Technology Pursuit

Blending Technology Into the Language Arts Classroom

Comparing Student-Response Systems

Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 4.53.59 PM

One of my most popular posts is my comparison of Kahoot, Quizizz, and Pear Deck, and the different options and capabilities of each of these systems.

It’s time for an update.  In another post, I plan to cover PearDeck, NearPod, and GoFormative, which are have student-response capabilities but other robust programs, too.  However, I’ve also added new-ish systems on the market, Quizalize and Riddle, as well as one of the veterans on the block, Socrative.

I’ve used all five of these apps in my teaching, some more than others, but I don’t feel there’s a clear winner in this pack.  Choosing the best system depends on your purposes, your students & classroom culture, and your expected outcomes.

First, a quick overview of each system:

Kahoot_colours-35Kahoot.  Perhaps the best-known of all five, Kahoot’s robust library of quizzes can’t be beat. Its fast pace and constantly updating leaderboard encourages hefty competition–and perhaps a bit of trash talking! Unfortunately, students can also be so obsessed with answering quickly (since you can’t turn off the clock) that they don’t think before they answer.


quiz-placeholder-smQuizizz.  Students work through questions at their own pace and still see a leaderboard at the end, providing the gamification piece many teachers are looking for.  Unlike Kahoot, Quizizz allows teachers to turn off the timer and the leaderboard to encourage students to slow down. In its recent update, Quizizz also allows teachers to assign a quiz as homework, which is a welcome addition to quest-based and student-centered classrooms.


Quizalize-metaQuizalize.  The new kid on the scene, Quizalize is quickly growing in popularity. In fact, I recommended it the other day to a teacher who was looking for a system that allowed for longer questions and answers (Kahoot and Quizizz are more limited in question length). The next day, my friend emailed back about how much she was loving Quizalize already. And she’s not the only one. My students tried it a couple weeks ago with an ACT practice test, and they commented that they really enjoyed getting  feedback on missed questions so they better understood how they missed them.

logo_newSocrative. Socrative has been around a few years, and with good reason: it’s a solid go-to for online quizzes. It allows for longer questions, personalized feedback, and also allows students to skip questions and come back to them later. No leaderboard here, but Socrative provides a “SpaceRace” game, where correct answers propel each student’s rocket forward.

riddle_mainlogoRiddle. This is the one system that wasn’t made with education in mind, but I use it several times a week to get a pulse on my students. The free version doesn’t allow me view individual answers, which is fine, because I use it for viewing the class results as a whole and going over the answers. It also has personalized feedback (if you choose), and without a leaderboard, the students aren’t competing against each other; in fact, I give “gold points” to the class if the majority gets a question right.


Below is a matrix that compares the systems more in depth.

Kahoot_colours-35 quiz-placeholder-sm  Quizalize-meta  logo_new  riddle_mainlogo
Student log-In Pin number Pin number Pin number “Room number” – remains the same for each teacher No log-in
Question length 95 characters per question, 60 characters per answer Unspecified, but shorter questions & answers work better. Unspecified, but capable of longer questions & answers. Unspecified, but capable of longer questions & answers. Unspecified, but capable of longer questions & answers.
Timing on questions Adjustable between 5-120 seconds. Adjustable between 5 seconds – 15 minutes Adjustable between 5-120 seconds None None
Disarm timer No Yes-in settings prior to beginning quiz. Yes-in settings prior to beginning quiz. N/A N/A
Pacing Teacher paced Student paced Student paced Teacher or student paced Student paced
Multimedia in questions Image, YouTube image appears behind the question text and limited to 16:9 format image image image, YouTube, Facebook, Getty Images, URL links; image limited to 16:9 format
Leaderboard Yes, shown after each question. May not be disabled* Yes, but may be disabled. No. No. However, a space race version of each quiz is available for a gamified environment. No.
Type of feedback to students Notification of correct or incorrect. Funny meme reveals if student was correct or incorrect. Notification of correct or incorrect. Personalized feedback available. Notification of correct or incorrect. Personalized feedback available. Notification of correct or incorrect. Personalized feedback available.
Correct answers revealed After each question. At end of quiz; may be turned off. After each question; may be turned off. After each question. After each question.
Assignable as homework No. Teacher must begin quiz. Yes. Yes. Yes. No. Individual results not available with free version.
Public library of questions Yes, the most massive of all options here. Yes, with a search capability within the quiz creation screen. Yes, with both free and $$$ quizzes available. No. Teachers may share quizzes by sharing their codes. No.
Randomized questions Can randomize both questions & options Can randomize questions Can randomize questions Can randomize questions No
Text formatting for questions Bold, italics, super- & sub-script, & a substantial special characters assortment. Super- and sub-script; red, blue, & green font. Math mode available. Bold, italics, underlining, super- & sub-script. A choice of 15 fonts available.
 Overall purpose Questions that require quickness, such as math facts. To encourage more thinking and a slower pace. (If early in a concept, consider turning off the leaderboard.) To encourage more thinking and a slower pace. Great if you want to provide personalized automatic feedback to students. To encourage more thinking and a slower pace. Great if you want to provide personalized automatic feedback to students. You want to get the “big picture” of the class, not individual students.

*Kahoot suggests that questions be changed to zero points if you do not wish to make the quiz competitive



  1. I appreciate the description of these online quiz type systems! I’ve enjoyed using Peardeck and Kahoot, but wanted a happy medium and I believe that Quizizz might be the answer.

    Do you feel that any of these quiz systems are ‘gimmicky,’ and that students don’t actually enjoy the process? What grade level are you working with in your experience?

    I’m just unsure of putting in continued time to a system that doesn’t engage students for the right reasons.

    Thanks again!

  2. Melissa Pilakowski

    December 18, 2015 at 12:37 am

    Sorry for the delay–I’ve been swamped in finishing up the semester and have been neglectful of my blog!

    The students in my high school seem to favor Quizizz and Quizalize over Kahoot right now. Students seem to like the memes on Quizizz and the avatars. Plus, Quizizz doesn’t feel as competitive as Kahoot does. I find students take their time more on Quizizz and don’t feel pressured to “be the fastest.”

    Quizalize is becoming my personal favorite b/c I can use more text and bigger images–it’s a bit less restrictive than Quizizz. One caveat I’ve found to Quizalize is that students can immediately retake quizzes. Not saying this is bad–but this is a turnoff to some teachers. But Quizalize allows for you to personalize feedback on each question and explain the answer, which I love. It takes time to write all of it, but it’s super beneficial to the students taking the quiz. I’m of the frame of mind, though, that quizlike activities aren’t just a form of assessment–they’re also a form of learning, too.

    Let me know if I can help any more 🙂

  3. Mark Ashworth

    June 1, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    Interesting comparison – I wonder if you’ve had a look at Spiral too? ( We built it with free-form responses in mind (text and allowing students to draw on a canvas). What are your thoughts on it?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

© 2017 Technology Pursuit

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑

Skip to toolbar