The Poll EverywhereSuccess primerFor higher education (1)

The PollEv success primer for higher ed instructors

We like it when you look good in front of your peers (and your students). To that end, let’s run through some helpful tips for higher ed polling, before things get too crazy this semester. We’ll go over common pitfalls to avoid, and give you some time-saving tools you can use to stay on top of your game.

Act now to prevent end-of-semester grading woes

(Paid features: Grading & Registration) It’s a tragedy when you try to run a Gradebook report at the end of the semester, and realize (too late) half your students go by the name “Unregistered”. Let’s leave no student unnamed this fall. Here’s how:

  1. Remember: You MUST require registration on each of your polls, if you want to grade students’ responses. Choose this setting under Response settings–Registered participants only for one poll, then set that poll as your Account Poll Template, so it will apply to all future polls.
  2. Register students by importing a list, or…
  3. Add your registration link to the course website or syllabus. You can also email a link to students.

For step-by-step registration directions, see the Educators’ Guide or the Registration video.

Select Registered participants only in response settings

Turn PowerPoint slides (even Turning Point slides) into Poll Slides

(Free) This little trick only works on Windows PowerPoint, but hey, if you got it, flaunt it.

  1. Create a slide with the Title/Content slide template.
  2. Place the question in the title bar, and the answer choices (if any) in the content box. Separate them with line breaks. Bullets work too.
  3. Open PollEv Presenter Add-in for PowerPoint, sign in, and click Convert to poll.

Now it’s a Poll Everywhere Poll Slide. If it has answer options, it’s a multiple choice poll. If not, it’s an open-ended question. You can edit it right away, or present it fullscreen to your students. The original slide is automatically hidden, and will not appear when you present.

For Turning Point slides it’s even easier, simply click the Convert to poll button, like before.

Tips for using lecture hall computers

Install everywhere: Remember that the Poll Everywhere add-in must be installed on each computer where you plan to use PowerPoint polling, and you must log in each time you use it. (If you plan to simply present polls from the website, this isn’t necessary.)

Next-step installation: If you run into trouble installing the PowerPoint add-in on school equipment, try the enterprise installation instructions, located at the bottom of the PollEv Presenter Add-in page.

Google Slides plugin: You also have the option of running polls in Google Slides with the PollEv Presenter Chrome Plugin. Often it’s easier to get permission to install a browser plugin if your institution is wary of downloading PowerPoint add-ins. And because Google Slides holds all your slides and polls on the web, there’s less risk of running into operating system conflicts like this next one…

Mac and PC pairings: If the lecture hall computers are PCs, but your personal prep computer is a Mac, be sure to test a few of your Poll Slides on the PC before presenting them in class. Some versions of Mac PowerPoint and Windows PowerPoint don’t always get along when it comes to polling (although we’re constantly working to balance that for you). If moving from Mac to PC causes problems with your polls, you might want to create on a PC instead. And please let our customer support team know if you do run into problems with Mac-PC pairings. It helps us keep things smooth.

No worries: If you run into any PowerPoint issues in class, remember you can always open My Polls on the web and use the left-right arrows to navigate through your polls in full-screen.

How to conduct an attendance poll

(Paid features: Grading & Registration) The main ingredients of a good attendance poll? Cunning and speed. Because your students already know your PollEv username, they can follow along with your active polls from anywhere. That means to accurately gauge who’s actually in class and who’s lying in bed pretending, you’ll have to be a little sneaky.

Most professors structure an attendance poll like this:

  1. Present a question that requires extra input (like, “What is the password?”)
  2. Reveal the answer, either out loud (most effective), or written on a whiteboard (works okay, but allows more time to text an absent friend the answer)
  3. Allow 10-20 seconds for a multiple-choice response (use 5+ response options for better accuracy)
  4. Lock poll (or let the auto-lock timer do it for you)

Sample attendance poll

Settings: Designate the correct response for easy grading-at-a-glance later. Make sure the poll allows registered participants only. Give students notice that they should log into Poll Everywhere as class begins, to save time.

Use weighted grading

(Paid feature: Grading) Want to assign a numeric grade to a response? You can do that. It’s a special setting in Labs right now, so you’ll need to turn it on first. From your My Polls page, go to Settings (top right), Labs (on the left), then enable Weighted Grading. Now you can assign a point value to multiple choice responses and clickable image regions. It can range from -999.99 to 999.99. Lots of room to play.

To assign points to responses, click Edit, at the bottom right of the poll chart, then click Grade incoming responses, and click Assign points to responses. It looks like this:

Grade responses with a point value

Bonus tip: You can also assign correctness as you create response options, in the poll creation window.

LMS integration can speed things up

(Paid features: LMS integration, Registration, Grading) If your institution has a qualifying plan, you may already have LMS integration capabilities for Canvas or Blackboard. If not, approach your administrator to see if it would be worth purchasing an integration for your department or school. The LMS integration enables you to import student registration lists, and to export grades and participation scores. Learn more.

Find inspiration for the new semester

(Free) These are activities that don’t require paid features like grading or registration. Use them to inspire honest discussion, collect questions, check for understanding, or kick off a debate.

Become a PollEv expert in your pajamas

(Free) Most questions about PowerPoint integration, registration, etc. can be answered by watching a quick video. But if you’d rather learn from a real, live person, you can always sign up for the weekly webinar.

Need a free educator account?

If your classes are smaller than 40 students each, and you don’t require features like grading or reporting, you can probably do very well on the free educator account. Many educators use the free account to encourage open discussion, collect questions, and to check that students understand what’s being presented, all while there’s still time to adjust instruction. Keep the free account until you decide you need more. Then upgrade to a premium plan.

Get a free account