Will Stewart, RuTC Sport and Exercise teacher, made an important discovery on a trip with 10 of his friends. They were all sitting together, battling each other via a quiz app on their phones, trying their best to think and click on the correct answer the fastest to get the highest number of points.
In the midst of the hilarity and enjoyment, Will thought about his students at RuTC and how such a competitive, enjoyable, knowledge-testing game could benefit them. After introducing the app-based quiz Kahoot to his class, he never looked back.
‘If I said, “Let’s do a 15 minute written multiple choice test,” they would a look apprehensive,’ says Will. ‘On the other hand they are constantly asking me if we can do a Kahoot.’ At least once a week Will ‘does a Kahoot quiz’ with his class, testing their knowledge before starting a new topic and again at the end of that topic. Since introducing it he has seen his class evolve into a place of avid learners, eager to know and find the right answer, albeit in the quickest time possible.
‘The fact that it is competitive works really well with sport students,’ says Will. This opens the door to the engagement of less academic students who are very competitive as a result of their involvement in team and individual sports. Class participation is widened. Will says that even shy and anxious students, whom he is cautious about asking questions to in class, get involved in the quizzes.
Kahoot has a large database of quizzes for many levels of study, subjects and topics. Will alternates between creating his own from scratch and using those from the database. During the quiz, the correct answer is displayed after every question is completed. Each student’s points are calculated live and shown on the projector screen. At the end of the quiz an Excel spreadsheet is created that states each student’s final score and the questions they answered correctly or incorrectly. Will has found this very helpful in tracking the progression in understanding of each student in the topics tested. He repeats quizzes with lower success rates, focusing on the wording of sentences and more difficult concepts to grasp. Will reteaches any topic with a particularly low success rate.
‘It’s a lot of fun,’ says Will. His students think the same. It shows solutions to increasing student engagement can come at the most unlikely times. Perhaps it is always worth considering how the things that teachers enjoy could be adapted for teens. The entire Sport department at RuTC now uses Kahoot to similar success.
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