Attendance, Performance and Kahoot!
Laura Mason Senior Lecturer
College of Engineering
Mr Nick Owen
There is general agreement that attendance at university lectures is positively associated with assessment performance. However, over the past few years institutions have seen declining lecture attendance rates. Biomechanics and Technology A is a first year module in biomechanics and as such is foundation building and mathematically based. Traditionally, this was a challenging module to deliver as approximately half the student cohort had studied mathematics post 16 whilst others had not. Consequently, attendance could be negatively affected by students’ perception of the module as too difficult or too easy. Kahoot! is a free online resource which facilitates gamification of some lecture content. Kahoot! enables students to answer in-lecture questions, devised by the lecturer and displayed via a projector, using their smart device or laptop. Student specific results are recorded and are downloadable as a spreadsheet. The current study sought to investigate the efficacy of using short in-lecture Kahoot! tests, contributing a maximum of 1% per test to the students’ final grade, as an encouragement to attend lectures and review lecture content.
After a three-week familiarisation using unassessed Kahoot! tests, students were given a brief, four question, multiple choice test at the start of each of 10 lectures. Tests were based on the content of the previous week’s lecture and results were automatically recorded by the Kahoot! software. The software allowed for immediate feedback to the students and for results, linked to student numbers, to be downloaded. Attendance was monitored by the software as the students’ used their student number as a log-in name. Attendance for the test lectures was compared with estimated attendance from the previous year’s lectures on the module. The effect of reviewing lectures was assessed by exam performance, with an assumption that reviewing lecture content would improve exam performance. A one-way ANOVA was used to investigate any significant differences in exam grades, compared to the previous three years. Student opinion of the tests was gathered from an end of modules feedback questionnaire, administered using Kahoot!.
Attendance for the 10 lectures in which tests were administered had a mean value of 83% which was higher than previous years (mean estimated for previous years 60%). Exam scores were significantly higher in the Kahoot! year (17/18) compared to the previous 3 years (F (3, 431) = 9.8, p < 0.001). Students perception of Kahoot! was excellent, 93% of students thought that Kahoot! assessments at the start of lectures should be a permanent feature of the module. Only 3% of students felt that Kahoot! had not helped them attend lectures on time.
The aims of the study were to improve attendance and performance and to encourage students to review lecture material between sessions. Performance, as assessed by exam grades, was shown to have significantly improved and attendance, compared to previous years, also improved. The estimates of attendance were a limitation as reliable attendance figures were not available for the years prior to the Kahoot! study.
The use of gamification, specifically Kahoot!, at the start of lectures to assess students’ knowledge of the previous lecture’s content, improved students’ attendance and performance in exams. Higher education lecturers should give consideration to incorporating, brief, Kahoot! tests at the start of lectures, the results of which are applied to a terminal grade.
The session will outline the small project trialling the use of Kahoot! as described in the abstract. A greater focus will be on the results as scope to fit these in the abstract was limited. Kahoot! will be used in the session to demonstrate it’s use and for audience engagement.
gamification, Kahoot!, engagement, assessment, technology
Gamification options to engage students and keep them attending. Useful options to avoid giving marks just for attendance.