Kahoot: A Free
Online Quiz System
By Kelly Falcone, Faculty, Kinesiology & Health,
Palomar College, CA
This past semester I taught an educational technology course at Cal State San Marcos. This course is required for students applying to the teaching credential program, so I had a classroom full of our future educators. I introduced them to Kahoot by playing a Kahoot game to test their knowledge on the Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship.
So, what is Kahoot? Kahoot is a free educational technology tool that combines the power of Student Response Systems (SRS), like Socrative.com, with the competitive joy provided by games. It takes only a few minutes to create an account and build a Kahoot quiz. To take the quiz, students answer the questions using any web-enabled device, such as a cell phone, tablet, or laptop computer.
What makes Kahoot unique is a game-based learning environment with a built-in scoring system that displays the top students’ scores after each question is answered. Students earn points by answering questions not only correctly, but also quickly. After each question the top scorers are shown on the screen, and this is when I typically hear the cheers and excitement of my students. That’s when I sit back and soak in the positive energy in the room created by students having fun while they learn.
After they took the quiz I had created, my students formed groups based on the grade level or topic they plan to teach. I asked each group to create a five question Kahoot that they could use in their future classroom. We then spent the remainder of the class participating in all of the Kahoots they had created for students from first grade to 12th grade. The classroom turned into a joyous place with laughter, frustration, outburst of “yay” and “woohoo,” and comments like “wow, I didn’t know that” or “I am so excited I got that right!”
As I was feeling the level of energy elevate (imagine that in an evening class!), I asked my students to pause for a moment and reflect on the classroom environment. I asked them questions such as “How do you feel right now?”, “What does the classroom feel like?”, and “What have you learned?” This was an “aha” moment for many of my students who had a revelation that, yes indeed, games can be a very fun and effective instructional strategy.
This experience shows several things. First, Kahoot is easy to learn and you can create one in under 10 minutes. Second, Kahoot can be used for all grade levels and topics. Third, Kahoot can be a tool to increase both engagement in the classroom and enthusiasm for learning.
One drawback of Kahoot, compared to other SRS tools such as Socrative, is that you can only ask multiple choice questions and the answers must be short. If you are looking to have students respond with short answers or true/false, I would suggest sticking with Socrative.
One of the benefits of Kahoot is the Kahoot community. Right now you can go to Kahoot and search through thousands of Kahoots that have been developed by other educators willing to share their work. You can create your own copy of an existing Kahoot and make any additions or changes you’d like, saving it as your own. I love a tool that encourages the teaching community to create, produce, and share their work.
Using Kahoot will help to not only bring smiles to your students’ faces, but also create a classroom environment that promotes engagement and learning. To try Kahoot, go to kahoot.com.