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I have some tried-and-true class activities that I do every semester, because I know they work well and/or students really enjoy them. But with hybrid teaching, it’s really hard to get students engaged in class activities. I might have a handful of students in the classroom itself, and then the rest are online, with no webcam on. Silence is a bit too prevalent an event in my class sessions. So, I decided to let my students design the class periods for our third and final unit. Find out how this works and how it went in today’s blog post.

Step 1: Set Up Kahoot Quiz to Survey Your Students

If you are using the free version of Kahoot, you’ll need to use the quiz option for this task. Just make the same color answer the “right” answer for each question, and let your students know they can ignore when Kahoot says their answer is right or wrong. When creating your questions, ask them about class topics or skills that you think they might be confused about, as well as questions about the types of activity designs they would enjoy the most (or learn from the most).

Other things to do on Kahoot:

Keep in mind that there are character limits on Kahoot for questions and answers. If you find it too limiting, use your LMS quiz/exam tool. You just won’t get the easy to read summary reports that Kahoot offers.

Make sure to give students at least 60 seconds to read and consider the answers to each question.

Don’t ask an overwhelming amount of questions. One question per class period that’s not designed yet and perhaps one to three overall questions should be more than enough to work with.

Check that the questions are easy to understand. Clarify verbally when doing the survey if you are worried that a question is unclear.

Want to see an example of how to set up the survey and what kinds of questions to ask?

Step 2: Have Students Take the “Quiz”

I recommend doing this in class, so you can clarify any questions or answers immediately while they are taking the survey. I had my students take this survey anonymously, so they didn’t need to put their real names when signing into the quiz. As I mentioned before, I suggest giving students 60 seconds or more to answer each question. Unless a question only has two possible answers, for example. In that case, even 30 seconds should be enough.

Step 3: Look at the Kahoot Reports

Ok. You’ve asked your students what types of activity designs they enjoy or find the most helpful. You’ve asked them what class concepts are still confusing to them. Now, start designing the activities that the majority of your students have chosen for each question.

Warning: If your students in different classes pick different activities as their favorites, then this design process can be a lot more work for you. So, consider if you only want to take this approach for one class section or one class type, while the rest of your classes are designed in the usual way. I am teaching two sections of the same course, so I was willing to take the risk. And overall, only one question ended up with a different majority answer.

How do you know what answer received the most answers?

You don’t have to track this manually. Just go to the “Reports” tap on Kahoot and find all the results on there. Each time you have a group of students take a quiz, a new report will be created for it.

If you want to see these reports in action, or just see how to get to them, see the above video.

Step 4: Start Designing Your Class Activities

Depending on how long your unit is, you might find that you can only do your students’ top choice in activity design and the biggest topic or skill that they are still finding confusing. But, if your unit is longer, you might have the time to use the second more popular answer to some questions, as well. So, plan out your classes using the reports and start creating the activity instructions or materials that you’ll need.

Want to see how this approach to class activity design is going for me? Once again, check out the above video. It covers the first couple weeks of the unit. I’ll have a follow up video coming soon. I’ll post that one on here, too, once it goes live.

Final Thoughts

Is this approach to class design practical for every college instructor? No, of course not. If you are teaching six different class sessions and none of them are the same class, then giving students this much power when designing weeks of your classes is just asking for burnout. But, you can pick which class or classes might benefit most from this approach to course design. You can experiment with one class a semester. Whatever works best for you. And if you are not going to take this approach but want other ideas for including student choice in the classroom, here’s another resource with 11 student choice ideas to check out.

Comment Below: Have you tried this strategy before? How’d it go??

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Want to increase student engagement in your classes? Have them pick what activities to do each class session. Find out more about this teaching strategy in this blog post and video combo. #education
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