This is a guest blog post by Josh Kurzweil, a teacher who uses Quizlet Live with his class.

I have been using Quizlet with my adult ESL classes for many years and have often been puzzled by how to motivate students to develop better study habits to learn more effectively. While some students immediately take to Quizlet’s individual study features and see big improvements in their learning, others seem to be less motivated to study with it.

My dilemma has been how to integrate different kinds of review exercises into the classroom to help my students successfully learn material and become more motivated to study with Quizlet at home. Recently, Quizlet released a new feature called Quizlet Live, which has been instrumental in integrating quick bursts of vocabulary study into my classes. By combining studying with a social game, students have started to see individual study as a way to prepare for the game and increase their participation in class. In addition, the interactive experience of studying encourages them that with small amounts of practice, they can be successful with their learning and not see it as a daunting task.

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Understand your classroom dynamics

I generally assign students between 30 and 75 vocabulary words a week and they get a quiz every Monday on about 10-12 of those words. For example, my advanced reading/writing class recently did a unit on ‘Social Media’ and studied a set that I created for them with terms such as blog, inhibited, anonymous, etc.

For some students, this routine of having a weekly quiz along with opportunities to use the vocabulary in speaking and writing activities is enough to boost their study time at home using Quizlet. However there are students who do poorly on the quiz and become resigned to that reality because they cram material right before the quiz.

Using the game to enliven your lessons

Since Quizlet Live is a high-energy game that usually lasts for 10-15 minutes, I try to insert 2-3 games a week. For example, I might introduce a vocabulary set on Monday by having students discuss the topic and identify words from the list that they are not familiar with. As homework, I assign them to study the Quizlet set on their own and also tell them that we will be playing Quizlet Live the next day to add motivation. Using the ‘Class Progress’ feature on Quizlet’s teacher account, I can see if they have completed their homework.

Quizlet Live is also a great way to increase the classroom energy level and sometimes I’ll save it for the end of the class as a way of finishing on a high note, as well as reminding them to study more that night. I’ve also learned that the key to student enjoyment is to do these exercises at a steady cadence so students aren’t left bored and are always engaged.

How the game works

To play Quizlet Live, each student needs to have a smart phone, tablet, or laptop. It is also helpful to have a projector in the class so you can display your screen. Here are the steps for setting up the game.


  • The teacher goes onto Quizlet and selects a set to play the game. Check your settings to make sure your account is set to "teacher" instead of "student."

  • The teacher clicks on “Live.” Below is what the dashboard looks like when I’m looking at my vocabulary set on ‘Social Media.’

Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 10.35.54 AM.png
  • You will then see a screen that looks like this.
Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 10.37.21 AM.png
  • If you are playing for the first time, you may want to play the demo for your students to demonstrate how it works. Before you play with your class, it is worth reading through the “Learn More” page to ensure that your set will work and you are familiar with how to set up the game. If you don’t have a projector, you can also explain the game by drawing a sample game (see picture below) on the board.
Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 10.38.52 AM.png

Here is a sample of what I say to my students while pointing to the picture above:

You play this game in teams. In this example, a student (You), Alec, and Karoun are playing on a team and have to click the right answer. You can only click on the answers under “You.” Sometimes your team member has the card and you don’t, so be careful not click a wrong answer. If you click a wrong answer, your team loses all its points and must start over. Don’t worry if you lose your points, you’ll be able to get them back quickly! The first team to match all 12 cards is the winner.

  • Click on “Create Game” and the following screen will appear.

Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 10.40.34 AM.png
  • At this point, if you have a projector, it is helpful to show this screen so that students can join the game. They simply go to quizlet.live and enter the code and their names. They do not need to have a Quizlet account to play. As they join the game, their names will appear on the right side.

  • Once six students have joined, the “Create Game” button will turn blue. 

Screen Shot 2016-03-24 at 11.25.40 AM.png
  • After you click on “Create Game,” your screen will show the teams.
Screen Shot 2016-03-24 at 11.21.30 AM.png
  • When I play with my students, I like to have them stand or sit together. This is a fun moment, especially in large classes, because sometimes students don’t know each other’s names so there is a social component here. Although the game does not require students to be seated next to each other, I find there is more cooperation and peer teaching if they do. My students typically play from their personal phones, thus the one rule I give my students is:


‘You can only touch the answer on your individual screen. You can tell your teammate if you think they have the correct answer, but only they can touch their phone.’

