Getting Feedback in the Classroom Using Poll Everywhere is a great little tool for getting feedback from your students. It is easy for both the teacher and the students to use and can be set up in just minutes.  Once you open your account, the poll can be designed in the amount of time it would take for you to compose a question-or sooner!

First, sign up for a free account estimating an “audience” of thirty or fewer people.  Then, click on create new poll.  Next, select the type of question you want to ask, i.e., multiple choice poll, free text poll, or goal poll.  Your poll can only include one question, but if necessary, you can create more than one poll and move from poll to poll.

Students can SMS text their answers from their cellphones to a given number, use Twitter to tweet their answers via a code, or use their smartphones (Blackberries, IPhones, Palms) with Internet service to respond. Respondents can then watch the results quickly come in live.

Classroom ideas for using this tool:

1. Multiple choice poll:  Check comprehension.  Give a problem with three possible solutions, and have the students select the correct response.  See a bar graph along with the percentage of responses for each possible answer.  Find out if your class as a whole grasps a concept.

2. Free text poll: Students ask questions anonymously with no fear of recrimination.  Instructor gets feedback asking an open-ended questions, “OK.  What was the single most important…”  Or, you can ask the students to compose a sentence or question utilizing a particular structure.  Can they do it?  Have  the class review/revise the responses as they come in anonymously.

3.  Goal Poll: Instead of asking, “How many of you have finished going over the questions with your partner?” have the students text/tweet when they have finished. Students can watch the results come in as their classmates finish their given tasks, or they can keep tabs on their time while working on another project and waiting for the class to finish up.

Once the poll is completed, it can be saved as a Power Point, downloaded to a blog or web page, or published in Posterous.  Poll Everywhere will save your polls so that they can be easily accessed and re-used in the future.

Let’s see how this works for you.  Come back and share your experience with us!

4 Responses

  1. Wow, Rita. This is a really cool tool. And your suggestions for its use in the classroom are great. Unfortunately it is still not available in my country, but I am sure one day it will be. In the meantime, I could still adapt some of your ideas to my classroom situation. I have relatively small classes, so the students could always text their answers to my phone number instead. It is great for organising group competitions and quizzes. And whichever group finishes first can always get an additional task via SMS instead of waiting for everyone else to finish.

    • Thanks, Natasa, and thanks for the suggestions. I think your ideas of using these technologies in classroom competitions will add to the excitement and fun of the events. Keep me posted on how it all works out.

      It’s nice to share ideas with others who are working with adult ESL students!

  2. Hi Rita,

    Thanks for the great comments you made about our product. We love being a part of your classroom and are excited that you had such a wonderful time with it. Check back at our website as we are always working on creating new features for our customers. Happy Polling!

  3. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by lunas994: A great blog post by @ritasimsan on getting feedback in the classroom using Poll Everywhere #beltfree…

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