App review by Common Sense Editor, Common Sense Education | Updated March 2013
US History Quiz
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US History Quiz

Trivia appeals to history buffs but won't convert others

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Learning rating
Editorial review by Common Sense Education
Community rating
Based on 1 review
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Grades
8–12 This grade range is based on learning appropriateness and doesn't take into account privacy. It's determined by Common Sense Education, not the product's publisher.
Subjects & Skills
Social Studies, Critical Thinking

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Pros: It's a targeted trivia game that could be fun for history lovers.

Cons: Without elaboration on the correct answer or the distractors, lasting learning isn't really happening here.

Bottom Line: Basic, straightforward trivia game that may engage some but isn’t heavily focused on learning.

US History Quiz is appropriately titled: It's an app providing a multiple-choice quiz that’s focused on American history. Click the icon, and the menu board options are self-explanatory, although there's an instruction page for anyone who needs it. Start the game, select the number of questions you want in any one game, and begin. All questions are multiple-choice with four answer choices. There's a timer and a pause button. If you time out, the question is scored as incorrect and the quiz moves on to the next question. A correct answer is greeted with "correct," and an incorrect one displays the correct answer but no further explanation. A running score is kept at the top of the screen. Scores are automatically saved to the device, and you can opt to compare your scores on the leaderboard.

Some of the answer choices are poised to make you think a bit about the question to come up with a plausible answer. You may not know what year a fire killed three Apollo astronauts, but you can narrow down the options by eliminating 1947 and 1957, assuming you know that the U.S. space program didn't start until after 1957. Feedback for players doesn’t give an explanation about the question topic or more information about the answer choices, whether the question was answered correctly or not.

 

People who like trivia games will enjoy this app. Those who struggle with trivia-style learning -- or just find answering these kinds of questions uninteresting -- may not like it. Some questions are more trivial (no pun intended) than others, and some are less related to history –- for example, identifying an automobile associated with a particular slogan. Feedback for players doesn’t give an explanation about the question topic or more information about the answer choices, whether the question was answered correctly or not. But the app does keep score on the device and on global leaderboards, so students can see how their scores compare to others'.

There's not much to it, but for a simple trivia exercise, US History Quiz delivers most of what it promises. A little more informative feedback could make it really worthwhile, and it would be nice if there were an option to remove the ever-present ads.

Overall Rating

Engagement Would it motivate students and hold their interest? Is it visually appealing? Would it inspire teachers to try something new or change their instruction?

Trivia fans will enjoy testing themselves and perhaps seeing how their score compares to those of other users. However, there are no follow-up or leveled questions to provide an ongoing challenge.

Pedagogy Does the tool help teachers promote a more student-centered experience? Will students gain conceptual understanding or think critically? Does it deepen teachers’ pedagogical thinking?

A little reasoning could provide some answers, but the focus isn't learning -- it's to answer questions quickly, which doesn't offer much depth. Kids can try to beat each others' scores, but there's no adaptive learning.

Support Can students and teachers get assistance when they need it? Is it created with people of different abilities and backgrounds in mind? Is learning reinforced and extended beyond the digital experience?

The instruction page is clear and easy to follow, but players can easily start without it. The readable and clutter-free screen makes the game more enticing than others in this category.


Common Sense reviewer

Community Rating

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Featured review by
g j. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Frenship High School
Wolfforth, United States
Simple quiz game
This app is average. It does radomly quiz students.
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