Game show classroom: Comparing Kahoot!, Quizizz, Quizlet Live and Gimkit

Ed Tech

Ed Tech | Thursday, April 21, 2016

Game show classroom: Comparing Kahoot!, Quizizz, Quizlet Live and Gimkit

The best features of game shows can be used to review and teach in the classroom. Kahoot!, Quizizz, Quizlet Live, and Gimkit can help. See their pros, cons and what makes them different.

As a child, I remember one specific thing I always looked forward to on days when I stayed home sick from school — The Price Is Right.

Even aching, sick to my stomach or feverish as I laid on the couch, I made sure the TV was tuned to that game show around lunch time.

I loved the unique games. (Playing Plinko was a dream of mine!) I always guessed right along with the contestants during the Showcase Showdown at the end of the game. Bob Barker was the consummate host and kept things moving.

Now, teachers can bring that experience into the classroom when students aren’t home sick.

Several digital tools created for the classroom bring those exciting experiences to students with learning as the focus.

These “gameshow classroom” websites do a number of things …

  • Create an electric atmosphere for answering questions.
  • Provide fun, interesting repetitions.
  • Make in-the-moment feedback possible.

We have a growing number of “gameshow classroom” options. Here are some of the ones I’ve found that I think are the best:

Kahoot! (kahoot.com)

Summary

Kahoot! is the granddaddy of the game show review games, launched in August of 2013. In a standard Kahoot! game, questions are displayed to students on a projector or display. Students respond on their own devices.

Pros

  • It’s a shared experience. Everyone responds at the same time. That also means we can provide feedback to everyone at the same time.
  • There are millions of publicly created Kahoot! games you can use (or duplicate for yourself and change).
  • Students are likely very familiar with it, meaning it can be plugged into a lesson with little time to learn a new app.

Source: Screenshot from getkahoot.com

Cons

  • The speed of a traditional Kahoot! game can make some students feel like they’re left in the dust.
  • It’s easy for students to see each other’s responses and copy. (Just look at all of the screens the student in the foreground of the photo can see from his desk.)

Unique features

  • Ghost mode. Kahoot! remembers how each student scored on each question. When you play the game again in ghost mode, it displays former attempts as “ghosts”. Students can compare their current attempt to previous attempts to see how they’ve progressed. (If your students have played Mario Kart or another racing video game and have raced against their personal best, they’re familiar with racing against a ghost.)
  • The mobile app. This versatile app lets you create Kahoot! games on the fly, add pictures from your camera roll, and even host a Kahoot! game from your mobile device. Students can participate in Kahoot! challenges against classmates on their own devices.
  • The friendly nickname generator. Have you ever battled naughty nicknames in a Kahoot! game? The generator will let students spin to choose from three appropriate nickname options.

Alternative ways to play

  • The Blind Kahoot! game. It’s a way to teach with Kahoot! instead of just reviewing. Throw students a tricky question at the beginning. Then use images, videos, class discussion and questions to teach it. It’s scaffolding — teach a little, ask a question, repeat, repeat, repeat. Learn all about the Blind Kahoot! game in this blog post!

Quizizz (quizizz.com)

Summary

Quizizz takes the excitement of a gameshow-style review game and puts the whole experience in the students’ hands. With a traditional Kahoot! game, everyone sees the question and possible answers on the projector and answer simultaneously. Quizizz is different because the questions and possible answers are displayed individually on student devices.

Pros

  • It’s student-paced. No one gets upset because their device didn’t load the game fast enough to compete.
  • Teachers can display a student progress dashboard on the projector to see progress of each student and instantly see how many questions the class answered right/wrong.

Source: Screenshot from Quizizz.com

Cons

  • When everyone is answering different questions at different times, you lose a bit of the excitement.
  • With Kahoot!, when my class answers one question all together, it isolates that piece of content so we can all talk about it. When a Quizizz game is over, you can review all the questions all at once, and you lose that isolation.

