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Gamifying Education: Exploring Free Alternatives to Kahoot - A Comparative Analysis

Updated: Jul 14, 2023

Introduction


"Mister, can we please play Kahoot today? Please mister, please!" was probably one of the most common questions students asked me when I was working as a teacher in primary and secondary schools, and it truly reflects the power of gamification in educational settings.


Gamification has emerged as a powerful tool in education, revolutionising the way students engage with learning materials. By incorporating game elements and mechanics into educational activities, gamified learning platforms have proven to enhance student motivation, participation, and retention of knowledge. In my experience working with schools, Kahoot often reigned as the most popular, however, there are some free alternatives to Kahoot. In this blog post, we will delve into the world of gamified education and conduct a comprehensive comparison of four popular platforms: Kahoot, Quizizz, Quizlet Live, and Gimkit. Through an analysis of their features, strengths, weaknesses, and real-world applications, we aim to provide educators and learners with valuable insights to make informed decisions about integrating gamified learning into their classrooms.



Kahoot


Overview of Kahoot's features and gameplay:


- Interactive platform for creating and playing quizzes, surveys, and discussions.

- User-friendly interface with a wide range of pre-made quizzes available.

- Competitive gameplay where players earn points for correct answers and speed.

- Supports both individual and team-based play, fostering collaboration.



Strengths and weaknesses of Kahoot:


- Strengths:

- Simple and accessible, allowing quick creation of engaging quizzes.

- Vibrant visual design and game-like features capture students' attention.

- Encourages active participation and knowledge retention.

- Weaknesses:

- Potential over-reliance on multiple-choice questions.

- Limited options for in-depth learning or open-ended assessments.


Examples of Kahoot's application in different educational settings:


- Primary schools: Reinforcing vocabulary, math facts, or historical events.

- Middle and high schools: Formative assessments, topic review before exams.

- Corporate training: Interactive knowledge testing and professional development.


Benefits for students:


- Improved student performance and enthusiasm for learning.

- Increased student engagement and participation.

- Transformation of traditional classrooms into more enjoyable learning environments.




Quizizz


Overview of Quizizz's features and gameplay:


- Gamified learning platform for creating and playing self-paced quizzes.

- Offers a vast library of quizzes across various subjects.

- Allows customisation of quizzes with multimedia content.

- Provides immediate feedback and explanations for incorrect answers.


Strengths and weaknesses of Quizizz:


- Strengths:

- Self-paced nature allows students to learn at their own speed.

- Flexible and adaptable for different learning styles.

- Provides detailed feedback and explanations for better understanding.

- Weaknesses:

- Limited options for collaborative or competitive gameplay.

- May not offer the same level of immediate excitement as real-time multiplayer platforms.


Examples of Quizizz's application in different educational settings:


- Classroom activities: Homework assignments, pre-and post-assessments, and topic review.

- Remote learning: Engaging students in online quizzes for distance education.

- Test preparation: Creating practice quizzes to reinforce knowledge before exams.


Benefits for students:


- Improved student engagement and motivation.

- Enhanced retention of knowledge through interactive quizzes.

- Effective tool for assessing student understanding and tracking progress.




Quizlet Live


Overview of Quizlet Live's features and gameplay:


- Collaborative learning platform based on Quizlet flashcards.

- Students work in teams to match terms with their corresponding definitions.

- Real-time competition with a race against the clock.

- Encourages teamwork, communication, and critical thinking.


Strengths and weaknesses of Quizlet Live:


- Strengths:

- Promotes collaboration and teamwork among students.

- Engaging and interactive gameplay enhances learning.

- Reinforces knowledge and retention through repetition.

- Weaknesses:

- Requires prior creation of flashcard sets on Quizlet.

- Limited to matching activities and may not suit all subjects.



Examples of Quizlet Live's application in different educational settings:


- Language learning: Matching vocabulary words with their translations.

- Science classes: Matching scientific terms with their definitions.

- History or geography: Matching important dates with corresponding events or locations.


Benefits for students:


- Improved collaboration and teamwork skills.

- Increased engagement and motivation in learning.

- Effective tool for reinforcing and reviewing content.

- Enhanced retention of information through interactive gameplay.




Gimkit


Overview of Gimkit's features and gameplay:


- Personalized learning platform with a focus on customisation.

- Students earn in-game currency to upgrade their virtual assets.

- Offers a variety of question types, including multiple-choice and open-ended.

- Provides real-time data and analytics for teachers to track student progress.


Strengths and weaknesses of Gimkit:


- Strengths:

- Highly customisable to cater to individual learning needs.

- Motivates students through a reward system and virtual upgrades.

- Offers a range of question types for varied assessments.

- Weaknesses:

- Initial setup and customisation can be time-consuming for teachers.

- May require additional teacher involvement for effective use.



Examples of Gimkit's application in different educational settings:


- Math classes: Practicing arithmetic, algebraic concepts, or problem-solving.

- Foreign language learning: Reinforcing vocabulary and grammar rules.

- Test review sessions: Engaging students in a fun and interactive way before exams.


Benefits for students:


- Improved student motivation and participation.

- Personalised learning experience with customisable options.

- Real-time feedback and data tracking for teachers to assess student performance.




Comparison of the Platforms


User interface and design:


- Kahoot: Vibrant and visually appealing interface.

- Quizizz: Clean and user-friendly interface.

- Quizlet Live: Simple and intuitive interface.

- Gimkit: Customisable interface with various themes.


Customization options for teachers:


- Kahoot: Limited customisation options beyond question creation.

- Quizizz: Offers customisation of quiz content and settings.

- Quizlet Live: Limited customisation options for game setup.

- Gimkit: Highly customisable with options for rewards, upgrades, and more.


Engagement and motivation levels:


- Kahoot: Competitive gameplay and real-time leaderboards.

- Quizizz: Self-paced quizzes with friendly competition.

- Quizlet Live: Collaborative team-based learning experience.

- Gimkit: Gamified elements and rewards system for increased motivation.


Assessment and feedback capabilities:


- Kahoot: Immediate feedback for correct and incorrect answers.

- Quizizz: Detailed feedback and explanations for better understanding.

- Quizlet Live: Limited feedback beyond correct/incorrect responses.

- Gimkit: Real-time data and analytics for tracking student progress.


Integration with existing learning management systems (LMS):


- Kahoot: Integrates with popular LMS platforms like Google Classroom.

- Quizizz: Offers integrations with various LMS and Google Classroom.

- Quizlet Live: Limited integration options with LMS.

- Gimkit: Limited integration options with LMS.


Pricing and availability:


- Kahoot: Free basic version available, with paid plans for additional features.

- Quizizz: Free to use for teachers and students.

- Quizlet Live: Included as part of Quizlet Plus subscription.

- Gimkit: Free and paid versions available, with additional features in paid plans.



Conclusion


In conclusion, each gamified learning platform - Kahoot, Quizizz, Quizlet Live, and Gimkit - offers unique features and benefits for educators and students. Kahoot excels in its interactive and competitive gameplay, while Quizizz provides self-paced quizzes with detailed feedback. Quizlet Live promotes collaborative learning, and Gimkit focuses on customisation and personalisation. It is important to consider their strengths and weaknesses when choosing the most suitable platform. For educators seeking simplicity and engagement, Kahoot and Quizizz are excellent choices. Quizlet Live is ideal for collaborative learning, while Gimkit offers extensive customisation options. Ultimately, the recommendation depends on specific educational needs and preferences. As gamified education continues to evolve, these platforms demonstrate the potential for enhanced student motivation and learning outcomes. The future of gamified education looks promising, with further advancements expected to meet the ever-changing needs of educators and learners.

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