Some tips for your academic research

Is Kahoot! a part of research you’re conducting? Whether it helps you to collect data, or it’s the main focus of your research (double wow!), we’re thrilled that you have included it in your project! We’re really passionate about research ourselves, and we’re sure that there are many interesting discoveries awaiting you ahead.

We often get questions about learning theories related to Kahoot! To give you some guidance, our Pedagogy K!rew put together a list of reads that can give you good food for thought. Of course, it’s impossible to make a selection that would work for every researcher, from bachelor to Ph.D., and fit any topic, but this is a starting point.

Also, please, bear in mind that none of these sources can be referred to as “the origin” of Kahoot! pedagogy. There are certainly quite a few touchpoints, inspiring references and relevant examples, but hey, we’re Kahoot! and we’ve never done it by the textbook! ;) If you’re interested in Kahoot!’s own take on pedagogy, see some recommendations towards the end of this article.

Can you recommend me some good reads on pedagogy and learning theories?


Definitely! Here are some theories that might be interesting for you to look up - certain teachers, pedagogy experts and educational scientists bring them up in relation to Kahoot!:

Sociocultural learning theories (there’s more than one!) focus on the social component of the learning process.

Leo Vygotsky (note that his name has slightly different spelling in different countries - you can also find him, for example, as “Vygotskij”) is a name you’ll often come across when it comes to social learning theories. He researched and wrote about collaborative learning, the importance of social interaction, teacher’s active role in students learning (as a like-minded), zone of proximal development and significant others (students at different levels helping each other out).

You can find connections between many of these concepts to our “Learners to Leaders” model. Both when it comes to students collaborating on creating kahoots, and when students take action and lead their classmates through a game. Social interaction plays a great part in our cognitive development. Or, if we put it into simpler words - we learn better and get more motivated when we learn together.

James Wertsch is one name that is well known name within Sociocultural learning theories. Among other things, he analyzed mediation, emphasizing the interaction between humans and between humans and objects.

John Dewey was a psychologist and educational reformer whose works can give you insight into learning by doing, experiential learning, classroom democracy and taking part in your own learning process.

Want to explore how students can shape their own learning process? Then we recommend you to look into the principles of self-guided and inquiry-based learning.

Socioconstructivism is a sociological theory that emphasizes the collaborative nature of learning.

There’s a whole set of theories around motivation and behaviorism. Some of these are strongly linked to theories that are connected with gaming.

If we go a couple of centuries back in time, you might want to get familiar with Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi - this Swiss pedagogue and educational reformer spoke about all-round education that engages the heart, hand and head and cared deeply about lifelong learning. Here’s a good start: http://www.jhpestalozzi.org/

Do you have other suggestions we could add this list? Drop us a note - it’s always exciting to discover new touchpoints in learning theories and explore new takes on pedagogy!

Where can I learn more about Kahoot! pedagogy specifically?


Recently, one of our co-founders Jamie was interviewed on Talking About Everything podcast. This 45-minute conversation is a great summary of our stand on social learning, power of gameplay and helping learners become leaders.

We also recommend you to watch this recording of our masterclass at SXSWEdu conference. It will give you an insight into the art and science behind our game-based learning platform, as well as a lot of interesting practical examples of playing Kahoot! beyond the basics.

Kahoot! pedagogy encourages a loop that lets a learner become a leader. Discover the key points on this model in one of our blog posts.

Another good article we’d recommend is this one on Medium where our co-founder Johan talks about the founding principles of Kahoot! and our commitment to ‘return on learning’.

For an introduction to inclusive education, inclusive design and game-based pedagogy, check this article with a commentary from our founders.

Kokoa, a Finnish digital education agency, nicely summarized its independent pedagogical view on Kahoot!.

Good luck with your research! We’d love to hear about it - share your findings with us!

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