Poll Everywhere is a live polling tool that is used to gather and display responses from audiences, lectures, classrooms and any kind of collaborative group. Used by many educators as the primary classroom response system, Poll Everywhere has many different student applications that can promote meaningful class discussion and learning.
Pricing: Free (more information)
Access: Email signup
Privacy: Customizable (more information)
A Quick Look
Creating a poll
Once you have created a Poll Everywhere account using your email address, you are immediately prompted to create your first poll. Here you can select between open ended, multiple choice and clickable image questions. Depending on the goal of your poll any of these options may be best, but typically the open ended questions are best for class discussion and debate.
Once a poll is created it can be shared and responded to through a number of mediums:
- Text message (charges apply, so not recommended for younger students)
- Web devices via a unique URL
- Twitter (by tweeting to @poll)
- Private webpage link
All of the above can be switched on or off depending on how you want to limit responses and privacy.
Viewing the data
Once responses begin rolling in, the information will begin populating the results screen live. You can choose to either keep this information to yourself, or, it can be a lot of fun to put it up in front of the whole class. Having your students see the thoughts and answers from their peers can really boost engagement in both the poll and class discussion.
Demo video from Poll Everywhere
The below video is the official trailer from Poll Everywhere and is a great (and fairly amusing) introduction to using the tool.
1. Adaptive learning
Adaptive learning is all about using feedback and data to curb the learning of your students. Try using a few poll questions through a lesson to understand the sections where your students may be struggling. With this ‘live’ information you can start to focus your lesson on problem areas or on particular topics of student interest.
2. Clicker replacement
Clickers are a reasonably expensive and fairly restrictive technology when compared to a software based approach such as Poll Everywhere. If you have 1:1 classes or even a setup where students can share devices, using Poll Everywhere will give you a lot more flexibility and freedom to create more engaging discussion.
3. Flipped discussion based quiz
Set poll questions as homework for your students. You can view the data live to get an understanding of how they are progressing in certain topics and use this information to prepare follow-on material. The results can also be viewed as a class in the next lesson to discuss areas of interest and difficulty.
4. Track student progress
One neat and simple idea used by technology integration specialist and teacher Aditi Rao, is to set a ‘progress’ poll for students in class. As students finish each task, they text “Done” to the poll, letting you see and/or share class progress.
5. End of semester feedback
Poll Everywhere can be used in a much broader sense than just individual lessons. Some teachers and lecturers use the tool to collect feedback on their own performance from students and peers. Whether this be at the end of term, semester, year or course, it’s a very transparent way to reflect on your own teaching and practices.
Links and Next Steps
- Classroom Response Systems – Overview using CRD with students by Cornell University
- Poll Everywhere in Math – Video of an 8th grade math class using Poll Everywhere
- Teaching with Classroom Response Systems – Book by Derek Buff on CRS and active learning environments
- Poll Everywhere overview – Resource PDF created by Johns Hopkins University (see tips section)
- Automatically grade responses – Video overview of paid grading features
- User Guide – Official Poll Everywhere user guide
- Video Overview – Video created by Chemistry teacher Paul McCormack
Have you used Poll Everywhere with success in your classroom? Let us know your tips in the comment below.
Feature image courtesy of Flickr, Siebuhr.