Common Sense Review
Updated March 2013

US History Quiz

Trivia appeals to history buffs but won't convert others
Common Sense Rating 2
Teacher Rating (1 Teacher Review) 2
  • The app’s opening screen includes options to complete a profile or read instructions.
  • All questions are multiple-choice.
  • Students can compare their scores to other players’ scores. Note that each page has ads; there’s no option to remove them.
  • Instructions are available, but the game is easy to navigate without them.
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.
Graphite Staff
Common Sense Reviewer
Common Sense Rating 2
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return? 3

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 Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 2

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 Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students? 2

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.

About our ratings and privacy evaluation.
What's It Like?

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.

 

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Is It Good For Learning?

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.

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