Unique features

  • Memes. These pictures with fun/funny messages are a treat. They’re displayed after a question is answered to show whether it’s right or wrong. Quizizz even lets you create your own (see image at right). You can use their pre-loaded images or upload your own.
  • Homework mode. Students don’t have to complete a game live in-person. You can use homework mode to assign it to be completed by a deadline. As someone who believes in ditching homework, I prefer homework mode to be used in rotation stations, centers and as part of choice boards instead.
  • Add audio, images and math equations. When creating a new question, use the icons next to the question you're writing. The "math" button loads a keyboard of math symbols. The "media" button lets you upload audio or image.
  • Power ups. Correct questions get students these powers, like immunity (second chance after incorrect answer), power play (everyone gets 50% more points for 20 seconds), and x2 (double points for one question).

Alternative ways to play

Quizlet Live (quizlet.com/live)

Summary

Quizlet’s foray into the game show-style review is the best collaborative game. Instead of students answering individual questions on their individual devices, Quizlet puts students in groups. All possible answers are divided amongst the devices of all students participating. Think of three students with 12 possible answers … they’re divided up with four on each devices, so the answer may or may not be on your device. Teams race to get all answers correct in a row to win.

Need to know how to set up and run a Quizlet Live game? How to start a Quizlet Live game in 60 seconds + tips and tricks

Pros

  • Teamwork and communication. With traditional flashcards, students may study them in isolation quietly. This brings students together in a game where they must depend on each other.

Source: Screenshot from Quizlet.com

  • Play games with Quizlet flashcard sets. Quizlet Live runs from Quizlet flashcard sets. That means you don’t have to create anything new if you use Quizlet and already have flashcards OR if you can find a Quizlet flashcard set you like.
  • A new game every time. Each new Quizlet Live game is different. When a game pulls a dozen cards from a Quizlet flashcard set, there are tons of combinations — especially when there are LOTS of flashcards. Start a new game and Quizlet mixes up the cards for a new combination.

Cons

  • You need at least six students to play a game (at least two teams of three students) and at least six cards in a flashcard set.
  • If you’re looking for something more individual to play as a group, Quizlet Live may not be your game.

Unique features

  • True team play. This is the best collaborative experience of the “gameshow classroom” options. One student can dominate in a team game on Kahoot! or Quizizz. When each student has only a handful of correct responses, everyone has more opportunity to participate.
  • Built-in movement. Students are put into small groups and are encouraged to move next to their partners. This mixes up their environment and encourages physical movement, which boosts cognitive function.

Alternative ways to play


Click for full-size image (with more legible text!).

Relay. In this game, line up all student devices in a row. Students take turns answering questions. This is another alternative Quizlet Live game suggested by New York educator Patrick McMillan in this post.


Gimkit (gimkit.com)

Summary

Gimkit (gimkit.com) is like Quizizz with power-ups. In Quizizz, students collect points cumulatively throughout the game. In Gimkit, students use their points to buy power-ups in the store. Power-ups let students earn more points per question, get additional points when they hit a streak, and even lose less points when incorrect.

"We don't do tests." Learn how teacher Omoyemwen Ngei uses Gimkit to create assessments her students love.

Pros

  • New game mechanics. The upgrades put a new spin on reviewing. They’re used to buying upgrades in games. Now they can add that new dynamic to digital review games.

Source: Gimkit (gimkit.com) screenshot.

  • Its backstory. Gimkit was created by students in Seattle, Washington, and it’s still maintained by them. They made the game they wanted to play and then shared it with the world.
  • Quizlet integration. You can import a Quizlet flashcard set into a Gimkit game if you have the paid version of Gimkit.

Cons

  • Pricing structure. You only get to create five games with the free plan … and you have a finite amount of modifications you can make to them. Then it’s $59.88 per year or the $7.99 monthly plan. A robust free version is an essential piece of many edtech tools, and Gimkit’s free version is lacking … not enough to hook a teacher and help him/her realize he/she needs the full paid version.
  • Limited searchable gallery. With the above options, you can tap into thousands (or millions) of teacher-created games. Unless you have the paid version and import Quizlet sets, the gallery is really lacking.

Unique features

  • Purchase upgrades. Students can spend points from correct answers in the store to buy upgrades to earn points faster. They include insurance (less points for a wrong answer)  and money per question (more points per right answer).
  • Live view with class progress. The screen projected to the class as students answer questions is unique. It shows how everyone’s points as a class add up together. This encourages class vs. class competition.
  • KitCollab. This feature lets students create a Gimkit game together. Each student suggests a question. The teacher approves questions to be used in the game. 

