Game based learning and BYOD: Kahoot

I admit that game based learning never was central to me — to learn something new requires quite an amount of work, I think. But acquiring knowledge is just one part of learning, strengthen your new skills by repetition and by using it to solve new problems is just as important. Today I tried Kahoot for such a purpose and was really surprised: not only my students (9th grade, Mathematics: solving quadratic equations) liked it very, very much, but they really tried hard to solve the quizzes using their knowledge. They liked using their mobiles too for giving the answers. What they liked most is doing “Team quizzes”: together in groups of 2 or 3 inventing funny team names and again: trying hard to be the winning team. As Kahoot shows the scores after each question the knew if they had to try harder… This was very satisfying for me and my students (see feedback picture “Game over”) and promising for my future usage of Kahoot. My students had much fun!

This success made me try this with my grade 12 Math students (normal and binomial distribution, quizzes in German an English language) fearing they would be appalled by such a childish approach. Far from it! They enjoyed battling in teams against each other as their younger colleagues did! Most satisfying for me was a fact I never could have imagined: a team of two students which usually score badly at tests and need much time to acquire or reproduce new knowledge won one contest, being one of the best in any others (see picture “Top Teams” — they called themselves  “Math Losers”)! This shows (what is one of my great concerns teaching mathematics) how different people are and if you are not able to be successful in tests shows only this: this test is not measuring how good you are at mathematics but rather: how (badly) you perform under certain test conditions.

I have to admit that there are some aspects I am not so fond of: firstly the time for answering (which is chosen while setting up a quiz) is fixed, so when you start it, you can not adjust this while playing a quiz. Perhaps this is possible somehow, surely I would like to do it.

Secondly, as always, you need quizzes, and although there are some being shared by others creating ones by yourself seems rather cumbersome as you have to fill out forms online for each question. No possibility to import already existing quizzes. As a user of Moodle this is a pity as there are many available in text format.

Nowadays there are many alternative to Kahoot: avery good overview of available quizzes is given here: you can see very clearly the differences of all the different (free) platforms providing quizzes, the most appealing to me is quizizz – the most important difference to kahoot being it is self paced. And ascii files in a simple format can be imported! I will report my experiences.

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