Polling Tools

Whether teaching in the classroom or remotely, you can add polling activities to your classes to engage students, test their knowledge, and base discussion. Polls can also be used to take a “temperature check” at the beginning of class to gauge the mood of your students. Below are examples of the variety of options faculty can use to poll their students.

Zoom

Zoom includes a basic polling feature allowing you to ask your students multiple choice questions during a web conference. Using Zoom polls, you can check your students’ current mood, test their retention of content, or introduce a new concept. Before your Zoom session, you can create polls in the Zoom web portal for your meetings (instructions). You can also add questions during the meeting. You have the option of making a poll anonymous and allowing for a single-answer response or multiple selections. To launch a poll during a Zoom meeting, you must first be logged in as the host.

Poll Everywhere

Poll Everywhere is a web-based polling tool that you can use in or outside the classroom to engage students. It features a variety of question types--including multiple choice, word cloud, open-ended response, clickable image, and up/downvoting--and allows students to respond to polls with their mobile device or computer.

Examples of ways you can use Poll Everywhere with your students:

  • Reviewing content using multiple choice questions
  • Gauging students' understanding of new concepts and points of confusion
  • Identifying an element on an image
  • Collecting data points on graph
  • Receiving anonymous feedback via open-ended responses
  • Conducting an icebreaker activity using a word cloud

You can create a free basic account at www.polleverywhere.com that can be used to poll up to 40 students at a time. Students typically respond anonymously and don’t require Poll Everywhere accounts. For larger classes, you can purchase an instructor license with additional features and the ability to poll up to 700 respondents. Alternatively, you can have students purchase an individual license.

Read about the experiences of Georgetown faculty who participated in the Poll Everywhere pilot.

iClicker Cloud

iClicker Cloud offers a number of question types: multiple choice, word cloud, open-ended, numeric, and clickable image. Students can respond to polls using the iClicker REEF web app on a laptop/PC, tablet, or smartphone. You can also allow students to respond in the classroom using iClicker remote devices.

In addition, you can sync the results of student polls and attendance to your Canvas course Gradebook following these instructions.

You can get started with a free instructor account on the iClicker Cloud site.

Unless iClicker is provided by their school, students will need to purchase an iClicker REEF license (iClicker does provide a free 14-day trial).

Comparison of Polling Products

See this chart comparing features of polling with Zoom, Poll Everywhere, and iClicker Cloud.