August 2016 – Volume 20, Number 2
|Contact Information||Teachers: getkahoot.com
How to Use Kahoot! In the Classroom
|Type of Product||Kahoot! is a free game-based learning platform for making online quizzes, discussions, and surveys and allows learners to choose answers through a multi-player mode.|
|Current compatibility||The website can be used with either computers or mobile devices and is compatible with Chrome, Firefox, and other common internet browsers.
Kahoot! has an app that is compatible with android/iOS system.
|Registration||Required for quiz creation, not for quiz participation|
Studies in education and instructional design have shown that game-based learning is an effective tool in aiding language learning and teaching and can increase and sustain learning motivation (Huang, 2011). Literature has also shown that students who participate in the digital game approach show greater willingness to continue learning than when participating in traditional learning approaches like self-study (Sward, Richardson, Kendrick, & Maloney, 2008). Because games can be fun and motivating (Charlier & De Fraine, 2013), exploring technologies that enable positive language learning experiences may prove beneficial and motivational for teachers and students alike. Kahoot! is a free game-based learning platform that can be used to create various formative assessments such as online quizzes, surveys, and discussions. It is easy to create quizzes that can be accessed from any mobile device that has a web browser. The program is applicable to various types of classrooms and learning environments and presents a fun and creative way to engage students in a wide range of subjects.
Kahoot!, created in 2013, was based on research carried out by Professor Alf Inge Wang and his colleagues at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. Within a year of its creation, it already had 1.5 million registered educators and 49 million registered student quiz creators. The program can be used to create three main types of formative assessment (online quizzes, surveys, and discussions) and offers eight different ways to play.
To participate in Kahoot!, a user must first go to the program website getkahoot.com. First time users must register before creating a quiz by clicking the “sign up for free” button on the homepage (see Figure 1).
Figure 1. Kahoot! homepage for registration/signing up
The program then guides the user through the registration process (see Figure 2). A dropdown window prompts the user to choose “your role.” Those who already have an account, can log in through the “sign in” link at the top of the page.
Figure 2. Kahoot! user registration page
After completing the registration processing and clicking “create account,” the user is taken to the account information page and may choose among three options for participation in Kahoot!: quiz, discussion, and survey.
Creating a Quiz
To give an example of building one Kahoot! activity, we will guide you through the creation of a quiz. To create a quiz, the user is first asked to provide a name for the quiz. Quiz question items can be created on the following page. Here, a user can create and edit questions, select time limits for student engagement with the quiz item, give the answers to the question, mark the correct answer(s), and even provide an accompanying picture with the quiz item (see Figure 3).
Figure 3. Quiz editing page
Users click “Save & Continue” after editing is complete but may “Add [a] Question” at a later time if they desire to make changes or add additional items. The next page guides the user to provide more detailed information about the quiz itself (see Figure 4).
Figure 4. Pages for providing additional information about the quiz
When satisfied with the quiz items and quiz description, the user must click “Done” to complete the quiz creation process.
Figure 5. Final page of quiz creation process
To access the quiz, teachers can click “play now,” as shown in Figure 5. After selecting the “Game play mode” option, the “Game PIN” will appear (see Figure 6). Teachers should record this PIN number, as they will need to provide it to their students to access the created quiz.
Figure 6. Page providing Game PIN number to teachers
Students accessing the quiz go to kahoot.it using a cellphone, tablet, or laptop. In order to join the game, they need to enter the Game PIN (see Figure 7).
Figure 7. Page for students to start the game
Students are then prompted to assign themselves a nickname, which will show on the screen as they interact with Kahoot!. After clicking “start,” the game begins!
Figure 8. Page showing quiz item in student mode
As students progress through the game, they can choose the correct answer to the question, skip the question, and even see how many of their answers were correct or incorrect.
Cost and Accessibility
There is no cost for creating or playing a game using Kahoot!. At this time, all aspects of this application are completely free, and Kahoot! has pledged to continue to offer these services at no cost. However, additional fee-based services are scheduled to be added in the future.
