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The best online classroom games to help students learn

At Quizalize, we love gamification. So we’ve collected our favourite online classroom games and activities that will reinforce student learning and inject some fun into the classroom.

There’s a huge amount of evidence showing that games in the classroom help students retain knowledge and develop skills like problem solving and teamwork. Not to mention, they’re great fun for both teachers and students!

Sometimes it can be a challenge to strike the right balance between games that serve the purpose of getting students out of their seats (and their shells!), and using fun activities to support lesson content. Here are 6 tried and tested games suitable for the online classroom, which will allow you to do both.

1. Digital Scavenger Hunt

Online classroom games - try a digital scavenger hunt

Engage your students with this online classroom game which will get them out of their seats. Share a list of items for students to hunt for, and set a challenging time limit.

With language students, this is a great time to test their vocab skills as they find items in a foreign language. 

In science class, include practical challenges, such as finding the elements for a simple science experiment. Can they find goggles and aprons? Remember, safety first even in the home laboratory.

2. Virtual Field Trips

Virtual field trips are a cheap but highly engaging online classroom game

Art museums, performances, and historic and natural sites which may have otherwise been out of reach (financially or geographically!) have opened up over the past year.

For a lesson in culture and history, travel to the British Museum, or explore American politics and history through a virtual tour of Washington D.C. 

Go backstage and uncover the production secrets of a major performance like the Lion King, and discover classics like Macbeth at Shakespeare’s Globe. 

Explore our incredible planet with Google’s Hidden World of National Parks. Or for a truly out-of-this-world experience, take your students to the moon with NASA’s tour of the moon. 

Let your students’ imagination travel, and treat it as a real day out! Pair the virtual tour with a journaling activity, or create a quiz that will test them on what they’ve learnt.

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3. Ambassadors

In this educational activity, randomly allocate each student a country, and have students guess each other’s countries based on the facts and figures they describe. It’s a great way to get students familiar with global geography, and lays a foundation for students’ interest in Model UN.

By the way, Online Model UN allows students to engage in Model UN Debates from home. 

4. Quests to achieve mastery

Challenge students to be global ambassadors in this online classroom game

Treat the entire course as a quest, in which students can conquer villains (like a tricky skill) or rescue friends (as they complete team projects).

When students successfully complete a level, and achieve mastery of a certain skill, they can be rewarded with a badge or prize.

To effectively track students as they progress along ‘quests’, try using a product like Quizalize, which tracks mastery of skills according to official state standards. 

Sign up for Quizalize today!

5. Role play to seek different perspectives

Role playing is a fun online classroom game that teaches empathy and knowledge.

Just as they take on different personas in a video game, have students consider different perspectives in a debate. Randomly assign students to the role of citizen, parent, governor, scientist, or even animals! This can be a great way to have students explore topics, as well as developing empathy and problem solving skills. 

It also lays the foundations for good debate practice, as they develop the ability to consider multiple arguments and structure their responses.

6. Quizzes!

Online quizzes reinforce learning and create classroom competition.

Last but certainly not least, online quizzes are the ultimate way to challenge students and assess their performance at the same time.

Making formative assessment fun is the perfect way to motivate students throughout the year. Regular, low-stakes quizzes highlight knowledge gaps and encourage students to work on problem areas. Regular knowledge retrieval is also proven to cement long-term learning.

Quizzes are also an important way of keeping learning interactive. To step this up a notch, try live streaming online classroom games so that students can compete with their classmates as they test their knowledge!

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What online classroom games have you used to engage your students? We’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments!

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