Discover how to utilize Gimkit, a game-based learning software that distinguishes itself from other game-based programs because of its play structure designed around a game structure. Gamification is one of the most successful approaches for increasing engagement and mixing things up, while also aiding information retention for students.
In this how to use Gimkit tutorial we are going to show you how to construct Gimkit question kits and how each of the gameplay modes operates. You’ll learn how to play with popular Gimkit game modes such as Humans versus Zombies, Boss Battle, The Floor is Lava, Infinity Mode, Trust No One, and Draw That.
If you’ve not yet used Gimkit make sure to bookmark this page as it is constantly updated with helpful tips and advice for classroom activities for teachers. Let’s get started.
What is Gimkit?
Gimkit was designed for students by a then current high school student to help them engage with and interact with their learning experience. The founder, Josh Feinsilber as part of a class project developed a way to combine gamification, strategic decision making and critical thinking skills that could be applied to any discipline. From math and science to history or philosophy.
How to get started with Gimkit
Unlike Blooket, Gimkit is not totally free. When you sign up you get a free 14 day trial of Gimkit Pro which is an unlimited version of the software. If after 14 days you don’t upgrade your account you’ll be moved in the free version, Gimkit Basic.
The basic version only allows for 5 players which if you’re an educator is not enough. But what we do like about this 14 day trial is that it is enough time for you to get full access to the software, learn it and try it out in class to see if it is right for you.
Create an account
The signup process is pretty straight forward. All you have to do is enter in an email, password and user name. You’ll be prompted to either select student or educator when creating your account for the first time. Then, you’ll be able to select your country and then school based on the zip code. You can also choose what grade level and subject though this is not too important with the on-boarding process.
Create a Gimkit
The “kit” in Gimkit simply means your questions. A kit contains all of the questions & terms you’ll want students to learn & review when you play. You can create your own, or find existing kits made by other teachers. This is why as part of the on-boarding process they want you to set your grade level, location and school.
As you create content for Gimkit, other teachers are able to leverage those questions in their class and Gimkit gets free high quality content that only adds to their underlying selling point to get you to upgrade. A win-win for all involved.
Part of what makes Gimkit special are all of the different game modes you can explore with your students. Try out their selection of modes to see what your students like most and don’t forget you can assign a kit as homework.
Create new kit
Once logged into your account you can search for already created kits or you can create your own. To create your own click on the “new kit” button then choose what subject it is for as well as a cover image. Gimkit links to Unsplash by default but if you want to create your own custom image thumbnails you can.
This feature allows you to manually input a question. You can add an image as well as set multiple choice answers or have the students type in the correct answer. You can also add audio to your Gimkit if you prefer to read out loud the question (see our best microphones for teachers guide).
Create with flashcards
Flashcards are quick and easy way to create material for your students. Gimkit flashcards are designed in an efficient way where you input a question and Gimkit will automatically come up with incorrect answers. Allowing you the teacher to spend less time creating content. Perfect if you’re looking to create a quick assignment or activity.
Collaborate with kitCollab
KitCollab allows anybody with Gimkit account (free or pro), including students, to contribute questions to your kit. With this collaborate feature you can now build a kit together in real-time, or asynchronously. This is ideal for a long term kit you plan on using in the future. Enable it today and let teachers and students contribute over time.
Add from question bank
As teachers create kits, Gimkit has taken these kits and broken them up into individual questions. By using the question bank feature you can quickly find high quality questions for different subjects to add to your Gimkit with ease.
Import from spreadsheet
This takes a little practice on how to format, but if you’re talented with using a spreadsheet software of your choice that can make CSV files then you can import that file into Gimkit and allow the software to do the proverbial heavy lifting.
Create a “class” for homework
Another helpful function of Gimkit is the ability for you to create a class for your Gimkit. Classes require your students to have a student account with Gimkit but the benefit is that you can make your kits only available to your students.
This is essential because otherwise any student with a join link could log into your live kit using an inappropriate name (students could simply share the log in code with their friends) and it forces your students to use their real names instead of something silly.
If you’re going to be using Gimkit for homework then you’ll love the class feature. Not only does it allow you to see how your students performed individually, it helps maintain class control.
Hosted game modes
Gimkit allows you to host a live game using different game modes. When setting up a live game you’ll be given a join link to share with your students. Students then use that join link and when everyone has logged into your game you can then click on the “start game” button.
There are an ever growing amount of game modes you can use for your kit. Currently these are your options:
- Capture the flag
- Boss battle
- Hidden mode
- Drained mode
- Super rich mode
- Humans vs zombies
- Draw that
- What is…
- Infinity mode
Try them all out. They each have a different premise and it makes for an enjoyable activity. Our favorite is “draw that” in which a student can not say the answer but must instead draw the answer and the other students have to guess what it is. As the teacher, you can adjust what questions are included in this mode as not every answer can always be translated into picture format.
Other modes are more classic in nature like “infinity mode” is all about collecting the infinity stones (from the Marvel Universe) first. In this mode students earn money and can purchase infinity stones which increase in price after each question. These stones are functionally power-ups and students can hide the stones they have and use them all at once in order to win the game.
“The floor is lava” stands out as well because it’s the only game mode that is entirely cooperative in which the entire class works to keep the class above the lava by answering questions correctly and fast.
Frequently Asked Questions
With Gimkit, there are a few questions that are commonly asked that we would like to address here so you understand everything there is to know about this platform as an educator.
How much does Gimkit Pro cost?
You get a 14 day free trial of Gimkit Pro upon signing up. After which you’ll need to pay $4.99 a month for full access. It’s worth the cost because the free version only allows 5 players. Decent enough for a fun activity with a few students but totally inadequate for a class of 20+ students.
Can I share my subscription with other teachers?
Sure, there is no inherent restriction to who can access your Gimkit account. What you can’t do is all log into Gimkit at the same time and host multiple games all at once.
Instead, use a common email amongst the teaching staff and access Gimkit per teacher, per class using the same log-in information.
Gimkit vs Blooket, which is best?
Both platforms are similar in that they provide interactive ways to display questions and class material as well as assign kits as homework. They also provide content from other teachers who have built “kits” on each platform.
Gimkit stands out though in the various game modes that are all quite different, the ability to use the flashcard feature to quickly create content, the collaboration built in with creating kits and the ever growing question bank. In short you should try both platforms and see which one is best for your teaching style.
How to play Gimkit conclusion
Gimkit offers a great way for teachers to engage their students in the classroom. The platform is easy to use and makes it possible for teachers to create dynamic, fun and interactive lessons that are both informative and entertaining.
With its growing user base and content pool, Gimkit is sure to become an even more popular tool for educators everywhere. Have you tried using Gimkit in your own classroom? What were your impressions?
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