Using The Quiz-Style Learning Platform Kahoot! To Engage And Challenge Learners


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This short article encourages the reader to consider how using the quiz platform ‘Kahoot!’ can help to engage learners (of any age!) either while physically present in the classroom, or set as a remote task via a link on the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).

Kahoot! is a popular, game-based, quiz-style learning platform that is useful to help learners self-assess their knowledge as part of the formative assessment journey (Wang and Tahir, 2020). Self-assessment is a fundamental part of the learning process as it allows learners to be aware of their ipsative progress. Recognising our strengths and weakness can encourage us to be better learners. Kahoot! offers the opportunity for the reinforcement of knowledge in a ‘fun, engaging, motivating and interesting way’ (Martins et al., 2019:1), which promotes progress through self-assessment.

Using quiz tools such as ‘Kahoot’ allows for formative feedback on a student’s understanding, but also encourages a sense of community and excitement through the competition (Boud and Cohen, 2014).

Kahoot also works well in Unified Active Learning (UAL) sessions, where some learners are joining remotely from home due to the pandemic.

Plump and LaRosa (2017) highlight that Kahoot! offers real-time feedback, both for learners and teachers, yet also offers the option for anonymity if students do not wish to use their real name. I often tell students they are welcome to use nicknames, but I always count how many students are in the room/online and ensure the total of players matches, so that everyone is taking part. I think some students prefer to be anonymous, so they do not feel judged if they get some answers wrong during the quiz.

Thinking critically, are they engaged just because it’s a competitive game, or is it reaching a deeper level of motivation for students?

Research into the use of Kahoot! indicates that this platform keeps learners engaged (Bawa, 2019), which may be to its colourful and game-based design. If students are to meet their Learning Outcomes, they must be engaged with their learning (Biggs, 2001). Using quiz tools such as ‘Kahoot!’ allows for formative feedback on a student’s understanding, but also encourages a sense of community and excitement through the competition (Boud and Cohen, 2014). If students answer the most answers correctly and in the quickest time, they get onto the leader board, and the top three results are awarded a bronze, silver and gold ‘medal’ on the digital podium at the end of the quiz. This is a lovely opportunity for us to applaud the students who make it onto the podium, and their pride is always palpable in the room. If students score lower on the leader board, it is effective as it can highlight to students where they need to go back to previous reading and recap key concepts.

Kahoot! quizzes can also be ‘assigned’ as a remote task, with the tutor setting a deadline for the quiz to close. I often use this with my remote students, emailing them the Kahoot! link and set a weekly deadline. After the deadline passes, I screenshot the results and share it on our VLE to encourage a community of celebrating and pride. 


Bawa, P., 2019. Using Kahoot to inspire. Journal of Educational Technology Systems, 47(3), pp.373-390.
Available at [Accessed 12th October 2021]

Biggs, J., 2001. Constructive alignment. Retrieved April 6, p.2015.
Available at [Accessed 12th October 2021] 

Boud, D. and Cohen, R., 2014. Peer learning in higher education: Learning from and with each other. Routledge.

Martins, E.R., Geraldes, W.B., Afonseca, U.R. and Gouveia, L.M.B., 2019. Using Kahoot as a learning tool. In Information Systems for Industry 4.0 (pp. 161-169). Springer, Cham. Available at [Accessed 1st November 2021]

Plump, C.M. and LaRosa, J., 2017. Using Kahoot! in the classroom to create engagement and active learning: A game-based technology solution for eLearning novices. Management Teaching Review, 2(2), pp.151-158. Available at [Accessed 12th October 2021]

Wang, A.I. and Tahir, R., 2020. The effect of using Kahoot! for learning–A literature review. Computers & Education, 149, p.103818. Available at [Accessed 20th October 2021]

About the Author

Author: Dr Poppy Gibson

A Senior Lecturer in Education, and Course Lead of a blended accelerated degree in Primary Education Studies. Interested in edtech and ways to inspire and engage our learners.

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