(Gamified) Live Quizzes
Teachers often face the challenge of engaging all students, especially in courses with large numbers of participants. Many students may hesitate to contribute verbally in front of their peers, leading to decreased participation. Classroom Response Systems (CRS) like the KlickerUZH are specifically designed to address this issue by providing a more comfortable and inclusive learning environment. The KlickerUZH enables students to actively participate in courses by quickly and easily responding to polls and answering prepared questions. This allows them to provide valuable feedback on their understanding of the subject matter, their level of knowledge or even opinions. Gamification elements improve motivation to answer the questions e.g., by distributing points for answering. Anonymity is a key feature that facilitates active contributions, as students have the option to participate anonymously, reducing potential barriers or fear of judgment.
Teachers can create an environment that encourages active engagement and fosters student participation, ultimately enhancing the learning experience for all students.
Interactivity and gamification elements in the context of teaching are widely researched areas and show positive effects on student learning outcomes.
A significant element of classroom interactivity is the use of surveys and live quizzes that provide students with immediate feedback on their understanding of the material. As Hattie (2008) points out, this immediate feedback allows students to better grasp concepts and quickly clear up misconceptions. This active engagement with the subject matter fosters an interactive and dynamic learning environment, resulting in improved comprehension and retention of information. Furthermore, in their meta-analysis, Freeman et al. (2014) compared the performance of different teaching styles with and without the use of interactive elements. The results clearly show that interaction in an instructional context led to higher student engagement and deeper processing of content. This deeper processing in turn led to improved overall course performance compared to traditional teaching.
Another effective tool in education is gamification. Research by Sailer & Homner (2020) examined the effects of gamification on cognitive and behavioral learning outcomes. The results show that gamified learning not only improves students' cognitive skills, but also positively influences their behavior in the learning environment. In this regard, the aspect of challenge in gamification has a motivating effect on students and may be evidenced by an increased interest in the learning content.
Want to find out how to encourage active participation from your students, in addition to live quizzes and polling? Learn more by exploring the following advice on UZH Teaching Tools.
Scenario Description with KlickerUZH
You are a lecturer and want to increase the interaction between you and your students in a lecture or seminar in-person or online by using the KlickerUZH. To achieve this, it is essential to carefully plan and prepare questions in advance that you can ask your students during the session. In order for lecturers to organize their questions, they can group the questions into activities for sequential or stacked presentation as well as they are able to group them into question blocks (a question block signifies a group of questions that are shown to the audience simultaneously in a sequence and are also evaluated as such (as a "block"). A lecture may contain an arbitrary sequence of said question blocks). It also makes sense to consider in advance what you can do with the results afterwards in order to optimally exploit them. You can discuss them in a plenary session, for example.
You can implement questions with the following purposes:
- Knowledge evaluation: To check whether the students have understood the previously learned knowledge, single-choice questions with a clear answer are suitable. (Example: What is the definition of the Sharpe ratio?)
- Surveys: To obtain students' opinions on the topic being covered lecturers can ask questions without right or wrong answers. (Example: Which factors influence stock prices the most?). As the results are promptly available to you as lecturer, you may choose to share the findings with the class to facilitate further discourse and interaction.
- Estimation questions: To activate students’ engagement, questions can be asked without a clear answer. This makes students think about the discussed topic and gets them directly involved. (Example: Where will the SMI be at the end of 2023?) Depending on your goals, you can add gamification elements to your quizzes. Gamified live quizzes increase student motivation and add a fun and competitive component to lectures which can enhance students’ ambition and motivation. Several questions can be asked directly after each other (with a timer) to best create a quiz situation. Participants can gather points while responding to questions. Points are awarded based on the correctness of the answer, as well as the speed/delay between the first correct answer and one’s own answer (if correct). A leaderboard shows the current ranking of participants within the quiz and gathered points are transferred to the course leaderboard after the conclusion of the quiz (if enabled on a course level). For more information on gamification elements in lectures, please consult Gamification.
Since the KlickerUZH’s initial release and first implementation in 2011, the increasing number of user registrations confirms the need for such a tool in teaching.
At the University of Zurich, the KlickerUZH has been used in small, large (200-400 students), and very large (800-1500 students) lectures since its inception. Here are the combined learnings from end-of-semester student evaluations, internal surveys with KlickerUZH users in the spring semester 2023 (n=63) as well as input from lecturers and content creators:
- Lecture time consumption: Including a KlickerUZH question in a lecture typically takes approximately 2 to 5 minutes, considering the time required for answering and discussion.
- Pre-lecture time consumption: "Good things take time" applies to the creation of good (multiple-choice) questions. Even experienced authors typically anticipate spending an average of one hour to produce a single multiple-choice question in exam quality (Krebs, 2004). This time is necessary to carefully consider the formulation of the question, select the answer options precisely, and avoid potential pitfalls. This conscientious approach ensures that the questions align with the desired learning outcomes and provide students with an appropriate level of challenge. The lecturer also needs time to implement the questions in KlickerUZH before the lecture.
- Reaction to voting results: As a teacher, you have to react quickly to the voting results. This can be challenging, especially when the results are not as expected. It is advisable to consider the reaction to the results in advance of the lecture.
- Submitted responses: The participation rate varies depending on the course but can be estimated at an average of 50% of the attending students.
- Live Streaming and Podcasts: It should be noted that when lectures are recorded, students who watch the recordings afterwards may not have the opportunity to actively participate, thus missing out on the interactive benefits offered by KlickerUZH. Furthermore, it is important for lecturers to take into account the average 30-second to 1-minute delay of the UZH live streaming service, as this affects the timing of KlickerUZH questions and student responses, requiring the questions to be open for a longer duration.
- Participation level: The participation level in gamified live quizzes tended to be higher in small lectures were students know each other, likely due to the sense of belonging within a smaller group.
- Student feedback: From the students' perspective, the use of KlickerUZH is generally regarded as beneficial (average grade across several years in different Department of Banking and Finance (DBF) lectures: 5.0/6.0). Some critical voices express concerns about time loss and question the effective benefits.
- Question type: So far, single-choice questions have been predominantly used.
- Devices: According to an internal survey in spring semester 2023 in one of the KlickerUZH 3.0 pilot lectures, most students (35 / 82) participated in the live quiz through the Learning Management System (LMS). Another significant portion (33 / 82) joined the quiz by scanning the QR code shared by the lecturer. Only a small number of students (6 / 82) joined through a personal bookmark, and (4 / 82) opted to participate using the KlickerUZH App. Providing all necessary components within a single system, integrating KlickerUZH into OLAT, even solely for live quizzes, is strongly recommended.
- Number of uses per session: In the events organized by the DBF, KlickerUZH is mainly utilized in bachelor-level lectures with a large number of students (150-800 students). In a single semester (14 weeks), KlickerUZH was used between three to seven times in these sessions, with an average of three questions asked per session.
- Gamification: Incorporating gamification in live quizzes works effectively when creating a quiz-like atmosphere in the lecture hall and considering incentives or rewards, such as small gifts, to enhance participation and engagement.
- Activate and encourage student engagement by incorporating interactive questions and surveys during the lecture.
- Make courses more relaxed, interactive and adaptive.
- Improve motivation by incorporating interactive gamification elements.
- Evaluate feedback from your students (e.g., opinions or level of knowledge).