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Blog - Technology & STEM

Using Gamified Quizzes to Improve Student Learning

Feb. 15, 2021

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Picture a traditional classroom; what do you see? The image that comes to mind for many adults is a room with a teacher’s desk front and center before rows of desks. Behind the desk may hang a chalkboard, where the teacher writes lesson notes. This iconic image is deeply ingrained in our society’s conception of school, which can be seen when conducting a simple Google Image search for the word “classroom”.

However, most of us know that schools no longer look like this, and the lessons that educators teach use much more than just a chalkboard. In fact, teachers now have access to a wide variety of tools to boost student engagement and help children learn. In recent years, numerous studies have shown that direct instruction, such as through the use of lecture and notetaking, is not effective, especially when compared to newer methods and strategies.

Educators now know that varying individual lessons with several activities that allow for students to demonstrate learning are more effective than simply sitting and listening to a teacher talk. Many of these strategies include the use of technology that enhance student engagement, while providing the instructor with immediate feedback and ways to monitor progress along the way.

One of the most innovative and exciting advancements in classroom activities includes the gamification of quizzes to boost student interest and motivation, especially when it comes to tough subjects like math and science.

Using Gamified E-Quizzes to Enhance Student Learning

At this point, you may be wondering what exactly gamification in education is, and how it can be applied in the classroom or during lessons. Simply put, gamifying an activity means making it more like a game instead of just another task a student must complete.

According to this article from the International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education, gamification means to incorporate design elements of games—specifically from video games—to boost student engagement. Because of the popularity of video games, many children are likely to respond to such academic activities with more enthusiasm than they might with any other activity.

When paired with a useful check for understanding, such as a short quiz, gamified assessments can serve as an exciting way to begin lessons, assess progress, or even ready children for summative assessments, such as an exam. 

Did you know that Kids Academy also offers interactive gamified quizzes? Download the app to discover immersive teacher-led lessons, exciting games, and of course the best in gamified quizzes!

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Benefits of Gamified Quizzes

We already know that students enjoy gamified activities, since the purpose of providing such experiences is to improve motivation. What other benefits can it offer besides boosting classroom morale? According to this study, these types of in-class activities:

  • Enhance the “testing effect”

The “testing effect” refers to the effect that frequent quizzing has on the learning process. Each time a child takes a quiz, they must perform a complex cognitive process of recalling facts and concepts they have learned. Because kids are consistently and repeatedly recalling learned information, they are able to better remember those skills. Gamified quizzes can assist in improving learning because it requires children to recall information more often, leading to better learning outcomes.

  • Interactive video quizzes improve engagement and lead to more quizzes

Besides motivating students to participate in class, interactive e-quizzes can also stimulate a more competitive environment in the classroom. When kids compete against one another to earn the most points or to “win”, this can further increase motivation to do well and learn more. Furthermore, the fact that students love competition and playing games could lead to more activities that utilize these types of quizzes.

  • Provides more opportunities to demonstrate learning

 Just as children come in all colors, shapes, and sizes, their personalities and learning styles differ just as much. All students have different learning styles that affect the way they learn. Some kids may excel at test-taking, while others prefer more creative ways to demonstrate learning. Regardless of a student’s individual learning style, gamified quizzes offer yet another opportunity for kids to shine, as many thrive in competitive environments.

Another positive aspect of frequent use of gamified learning is the fact that instructors are better able to monitor and assess progress over the course of a unit. When used consistently in class, quizzes can give educators instant feedback as to whether students are learning, and can help them track progress over time, as well as identify areas for intervention.

  • Interactive gamification may improve learning outcomes

Of course, the overall goal of gamification of activities in the classroom is to improve student performance and engagement. If kids are more motivated to interact with class content because of gamified quizzes, it is obvious that students may experience improved learning outcomes due to their participation in class and their excitement to learn. While more research needs to be done to ensure that this is indeed the case, gamified quizzes are certainly promising in their ability to reinforce and assess understanding of course material and skills.

Ideas for Implementation

At the outset, it may seem like there are not many opportunities within a lesson to insert a gamified quiz. However, there are actually a variety of ways to use them during a lesson, with a wide variety of apps to use depending on what a teacher is using them to accomplish. Try the following ideas and apps to implement gamified quizzes into your lessons:

  • Integrate short quizzes into the middle of lessons to assess learning during a lesson

Various apps like SocrativeSeeSaw, and Kids Academy quizzes give teachers the ability to give interactive quiz questions during a lesson to assess learning while it’s happening. Such apps also offer quick class polls, a variety of quiz questions that include multiple choice, sorting problems, and “think questions”. 

There are many ways that children complete quizzes in the Kids Academy app: drag and drop, typing the answers, and clicking on the correct answer choice, etc. Watch this video to see Kids Academy quizzes in action: 

  • Use as a pre-assessment or attention-getter at the beginning of a lesson or unit cycle

When beginning a new unit or lesson, it’s always a great idea to activate prior knowledge, or to assess students on a topic to spur discussion. Use gamified quizzes to introduce ideas and assess knowledge before launching into a mini lesson.

  • Use as a review to prepare for summative assessment

E-quizzes are also great for preparing for unit tests in the case of summative assessments. Gamified quizzes bring an element of competition that face students against one another to win points and maybe even a prize in the form of a trip to the classroom treasure box, or extra points on upcoming test!

As you can see, the effect of digitizing and gamifying quizzing can be profound in that it can spark a new motivation and love for learning by making class come alive! While planning your next unit, be sure to incorporate aspects of online gaming into your lessons to reap the benefits of interactive video quizzes in the classroom!

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