GAMIFY YOUR ASSESSMENTS
There’s three days left in the school year, all of your grading is done, so what else is there left to do? Experiment with EdTech in your classes of course!
I was contacted by Knowledgehook, an online EdTech software company, to give GameShow a try. It was described to me to be “… like Kahoot, but with built-in math curriculum.” This sounded amazing, so I decided to give it a try. Now, to be perfectly honest to the readers, I skimmed over Knowledgehook’s website and GameShow component, but I did not spend a lot of time trying to research the details of the product (and I probably should have before starting this with my students). I’m the type of person that likes to jump with both feet and have some fun! I tried GameShow with three of my classes (6th-8th grade combination), and this is what my students and I found out…
“GameShow is like Kahoot, but with built-in math curriculum.”
EXPLORING THE UI
After logging into Knowledgehook, I found myself at a teacher dashboard. There, it was very easy to create a Class – somewhat like Google Classroom where you can create classes, give class titles, and have student rosters. When creating a new class, I was prompted to select either GameShow (free) or HomeWork (Premium – includes GameShow). Once GameShow was selected, I was able to choose whether or not my class was going to be a Winter 2016 term, or a 2015-2016 school year. This is where you also select the level of mathematics you want to use for the class: Algebra 1 & 2, Geometry, Grades 3-8.
This is where it was starting to hit me: this is a Kahoot-like platform that focuses purely on math curriculum. Awesome! (You should’ve seen my students’ faces after they had seen my excitement)
I noticed that there was also an option to have parents connect as well through invitation… Okay, my class is set up. Let’s give this a spin!
The first thing I noticed when I hit the “GO!” button on my class was that it brought me to a page that listed a bunch of tests. There were three tabs at the top (Ready-made, Bookmarked, and Custom). I was looking at the Ready-made tab by default. In this tab were assessments listed by Test and by Standard. Both the Test and Standards sections were created using content developed by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC).
“I can pick an avatar!”
You can select either a ready-made assessment, or you can select a test based on a standard. You can also add questions to a Custom test of your own making. Each test has an option to “PLAY” or “VIEW”. You can preview the test before actually entering into it.
Once I selected a test, my students were brought to a screen that informed them to go to a specific URL and to type in a PIN (Yep! Just like Kahoot) From there, students are able to type in their name and pick an avatar. For the purposes of our EdTech play-day, my students simply made guest accounts for GameShow, but you can have them register (for class roster purposes).
GAME MODES & FEATURES
Before starting the test, I had a couple of options to choose from. First, we could play in either Competitive or Non-Competitive mode:
- Competitive mode is very similar to Kahoot in that a certain percentage of students are listed on the screen and ranked based on the number of points that they have. Students will receive points by getting the question right (and wrong as well), but will also receive bonus points for answering questions both correctly and quickly.
- Non-Competitive mode provides a class-wide celebration when a specific percentage of students correctly answer the question (you are able to control the percentage).
I was also able to make a choice on whether or not I wanted to Enable Upload Solution – a feature that allows students to write down their work on a piece of paper, and then be able to take a picture of it with their phone (or computer) and upload it to assessment as an attachment.
In Advanced Settings, I’m able to select a Yes or No on requiring Student Accounts, Removing Time Bonus Points, and allowing a Calculator.
“Wait a second. My answers are different than yours!”
Once students have entered the Lobby and the game is started, you are presented with either a multiple choice question or open response (in the form of typing in a number). Students receive instant feedback once they have made a selection (Correct/Incorrect), and the teacher can see the percentage of the class choosing specific responses (A, B, C, or D). For open response, the teacher can see the number that the student submitted.
Three of my class periods played GameShow, but it wasn’t until my second set of kids that a few of them noticed something peculiar. “Wait a second. My answers are different than yours!” One of my students brought her Chromebook over to me and showed me her selection. For the question being projected up onto the board, the answer was “A”, so she had selected the very top answer on her screen… but the answer on her screen was not the same as mine. Did my students just find a bug?
As it turns out, GameShow has an awesome feature of scrambling the multiple choice responses. The four multiple choice answers on my screen were the same as my student’s, but they were in a different order on her screen. We checked with another student’s Chromebook, and yes, it was as we thought: his answers were in a different order as well. Pretty awesome!
Once the test has been completed, the students submit feedback (“I learned something new” and “Play another GameShow”). For the teacher, there are a variety of features that are now visible to you. For the particular test that you have played, there is now a “Played On ____” message on the “PLAY” button. At the top of the page, there are four navigational buttons: Class, Dashboard, Homework, GameShow, and Reports.
When you click on Reports, you’re able to view all of the GameShow tests that you have played. Each test informs you on which day you took the test, the number of students that participated, and the average score of the class. When viewing a specific GameShow test, you’re welcomed by a list of students and all of their responses to each question on the test. You’re able to view the student’s Percentage Correct, Number Correct, and their score (Experience Points). All of the results can be downloaded as an Excel (XLS) file.
Students that have registered and have accounts (your class roster) will be visible to you on your Class Dashboard. Knowledgehook uses a visual method of informing the teacher how the students are doing by using four colors: Green, Light Orange, Orange, and Red. Each student profile block has a background with a specific color that corresponds to how well they are doing on the GameShow assessments. A small donut graph is also on this screen, and it displays how many of the total number of standards the class has covered thus far.
“How did you guys like GameShow?”
Overall, my students really enjoyed GameShow. One of my students said that (before we played GameShow) she didn’t like math, but thought that GameShow made math fun. The features they enjoyed most was that it was like Kahoot (competition against peers) and that you could select avatars. All of the students had suggested that they would’ve enjoyed it more had there been captivating background music and more bright/fun colors.
As an educator, I appreciated the fact that I have the ability to customize my GameShows and view analytics. Above all, the kids had a great time, and that’s what matters most when you’re trying to gamify your classroom.
I definitely recommend you give GameShow a try. You don’t need to dive blindly into the deep end like I did (unless you want to), but it’s definitely worth getting in the pool.
Thanks for taking the time to read my thoughts!