Kahoot!


Introduction: Meet Kahoot!    
Kahoot is a free game-based response system. It is a well designed, user friendly website that allows students the opportunity to practice and review content in an engaging manner. The simplicity of its design allows for multiple populations to use the software with ease. It can be used at any grade-level, subject, language, ability level, or setting. This is extremely important in a 21st century classroom because of the wide variation of students in the classroom. Students are able to use various devices to take quizzes that can either be created by the teacher or can be accessed from a pool of quizzes made by other educators. In addition to its use as a drill and practice software, Kahoot also includes discussion and survey features, that allow for instant feedback. For example, teachers are able to collect and report student answers as they are submitted. Teachers can also use Kahoot for class competitions, but eliminate points and scoring; the peer competition would support student engagement and motivation, without embarrassing or shaming students with low point totals. From experience, Kahoot is a great resource and allows students to work collaboratively as well as individually. Either way, the students are completely engaged and learning throughout the entire process.

Kahoot in the Classroom



Introduction:

The title page immediately draws the users attention with a subdued orange background and simple center-aligned graphics. The title was written in a cartoon-style font; evoking a happy and playful feel. The centered design featured: the quiz name (black font in a white box), “Launch” button (contrasting purple), user option selection toggles (blended into the orange background), and an “Advanced options” drop down menu. All of the items on the title page pleasing to the eye, and did not compete for attention. In the top right hand corner of the page there was a white four-direction arrow icon, that when clicked increases the quiz to full screen; a display screen button. There was no publisher or copyright information on this page. The title page was remained until the user made a selection, but there was not a clear continue or escape button path. 

The directions were not clear on the title page. There were five user option selection toggles (and three additional advanced options) to personalize quiz play. The toggles allowed the user to turn on and off the options. Option selection questions were: Display game-pin throughout? Show minimized lobby instructions? Randomize order of questions? Randomize order of answers in each question? Play music in the lobby whilst waiting? Advanced option selection questions were: Automatically move throughout questions? Require players to re-join after each Kahoot? Display your venue’s wifi details to players? There were no rollover explanations of each of the options specifics. I was unclear about the “lobby” and “game-pin”. I did elect to turn on the game-pin and minimized lobby instructions, for evaluation.

After clicking on the “Launch” button, the user is prompted to get their device ready; a graphic of hands holding multiple devices was on the screen for about 5 seconds. The user is then presented with the Kahoot! main page (possibly the lobby). At the top of the screen is a plus sign button, display screen icon, and text: “Join at kahoot.it Game-pin: 69974”. Clicking the plus sign opened an example of a log-in screenshot. The screen background progresses through a gradual rainbow palette, identifies the number of players, indicates “Waiting for players…” (at the bottom of the screen, and has a “Start now” button. None of the buttons or icons offered rollover explanations of their purpose. From this screen the user cannot select the “Start now” button, instead I needed to open another window to the “kahoot.it” url and enter the game-pin (game joining page). This screen had the same background of the previous page. After completing the identification page (in a separate window), the user returns to this page to see the player number increase, include the user nickname, and now have the option to select the “Start now” button. The user is then directed right into the quiz questions, to which they must make selections in the previous nicknamed window or on an alternate device (I tried both ways and the latter was much more user friendly).

After entering the game joining page the user is prompted to enter a nickname (user identification) on the newly populated “Play Now/ Join game” page. This page also had the same rainbow progression palette in the background. After clicking the “Join game” button, a new page appears with “You’re In! Did you see your name appear at the front?” in the center of the screen, and the user nickname in the top right of the screen. (The question does not offer a way to respond.)


Help:

Kahoot provides procedural help throughout the experience. At the top of the teacher screen, there is a FAQ button, as well as (?) buttons that help teachers or students navigate through the dashboard and quiz/survey creation. Additionally, there is a “support” feature at the top menu bar that allows users to send a message directly to customer support. Once the user types a question or comment, the website suggests possible answers to their question. Otherwise, users can submit their question directly through the website and will be contacted by email.


