23 June 2009

Poll Everywhere as Clicker Alternative

As a fan of classroom response systems (AKA clickers), I am reluctant but resolute to recommend the next version of instant polling that (a) makes the expense of the hand-held systems indefensible, and (b) extends the power of the learning activity to distance learners who may be in synchronous or asynchronous communication with the class.

Poll Everywhere is not perfect—it is limited to surveys of one question at a time. A teacher must think ahead to plan how best to capture student responses. But the flexibility of student response is what makes the system so attractive.

1. Text a code via cell phone to submit an answer choice.
2. Twitter. Haven't tried that method.
3. Log into a generic web site and enter a code for your answer choice.
4. Follow an emailed URL to a page displaying the answer choices for you.

A teacher can even pre-fab a set of polls and publish them in the syllabus for continued or repeating polls across the semester. Settings permit once-only or multiple voting, anonymous or tracked identity, ongoing or closed dates. For in-class lecture settings, the polls can run from PowerPoint. Results are displayed with expected graphics and the web site offers options to customize type and color.

Free subscriptions allow running surveys for 30 responses (general public) or 32 responses (higher ed faculty). Paid plans start at $15/month. Google "poll4.com" t
o get a sense of just how many folks are using the service.

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Email contact: bold[AT]marybold.com. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as legal or professional advice. Bold is the co-author of Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. She is a consultant and speaker on assessment, distance learning, and technology.

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