This rule is important so that there is more discussion and so that the stronger student doesn’t take over the game. If the students are sitting apart from each other, this issue doesn’t come up but you do need to decide if you will allow students to call out to each other or not. 


  • Click “Start Game” and watch progress for each team in real-time. If you have a projector, students can also see how they are doing in comparison to other teams, which also creates a sense of excitement.
Screen Shot 2016-03-24 at 11.22.02 AM.png
  • After the game is over, the screen will show vocabulary that students frequently missed and the ones they got right. This provides feedback on terms to review in the next class.
Screen Shot 2016-03-24 at 12.58.02 PM.png
  • When my students are up for additional rounds, I can simply repeat the procedure and play again. There is the option to mix up teams, which can give students a chance to meet more people and have a nice social break.

How Quizlet Live has helped my students

Here are some of the ways that using Quizlet Live can benefit students.

  1. It provides spaced repetition practice. 
Recent books such as Make it Stick: The Science of Successful Learning examine research on how to make learning more effective. Spaced repetition is a core concept that encourages students to spread out their studying and do shorter more frequent bursts of studying (rather than massed practice). By playing the game regularly, students get spaced repetition practice and they can see how it helps them. 


  2. It creates opportunities for peer teaching. 
If you play the game with the students in groups, you see peer teaching as students discuss their answers. The social aspect of peer teaching can help students remember and internalize the terms. The ones who are teaching develop confidence and internalize the words more deeply, while the students who are learning feel more comfortable learning from another student in a small group. 


  3. It balances competition and cooperation.
 Rather than having individuals compete against one another, students work cooperatively in teams. With individual competitions, it is far more likely for students who aren’t as good to drop and give up. By having the students cooperate in teams, students feel included and engaged. Learn more about cooperative learning.

  4. Social Proof. 
Students who struggle with studying can see students who have do it well, which can serve as a motivator because they realize learning is achievable.
  5. Provides motivation to study.
 To do well in the game, students need to study. Since students are playing in teams, there is social motivation to be prepared to not let their team down.

  6. Taps into the game culture. The Quizlet Live feature is very much a game and students spend an amazing amount of time playing and mastering games that are quite challenging. Through gamification, motivation can be added to the learning experience.

Get started with Quizlet Live

Learn more about Quizlet Live and try it out today!

Josh Kurzweil teaches ESL in the Bay Area and helps people develop their teaching. He can be reached at josh.kurzweil@gmail.com or through his company website www.BerkeleyLTC.com

Comments

  1. HurtleSquirtle

    1st comment 2nd high five new record whoooo!

  2. HurtleSquirtle

    Check out ATF(All Things Fun)!

  3. blueicestorm

    4th comment! YAY! MY BEST! THIS SOUNDS AWESOME.

  4. KyleHasenkamp

    Yeah 6th commet

  5. rhaghver37

    7th and YAY!

  6. NinjaTurtles2015

    8th!!! My best so far!!! THis sounds really awesome.

  7. NinjaTurtles2015

    10th high five! another record!!!

  8. martin_smith8 TEACHER

    This is a type of learning under pressure, learning competitively and learning small bits instead of being enabled to see the whole - and learning monolingually - and without pictures - which to me is the antithesis of what learning ought to be about. We must make technology serve us. This is being driven by a technological given. It may produce test score results and superficial achievements. It is not sharable outside the immediate group. The learning happens non communally - everyone is looking down at a mobile phone or keyboard. There is no invoking or evoking or trying to remember. So you cut out all areas of passive memory for a start. You say there is no competition but the teams still compete. As to who, in a given group, knows something or does not, there is no clear evidence. Just we know that one person, probably the keenest, and under time pressure, knew it or inspiredly guessed it. So a team might win and a member still not know the material, if he had not been the leader!

  9. Karuth

    10th comment and 11th high five!! ;P

  10. susan_lee_elliott

    12th comment! My personal best YES!!!!

  11. tigerlilly11

    yay 11th comment and 13 high five :D

  12. susan_lee_elliott

    And 12th high five! Does anyone else like Toby Mac or Star Wars?