Because Kahoot quizzes are user created (some private, thousands public), there is no content help provided unless users add hints or clues within their questions. However, as students log on to the Kahoot using a game pin, procedural help is available if the creator makes it available. For example, teachers can select a setting that leaves the game pin visible throughout the game, allowing students to join (or re-join) at any time. Also, teachers can opt to have the lobby (waiting area) instructions visible for students.



Learner Control:

This software did provide nearly complete user control; the teacher (creator) has the ability to control the sequence of learning and pace of the program by selecting to turn on and off the variety of option selections. The student (learner) has limited control during participation in a Kahoot; the quiz offered four answer options with color and shape icon buttons. There was limited to respond (10-20 seconds), with a ticking countdown clock on the screen. The software provides a consistent look and feel (with limited distractors) throughout the program; providing users with navigational mouse control (or touch screen, depending on the device). There were keyboard controls for navigation, though rarely needed. At the conclusion of the Kahoot quiz, the learner had the opportunity to rate the quiz for: fun (1.0-5.0 star scale icons), learning (thumbs up or thumbs down icon), recommendation (thumbs up or thumbs down icon), and feeling (happy face, neither happy nor sad face, or sad face icon).


Presentation of Information:

Consistency of the software is apparent, with the consistent screen backgrounds and cycling slow rainbow palette progression. Control options in the quiz were simple; the student user screen, on their chosen device, is split into four quadrants with a different color and shape associated with each answer. These colors and shapes are consistent throughout the quiz: red and triangle, blue and hexagon, yellow and oval, green and square. Each new question, on the teacher user screen, offers the same display screen to be presented at the front of the room: question number and written question at the top of the screen, centered supporting question graphic, countdown clock to the left of the graphic (left margin), answers count to the right of the graphic (right margin), and color/shape coded answer options at the bottom of the screen.

The display of this software is well-formatted and consistent. The text style aided in the playful feel of this game-based software. Transition buttons were limited to “next” or “end quiz” on the teacher user screen, but fit the necessity of the program. Clarity is a strength of this software. The student user is provide with supplementary graphics that offers visual guidance and understanding. The reading level is based on the chosen prompts of the teacher users. Mechanics was not a factor. The main uses for graphics in this software was to convey supporting information for questions and provide visual support for answer selections. Each new question, on the teacher user screen, offers the same display screen to be presented at the front of the room: question number and written question at the top of the screen, centered supporting question graphic, countdown clock to the left of the graphic (left margin), answers count to the right of the graphic (right margin), and color/shape coded answer options at the bottom of the screen. The student user screen, on their chosen device, is split into four quadrants with a different color and shape associated with each answer: red and triangle, blue and hexagon, yellow and oval, green and square. The software used consistent color palettes throughout the program. Most text and graphics were easy to read. The countdown clock, though used to support the competitive game-based nature of the software, could cause user anxiety; careful consideration must be given to the question time limits.


Closing/End:
 

Kahoot allows teachers (or game hosts) to leave at any time, which is beneficial when a class is short on time. There is a link on every answer/results page that states “End Quiz Now.” Clicking this link immediately terminates the quiz, and shows the name of the quiz winner, their overall score, and how many answers were marked correct and incorrect. However, there is no safety net for exiting this way. If a host clicks on this link, the quiz terminates and there is no way to undo this choice. To prevent accidental quits, I would like to see the link produce a pop-up message, asking users “Are you sure you want to quit?” or something similar. I have accidentally clicked this link before and shut down a quiz well before it was completed.


If a quiz is played out to the end, there is a series of ending slides that take the host and players through a wrap-up process. After the final question, the winner is posted on the screen, with their score and correct/incorrect answers. The next screen requests participant feedback, allowing students to share their opinions of the quiz. Questions such as “How fun was it?” “Did you learn something?” “Do your recommend it?” and “How do you feel?” pop up and students click their response by selecting stars, thumbs up/down, and smiley, neutral, or sad faces. The final screen on the player’s device is a “Thank You” screen, along with the player’s score and number of correct answers. On the host’s screen, the feedback data is immediately populated as it is submitted. The final host screen lists the top 5 winners of the Kahoot.


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