification approach to assessment provides teachers with a lot of data and allows a students’ thinking time to become more visible. The application records whether the student answered the question correctly and how long it took for the student to respond to the query. This assists the teacher in seeing how much time was spent choosing a correct (or incorrect) answer. These results can then be uploaded to Google Docs allowing for it to be referred to at a later point for reporting to students, parents and assessment for learning.
I observed a teacher who was using the software to check students’ prior knowledge. The educator was using Kahoot to pre assess Year Seven students during a PDHPE lesson. Every single student during the assessment was highly engaged and was very excited to be apart of the learning experience. I was concerned that showing students result publically may worry some students however; it only helped them. Students would see that some students were falling behind in points and would encourage each other to keep pushing and think differently. The level of technical vocabulary when students were assisting each other was high and useful. I even heard some acronyms being used to try and jog each other’s memories.
After the pre assessment, the teacher showed me the results. They were very detailed and provided some powerful which showed a very clear gap in the classes knowledge and allowed her to prepare her lessons to fill the students knowledge gaps.
On Kahoot there are also options to create a discussion or survey. I am still yet to delve deeply into these two options but will let you know how I go with my class when I try them out.