With the proliferation of mobile phones, tablets and laptops, a new generation of cross-platform quizzing systems has come about. These are great tools that generate near instantaneous assessment data whilst at the same time being very motivational.
Each quizzing system has its strengths and weaknesses, and it is a really good idea to use a mix of tools. In our school, we use a wide range of tools, but the most popular by far is Kahoot getkahoot.com. There’s a very large selection of ready-made quizzes, which you can use or edit. The students have been using it for over a year and still find it very enjoyable. I would strongly recommend only using Kahoot as a plenary because, after the excitement of a Kahoot, students often do not want to settle down to do a task that requires thinking time. The designers of kahoots have been very careful to minimise their use of bandwidth, and I have found it the most reliable platform to play with large players and have had a group of 80 teachers play at once. This could be used as a tool in assembly with longer time limits and each class playing as a team. The disadvantage of Kahoot is that it requires every group in a quiz to play at the same time and be able to see a main board with the questions. To address there is Quizizz quizizz.com, which is more flexible, allowing different start times, and you can even set quizzes for homework where you are confident children will have Internet access at home. It is a newer tool, and so there are not quite as many ready-made quizzes, but we have found it to be highly effective as a game students can play upon completion of the main task. Another big advantage is that students do not have to be able to see the main board because questions are put directly onto the device.
The Grandaddy of quizzing systems quizlet.com has come back with fire recently. Unlike Quizizz and Kahoot, this is a team game where you compete against other teams. Teams are randomly formed, but if you don’t like the make-up, they can be reshuffled. I’d also say it’s better if you’ve got portable devices for this. Oddly enough, a computer lab isn’t actually the best place to play this because teams get shuffled frequently.
However, that didn’t get in the way of most of my students, who found ways to dash to each other, grab phones and generally work it out!
The compulsory team element differentiates it from Quizizz and Kahoot, but it also opens up a new type of challenge. Quizlet has thought it through that for the kind of sets they have, this kind of game will work better. The other point to note is that Quizlet games take a fraction longer to set up. I’ve played Kahoots in under 5 minutes, but Quizlet seems to need at least 10 minutes and more than that the first time students play.
For those with good quality WIFI and want to use videos on devices, Edpuzzle edpuzzle.com provides a great quizzing platform and is perfect for Geography and other humanities where you would like students to watch a video snippet and answer questions on it. If you need to put more than one video together then zaption.com is an option.
On the other hand, if you want students to take their reflections and answers seriously, I have always found Google Forms to be the tool of choice. You can include video snippets, pictures, short answer, multiple choice and long answer questions, and if you use it together with the Google Sheets add-on Flubaroo, it makes for a very powerful testing system that will collect, collate and mark your work. Recently they have also integrated it with Google Classroom so that you can see at a glance how many students have completed the form.
All of the above tools offer a good level of functionality for free, and my view is that as a teacher, you should not be paying to MAKE your own quizzes, but where they supply excellent quality content for your subject area and exam board, then it could well be worth the money. Some premium options for students include mathletics.com, educationcity.com (primary) and languageperfect.com. All of which offer large amounts of content, assessment and value beyond simple quizzing systems.
This article originally appeared in the free UKEdMagazine – Click here to view.
James Abela @eslweb is the Lead teacher of Computer Science in Garden International School, Kuala Lumpur. He is a Google certified innovator, Apple Distinguished Educator and the 21st Century Teacher of the year 2014. View his website at jamesabela.co.uk.