Formative assessment through the means of digital technology has become very popular in recent times, and has been accentuated by the move to remote / blended learning in the Covid-19 context. Kahoot and Socrative are two of the most popular formative assessment applications. This blog post will look at the pros and cons of the two platforms, before recommending how each could be used in the classroom context.

Kahoot!

The quiz app Kahoot! has become globally popular during the Covid-19 pandemic. Everyone can attest that they are tremendously fun and enjoyable activities. When we complete a Kahoot quiz in class, the joy and excitement is palpable around the classroom. It is effective in encouraging students to be active in their learning, and provides a great incentive for the completion of classwork. 

Despite this, I do have some reservations about the reliability of Kahoot! as a means of formative assessment. The fact that the questions are ‘time bound’ means that students often rush their answers and the layout of the four colours on the screen can lead to some ‘pressing the wrong button’. Furthermore, I find that while the ‘reports’ feature on Kahoot is excellent and extremely detailed, it requires a lot of navigation from the teacher to gather the data required.

Socrative

Socrative is another educational assessment application that has become popular recently. Despite not being quite as well known or as ‘exciting’ as Kahoot, I feel that it has tremendous potential in terms of gathering assessment data. While Kahoot! focusses on ‘game based’ entertainment, Socrative is far more focussed on assessing student’s grasp of certain topics. As you can see from the image, the Socrative layout is much plainer than that of Kahoot!

What I really love about Socrative is the reporting feature. Following the completion of a quiz the teacher can see at one glance any areas that lots of students struggled with, or indeed individuals who struggled with many aspects of the quiz. The image here is a sample of a report on a Socrative quiz – the colour coded nature really helps give the teacher a visual of questions that are proving difficult. Access to such real-time data allows the teacher to address these shortfalls immediately. 

Comparing Socrative and Kahoot!

From this short blog piece, it is clear that both Socrative and Kahoot! have a place in Irish classrooms. Kahoot! is an amazing tool for engaging learners and can be extremely effective at encouraging reluctant learners. However, my experience is that students view Kahoot! as a game or reward, and as such the assessment data it gathers may not be entirely reliable. Socrative is set up much more for data collection – students answer the question, and both they and the teacher are provided with instant feedback. As with all assessments, the key is the extent to which we use the data to inform our future teaching. Socrative, in particular, allows for rich data collection. It can make assessment easy for both teachers and students and is a tool that I would highly recommend for this practice.

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