Guest Author: Kay Tucker @KayTLawLibn
Last year, our team of Monash Law librarians started using Kahoot! in the classroom with first year Monash Law students. We’d already tried Poll Everywhere in our legal research classes, and found this a great way to check understanding of early concepts and gauge understanding anonymously, but we wanted to try something new that would help energise the class. Kahoot! has colour, sound and a sense of fun, and it adds a competitive element – something that appeals to law students. There are lots of ways to use Kahoot!; as an ice-breaker, to test understanding of new concepts or pre-class activities, to revise topics, to gather opinions, and others described on the Kahoot! website.
In our Week 1, Semester 1 class, we use Kahoot! at the start of the class as both as an ice-breaker and to stimulate discussion about some elements of legal research. Using three multiple choice questions seems to be about right and sets up a competition to get to the final leader board where the top three receive a chocolate prize. Points are awarded based on both accuracy and speed.
In the second class in Week 2, we drop in a couple of Kahoot! questions in the middle of the class after we’ve discussed the concepts of law reporting and authorised reports. This topic confuses many a law student, so the activity helps us to see whether the students have got it, as well as providing a break between the discussion and the next application activity.
This year, particularly, I found that many of the students were already familiar with Kahoot!, having used it at secondary school. Some students were excited about using it again (probably due to the chocolate prizes) while others seemed to view it as a bit juvenile. They certainly get inventive when choosing a nickname!
Kahoot! is easy to use. Sign up for free, and choose the type of question, Quiz, Jumble (new), Discussion or Survey. Add the question, set a time limit, and put in your answer options. You can also add an image or a video and credit the resources. Copy the link into your slides if you have them so that you can easily go to it in class.
To play the game in the classroom, students can use any device – mobile phone, ipad, or laptop. They just need to go to kahoot.it
The teacher goes to the game link, selects Classic (you can also play in Team mode), then provides the game PIN to the students. They enter the PIN, then put in their name (or nickname) – I recently had a Tony Abbott and Barnaby Joyce in my class! When all the students are in, the teacher can start the game.
Using Kahoot! is best in the classroom, although the site suggests setting questions as homework or after class activity as well. Its benefits lie in the teacher quickly being able to see if the majority of students understand a concept and whether any further discussion is necessary. Asking students to create their own Kahoot! and then lead the class in playing it is something I’d like to try next when there’s more time.
Kay Tucker is the Law Library Manager, at Monash University.
Have you used Kahoot! or other similar applications in your law classes? Tell us about it in the comments section below.