Another Student Response System: Kahoot!

It has been almost a year since I wrote a post about Socrative, an awesome and free student response system, and while I would still highly recommend it, I recently came across another such system, Kahoot!, which is also free and does something very similar: create and conduct in-class electronic surveys, quizzes, and discussions. For those of you who have not yet gotten attached to Socrative, you might want to test out both to see which you prefer.

Setting Up an Account

From the main Kahoot! page, it is definitely worth scrolling through the “What is it?” information to learn more about the site before you get started. There is a lot of good information there about the benefits of using a student response system, links to tutorials and blog posts, information about how Kahoot! works, and much more. Click “GET MY FREE ACCOUNT,” choose your role, and fill in some information including a username and password to get started with an account. It is that simple and appears to be completely free to sign up and use with no additional subscription options.

Getting Started: Class Quizzes, Surveys, and Discussions

To create a Kahoot, you have to select if you want a quiz, discussion, or survey. For the quiz, you type in the question, have the option to include an image or video, and can have two to four choices. Some nice features are that more than one answer can be correct, you can choose to assign points and/or time limits to each question, and there does not seem to be a limit on the number of questions you can include. Discussions and surveys have no correct or incorrect answers. Discussions seem to be limited to one question just to start off an in-class discussion and surveys appears to be very similar to the quizzes, except without the option to assign points for questions. When you are done creating, input some information about your Kahoot, and then it is ready to go! Alternately, you can browse all of those that are currently listed as public and use one of those instead.

How It Works in Class

To use a Kahoot, students need to have device with an Internet connection. Currently, students do not have to download or install anything to play because Kahoot can only be used through a browser, but they probably have an app under development. To play a Kahoot in class, you will need to project your screen. Start by simply launching the Kahoot and give students the game-pin, a six-digit number, to enter on the Kahoot game page. Students will also be required to enter a nickname before being able to join the game. As they join, your screen will update with a list of nicknames, so you can easily identify who has successfully joined and can help others who have not quite gotten there.

When everyone is ready, click “Start now” to begin. The first question and answers will be displayed on the main screen being projected and students will have a number of different colored boxes equivalent to the number of answer options on their devices. When you click “Next,” the scoreboard of points and/or the results of the poll will be displayed before you have the opportunity to move on to the next question. At the end of the activity, students even have the chance to provide some feedback about your Kahoot.

Overall, it might sound complicated, but joining, creating, and using Kahoots in class is easy and there are so many benefits. Like using any student response system, it is good to know what percent of your students can answer a question correctly rather than knowing that one out of the whole class is able to do so.

Have you ever used Kahoot! or another student response system? Share your experiences below.

About Tara Arntsen

Tara Arntsen
Tara Arntsen recently completed her Master's degree in Teaching-TESOL at the University of Southern California. She currently teaches in the Intensive English Program at Northern State University in Aberdeen, South Dakota. She has taught ESOL in China, Japan, and Cambodia as well as online. Her primary interests are communicative teaching methods and the use of technology in education.
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4 Responses to Another Student Response System: Kahoot!

  1. Sergio Lorca says:

    Hi, I am using Plickers in my Social and Natural Science classes. It’s free and students don’t need to have any mobile devices.

    • Tara Arntsen Tara Arntsen says:

      Thank you for the comment, Sergio! I haven’t heard of Plickers before, but I know relying on student devices is not an option in many contexts, so I’ll have to check it out. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Sharon E. Ransom says:

    I have made games to review Modern World History T.P.I and the students really look forward to their review! In high school everyone walks around with their cell phones, online games provide an effective visual, interactive, engaging activity that makes learning fun.

    • Tara Arntsen Tara Arntsen says:

      Thanks for the comment, Sharon! It’s the same situation here at the university level too, and I completely agree. Anything enjoyable makes the learning process easier. It’s great that you’ve had such great success using Kahoots with your students.

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