Playful exercises not just for kids!
Original language: Hungarian
The purpose of this blog is to map up and evaluate a few online opportunities enabling the creation of playful exercises that will help students acquire the knowledge they need through distance learning, be it adult or vocational education. These games prove useful especially for memorising key concepts and testing the knowledge acquired, not only when it comes to learning languages. No matter what subject or course you are dealing with, these services can assist you with developing playful exercises.
Availability: anyone can easily register on the homepage and then access the entire editing interface.
To access the page, click here: https://wordwall.net
Use: everything works smoothly on the first click.
The page offers countless exercise types and, if necessary, there is no need to upload images, as the page has its own repository.
You can set a deadline, the time by which assignments must be completed. You can invite students to the game by forwarding a URL to them, or posting it directly to a social media page. If you require students to provide their name, they can start working on their assignment only after they have done so. You can monitor how students manage their time: the game will measure the time or count down if you enable this option. Moreover, teachers can decide whether they want students to know the right answer immediately, or if they will send it later. However, in some cases, the system indicates that the task has been completed correctly. You can decide whether you wish to display the answers also at the end of a game. Students can access the ranking too and see how each student fared. You may also launch a competition.
Availability, registration: in addition to the pay features, you can access the free version, if you register as a teacher on the English page, which, obviously, has its limitations.
To access the page, click here: https://kahoot.com/schools-u/
Exercise types and options:
- true or false, quizzes (choose the correct answer from a maximum of 4 options)
- subject to premium package: puzzle, open-ended questions, summary of answers and compilation of statistics, providing an explanation to the questions
For those preferring to explore new things with a guide, this might be useful: here is a summary of the way Kahoot! works.
Bear in mind that in order to achieve your distance learning goals, you should select the “Create Challenge” option when initiating the game, so that students can complete the challenge independently, having both the questions and the answers displayed on their own device.
Similarly to Wordwall, you can specify a time limit, by which tests must be completed. The programme can freely modify the order of the questions and, with a short time limit, students will be less likely to help each other solve the questions. As a limitation, the free version allows teachers to access 100 people, with whom they can share a quiz at a time. Students can login to a game using a PIN code, so teachers will only need to forward them a serial number.
The editing interface of Kahoot! is accessible on a PC; however, students can play on a smartphone or tablet.
Availability, registration: this site is also available in English only and as a teacher it is easy to register; you only need to provide a few details (country, name and type of institution). Once registered, you can select the free or the pro (pay) version.
To access the page, click here: https://socrative.com/apps/#login
Exercise types: single or multiple choices, true or false, short answers
After logging in, you are provided a quiz ready to be customised. I duplicated this quiz and edited its interface. You can provide a lot more than four answers. Furthermore, more answers can be marked as correct, so taking the quiz successfully requires much more attention.
Teachers may freely delete premade questions and replace them with ones they deem most suitable for testing acquired knowledge related to various subjects. Teachers can format words (italics, underline, bold, superscript, subscript) when editing the questions and answers in order to highlight certain pieces of information more prominently. Teachers can provide specific comments to students under “Explanation”.
The final quiz can be downloaded in PDF format and can be used later for tests not only in an online environment.
The tests completed can be shared using the “Launch Quiz” option where you can set some preferences.
The “Open Navigation” feature allows students to take the quiz in the order of their liking and they can also edit their answers before submitting them. “Instant Feedback”, on the other hand, is quite the opposite: students need to answer questions in a set order and cannot change their answers.
Teachers can decide if they want to mix questions and answers, if students must provide their name, or if the results and the correct answers should be displayed. If a student’s answer is incorrect, an explanation appearing in the comment helps understand why the response was wrong.
To access courses, students only need to download the Socrative Student app on their mobile. Here they have to provide a code to proceed to the quiz interface. This code is located in the middle of the header on the teacher’s interface. Teachers can only run one quiz at a time in the free version, meaning this code will grant access to only one set of exercises.
Learningapps - Tankocka (learning blocks)
Availability, registration: you are advised to accept all terms and conditions upon registering, so that you will be able to create your account more easily. In my experience, the page is more overloaded during the day, since a large number of exercises are free, so it is better to test the site at a later time. The page looks like the following after logging in.
To access the page, click here: https://learningapps.org/
There is a dedicated guide outlining the possibilities the resources on the site can be used for; nonetheless, the exercises mainly focus on subjects taught in public education. Contrary to other sites, however, you will also find categories such as technical knowledge, psychology, etc. which go beyond the boundaries of public education. These are easy to filter by adjusting the slide above to limit the resources to materials for secondary education vocational training and further education.
The page offers a great many alternatives for content development. The exercise types are as follows: memory, grouping, timeline, simple sorting, short answer, rendering in images, multiple choice quiz, fill in the blanks, learning blocks matrix, audio/film with subtitles, “Who wants to be a millionaire?”, grouping-based puzzle, crossword puzzle, word search puzzle, “Where is what?”, alternative hangman, horse racing, matching, guessing.
Teachers have plenty of leeway using the editing interface, which can be accessed by clicking on the creation of learning blocks. I will present the “short answer” option. Many of the online pages reviewed offered quizzes as default where students could select from predefined or yes or no options. However, in this case they had to give, for example, a definition in their own words. Teachers can provide a textual description, but may also use audio files, videos and images to make assignments more interesting and the examples given more realistic perhaps, by embedding YouTube videos for example.
Teachers are free to decide what message they wish to display to students after they have completed the set of exercises, or can create a Help option; this, however, will not appear after each question, but will be displayed in a single block under the set of exercises.
Teachers can see statistics on how many students have seen and completed all the exercises, however, this method is not suitable for assessment, as individual results are not available. This is best used for practising in relation to a specific topic. The link and the QR code can be shared with the students. They only see the message with the correct solution, if they have actually solved all tasks.