These four — Kahoot!QuizizzQuizlet Live and Gimkit — aren’t the only options for reviewing in this way. If you use others, we’d love to see them in a comment below along with why you think they’re great.

Question: Which tools have you used, and what was your experience? What other similar tools have you used? Leave a comment below.

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  • Jeff Kash says:

    I have used Kahoot since last year and Quizlet for many years. My kids loved Kahoot when I started using it, but now, Quizlet Live blows everything else away. My students asks me every day if we are going to do Quizlet live. The team aspect of the game makes it even better, as the students feel accountable to each other so they do their best.

  • Heidi Trude says:

    My students and I absolutely love Quizlet Live. I wrote a blog about it. It has definitely increased the learning and engagement, as well as communication and collaboration in my French classroom. Check it out: http://techietrude.blogspot.com/2016/04/liven-up-your-class-with-quizlet-live.html

  • Suzanne Bartow says:

    I use Plickers with my 5th grade class. I use it in place of the traditional whiteboard, but it works the same way. The students are assigned a personal QR Code type image that I have printed large on white cardstock. The cards are anonymous and it is not easy to tell what your neighbor has answered. It eliminates the copying that occurs when some students put up their answers on a whiteboard. I then stand in front of the room and move my phone around to scan the cards. I quickly get a red or green flash to see right and wrong answers, and “magically” the data appears on the screen. They can keep their cards all year, and I just create new sets of questions to go with our units of study. It’s fun and different!

  • Sylvia Allen says:

    Love your “stuff”! You need to make your way out to California and provide workshops out here!

  • Hi Matt, thanks very much for the write up! We were flattered when Quizlet used our Quizalize team game view as inspiration for Quizlet Live, but it’s great to know that teachers are also valuing the data and insight we provide as this is the real value and differentiation in our products. We aim to make our Zzish teacher dashboards the best dashboards in the world for real-time insight into individual student learning gaps and so enable teachers to give one on one student-centred teaching in the classroom. Note that teachers can already use our Zzish teacher dashboards with Kahoot and we’re adding support for Quizziz and Socrative too. Teachers can simply download the excel spreadsheet at the end of a Kahoot session and import them into Zzish. Many thanks again for your kind support and we’re always delighted to hear feedback and suggestions for improving our products! Charles Wiles, Founder of Zzish, creators of Quizalize.

  • Miss Walker says:

    Overall, my Spanish students’ favorite so far has been Quizlet Live. I originally heard about it on my Facebook networking group called “Spanish Teachers in the US.” Suddenly Spanish teachers across the USA were raving about how wonderful this application was and how very much their students liked the game and engaged in it. Many of my students in their weekly reflection papers on academic growth have expressed that Quizlet Live is the best tool they have found so far to help them learn Spanish vocabulary. My Spanish I students literally beg me to play it.

    Thank you for all the resources, tool and knowledge, Matt. You have inspired and encouraged me for a long time to ditch the textbook more and more often and use these interactive tools in my classroom, and I am a better teacher for it.

  • […] Game show classroom: Comparing Kahoot!, Quizizz, Quizlet Live and Quizalize #gbl @jmattmiller ditchthattextbook.com/2016/04/21/gam… […]

  • Regina Schantz says:

    I have used Kahoot and Quizizz a lot and like them equally for different reasons. I’m trying to get used to Quizalize. It is easy to type in the questions, but not as user-friendly to get it to run. I feel like I’m constantly clicking here and there and going back to Home to find the right place to get my students started. It’s not as flashy, but it does give wonderful data. I’m anxious to try Quizlet Live next!

  • […] Game show classroom: Comparing Kahoot!, Quizizz, Quizlet Live and Quizalize | Ditch That Textbook […]

  • Debra Madill says:

    Plickers. Plickers is like Kahoots, but you don’t need a device for each student. You print out a card for each student that has a unique shape on it, a number and the letters A, B, C, D. Students simply hold up the card with the letter choice they want (in response to a multiple choice question) and the teacher scans the cards with the app (sounds long, but it can be done quickly and from the front of the classroom. The scan works from quite a distance.) You can create either multiple choice or true-false questions. The results are displayed on the screen for everyone to see. Students like the anonymous feature, but you can also display names with answers. I also like it that you don’t have to display everyone’s answer at first (so noone is being influenced by other answers). You display only the numbers, so you can ensure that everyone has answered the question, then you can show the graph results (bar graph displays how many answered per letter), then finally, you can show the result (the bar lights up green on the graph). Love this progressive aspect. The app is free. You create the questions on the website, then scan with the app. Was a huge success with students!

