Technology Enhanced Learning at Sussex

Poll Everywhere

creative commons licensed ( BY-NC-SA ) flickr photo shared by PitsLamp photographyPoll Everywhere is a student response system that allows students to give instant answers or feedback on presented content, via their mobile phones, laptops or tablet devices. It can be used to gather ideas, test knowledge or canvas the opinion of a group of students. It can be particularly useful in large group teaching situations.

How does it work?

Poll Everywhere is web-based and you can create and launch polls / questions using a computer or a smart device, including a mobile phone, through a web browser or using the Poll Everywhere mobile app.  

Poll Everywhere allows for five different types of question / poll to be created:

  • Multiple choice – this gives the students a number of different options to choose from. The results are presented in a graph
  • Open-ended - students can give text answers that are as long as they want. The open-ended responses can be displayed in a variety of ways, including a text wall and a wordcloud
  • Q&A/Brainstrom - gives the audience the opportunity to submit ideas and questions which can then be voted up or down, allowing the audience to anonymously agree or disagree with others' responses.
  • Ranking - allows students to rank multiple answers in a chosen order
  • Clickable image -  this allows you to upload an image which the students can then click on using their computer/smart device. For example, students could be asked to identify a particular area on a map or a feature on a graph. Clickable image can only be used via the web link or the app

Students can respond to polls/questions in several ways:

  • on the web
  • by text
  • by Tweet
  • using the app

The students' replies are instant and can be displayed as part of your PowerPoint presentation on a downloadable slide. The replies are anonymous by default. However, if the tutor wants to set up named respondents, this is possible too.

The responses can be restricted to the number of answers the tutor wishes to allow for each student. After students’ have responded, the results can be collated within Poll Everywhere and exported into an excel file.

A Poll Everywhere Presenter add-in is available for PowerPoint which allows you to embed your polls in your PowerPoint presentations. This add-in is available on all university teaching computers and can be downloaded onto university-owned staff computers from the software centre. To download the PowerPoint add-in on a non-univeristy computer visit www.polleverwhere.com/app.

You can view this short video on how to create polls using Poll Everywhere

 

  • Good integration into PowerPoint
  • Variety of ways students can respond (Twitter, text, web, app)
  • Hardware-free (unlike e.g. clickers).
  • No sign-up required for respondents (if anonymous).
  • Immediately register your participants with a simple CSV
  • You can use Maths by typing in latex:
  • Easy to use and fun.

What are the limitations?

  • Students need either a mobile phone or a smart device with them in order to respond (though the practice of students sharing devices and discussing answers before responding has been shown to have significant learning benefits.  For more information see research by Harvard University’s Professor Eric Mazur summarised in this article).
  • Unless students create accounts it’s difficult to maintain results for comparison.
  • The text message option will charge students on pay-as-you-go contracts the standard network rate.

If you would like to receive training on Poll Everywhere or would like to be added as a user to the University’s licence, please contact tel@sussex.ac.uk or your school Learning Technologist.  

Further resources

flickr photo by PitsLamp photography shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-SA) license. 

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