Hacking Quizlet Live and Kahoot for Acquisition

Quizlet and Kahoot are mainstays of my classroom.

Generally, I use one or both programs three or four times a month.  For a while I have favored Quizlet due to the “group work/collaborative” aspect (which ticks some educational/pedagogical boxes), and the fact that the “diagram” functionality on the paid version of Quizlet.

I turn my stories into diagrams to make the game more straightforward and engaging.

Here’s the workflow I have for creating story-diagrams.

STEP 1: Type up a class story.  Here’s a Latin story about Jesse Craft (Magister Craft) stealing an aardvark’s ants (for fun I just coined a word longinasus for aardvark–sorry, Ciceronians)

in horto zoologico est longinasus vocatus “Poolshark.” longinasus est albus et obesus, et habet nasum longum ad formicas consumendas.  in capite Poolshark habet monoculum.  superheroes est et potentiam magnam habet: potest multas formicas consumere et velociter emittit formicas ex naso.

olim Poolshark dormiente, aliquis hortum formicarum aperuit et omnes formicas ex horto cepit! in horto erant novem milia formicae et una antena nomine “Bob.” aliquis formicas et antenam cepit!

Poolshark est investigator bonus et hortum investigat.  horto investigato Poolshark invenit indicium . . . in machina PacMan, prope hortum, erat vestigia humana . . .

Poolshark putat: “hmmm, quis vult formicas et antenam Bob capere?  cui maxime placet ludere PacMan?”

deinde consilium capit: “attat! Jesse Craft! Jesse Crafti placet ludere PacMan.  Jesse Craft novem milia formicas vult! ille vir malus multas pelliculas in TuTubo habet, et vult formicas spectare pelliculas!”

STEP 2: using the snipping tool (on Windows), create a JPEG of the story.

snipping tool

STEP 3:  In Quizlet, use the “insert diagram” function to upload the story JPEG as a “diagram.”

creating a diagram

STEP 4: Draw boxes around Latin words and phrases in the story and type an English translation in the box.

typing in the word

STEP 5. When the students play, they will get an English prompt and have to click on the correct portion of the story to get the answer correct. The game uses the same prompts that I would use during the beloved classic “Word Chunk Game” much used in TPRS/CI/TCI classrooms. The difference is however, students are responding to easily ten time the amount of prompts in a shorter amount of time.  This is also a break for me—and low-stress, hands-off activity that still provides input and repetition for the students.  We generally play for about ten or fifteen minutes.  I’ve made enough of these that the entire creation process (after I have a text) is only about fifteen minutes (sometimes less).

Kahoot is a bit trickier.  It takes a bit longer to create and can be a bit glitchy.  A ten question Kahoot may be over in only seven to eight minutes but can easily take twenty to thirty minutes to create.  You have to come up with wrong multiple-choice answers, set the time limit, maybe insert a picture.  And they aren’t generally as re-playable as Quizlet Live.

This weekend, however, I stumbled on a solution.  It’s an obvious one, and I’m sure that others have stumbled on it before me (please let me know if the comments if someone has already written about this so I can give credit where credit is due).  I made a series of “generic Kahoots.”

Example: I made one I called “Verum an Falsum? Number 1”

This Kahoot is ten questions long.  Each question is simply “verum an falsum?” The same two options are given: A.) verum, B.) falsum.

The answer is:

1.) verum

2.) falsum

3.) falsum

4.) verum

5.) falsum

6.) falsum

7.) verum

8.) verum

9.) falsum

10.) falsum

So how do you play? It’s simple.  I made a statement about whatever we have been reading in class (in Latin I, it’s a Magister Craft video, and in Latin III it’s a Horace poem).  Students have to listen carefully to the statement to decide whether it is true or false. I just have to make sure that the sentence I say for number one is true, for number two is false, and so on.  I make up sentences on the fly, just looking at the answer key, or I can prepare them ahead of time if I was to make sure I target certain vocabulary.  I can use the same Kahoot all day in all of my classes this way.  I can even use the same Kahoot in the same class throughout the year.  I also have multiple variants with more or less questions and different distribution of “verum” and “falsum” to prevent students from memorizing the answers.

The students enjoy Kahoot (especially my more competitive classes), and now I’m pleased to add “low-prep Kahoot” to my toolbox, so that we can play it more often.

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