Quizizz: My favorite way to engage students in a gamified and fun quiz game

I’m a big fan of gamification in the classroom. I’m always looking for new ways to engage my students in safe but competitive areas so that they can flex their brain muscles. About a year ago I started using Quizizz and I haven’t looked back.

What is it?

Many educators are familiar with Kahoot! I like Kahoot! but my real problem with it is that all of the students need to be able to see the board and they have to go at the same pace. Quizizz is different in that it allows students to work from their device only and they are able to go at their own pace. The gamified component is there as well and students get live ranking updates.

Creating a Quizizz

Once you sign-up for a free account you are able to create a quiz via the menu bar at the top. You will be asked to give the quiz an image, set the name of the quiz, and set it as public or private.

After that, you will be taken to a page where you can enter in questions and answers.

You will be able to see a preview of the question on the right-hand side. You can include images in your question or just leave it as plain text. You also need to select a correct answer out of the answer choices you provided.

One of the other great features of Quizizz is that there is a searchable database of all of the public Quizizz’s out there. You can search by keyword and find loads of other quizzes with questions that you can place directly onto your quiz.

When you view public quizzes you are able to hit the red plus button and they will show up on your question list on the left. You can edit the questions later if you wish as well.

Once you are done with your quiz, hit the green “Finish” button on the top right of the page. You will then be given the chance to play/start a game or return back to your Quizizz dashboard.

Playing quizizz

When you are ready to start you hit the “Play Live!” button to begin. You will be taken to a page that gives you a few options on how to have students join the game. You can give them a web address along with a 6-digit code or you can set it as an assignment, announcement, or question in Google Classroom.

Once students start entering the game you will see their username and avatar show up. Once all of your students have entered, you can begin the game. Students may enter the game after it has started because Quizizz is based on student pacing, not class pacing. As students start answering questions, you will get live feedback on the numbers of correct and incorrect answers.

Checking for student understanding

Once students have completed the game they are able to review their answers. Once the teacher decides that the game is over they can end the game and get feedback on individual students or the class as a whole.

Individual feedback is shown in a grid pattern. Green checks are given for correct answers and red X’s are for incorrect answers. I usually try to group particular content questions together so that I can see if a student truly understood what was taking place or not. In the game settings, you can allow question order to be shuffled, but the results will always show in the original order.

You can also get a class view of each question to get a sense of how the class did on particular content questions. I use this as a way to check for understanding, question-wording, and to get suggestions from my students.

As you can see in the questions above, question #4 was overwhelming understood by the students, but question #5 proved to be an area of concern. This type of feedback allows me to go back and reteach items that were not properly understood and allows me to ask questions of my students to find out exactly what they didn’t understand.

As I said before, I’m a big fan of Quizizz. Not only does it allow me to get quick informal feedback on my students, it’s fun for them, and allows me to really check for their understanding. It also helps me quickly catch common problem areas and address them before they become bigger problems.

How to create an animated GIF in Camtasia

One of my favorite parts about Camtasia is its flexibility and ability to create exactly what I need. As a teacher, I like to make a lot of instructional tools for my students. I often create videos and capture my screen to teach various concepts.

Ever since GIFs have been enabled in Google Docs, I find myself creating a lot of animated GIFs to show students how to do things. This allows them to focus on the message instead of having to watch and listen to me. It also gives bite-sized info since only so much can be shown in a GIF. I find that documenting a process through a series of GIFs embedded in a Google Doc is more effective than capturing a whole video that walks them through the same process.

In the video above I review the process of making an animated GIF inside of Camtasia. There are several different settings which control the file size, screen size, and quality of the GIF; all of which are important to understand to get the best product possible.

PETE&C 2017 Reflection

This time last week I was trying to sleep, but not doing so successfully; the wind was howling, my brain was turned on, and I was excited for what the next day held. Eventually, I went to sleep and awoke the next morning at 4:30  AM and began my long day. I drove up to Hershey, PA to attend the PETE&C conference. I’ve attended the conference for all seven years of my teaching career and it’s one of the most valuable professional experiences I have each year.

The conference is centered around educational technology. I love hearing about different ways of doing things, learning about new tools, and connecting with people who share a common passion. Since I’ve been teaching in Maryland, I feel a little like a fish out of water when attending the conference. Luckily I get to connect with old coworkers and meet new people to keep me going.

I’ve reflected in video form last year and this (videos below), but I wanted to capture a few things in written form.

Resources

Here are a few resources that presenters at the conference shared with us:

Thoughts

After listening and interacting with people at the conference I have a few things that I would like to accomplish. My main goal for the remainder of this year is to really work on flipping my classroom. I want to empower students to work at their own pace and to explore things on their own.

I used to teach at an online school where flipping was kind of what we did, but I want to take it to another level. In Aaron Sams workshop he talked about the different versions of flipping and how the quality of what you produce really matters now. I want to make high-quality content for my students but I also want to share that content out. I’ve really been evaluating how I share my teaching out and how I show off my classroom. I’m ready to really explore what it means to open a classroom up and be a content creator instead of a consumer.

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