Student-generated KahootsDavid Bozetarnik
What is Kahoot?
Kahoot! is a game-based application that allows for fun revision of anything from language to Maths and other content-area subjects. The teacher creates multiple-choice questions that can also include a picture or video. Correct answers are awarded points, and the faster one answers, the more points one gets. An added plus: it runs on any platform, so it fits nicely into a BYOD setting.
However, after using Kahoot! regularly for several months, Kahoot! fatigue had set in. The teacher would come in, start up Kahoot, the students would log in, put in the PIN and then click, click, click. Fun? Yes, they liked it. Was it useful? I believe so. Students do not always revise at home, so the more they engage with the material in class, the more they can retain. However, the only action students had to take was to click one of four colours. The fun was draining out of the activity.
Genesis of an idea:
Scrolling through my Twitter feed one day, I found a posting regarding student-generated Kahoots. It reminded me about Earl Stevick’s ideas on ‘teacher control and student initiative’ (Memory, Meaning and Method, 1976). The material students have to master is, in a sense, fixed, but the manner in which they accomplish this is not. So, I decided to experiment with one of my sections comprised of repeaters, who were familiar with Kahoot, but for whom ‘Kahoot fatigue’ had set in. I wanted to put the sages on the stage.
The process, after some refinement, took three lessons. In our Sunday class, students got together in groups of three. One student opened a Discussion Board thread that I had created for students to draft their Kahoot! questions. A second student opened that week’s Blackboard vocabulary list. The third student opened her Oxford dictionary app. Each group’s task was to choose seven words from that week’s list and write an original sentence for each one. By Monday morning, I had given them feedback on their questions/sentences. The groups then worked on creating their Kahoots. The first week I tried this, it took longer, as I had to show them how to actually make one (Click here to show students how to register). From the second week, this process went more smoothly. On the Tuesday, each group signed into Kahoot! and ran their revision for the class. Their sentences weren’t always entirely accurate, but the students were engaging with the material. They were helping to craft their own revision. Because they would be showing their Kahoot! quiz to their peers, they took a bit more care to do a good job. It was not just a matter of clicking one of four colors, as they had been passively doing up until then.
In the end, student-generated Kahoot! quizzes proved useful for several reasons. They were able to revise for their vocabulary quizzes, but without that feeling of déjà vu. Students had to work together in small groups to accomplish the task, and the teacher just functioned in an advisory role. The week’s lesson involved speaking, writing and negotiating. Overall, students were exposed to vocabulary items multiple times, and in multiple formats. It is well established that it takes multiple interactions with a lexical item before it moves from a learner’s short-term to long-term memory (Baddeley, 1990). How much moving takes place partly depends on how enjoyable the activities are.
For further reading:
Baddeley, Alan D. Human Memory: Theory and Practice. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1990. Print.
Getkahoot.com. “From Learners to Leaders with the Kahoot! Pedagogy.” Kahoot! Journal. Getkahoot.com, n.d. Web. 08 May 2016. <http://blog.getkahoot.com/post/49502843173/from-learners-to-leaders-with-the-kahoot-pedagogy>.
Getkahoot.com. “Case Study: Implementing the Kahoot! Pedagogy at Neale-Wade Academy.” Kahoot! Journal. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 May 2016. <http://blog.getkahoot.com/post/66973663345/case-study-implementing-the-kahoot-pedagogy-at>.
Stevick, Earl W. Memory, Meaning & Method: Some Psychological Perspectives on Language Learning. Rowley, MA: Newbury House, 1976. Print.Baddeley, Alan D. Human Memory: Theory and Practice. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1990. Print.