Review by Debbie Gorrell, Common Sense Education | Updated June 2017

Knowledgehook

Math-assessment tool focuses on rewards, lacks constructive feedback

Subjects & skills
Skills
  • Critical Thinking

Subjects
  • Math
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
3-12
Common Sense says (See details)
Teachers say (1 Review)

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Pros: Assessments are interactive and can be customized to track performance, show benchmarks, and more.

Cons: Kids who answer incorrectly do not get help or feedback; teachers have to manually run the assessments.

Bottom Line: An easy-to-use tool for quick practice and assessment, but don't expect a lot of content coverage or instructional support.

Teachers can best use Knowledgehook as a two-step tool. First, use the practice tests to evaluate prior knowledge across a range of topics, or use the Gameshows to pre-assess a particular set of standards. Be sure to turn off the competitive mode, but require that students join using a code so performance is tracked. Then, after teaching content through classroom instruction, use the same practice or assessment to evaluate learning. Turn on the competitive mode when students are confident with the topic.

Keep in mind that although many of the questions cover content from Common Core math standards, alignment is not called out in the assessments. Furthermore, some of the assessments only include two questions, leaving a pretty significant gap in standards coverage.

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Knowledgehook is an interactive math assessment tool for kids in grades 3 through 12. The practice tests and assessments are called Gameshows, which students join from their own computers or a mobile device. Teachers can choose from the existing Gameshows, or they can create their own by entering a set of questions. Gameshows include settings that allow teachers to award students for time achievements, create a class leaderboard, show benchmarks from standardized tests when available, and allow students to upload pictures of their work. Gameshows are organized by grade and standard topics.

When teachers are ready to start, they must invite students to a Gameshow, start the Gameshow, and manually progress through the questions as students answer them. Students do not receive any sort of helpful feedback, but they do get rewards even for attempting to answer a question. A basic report shows which students have completed Gameshows and how many questions they got correct. While this review covers the free version of Knowledgehook, there are a lot of additional features with the paid version, including gamified independent practice, differentiated learning, greater standards coverage, and the ability to create and send homework assignments.

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Knowledgehook engages students with interactive questions and a flashy reward system. The questions require higher-level, critical-thinking skills. Although students do not get any instructional support, the assessments are a good way for teachers to evaluate learning. The site is intended for a whole-class setting that encourages class discussions and the sharing of work. In this respect, it's a powerful tool.

There are a few drawbacks. Students need to have access to their own devices to participate in Gameshows, and teachers must stay on top of student progress so they can identify which students are struggling. Students do not receive any sort of constructive feedback for incorrect answers, making it difficult for teachers to use this whole-class resource to help individual students. Teachers would likely appreciate a setting that allows the Gameshow to automatically move to the next question, and students could benefit from some brief instructional feedback -- even if it appears at the end of the assessment.

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Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

Students are rewarded in some fashion after answering each question, and a leaderboard promotes healthy class competition, which many kids enjoy.

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

Answering the practice and assessment questions requires critical-thinking skills. Instructional feedback and more standards coverage would greatly improve the site's learning value.

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

There are plenty of tutorial videos, and setting up a class is a snap.


Teacher Reviews

(See all 1 reviews) (1 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Jaclyn C. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
A great tool for reviewing and consolidating math content with students

It was a great tool for consolidation. I teach my classes through problem solving, so that students work together in groups to solve rich problems for every lesson. After that we consolidate the skills and students have some individual practice. Knowledgehook really let students work on areas of need and get extra help as needed. It let me monitor student progress. Running game shows for the entire class was a great way to get everyone engaged and participating in lessons as well.

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