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Students’ perceptions of Kahoot!: An exploratory mixed-method study in EFL undergraduate classrooms in the UAE

Abstract

In recent years, game-based student response systems (GSRS) such as Socrative, Quizlet, and Kahoot! has become a popular tool to increase motivation, enhance classroom engagement, and facilitate collaborative learning. Despite the popularity of GSRS, little research has attempted to understand student perceptions using these platforms for language learning across higher education in the Middle East. The purpose of this exploratory mixed methods research was to examine undergraduate student perceptions of Kahoot!, a game-based interactive platform in an English language course at a federal higher education institution in the UAE. The qualitative phase of data collection involved using semi-structured interviews (N=10) to understand Emirati students’ general perception of Kahoot!. In addition, quantitative evidence was collected through an online survey (N=112) to find out which variables identified in the interviews were experienced by the majority of undergraduate students using Kahoot!. Results were found to be consistent with the current literature as there was a positive general response towards Kahoot!, with the highest influence reported on increased motivation, improved classroom engagement, and enhanced learning experience. However, the effect on academic performance was not significant as perceived by Emirati students. The outcome of this study suggests that gamified digital platforms could be incorporated as part of the teaching pedagogy to retain students’ attention, increase participation, and provide students with an enhanced enjoyable learning experience.

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Correspondence to Azza Alawadhi.

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Appendices

Appendix 1

Interview guide

Date of interview:

Student number:

Opening questions

How was your day?

What class do you have now?

Guiding questions

  • Did you use Kahoot! to study English?

  • How would you describe your experience using Kahoot! during English class?

  • How do your feel when you play Kahoot!? (Excited, engaged, bored, nervous, enthusiastic..etc).

  • Is there anything you like or dislike about Kahoot!? Explain.

  • Why do you think using Kahoot! is useful for vocabulary learning?

  • What do you like best about Kahoot! for learning? What makes Kahoot! fun?

  • What features do you like in Kahoot!? (Music, graphics, points, competition, leaderboards,

  • anonymity…etc).

  • How did playing Kahoot! affect your learning and knowledge?

  • If you could change one thing about Kahoot! what would it be and why?

Appendix 2

Table 5 Transliteration

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Alawadhi, A., Abu-Ayyash, E.A.S. Students’ perceptions of Kahoot!: An exploratory mixed-method study in EFL undergraduate classrooms in the UAE. Educ Inf Technol 26, 3629–3658 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10639-020-10425-8

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10639-020-10425-8

Keywords

  • Kahoot!
  • Game-based learning
  • Game-based student response system
  • Motivation
  • Engagement
  • Mixed-methods