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15 May 2020

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Music educator boosts grades and understanding with student-paced challenges

Dave Lowe, a Director of Performing Arts at a UK school, shares insight into how student-paced Kahoot! challenges are positively impacting results and engagement.

Music educator Dave Lowe creates a ‘Tune of the Week’ kahoot to help students approach musical styles they wouldn’t normally listen to. It’s proved a great way to develop both curiosity and understanding of new genres. Here, he discusses how turning the ‘Tune of the Week’ activity into a student-paced challenge has helped to improve learning outcomes and boosted student engagement.

Creating engaging learning material in minutes

It takes me 15 to 30 minutes to create a 10-question kahoot thanks to all the time-saving features! With the premium image library, I can find suitable images in just a couple of clicks. It’s also simple to add my own drawings. When I want to display more specific theoretical ideas, I just draw on my iPad as I would on a whiteboard and upload the picture to the kahoot question.

Give students time to assess questions

Playing live kahoots was instantly popular amongst my students, and it’s something they really enjoy. However, I was conscious of the importance of developing rich, confident understanding, so I wanted to remove the sense of ‘rushing’ that’s naturally felt in a timed quiz. The student-paced challenge option has made this deeper learning possible. This game mode lets you switch off the question timer, so students have time to carefully read and consider the question and the possible answers. It’s been a revelation.

With challenges, students were so encouraged to take the required time to properly think about the question in context before answering. Results were instantly much higher.

Reviewing tricky topics with student-paced challenges

Another great aspect of the student-paced game mode is the opportunity to review new or more complex topics instantly. The method encourages them to solve the problem independently first, but with the safety net of further opportunities to review anything they’ve not fully understood. They receive this feedback instantly, on their screen, as they complete the Kahoot!

A few days before the lesson, I send out a link to the student-paced challenge through Showbie. This saves time at the start of the lessons as students begin independently without being prompted.

Utilizing advanced question types in music lessons

Recently, I’ve started exploring advanced question types in Kahoot!, and they have been fantastic. With open-ended questions, I have the ability to request a correctly spelled, typed answer of up to 20 characters. Puzzles task learners to sort information into the correct order. This is a great tool for checking understanding. For example, it’s a great way to put four 2-bar phrases into the right order.

Editing video clips made easy

My favorite feature, though (which is free to use), is related to videos. After pasting a YouTube link, I can select a specific start and end time for my chosen clip. This lets students’ focus on a specific few seconds of the clip.

For example, I wanted my students to recognize specific melodic devices when focussing on a classical piano sonata. I chose video clips that provided students with clear examples of melodic devices, such as scalic movement, sequence, and arpeggio.

As soon as the students understood these terms, they used the correct terminology when discussing these melodic devices. It has also given them the knowledge and confidence to use them in their own compositions.