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24 May 2017

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How to make the most out of Kahoot! in college

How do you make the most out of Kahoot! for college students? We asked John Kerrigan, Math Professor at Rutgers University, who has quite a few smart tips to share.

How John started Kahoot!’ing

John is K-12 Director of Mathematics in Middletown, NJ, and is also an undergraduate Math Professor at Rutgers University. He has taught Pre-Calculus, Topics in Math for Liberal Arts, Elementary Probability and Combinatorics, The Mathematics of Money, Calculus for Math/Physics Majors, and Linear Algebra.

John teaches math in an ‘Active Learning Classroom’, where students sit in small groups at round tables, to facilitate discussion and collaboration.

When using Kahoot! for formative assessment at high school, John was impressed with how much students enjoyed it. He decided to give it a go at university to engage undergraduate math students and try a different approach to review before the midterm exams.

Why Kahoot! works so well in a college setting

“I think all students, regardless of age, crave mild competition. In the university setting, Kahoot! creates a friendly atmosphere where students can challenge one another and work together to solidify their understanding of course content. I also think Kahoot! has a lot of aesthetic appeal for learners of all ages.

In particular, Kahoot! works well for reviewing material that is a bit dry or difficult. For example, my favorite kahoot I created was a review for an undergraduate linear algebra course. The platform helped bring the content to life!


"Kahoot! creates a friendly atmosphere where students can challenge one another and work together to solidify their understanding of course content."

John Kerrigan, Math Professor, Rutgers University

Kahoot! trains 21st century skills

“Playing Kahoot! also helps my students develop their debate and argument skills. When playing the linear algebra review kahoot I created, I was able to have the students engage in informal dialogue about the truth of claims made in the kahoot questions, and how to prove or refute them.

Thanks to Kahoot!, they were able to refine their mathematical argumentation – helping them connect theory to application!”

Math Instructor? Check out John’s linear algebra review kahoot here!

How to make a great college-level math game

1) Add music for fun and to spark energy

“Embed a popular music video for the opening to break the ice and set the mood. Students really love the musical hook.”

2) Good imagery brings a kahoot to life

“Make use of Kahoot!’s image uploading feature to display equations, graphs, or longer questions that can’t fit within the character limit of the question box.”

3) Time limits are crucial

“Carefully design questions so that they can be processed and answered within two minutes – the maximum time limit in Kahoot! Having only up to two minutes to respond to a question really stretched my creative limits to craft questions that students had to synthesize knowledge from multiple subject areas in order to answer.”

4) Shake things up with Team Mode

“I tried using Kahoot!’s Team Mode feature this semester in my Active Learning Classroom and it worked really well. The ‘Team Talk’ countdown time and seating arrangement in my classroom really allowed for great collaboration.”

What’s YOUR Kahoot! story?

Got a question to John? You can ask him on Twitter – @kerrigan_john

We got in touch with John via our educator-focused Facebook Community. We love hearing about your Kahoot! experiences! Join our community now and share your story with us!