  13. tigerlilly11

    I like toby mac and love star wars

  14. a_cmarsh2000

    haha 13th comment and 15th high five

  15. maryEsabados

    Go Quizlet! i think i'm like 14 comment lol

  16. doggie10

    15comment 21 hi five yay!

  17. JJohnny55

    15th WOOHOO

  18. JJohnny55

    16th CRUD

  19. NHW12345

    Quizlet Live is an AMAZING idea! It works just like Kahoot!

  20. jeditree

    24 high five 18 commet

  21. NHW12345

    My teacher, Mrs. Hayden, only uses Kahoot when she reviews us after reading a book in class. Unfortunately, she never gives us vocabulary review. So, here's the plan- I could introduce her to Quizlet Live, and she's gonna love it!

  22. jeditree

    Ice cream and cheese cake!!!!!!!!!!!

  23. TravHC

    5,000,000th Comment

  24. adams56

    I love quizlet live thank you quizlet people!!!

  25. DiamondMaster870

    GG! 29th high five! :)
    Anyway, what is the Block ID for Command Blocks in Minecraft?
    Because I was waiting for like 1 to 10 weeks!!!
    Plz reply this if you know the answer to this.

  26. DaddysLilGirlCecil

    Ayyyyeeee

  27. Joy__Wells

    36th High Five!

  28. Your-Nightmare-666

    38th high five woohoo

  29. Your-Nightmare-666

    Yeah

  30. carolina_panthers_88

    GO PANTHERS

    GO BUCKEYES

    STUDY MY SETS

    JOIN MY CLASSES

    WRITE COOL COMMETS

    HAVE A GREAT TIME

    NOW IM JUST WRITING JUST BECAUSE

  31. carolina_panthers_88

    HI QUIZLET! HOW DO I JOIN CLASSES THAT PLAY GAMES? AND CAN YOU GUYS MAKE SOME MORE STUDYING OPTIONS? THX

  32. maddiestigman

    Go Quizlet! yeah yeah

  33. VeeRose3

    Cool! High five #43!

  34. Tyler_Spencer22

    sure

  35. DoctorWho_2001

    37th comment. 45 high five.
    Lots of you people say that you don't get the reason why we keep track of our comment numbers.
    To most of us it is just some fun thing we like to do. So, you don't need to get annoyed about something fun.
    BTW Mooncheeks is a really runny name. LOL

  36. DoctorWho_2001

    Join my Doctor who class and my marvel/dc comics class.

  37. IsaacMLewis4

    39th comment

  38. harleyserafini

    40

  39. FreddyFazbear17321

    56

  40. spitfire77

    43 comment 61 high five new record

  41. sammyar

    44th comment 66th high five
    Also thank you so much quizlet, especially about the new quizlet live which is really fun and we play it a lot in school.

  42. katethegreat_22

    Cool

  43. Calebjohnson14

    112,644,995th comment... personal best

  44. Calebjohnson14

    lol

  45. FabooFlamingo

    Aw man! 7 hours late from being first! Oh well. (And yes, Quizlet sounds like tons of fun)😃

  46. sfonseka

    I see lots of FishFishFishFishFish
    And it makes me want to WishWishWishWish
    That could have the patience to type and cringe,
    For the sake of all those silly little fish.
    Oh, FishFishFishFishFishFish

  47. sfonseka

    Okay, sorry, I had to write that. Here is my daily poem/writing piece thingy about this blog post:
    Quizlet Live,
    A fun, new learning experience.
    This doesn't rhyme,
    but I hope it captures the spirit,
    of Quizlet Live.

    It helps us learn,
    It helps us achieve,
    New and fun,
    A teacher's dream.

    Dear Quizlet Live.

    P.S. Wow, martinsmith_8! You are awesome! Wish I knew that much!

  48. gussy_12

    Thanks

  49. Eugene_Kim286

    Oh Baby I got 100th comment!
    (not really)

  50. marksofmatthew

    they are the best classes on quizlet

  51. wiseowl12

    53 comment. best record

  52. silvershadow777

    54th

  53. wiseowl12

    actually 55 commenter

  54. olayRebecca01

    90th highfive and 55th comment! And I adore tobymac and star wars! Luke is SO hot!!

