Article

Livening Up Assessment with Technology: Comparing Kahoot!, Socrative and Google Forms

Ryan Tindale

Technology has as many uses for learning as ketchup does on food. Heinz would tell you it's endless. I'll tell you the same (excluding the ketchup analogy). Boosting engagement, eliciting smiles, commanding attention and increasing efficiency through technology at the points of instruction and learning are effective. But why not use technology creatively at the point of assessing? The Ministry has cookie-cutter standardized tests with neat and tidy boxes where students fit their answers in year after year. The format of the reading test in Grade 4 is the same as for Grade 8 and the boxed responses are the same for all 250,000+ students in Ontario. So I ask again: Why not spice things up with technology? Kahoot!, Socrative and Google Forms are three pieces of technology that are freely accessible to use in your Ontario classroom. Yes, you do need accounts, but no, there is no cost to you and no student information is retrieved. Below I'll give an overview of what Kahoot!, Socrative and Google Forms are, offer a YouTube link to a how-to video for each, and then go over briefly how to mark and return each one. I'll conclude with revealing my favourite.

KAHOOT!

How to Use Kahoot! for Assessment Click below to play video What it is...

  • Kahoot! has been called “Playstation for Education.” It is a game-based response system where a question is posed through an overhead projector for your class to see with 2-4 possible answers attached to a colour. If students are asked what 2+2 is and Answer 4 is green, then students press the green box on their device or laptop and it records their response. Each question has the option of being timed for up to 30 seconds, which increases the speed factor instead of just entering a correct/incorrect answer. Playing a Kahoot! works much better on Chrome than on Internet Explorer. I suggest taking the 2-3 minutes required for students to download Chrome on their computer, or just have them play on a device such as an iPad or a cell phone.

Marking one...

  • Kahoot! actually marks for you, as well as a computer can. After the quiz is completed, you can open the marks in Excel or Google Sheets. Students’ correct answers are highlighted in green and their incorrect answers are highlighted in red in a table-like format. The download feature also allows the teacher to focus in on individual questions for individual responses and how quickly students answered them.

Returning one...

  • Kahoot! data can be downloaded into an Excel or Google Drive spreadsheet that can be printed. Teachers can print the student answers in a grid form, but are not given the opportunity to hand back the students’ completed quizzes. I will often show them their mark or use the large grid for guided practice. If students absolutely require that something be returned in their hands, you can cut out each row (student’s name and marks) and give it to them.

SOCRATIVE

How to Use Socrative for Assessment Click below to play video What it is...

  • Socrative is a tool where students can complete a variety of assessments and teachers are given real time data to shape their guided practice.

Marking one...

  • Imagine 25 students in your class completing the same Socrative quiz at their own pace while you sit at your desk with a working grid on a computer screen. Students’ names are in the vertical column on the left and the quiz questions are in the horizontal row moving left to right. While at your desk, you see answers appearing right in front of you. You can download the whole class’s data to Microsoft Excel or narrow the individual student- or question-specific data into a PDF form. Maybe there was a challenging question that you want to narrow in on. The PDF clearly lays out the question-specific marks for every question. You can also use the email option and share the data with your like-grade partners. The way it works offers a great opportunity for guided instruction and the whole process never requires picking up a pen. It is an engaging and eco-friendly opportunity.

Returning one...

  • Socrative offers the option for individual quizzes to be printed and returned, although I rarely print off the original test once it’s downloaded in PDF form. I often use the data for guided practice, or a quick diagnostic or formative assessment.

GOOGLE FORMS

How to Use Google Forms for Assessment Click below to play video What it is...

  • A Google Form is an electronic form of a traditional questionnaire with the added benefit of having the data automatically compiled into Google Sheets, and later possible to download into Microsoft Excel. Unlike Kahoot! and Socrative, which can be accessed with most email accounts, you do need a Google/Gmail account to create Google Forms.

Marking one...

  • Because a Google Form is not opened and closed at a set time, the data is time-stamped when it’s submitted and then automatically imported into Google Sheets. One important point on making/marking them, is to make sure that Question 1 determines a student’s name. Unlike Kahoot! and Socrative, which enforce a name or fictitious username to participate, if you omit creating Question 1 in Google Forms to ask their name or a student doesn’t put their name in Question 1, you’ll be left with only a timestamp and a completed quiz. You can’t predetermine correct answers either so the marking for these flexible timed assessments rests on you. You can try filtering each column, or use a third party extension or Google App called Flubaroo to mark for you.

Returning one...

  • Google Forms is similar to Kahoot! in the details about returning one. See above.

My Favourite... I’ll be very unhelpful and completely impartial and say, “They’re all my favourite, because I use them for different purposes.” If I need a weekend assessment, or one where students, have the chance to try it two or three times to build confidence, then offer it as a Google Form. If you want one that easily marks for you but doesn’t have a restricted timer attached to each question, then go with a Socrative quiz. If you want an action packed, super engaging, lively and entertaining assessment, that feeds student engagement like a goldfish to a piranha, then use Kahoot! Since I favour engagement, you can judge which one I favour.   Ryan Tindale is a member of the Durham Occasional Teacher Local. For a dozen free resources, videos and other technology-related ideas, visit his website at teachingsmarter.wix.com/home.