  • […] Comparing Kahoot!, Quizizz, Quizlet Live and Quizalize […]

  • […] Game show classroom: Comparing Kahoot!, Quizizz, Quizlet Live and Quizalize | Ditch That Textbook […]

  • Heather Abernathy says:

    My issue with Kahoot is that it limits the length of the answer that a teacher puts in- very difficult when using AP-style questions.

    • SAM says:

      Not sure if what subject area you are, but I build think time in my Kahoots.

      I duplicate each question. They appear back to back.

      The first question has a long time limit and is worth zero points. The answer choices are “pick red!” and “pick blue!”. Both answers are correct and the students pick an answer after they have processed the question and have an answer.

      The second question is the exact same one, except it is worth points and the answer choices are all available.

      This helps my slower readers and thinkers. It levels the playing field for them.

    • anne spink says:

      This is my issue with it too. And I have lots of others- though my students love the game and I plan to keep using it unless I find something more user-friendly.
      1) it only shows which groups are in the top 5..well we have 15+ groups and I’d like to know how the others are doing.
      2) it only shows the winners for like a split second at the end so I have to snap a picture of that with my phone because it’s impossible to get back to it.
      3) they make the question appear sooo small up at the top then there is this HUGE “Kahoots” sign right in the middle. It’s kinda annoying.
      4) Making the questions is really tedious, I wish I could easily transfer these games which I already have prepared from PowerPoint.
      5) I wish we could copy and paste images instead of just drag/drop, which never works.

      All in all it is wayyyy too time consuming just to create one game. I don’t think it’s user-friendly for the teachers. I have contacted Kahoots and told them my complaints. They said that they purposely keep the limit short for their questions to “maximize engagement.” They didn’t seem to consider that what they’ve actually done is make it very rigid and inflexible, which means that less people will use their website in the end.

      KAHOOTS I hope you read this.

      • Anonymous says:

        Kahoot allows you to import questions from a spreadsheet (excel) that contains a row for each question. As far as importing from PowerPoint, there are so much technological hurdles and issues (how the PowerPoint holds the data in a manner computers can find it from, how to add false answers, etc) that it can’t be done without significant and expensive advances in artificial intelligence. As for other concerns, 1: all users can see their placing, 2: actually, leader boards don’t auto-advance as long as moving on from question to question is not automated (there is a setting which requires that, other than ending the answer period, all time progressions are actually waiting for the teacher to press a button instead of auto-advancing), 3: this might not be remediable host end, but you can write to the web application developers who make Kahoot, and 5: manual upload by opening the file selection dialog is advised, as copying and pasting only transfers a html attribute containing the location of the image online(the image is actually stored as another file on a server, not as part of the web page). Drag and drop would allow the Kahoot editor to convert html references to images not on Kahoot servers to references to image copies on Kahoot servers, while uploading true image files submitted. As far as AP questions, you might have to violate standard rules and over-abbreviate.

  • Shawn Hicklin says:

    I’ve used Quizizz and Kahoot. I personally like Quizizz more because students can’t cheat off of others because the questions are randomized. For Quizizz I would say ditch the music and play some clean dance music in the background. My students seem to like it. I also like Bingobaker.com for a slower paced online bingo. I’ve been looking for a jazzed up online bingo but have yet to find it. I may try Quizlet live next.

  • Keven Winters says:

    These are awful programs, they do not allow for more than 4 answers to a question, have a small character limit for questions and do they allow multiple answers. This makes them good for 1st or second graders but useless for teachers who really want to test their kids. for all the comments about how they love it, I can only assume they are using it for very young grades or are creating worthless quizzes for older students, if you don’t understand this, take a look at how real tests are conducted for older kids, not like these 1 answer guesses

  • Liz Syed says:

    I have recently discovered the Triptico website and it’s my current favourite, though I use kahoot and Quizlet live a lot. Triptico’s version of Blockbusters, called Connect, has one down really well with my students of all ages.

