The Kahoot app running on an iPad
|Available in||Only English|
|URL||Main website: kahoot|
Player login: kahoot
|Registration||None for quiz participation; required for quiz creation|
|Users||50 million monthly active users (as of May 2017)|
Kahoot! is a game-based learning platform, used as educational technology in schools and other educational institutions. Its learning games, "Kahoots", are user-generated multiple-choice quizzes that can be accessed via a web browser or the Kahoot app.
History and development
Kahoot! was founded in 2012 by Johan Brand, Jamie Brooker and Morten Versvik in a joint project with the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. They teamed up with Professor Alf Inge Wang and were later joined by Norwegian entrepreneur Åsmund Furuseth. Kahoot! was launched in a private beta at SXSWedu in March 2013 and the beta was released to the public in September 2013.
Kahoot! was designed for social learning, with learners gathered around a common screen such as an interactive whiteboard, projector, or a computer monitor. The site can also be used through screen-sharing tools such as Skype or Google Hangouts. The game design is such that the players are required to frequently look up from their devices. The gameplay is simple; all players connect using a generated game PIN shown on the common screen, and use a device to answer questions created by a teacher, business leader, or other person. These questions can be changed to award points. The creator can choose, whether the player can get 0 points, up to 1000 or 2000. The points the player gets are calculated on up to how much can the player get and how long it takes the player to answer. The sooner the player answers, the more points they get if the player answers correctly. Points then show up on the leaderboard after each question. The player can also get a streak, meaning they answered more questions in sequence. The better their streak is, the more points they get when answering a question correctly.
Kahoot! has now implemented 'Jumble'. Jumble questions challenge players to place answers in the correct order rather than selecting a single correct answer. It offers a new experience that encourages even more focus from players. 
In March 2017, Kahoot! reached one billion cumulative participating players and in the month of May, the company was reported to have 50 million monthly active unique users. In September 2017, Kahoot! launched a mobile application for homework.
As of 2017, Kahoot! has raised $26.5 million in funding from Northzone, Creandum and Microsoft Ventures. As of October 11, 2018, Kahoot! is valued at $300 million. As of 11 June 2020, Kahoot was valued at $1.5 billion and raised further capital from Northzone.
As of 2020, a Kahoot creator can now use different question types. The Quiz is the basic type of question. It requires the question and at least 2 options, one of which must be marked as the right answer. Premium adds the possibility to choose between "single select" or "multi-select". Single select means that the player can choose only one option and Multi-select means that the user can select any number of the four options presented. A true or false variant is also available with the main difference being that the only two options (true or false) are fixed and cannot be changed. These two types do not require any account upgrades. The next question type is Open-ended, meaning the players must type in the correct answer to get points. The creator must select the accepted answer, however he can also set multiple accepted answers. The last type of question is Puzzle, which requires the player to align the four options in order, which the creator sets as correct. For example: Align the countries by population from the least populated to the most populated.
Kahoot! offers Polls for Premium users. The interface is the same as Quiz, however, there are no correct answers and no points awarded and also Slides, which give the players explanation.
The Word Cloud is still "work in progress", however it will be available only for Premium users.
In the end of the game, there is an animation of the 3 best players appearing on the winners′ Podium. The players can rate the Kahoot based on their experience.
Research and prototypes
The game concept used in Kahoot! started out as an idea of Professor Alf Inge Wang at Department for Computer Science at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in 2006, which resulted in multiple prototypes that were developed and tested in experiments conducted in collaboration with master students. The idea was to transform the classroom, where the teacher acted as the game show host and the students were contenders using their own mobile devices. The initial prototype was named Lecture Quiz. Lecture Quiz 1.0 was developed in 2006 before real smartphones were available (first iPhone was released June 29, 2007). The server was implemented in Java and MySQL integrated with an Apache Web server, the teacher client has implemented as a Java application in combination with Open GL for graphics, while the student clients were implemented on Java 2 Micro Edition, which made it possible to run the client on both mobile phones and laptops. Those students who played the game using their own laptops could use the Wi-Fi available at the university, while those playing using mobile phones had to use 3G over the cellular network. The latter was a disadvantage, as the students had to pay out of their own pocket to play Lecture Quiz as the telecom providers at that time charged per megabyte transferred. The first experiment with Lecture Quiz was carried out in a classroom with twenty students at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology where the focus was on usability and usefulness. The results from the experiment showed that Lecture Quiz was relatively easy to use, contributed to increased learning, that it was entertaining, and increased the motivation for attending more lectures. From 2006 to 2011, four versions of Lecture Quiz were developed, where the main changes were related to improved usability, making it easier to create quizzes, and using newer technology for implementation.
