Classroom polling allows instructors to quickly ask a question and instantly receive responses from students during a lecture. Teachers can use either conventional polling with clicker remotes or mobile/web polling.
Examples of technology
Mentimeter is a Swedish company based in Stockholm that develops and maintains a polling app used to create presentations with real-time feedback. The basic package is free though app developers reserve the right to use anonymised data. Paid subscription enables the creation of unlimited questions per presentation, personalised branding, exporting of results and total ownership of all data.
Poll Everywhere transforms one-sided presentations into two-way conversations with the audience. This web-based audience response system lets you embed interactive activities directly into your presentation. The audience responds on the web or via SMS texting on their phones. Poll Everywhere is used by millions of audience members and students every year. It’s trusted by over 60 percent of the Fortune 500, along with more than 300,000 educators worldwide, during meetings, classes, and events. The free version of the system allows for unlimited questions with an audience size of 25 people.
Not only will polling help you make your lectures and workshops memorable, it can also generate real-time data on student understanding of a topic or allow for anonymous sharing of opinions on controversial topics to spark debate.
It can be difficult to keep the energy level up in a classroom. Polling breaks up content and provides an opportunity for students to contribute ideas and drive informal conversations among themselves.
By assessing understanding teachers can adjust teaching and learning in the moment when students need more time or are ready to move on.
Questions need careful consideration so that they add to rather than detract from classroom discussion and debate
Classroom polling requires the careful construction of questions for students. Students may also need to be taught how to use the polling app. It also requires appropriate internet connection. Sufficient time need to be built in to the teaching schedule to allow for delays in response summaries.