  55. olayRebecca01

    Never mind 56 and 57 comment

  56. Mysterious_box

    100th like!

  57. beastmode10001

    nice job dude 101 like s !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 58 comment

  58. Uni04

    101 high five! 59th comment! Good job quizlet! (my 3rd highest comment)

  59. Herobrine9007

    103

  60. abbybeauty

    great job keep it up

  61. DestructionLOL

    105

  62. DestructionLOL

    108 high-five

  63. shinebrighter4Jesus

    11th high five!!!

  64. shinebrighter4Jesus

    No, 111th!!! This stupid thing! LOL

  65. annaporter939

    114th high five.

  66. Quinn_Luong2

    This sounds fun, but I don't have a teacher. :(

    J.K! :)

  67. Quinn_Luong2

    1177777777777777777777777777777777777 high five

  68. DARTH_VADORrules

    120th comment!

  69. DARTH_VADORrules

    i love quizlet!

  70. uncookedbeef

    Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.

    Deuteronomy 31:6

  71. uncookedbeef

    go clippers

  72. junekwon

    come to my class

  73. junekwon

    gamers
    I'l show you a game
    agario

  74. MyNan_AtTheAsylum

    GREAT DAY QUIZZING!

  75. JuanCarlosRedBird

    GO STL CARDINALS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 145 HIGH FIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GREAT GAME, QUIZLET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  76. Chloehartnett

    yall are weird

  77. jenz220

    148th!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! boo cardinals

  78. DiamondMaster870

    Don't forget to join my class called Gaming Q&A to see my friggin' awesome study sets that my members and I created! ;)

  79. WarrioroftheTruth

    Dat's cool!!! (The post) God Bless. lolololololololol XD No Idea what post this is. Don't feel like counting. XD

  80. CGreeneOSHS

    1st High Five

  81. CGreeneOSHS

    I eat cheese

  82. dodgecharger1

    160th high five and I might use Quizlet Live eventaully

  83. Lu_Rob

    Very nice, I love www.quizlet.com/live

  84. Lu_Rob

    memes

  85. RAINBOWDASH171

    170th high five. :P Cool! :D Quizlet live seems pretty fun! I for one think interactive class activities and friendly competitions are super fun! And yeah... they're definitely are motivating. :)

  86. Dinsky_T

    lol

  87. chrometiger99

    nice

  88. chrometiger99

    But you weren't making sense. Quizlet live is great!

  89. brandon_quintanilla5

    cool but on some parts no sense

  90. brandon_quintanilla5

    but still that's great

  91. catswag7

    Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.

  92. MemeMaster

    Amen ^^

  93. clint120

    yay whoohoo yeah booya cabam whoooooooooohooooooooo quizlet live ROCKS WHOOHOO

  94. clint120

    LOL SIKE QUIZLET LIVE IS COOL BUT I HAVE NOT READ THE BLOG .BUT IF YOU HAVE NOT TRIED QUIZLET LIVE YOU SHOULD BECAUSE IT IS REALLY FUN.SO GET A GROUP OF FRIENDS AND SEE WHAT YOU KNOW.;)

    P.S. YOU NEED 7 PLAYERS P.P.S. QUIZLET LIVE IS REA
    LY COOL

  95. adayylam TEACHER

    Is there any chance to allow the teacher to decide the size of the groups? Usually, in HK, students work in groups of 4 instead of 3.

  96. aandrian TEACHER

    My students have never been so excited and engaged in a vocab review activity like they are with Quizlet.live! My only class management challenge with Quizlet.live is student volume control :-) Thank you everyone at Quizlet.com!

  97. Elaina_Wynkoop

    i have a question does quizlet ever bring stress to kids these days

  98. Hailey_Hodgson8

    HEY!!!

  99. JodiJacko

    haha... LOL!! im sure it doesn't!! ;)

    ive only just started using quizlet, but already its helped sooo much!!! im in yr 12, had a maths exam today, and have AS geography exam tomoro, and without quizlet i'd be dead!! :)

    (171st comment) LOL!! (I think anyway!!) ;)

  100. Emily_Ustick

    LOL fun in the sun!

  101. colabottlelover

    yo gpylvfy

  102. SKatergirl-0109

    this don't help lol XD

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