  • Jim says:

    Has anyone found a quiz that can accept numerical answers rather than multiple choice answers?
    Also the time limit on Kahoot is a pain. especially for more involved problems.

  • Here says:

    Thanks for the great website recommendation. I’ve been integrating Kahoot in my classroom for just a few weeks and my students have just loved it. My kids are starting to have longer attention spans and better grades. Unfortunately, some disrespectful kids in my class use some Kahoot hacks to take away the fun and learning from the game. A few kids flood my Kahoot quizzes using hundreds of fake usernames which destroys the purpose of this game. Also, a few kids hack the Kahoot answers and get everything right somehow. These kids are the ones who usually are troublemakers and get terrible grades. Do you have any ideas on how I can fix this?

    • Anonymous says:

      Concerning hackers, you simply have to have web filtering software that blocks the tool they are using. It is also advised that student web browser settings disable student Document Object Model modification(look for “inspect” on chrome, try to disable it). These two measures, assuming Chromebooks are used, should be sufficient, although the web filtering should also display the URL of all pages accessed by the student while the Kahoot is running(this, which GoGaurdian comes close to, allows you to spot hack tools not recognized by software in place). You can kick out all inappropriate usernames on Kahoot by clicking the name on the pregame screen(the one that shows all users) and the leader board previews after each question.

  • Magdalini Giannakouli says:

    I love Quizlet and quizalize!They are my favourite ones! The team behind quizalize rocks! They are by my side be it day or night! I am not exaggerating. I have made over 1000 tests …and… their life miserable as well with my requests even after midnight but they always DELIVER ! HOOPS THE NEW GAME IS WONDERFUL! I have used practically everything, triventy, gosoapboax, socrative, formative … my heart lies in the hands of Quizalize and Quizlet 🙂

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  • Phani says:

    Very Informative. I found Quizizz is more teacher / student friendly.

  • Language Teachers!! Check out Fluentkey.com! Think Edpuzzle/Playposit with Kahoot style game! Uses *authentic* language videos….news, commercials, music, etc.!!

  • Jen Charles says:

    I have also been using Quizwhizzer in my Spanish classes. It plays like a big board game, and recent updates have added an option to make them retry questions when they get them wrong, and “on fire” streaks where digital fire literally plays across the screen. I have my students do more involved fill in the blank things here and play in pairs and they (mostly juniors and seniors) are incredibly engaged and love watching their pieces move on the game board on the screen. Thus far the free version has been plenty robust for my uses. And as a bonus, this tool was also developed by a high school student to help out his teacher!!

    Also – our department chair got a bulk discount on getting us Gimkit premium subscriptions. I rarely pay for tools like this, but Gimkit is absolutely worth it. My kids LOVE IT. And the limited time “special modes” he puts out keep it even more interesting. Just ask about “Thanos mode” to someone that watched kids play it. Great stuff.

  • Steve Neldo says:

    I really love the concept of Quizizz, the points do really add a bit of competitiveness to the quiz games and keeps the student engaged. I personally prefer and use Kahoot, I wish they cloud implement something like that to make it even awesome. Let’s not forget that they all bring the fun back to learning, way better than the textbook quizzes.

  • […] Game show classroom: Comparing Kahoot!, Quizizz, Quizlet Live and Gimkit – Matt Miller compares the different quiz games for the classroom. […]

  • Todd says:

    I think kahoot is good but gimkit is better. It gives kids a chance to use the money they have earned to invest in powerups which also teaches financial skills and money management

  • Sophia says:

    Great tools with pros & cons. I have tried another i. e Factile( https://www.playfactile.com/) & found it very interesting.

  • Gerry Lawson says:

    I first found this post a couple of years ago, and benefited from it. I thought I’d add a reference to Bookwidgets – which is the best all-round tool for remote teaching on the planet, especially in conjunction with Google Classroom. The recent addition of “Bookwidgets live” means that you can turn most widgets into an class game – it doesn’t have the music and countdown features of the other games, but makes up for that in the versatility of the question types and reporting options. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XWWGUri1Yi8

  • Priya Smita says:

    Just read your complete article “Game show classroom: Comparing Kahoot!, Quizizz, Quizlet Live and Gimkit” is really very informative. Found too much concepts. I have just Instantly shared this post with my friend Smriti Chawla (98765-43210) from Delhi Public School. Thanks a lot!

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