Kahoot! has a number of strong capabilities. It can be used in a wide range of devices and browsers and has been fully tested with the two latest versions of the major browsers Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, and Android. Kahoot! also has the capability for 1,000 users to play a game at one time; however, games of this size require excellent bandwidth, Wi-Fi, and/or cellular reception and the site traffic is heavy when everyone tries to answer as fast as possible. Each answer for each player can generate up to 1 Kb in traffic (including uploading and downloading), but typically requires much less. Below is a guide for the recommended amount of bandwidth necessary for game playing in Kahoot! (uploading & download), based on the number of players.
(No. of players / Recommended Mb/second)
– 10 players / 1 Mb/second
– 20 players / 2 Mb/second
– 50 players / 3 Mb/second
– 100 players / 5 Mb/second
– 200 players / 10 Mb/second
– 500 players / 23 Mb/second
– 1000 players / 45 Mb/second
Students love games and competition. With Kahoot!, students can learn in the context of a fun and challenging game. There are myriad possible learning activities that can be accomplished with Kahoot!, and they can be achieved in accessible and motivating ways. Students only need to go to the kahoot.it website and enter the six-digit code to enter a particular quiz, a simple process for entering the quiz.
Quizzes can be completed either individually or in teams and in or out of the physical classroom environment. Students who arrive late to a face-to-face class in which the quiz is being administered can still enter the quiz at any time and start answering questions. Students may also compete against themselves, fellow students, and/or against the clock to answer the most questions correctly and as quickly as possible. The default amount of time for each question is 20 seconds, but this can be adjusted to as little as five seconds or as much as 120 seconds. Points are given for every correct answer, depending on the speed of the response, starting at a maximum of 1,000 points and decreasing at a proportional rate down to 500 points. Therefore, with a 20 second question, a correct answer entered after 10 seconds will be awarded 750 points. However, once an answer is submitted, it cannot be changed. The players want to answer quickly, but should not respond too quickly. No points are given for incorrect answers.
There are also practical, teacher-friendly features built into Kahoot!. For example, if a student joins a game with an inappropriate nickname, the game host (the teacher) can remove that name (and that player) from the game in a matter of seconds. Furthermore, the screen of the offending player turns red, so that the player can be identified, if that is desired. The player is allowed to re-enter the game, and when the new name is accepted, the player’s screen goes back to green.
Teachers can also check student understanding. After a simple registration process, the Kahoot! creator (the teacher) can begin making quizzes (games). The teacher can write questions that consist of up to 95 characters each and, for each question, there can be up to four choices for possible answers. The answers can be up to 60 characters in length. The teacher can select one or more of the answers as “correct.” If the teacher wishes to create a non-competitive game, the points can be “turned off.” If a teacher prefers to always accept all answers as correct, the game can be played as a “survey.”
This website holds wide range of uses in or out of classrooms. Teachers can create online interactive activities, such as quizzes or discussions, in all kinds of classrooms contexts to fully engage students.
Kahoot! is a creative online tool for creating formative language learning assessments, such as quizzes, discussions, and surveys. The new version of the website allows quiz creators to choose different play modes, such as classical (individual) and team mode. This tool can be very effective and less intimidating for language learners to complete assessments. It also can be more fun for game participants and encourages students to actively engage in the quiz/discussion/survey. This online tool helps teachers to create an active, but relaxing atmosphere, which can help improve learner performance as well.
Charlier, N., & De Fraine, B. (2013). Game-based learning as a vehicle to teach first aid content: A randomized experiment. Journal of School Health, 83(7), 493–499.
Huang, W. H. (2011). Evaluating learners’ motivational and cognitive processing in an online game-based learning environment. Computers in Human Behavior, 27(2), 694–704.
Kahoot! (n.d.). “Frequently Asked Questions” getkahoot.com/support/faq/
Sward, K. A., Richardson, S., Kendrick, J., & Maloney, C. (2008). Use of a web-based game to teach pediatric content to medical students. Ambulatory Pediatrics, 8(6), 354–359.
Wikipedia (n.d.). en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kahoot!
About the Reviewers
Chaoyi Ren <chaoyiruoregon.edu> is a graduate student of the East Asian Languages & Literatures Department and the Linguistics Department at the University of Oregon. Her current interests include Chinese linguistics, language pedagogy, second language acquisition, corpus study, and statistical research.
John Wagner <jwagner3uoregon.edu> is a graduate student in the Linguistics Department at the University of Oregon. He also teaches in the German Department. His interests include comparative and historical linguistics, language pedagogy, international travel, and llama ranching.
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