January 25, 2017

Using Kahoot to enhance Induction talks and Information Skills workshops

By Tony Wilson, Academic Liaison Librarian

Throughout the Autumn Term, the Academic Liaison Team have been using the online quiz software Kahoot in Induction talks and workshops. I have used it in both undergraduate and postgraduate teaching sessions and have found that it offers an interesting and engaging option for delivering information about the Library and Information Literacy to students studying at all levels and stages.

This post will cover what Kahoot is and how it works and will provide examples of how we have used it at the University of York.

What is Kahoot?

Kahoot is a free to use learning platform that enables you to create games or ‘kahoots’ based around any topic that you wish. There are three options available to you. You can choose to create a Quiz, Discussion or Survey.

If you choose to create a Quiz, you can choose how many questions you wish to ask and you can choose up to four answers and indicate which of the answers are correct. You can have as many correct answers as you wish. Alternatively, you can have just two answers and ask a True or False question. Participants in the quiz will then compete to score the most points when they play the quiz. The quiz tool enables you to introduce the students to new information such as details of library services or different search techniques, for example. This is the tool that we have used this term.

The Survey tool works in the same way as the quiz tool but you don’t indicate a right or wrong answer and there is not a competitive element. It can be used to test what students have learnt during a session or gather information about what they already know before you start a teaching session and you can then use the answers given to generate discussion with the students and to inform what you choose to focus on.

The discussion tool is designed to be used during a presentation and if you want to ask a question that might generate a discussion. It works in the same way as the survey but you only have the option to ask one question. So, the idea is that the question would be very focused on one issue that would be designed to encourage students to choose different points of view that could then be explored further based on the answers that the students give. It could be useful if you were doing a workshop exploring a variety of different resources and you wanted the students to discuss the pros and cons of using one database compared to another.

Using Kahoot in Induction

Throughout the induction period at the start of term, Academic Liaison Librarians are invited to come and talk to the new students in their departments and make them aware of the services that are available. These talks can be 5 minute ‘quick hellos’ or hour long induction lectures so Kahoot is not always going to be a helpful tool. However, quite often, Librarians will have between 10-20 minutes to talk to students as part of a set of talks organised by the department and in these circumstances Kahoot has proved a brilliant tool for introducing students to the Library in a fun and engaging way.

In order to play the quiz when in a lecture hall, students are asked to use their smartphones to go to the web address Kahoot.it. From there, they are asked to enter a code which is made available on the screen by the person running the quiz.

Once players enter the PIN they then need to give themselves a nickname and they can then join the game.
Often in the induction quiz, there were as many as 150 students taking part in the quiz.  The Induction quiz had 10 questions and could be played as a straightforward quiz, taking each question in turn or alternatively, the question could be used to as a springboard to show the students more information on the library website.

The questions covered a number of different topics including study space, how many books students can borrow, opening hours and also questions about borrowing laptops and Google Apps for Education. The Quiz has received some really positive feedback from staff and students and the Academic Liaison Team has felt like this tool has really helped to increase the levels of engagement from students in the service that we provide which is fantastic.

Using Kahoot in other workshops

In addition to induction, some of colleagues have also used Kahoot in other workshops as an alternative way to present information to students. These sessions have been at Undergraduate and Postgraduate level.

Kahoot has proved effective in a number of different contexts. In one Languages workshop, a six question Kahoot was used introduce the student to six different specific aspects of the Library services and collections that was relevant to them.

Kahoot was also used to test knowledge and understanding of literature searching techniques. In a number of Education workshops this term, students were asked to look at a number of online tutorials on our Digital Skills Guides in the week ahead of the workshop.

Then, at the start of the workshops, students did an Education Information skills quiz so that the Librarian could assess whether they understood the content from the tutorials.

Kahoot proved an effective tool in these workshops as well although it did not tend to cause the same buzz of excitement in the PC lab as it did during induction.

Next steps

Kahoot has the potential to be used in variety of ways and more work needs to be done to consider which approaches are the most effective. As with all tools that can be used to enhance teaching and learning there is always the risk to over use a tool and reduce it’s impact as a result.

The survey tool may very well prove very helpful during the Spring and Summer when delivering dissertation workshops as it could be an effective way to test which resources students are familiar with already.

Work will then need to be done on a new Induction quiz for next year!

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