Active Learning with Kahoot!

Illustration of Kahoot App

What is Kahoot?

Kahoot! is a mobile, Game based Student Response System (GSRS), that engages students in an interactive and competitive learning environment. The Kahoot! pedagogy encourages a learning loop where the student transforms from a learner to a researcher, game designer, presenter and sharer of new-found knowledge.

How to Kahoot?

The instructor begins the loop by creating and presenting a Kahoot! game to teach a new topic or review a topic. Then the students are tasked with creating and hosting a Kahoot! to further their understanding of the topic. Typically, GSRSs like Kahoot! are used to either review key points at the end of the class to gauge student understanding of the topic and repeating essential highlights; or at the beginning of the class to test students’ knowledge level regarding a new topic.

View our Kahoot! Tutorials

Why Kahoot?

Research suggests (Licorish, Owen, Daniel & George, 2018; Plump & LaRosa, 2017; Wang & Lierberoth, 2016; Wang 2015) some advantages of using Kahoot! in the classroom, are as follows:

  1. Students feel that it gives them a break from traditional lecture, allows them to focus on the content, think about the correct answer and positively participate in the class.
  2. It promotes interaction and engagement especially in scenarios when they have to discuss and choose the correct answer as a team or a group.
  3. Kahoot! is also known to increase retention and improve student learning.
  4. It encourages competitive team-based learning where students want to compete with their peers and improve their performance.
  5. It is an effective form of formative assessment to give immediate feedback and gauge student understanding before moving forward to the next topic.
  6. Kahoot! can be used to spark a discussion topic and ignite student curiosity by using strategies such as blind Kahooting! and discussion type Kahoot! activities.

Best Practices

A best practice discovered by biology teacher, Stephanie Castle, called Blind Kahooting! demonstrated the use of Kahoot! to introduce topics that students have never learned before.  She starts by asking a ‘blind’ question, then helping them understand it, giving opportunities to apply what they’ve learned and reinforce the concept until they get it. A more detailed explanation of Blind Kahooting! can be found in the following videos:

Kahoot! can also be used as a homework challenge by clicking the Challenge button in the app, setting an end date and then copying the Challenge link and pin to share with the students. This will create a time-based challenge as a take-home activity for the students.

The Discover tab on the top left corner of the Kahoot! creation screen gives you access to over 30 million public kahoots created by a community of educators. Search by keyword to find kahoots related to your topic and duplicate the one that fits your needs. Once duplicated, the kahoot becomes editable for you to change questions, answers and other visual elements.


Getting Started with Kahoot!

Kahoot! is device agnostic and requires no account or email address for the students to play. It can be accessed from a variety of devices and technology environments using a smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer.

Download the Kahoot mobile app for free to create and play Kahoot activities:

Available on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Review our tutorial to get step-by-step instructions for how to create your fist Kahoot activity:

Kahoot! Tutorials


Kahoot! Accessibility

Kahoot! being an advocate of inclusivity, uses a variety of images and visual cues (different shapes and colors) to suit students with learning disabilities and special education needs. Common screen readers can read the Kahoot! questions and answers aloud. Further information on their accessibility policies can be found here:


Helpful Resources:

Kahoot! support

Kahoot! blog

Kahoot! Learning Library

Blind Kahooting

Kahoot is a Fun Free Game-Based Classroom Response System

Malone’s theory of intrinsically motivating instruction

Inside Kahoot – The fire in our belly

Kahoot! handout

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