Why Kahoot?
Asking the right questions
Empirical studies on Kahoot!

Why Kahoot?

When the Kahoot system was first being developed, users asked a very similar question. For us, the big appeal to using Kahoot over other traditional response systems was the social aspect of the platform. With the countdown timer and leaderboard, students were interested in doing as well as they could. Because the platform can be used on a laptop, cell phone, or tablet, students didn’t need to purchase and additional device (like a clickers) or additional subscription (like Top Hat or Poll Everywhere) to participate.

Asking the right questions

The Carl Weiman Science Education Initiative at the University of British Columbia has a a list of question types that can be the most effective. Question types 5 – 10 have seen the largest direct impact on learning and the uses that students report they find of most value.

  1. Quiz on the reading assigned in preparation for the class
  2. Test recall of lecture point
  3. Do a calculation or choose next step in a complex calculation
  4. Survey students to determine background or opinions
  5. Elicit/reveal pre-existing thinking
  6. Test conceptual understanding
  7. Apply ideas in new context/explore implications
  8. Predict results of lecture demo, experiment, or simulation, video, etc
  9. Draw on knowledge from everyday life
  10. Relate different representations (graphical, mathematical, …)

The CWSEI has prepared an instructor guide for the effective use of classroom response systems.

Empirical studies on Kahoot!

The use of Kahoot! as a teaching tool has been studied across a variety of countries over the past few years. Most studies focus on how Kahoot improves engagement with the material. Wang and Lieberoth (2016) look at the importance of using the system’s point and audio features and find that when both items are not utilized, students report being less engaged and not feeling as though they have concentrated as much.

Wang, Zhu, & Sætre (2016) study the impact of using paper based assessment, traditional clickers, and Kahoots and find statistically significant improvement in motivation, engagement, enjoyment, and  concentration for Kahoots, but did find significant learning improvement from a pre- and post-test.

Turan & Meral (2018) studied the use of Kahoots in a seventh grade classroom and found that Kahoots increase the achievement and engagement and decrease the test anxiety level when compared to Socrative, a non-game-based student response system. While the size of the study was small (46 total participants in two classes), both groups underwent pre- and post- test assessments to measure the learning impact and not just the enjoyment factor. Prior to previous studies, the authors wanted to investigate potential anxiety caused by game-like systems.