“Please review the syllabus” is usually the first thing instructors tell their students when starting a new semester. The syllabus contains course information, assignments, contact information, resources, and more. How do you know if your students are really reading the syllabus? Typically, you can provide a traditional syllabus quiz to the students on policies and course information. This can be done on a paper handout or as a quiz in Blackboard.
This year, Deana Wilhoite with the School of Nursing, wanted to try something different with her class. Her class meets once a week in a face-to-face environment. How can we engage 102 students in making a syllabus quiz fun yet informative?
Deana reached out to TLT and was introduced to Kahoot! Kahoot! is a free game-based app that allows you to create individual or group quizzes, discussions, and surveys. Kahoot! ranks the top competitors based on how quickly they answered the question, and if they chose the correct answer. Each question has a time limit where students must select an answer before the timer runs out. Questions for the Kahoot! game were based on the syllabus, course overview, and faculty information.
Deana developed a practice quiz with five questions for the students to practice using Kahoot! before starting the real exam. Every student was able to successfully sign in from their computer or mobile device to take the quiz. The syllabus quiz began, and that is when the students turned very competitive to get the highest score. The prize for scoring the highest was having first pick on which project team you wanted to be on for the semester.
"The Kahoot! app was a great way to engage my class creatively. It was fun and easy to create the questions. The students seemed to easily grasp how to play the game. Kahoot! was an innovative way to teach material that is usually mundane and boring. The game brought back the nostalgia of playing board games and having fun with your peers. The students seemed to enjoy the competitiveness and seeing their names on the leaderboard. I believe it was affirming for them to see how well they were doing and how they ranked among each other." - Deana Wilhoite, Clinical Instructor for School of Nursing.
“I really enjoyed the Kahoot game! I thought it was fun and competitive but interacting at the same time!” - N4 student
During the quiz, you could see students studying the question as it appeared on the screen then quickly clicking the answer on their device when the answer choices appeared. They silently waited to see the result of who was in the lead after each question. When the names were displayed on the leaderboard, you would hear a cheer from the student in the lead and a groan from the student who was now in second place. It was fun watching the students engage in a quiz rather than having them sit quietly while taking a paper exam.
“I think that it encourages a fun, interactive learning environment without putting anyone on the spot! It also works well within my BSN program cohort because we're all very competitive and it's fun to be able to use that competitive nature for learning (in a fun way, of course). I also liked that it is accessible through phone, computer, or tablet.” - N4 student
To learn more about Kahoot! you can visit the How It Works webpage.