In today’s technologically driven world, we have grown accustomed to our mobile devices being a necessity for our everyday life.
While businesses and institutions previously found it difficult to accept and adapt to the changes brought about by these technological advances, we now find ourselves sold out to the belief that these changes can make our work much easier. Not only does this affect our businesses – but it has made a huge impact on our education system as well.
Making learning fun and engaging has always been a challenging task for teachers worldwide. One of the most effective ways to do just so is by creating games for the students to play. But let’s face it: as much as it is hard to constantly come up with new games for your class, the greater challenge is actually making them get fully involved in it. And the worst thing to do as an educator is to force the kids to participate on your terms – doing that just defeats the whole purpose.
The constant rise of technology directly adds up to this dilemma because students are growing to be more tech savy, even at an early age, more than ever. As with anything, modern-day problems require modern-day solutions.
Luckily, there’s Kahoot.
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What is Kahoot?
Essentially, Kahoots is a free online, game-based platform for teachers and students.
It was created to make learning both easy and fun – a program that anyone can easily access through any internet-connected device. The Game Master – the teacher – can sign up and create a game for the players to participate in.
The game’s format is usually a series of questions asked by the teacher, wherein the students respond individually or by a team from a selection of answers. And the twist, you ask? Well, the higher scores are given to the players that respond correctly to each question the fastest. The way Kahoot is designed ensures full engagement from the students. It might even get a little bit competitive…
And, of course, teachers can use the data from the game to evaluate their students’ performance. It’s also created simple enough to make learning easy, and challenging enough to make learning fun. You just have to get started!
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Why Learning by Gamification Works
What exactly is gamification? Simply put, it’s making use of an existing website or applicating and then integrating game mechanics into it to stimulate engagement from users.
Companies like Nike and Starbucks, to name only a few, are known to implement gamification in their businesses, and even the US Army has admitted to using it for their recruitment strategies. In fact, games, just like Kahoot, are part of what we refer to as the big EdTech revolution. Computer Weekly has written extensively on the subject, most recently about how innovation in the Nordic Edtech industry has brought huge advantages to the students.
Now, these are just a few examples of gamification. But considering how easy it is to inject game mechanics into various elements of your business, I’m surprised to see that not more companies are using it.
In this quick Kahoot review, we’re focusing on gamification e-learning. More specifically, how Kahoot makes the most of it for users all around its platform. Let’s take a closer look.
Kahoot’s Best Features
Kahoot’s business model gamifies learning in four different ways through quizzes, surveys, jumbles, and discussions. Let’s look at each one and discover how you can use it to your advantage.
The Kahoot Quizzes
The quizzes are arguably Kahoot’s most popular feature – and for good reason!
The quiz is composed of a series of questions, created by the teacher, with multiple-choice answers assigned to a particular shape and colour. With over 70 million monthly users, teachers can also share, use and edit Kahoots created by other users on the platform.
Once a Kahoot quiz is created, the teachers can commence playing the game and a specific game PIN is provided on the screen. The players (or students) can access this game by entering the game PIN on www.kahoot.it. Once everyone in the class is connected, the game master can start the game.
The process is quick and simple. Moreover, results are immediately shown once the game is finished.
Teachers can use text or images to be displayed on the screen with the question. The multiple-choice answers – usually two to four – are represented by colours and shapes which makes it easy for children to see. And in order to answer, you simply tap the answer of your choice. Finally, the game master can also opt to randomize the content of each quiz, meaning that if your students are retaking it they won’t be able to simply memorise the order of the answers.
As mentioned, the Kahoot quiz scoring system rewards players who answer questions the fastest (and correctly). The leaderboard shows the top 5 in the overall rank. All the data – from ranking to speed, score and individual performance – is available for download as an excel file after the quiz is completed.
Kahoot Survey Mode
This is primarily used for collecting data.
Although the display on-screen is similar to what you see in quiz mode, the survey mode is essentially different because it’s searching for opinions rather than right or wrong answers.
There are no points given, rather it shows you a distribution of the answers given for each question. From these responses, teachers are able to collect data and save it to generate discussions and reports that can be used in class. Kahoot’s survey mode is effective when your goal is to gather information and feedback.
The platform’s newest feature, Jumble, is basically a sequencing game. It’s fun and simple like the Kahoot Quiz, but it requires more focus from the players.
The players are asked to arrange answers in the correct order instead of choosing only one. Let’s take an already existing Jumble game as an example – Word Jumble. This game asks its players to rearrange letters or words to form the correct word or sentence. Let’s say that the answer is the word “Math”. Choices given on the screen are the letters M-A-T-H, each one assigned a specific shape and colour. These letters are then jumbled and players will have to arrange each one to form the word.
Once all players have answered, the percentage of players who got the correct answer will be displayed on the screen.
The final feature works very similarly to the survey – you start by asking a question and suggesting possible answers for it. The difference here is that you’re asking a question, but you’re not searching for specific data. There are no right or wrong answers, your goal as the game master is to start a discussion among the players once the game is finished.
Once the results are in, you can ask your students to explain why they chose one answer over another. Responses will differ as the results will be shown on screen, which can motivate students to debate their answers and opinions with each other.
The Bottom Line
All in all, Kahoot is a simple and fun platform that gives teachers access to a free and fresh approach to learning through gamification. And the results are clear: if students have fun while learning, they engage better with the topic. This means that information retention rates will be higher, too.
What originally started as a game-based learning platform has now grown into a full pop-culture phenomenon. And last year, they even launched their own premium version – Kahoot Pro. The premium Kahoot pricing starts at $14.95 for a monthly subscription ($119.40 for an annual membership). However, the basic version of the platform is still free and available for schools worldwide.
Are you ready to explore the benefit of gamification?