Bringing a digital literature program into the classroom sounds great, right? But one that uses multiple-choice question types often brings up a lot of skepticism when I talk to teachers. I was skeptical myself, at first! Teachers ask important questions: What are the benefits, aside from prepping for a state test? What if that isn't my teaching style? What about the discussion-based classroom or the project-based classroom? Will this take away the freedom I have over my curriculum? How do multiple-choice questions aid students in empathizing with Victor Frankenstein's creature, or understanding the deeper savagery hidden in the hearts of mankind, revealed through William Golding's Lord of the Flies?

As a discussion-based teacher who ADORES a good Socratic seminar, this is how KeyLit would level up my teaching game.

Here are just a few of the benefits of the KeyLit program:

Accountability – The program checks reading comprehension. Students will need to have done the reading to answer the questions.

Critical Thinking – Students will analyze specific passages using close-reading skills before selecting an answer. There are plenty of plausible options, so critical thinking is key!

Aligns to Standards – With clear objectives and standards for each question, this program is both rigorous and exploratory.

But that still doesn’t answer the questions: How will this fit into my teaching style? Where will I use this in my curriculum and classroom?

Here are six ways that KeyLit fits into any classroom:

1. Your students can't hide from accountability!

We all have our weaknesses; struggling to create effective reading quizzes was mine. Also, if you've ever run a whole class discussion, you know there are always a couple of students who participate at the bare minimum—maybe because they are shy, or maybe they haven't done the work. This was always my biggest struggle, and something I felt took away from the fun of discussion.

KeyLit takes that guesswork away by providing you with concrete evidence of a student's comfort or engagement with the work. Because these lessons take only 20–30 minutes, students can prove that they've read the assignment and understand how to engage with the novel.

This program can also help those students who struggle to speak in your discussions. KeyLit will give them confidence going into a discussion because they've had the opportunity to work with the material independently and receive feedback instantly. It also gives you more time to work with the students diving deeper into the work, leaving the task of tracking accountability to us!

2. Use it to gather formative data showing that students understand close-text analysis.

This program really takes that piece out of the equation for your planning purposes. Some teachers love the idea of standards-aligned assignments to make tracking student growth measurable, and in KeyLit, each question is linked to a standard, and you can see your students' progress.

This will help you figure out where students are struggling the most, be it the theme, word choice, characterization, or anything else.

3. Use student mistakes and misunderstandings as a way to spark debate and create a discussion.

This could be an excellent guide to your classroom discussion! Have students write down questions they got wrong and compare their answers to the correct ones. If many students get the same question wrong, talk it out with them. Have them explain the reasoning behind their choice. You will quickly see where the misunderstandings occur and how to guide your students to a stronger analysis.

Use the questions students struggled with to spark debate! Encourage them to explain their reasoning and debate with one another. Students will be able to talk through where their misunderstandings came from and why the correct answer works best.

This approach also teaches students that those wrong answers are nothing to be ashamed of—they're simply learning opportunities. It could encourage risk-taking, which will embolden students to participate more in your classroom.

4. KeyLit introduces literary devices and techniques, making this program perfect mini-lessons.

Students will be exposed to a variety of literary devices and techniques in the context of the novel they're reading. This allows you to revisit these devices later on in the novel, knowing that students have already encountered them and attempted to understand them. This also allows you to focus more time on projects, student misunderstandings, evaluation skills, and in-class discussions.

5. This program can be used as a comprehensive note-taking tool that students can revisit as needed.

Have students take notes after each question set to gather knowledge and ideas that will deepen their understanding. In addition, there are several features of the program that students can use as notes. After every series of questions, there is feedback on the answers and a "Keep in Mind" section that provides definitions and themes that students should know to successfully navigate the novel. At the end of every lesson, there is a "Key Takeaways" page that provides a one-stop review of everything students should have gathered from the lesson. It also acts as a guide for you on what to focus on as you move through the rest of the program. You can also use it as a way to create a fool-proof assessment (besides the one we give you, of course).

6. Don't forget about discussion boards!

KeyLit includes discussion boards! Use them to have students gather ideas and thoughts before talking about them in the classroom. Discussion boards can give you a preview of your students' thoughts before entering in a Socratic seminar or summarize what they took away from your discussion. Treat it like an exit ticket to ensure you had a successful debate.

While the idea of a literature program that uses a multiple-choice question platform can seem unconventional, KeyLit is designed to be flexible for use in your classroom—whatever your teaching style. It takes many of the introductory aspects out of your day-to-day planning and allows you to focus on creativity, autonomy for the activities you love, and deeper conversations with students.

Give your students the keys to success with KeyLit.