Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Fun Formative Assessment Tools: Kahoot

By now most teachers have heard of Kahoot and have played at least one Kahoot with their class. Students and teachers enjoy the fast-paced and energetic nature of the game. But Kahoot also has two features that are often overlooked by teachers and therefore are underutilized as formative assessment tools. These two features are downloading the results of a quiz and ghost mode.

After the class plays a Kahoot together the teacher can download a spreadsheet of each student's responses to the questions. This speadsheet lets the teacher know how well each student performed on the task. This data can be used in flexible grouping during the week. A great tool for creating flexible groups from assessment data is the one created by Jen Roberts.

Students are also able to replay a quiz in Ghost mode which allows the class to compete against their previous score. When students respond they will see ghost characters of their previous responses occur in real time along with their current responses. The goal is for the class to out perform their previous score. I find that Ghost mode works best when following up a Kahoot that is used as a pretest. If used in this way, students can really see how much they have improved.

Finally, Kahoot has added a new type of question called Jumble. This type of question requires students to put information in order instead of responding with one correct answer. You can read the blogpost from Kahoot here.

Fun Formative Assessment Tools: Quizlet Live

Quizlet Live is the new game feature from the longtime flash card site Quizlet. Any set of flash cards with at least twelve terms can be turned into a Quizlet Live game. The goal of the game is for teams to match twelve terms to their definitions in a row. Teams are assigned randomly and if a team incorrectly matches one of the items then their score resets to zero.

What can a teacher learn from a Quizlet Live game? The first information a teacher gets is being able to hear the conversation that students have with each other. This informal method of assessment can help the teacher identify misconceptions students may still have about a topic. The second information that a teacher receives is after a game Quizlet identifies which terms and definitions the class did well on and which were still an issue. Therefore, Quizlet Live primarily gives the teacher whole class data on a given topic.

On a practical note, I usually use Quizlet Live when I want students to get up and move. I have also tried a version where students are formed into teams but they are not allowed to move near the other members on their team. The students found this slightly frustrating because they realized that they had to truly rely on the knowledge of their teammates. Too often a quick and knowledgable student is able to direct the other members on their team to the correct answer.

To sum up, Quizlet Live is a helpful and fun way for students to practice the information they are learning in class. It gets students up and out of their seats while interacting with other students. On the down side, the teacher only gets whole class feedback and one smart student can take over a team.