When a previously unengaged student comes over after class and asks for a kahoot link to play more at home, you realize game-based learning makes a difference. Kahoot! got my students more plugged into learning, helped them improve mastery of complex science topics, and, as a result, they did 11.4% better in their exams compared to last year and are projected to grow 75% above the district norm.
In this interview, I shared the highlights of our success story:
Bringing Kahoot! on board
I’ve been playing Kahoot! with my students for quite some time, but it was definitely our first game that was the most memorable. It was set up as an open note review, with directions for students to base their answers on evidence in their notes or book. I was delighted to see how eagerly students started debating the answers: “It can’t be answer C, B was an example in our notes from Monday.”
Now, the first thing I often hear when student enter the class is “Do we get to play Kahoot! today?” Then they ask that I text a link for the quiz to their parents, so they can play at home.
Practicing leadership and collaboration skills
We often play Kahoot! in team mode. While playing in groups, I have students practice being leaders. The group leader must provide the final answer selection for each question. However, he or she must listen to their teammates to give evidence-based advice on which answer is best. My class loves the competition, and, even before the game starts, they are excitedly picking their team name.
The way I host games, each question often initiates a Turn and Talk or small group discussion. Students need to know the goal is evidence based discussion and debate over the answer choices, not picking a random answer quickly and hoping it turns out alright.
Improved mastery reflected in numbers
Game-based learning with Kahoot! fuels content mastery and it has been a game changer for my students. I looked at the numbers to evaluate the learning impact, and here’s what I found when I looked at how my students did in state exams.
In Science, the first cumulative exam of the year is always the toughest. For many students it’s the first time they have encountered Science questions at the rigor level of a state test.
During the 2015/16 school year, my 94 students had an average score of 69% on their first cumulative exam, and during the 2016/17 school year my 97 students had an average score of 78.72% on their first cumulative exam. It’s a 11.4% improvement after a year of learning with Kahoot!
In 2015/16 median student growth in my class was 1.42 times the district norm. For the 2016/17 school year, my projection for the growth is 1.75 times the district norm.