New Code.org teachers take the plunge into computer science with Kahoot!

Starting conversations about assessment during Code.org workshops.

Our teachers have told us that their classes love Kahoot!. The game-based learning platform offers a new take on assessments, where activities like quizzes open up interactive opportunities for students to show what they know about computer science and other subjects.

“They really liked the game part,” Andrea Robertson-Nottingham, a high school teacher in Montgomery County, MD, said of her Computer Science (CS) Principles students. “It was a fun way for them to review or summarize the concepts we were working on. To get students motivated, all I had to do was let the music play!”

Given Kahoot!’s success in the classroom, we decided to try it out at our Professional Learning workshops this year across the United States. We didn’t test teachers on variables, sprites, loops, or binary, but we did get at one of our participants’ top concerns: assessment.

Because school districts have such different approaches to assessment, this is always a hard problem.

For the middle school educators preparing to teach CS Discoveries, the kahoot quiz took the form of a survey, the results of which helped participants better understand the various assessment needs of teachers in their region. According to Josh Caldwell, Code.org’s K-12 curriculum lead and a CS Discoveries facilitator, the activity brought participants with similar situations together so that they could collaborate and come up with strategies for grading their students’ learning.

“We asked teachers to reflect on which forms of assessment they most rely on, which they find the most informative, and which they’d like to use more effectively,” Caldwell said. “Based on what they learned from their room’s kahoot, teachers identified peers with common assessment needs and spent time planning for their school year.”

The groups shared varied approaches to assessment including projects, group assessment, and more. We found that using Kahoot! as a starting point helped get people up and moving, captivate their attention, and set an energetic mood in the room. In fact, many of the teachers already used Kahoot! as a tool to help with formative assessment!

Do you have other suggestions to share on how you keep your class engaged or tools that work well for formative assessments? Join our forum discussion to hear what others are doing and share your ideas — we’re always looking for resources that teachers can use in their classroom (or that we can use in our Professional Learning Program).

And, if you want to try Kahoot! in your CS classroom, check out our collection of CS Kahoots!