Lecture Quiz 2.0 was the first prototype where both teacher and student clients had web-interfaces. An experiment testing the 2.0 prototype showed that the usability had been improved both for the teacher and the student clients, and that the concept increased students' motivation, engagement, concentration and perceived learning. The last version of Lecture Quiz was version 3.0, with significantly improved user-interface implemented using HTML 5 and CSS3, avatars, and multiple game/team modes. Lecture Quiz 3.0 was tested internally at the university as well as externally at various schools such as at Skaun Ungdomsskole where the students rejoiced over having a test in social science.
Since Kahoot! was launched in 2013, the research community has conducted many experiments related to the effects of using the game-based learning platform in classrooms. A quasi-experiment conducted at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology with 252 students participating investigated the wear-out effect of Kahoot! by comparing students' perception of the system after playing once vs. playing frequently over five months. The results did not show any statistically significant reductions in students' engagement, motivation, concentration or perceived learning over time, but there was a significant change in classroom dynamics (less communication among players after five months). The conclusion was that Kahoot! manage to boost students' engagement, motivation, concentration and learning after using it repeatedly for five months. The core factor to keep students' attention after heavy repeated usage was found to be the competitive nature of Kahoot!.
There is also research that investigates how Kahoot! performs compared to other tools and platforms. In a quasi-experiment with 384 students at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Kahoot! was compared to using a paper quiz and a simple polling system called Clicker. The results show statistically significant improvement in motivation, engagement, enjoyment, and concentration for the gamified approach (Kahoot!) compared to the two other. However, the results did not show any significant differences in learning outcomes.
Another quasi-experiment at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, in which 593 students participated, investigated how the use of points and audio in Kahoot! affects concentration, engagement, enjoyment, learning, motivation and classroom dynamics. The results reveal that there are some significant differences whether audio and points are used in the areas of concentration, engagement, enjoyment and motivation. The worst result was for the case where both audio and points were turned off. The most surprising finding was how classroom dynamics was positively affected by the use of audio.
According to research by two students at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, the network latency in accessing the website greatly influences the quality of experience of the platform, in both longitudinal and cross-section studies, with a sample size N=21. It was found that about 70% of the sample size regard Kahoot! as having positive results on all delay levels, while a varying number of students (between 10-20%) report that the platform is too time-consuming, forming a direct relationship with the duration of the delay.
A literature review containing 93 studies on the effect of using Kahoot! for learning was published in the journal Computers & Education in 2020. This is the first literature review that investigates most published studies (experiments, case studies, surveys, etc.) on how to use Kahoot! affects learning in the classroom. The focus of the review is on learning performance, classroom dynamics, students' and teachers' attuites and perceptions, and student anxiety. The main conclusion is that Kahoot! has a positive effect on learning performance, classroom dynamics, attuites, and anxiety, and the main challenges include technical problems, see questions and answers, time stress, afraid of losing, and hard to catch up. Studies included in this review use a mixture of quantitative and qualitative methods that reveal among other things that Kahoot! has statistical significant improvement in learning performance compared to traditional teaching and other tools, a statistically significant improvement on students’ and teachers’ perception of lectures, statistically significant improvement in classroom dynamics, and that Kahoot! can reduce students’ anxiety compared to traditional teaching and other tools.
In 2016 Kahoot!'s pedagogical quality was evaluated and certified by Education Alliance Finland (formerly Kokoa Standard). The quality certification is based on a qualitative assessment of the product's design. The assessment is done by teaching professionals who are specialized in quality evaluations of learning solutions. The evaluation method is developed by Education Alliance Finland in collaboration with Lauri Hietajärvi and Erika Maksniemi, researchers from the University of Helsinki. The evaluation suggests that Kahoot!'s educational value is highest when students are creating quizzes of relevant topics because along with the quiz-creation students need to use creativity and practice 21st century skills. 
In popular culture
Kahoot!'s growing popularity in schools led to it becoming an Internet meme. Its interface, as well as catchy music, has inspired many memes and social media accounts dedicated to posting such content. The website even has its own Know Your Meme page.
On March 26, 2019, an Internet user by the name of "Max" created an Instagram account titled "worlds.largest.kahoot" with the purpose of breaking the previous record of the world's largest Kahoot! game ever. The game was to be live-streamed on the YouTube channel Maxed on April 19, 2019, but it was later moved to another channel titled Maxed Hangout. The live-stream had more than 50,000 viewers, but the game couldn't be played as the Kahoot! servers crashed when the number of players attempting to join exceeded the 2000 player limit. The organizer of the event stated that he would contact the company and reschedule the game.
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