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Restructuring the Classroom Environment for Interactive Learning

Screenshot 2024-06-18 at 5.20.33 PM
New York
Use case
Higher Education

“Student engagement through polling, encouraging students to ask and answer questions, and providing immediate responses in class is wonderful.”

Cornell University, a prestigious Ivy League institution located in Ithaca, New York, has long been committed to providing innovative and effective educational experiences to its diverse student body. Patrick Graham is an Instructional Technology Specialist at Cornell University's Center for Teaching Innovation. He supports faculty with technology and in-classroom tools. During the pandemic, he led the purchase of Poll Everywhere to enhance engagement in remote learning. This platform has continued to expand and now plays a key role in connecting students to course material even after the return to in-person classes.


The Need for a Flexible Classroom Engagement Tool

When the pandemic hit in 2020, Cornell realized they needed a strong student engagement tool to support hybrid and virtual learning. Cornell evaluated various student engagement platforms, ultimately choosing Poll Everywhere for its comprehensive features and user-friendly interface. The tool's ability to facilitate real-time student engagement through diverse question types, including Multiple-choice, Open-ended, and Clickable Images, made it an ideal fit for Cornell's instructional goals.

After the pandemic, when many of Cornell’s classes returned to in-person learning, Poll Everywhere’s flexibility allowed faculty and students to seamlessly transition from online to in-person classes using the same tools. 


"Now that we've gone back to [mostly] in-person teaching, Poll Everywhere is still a huge hit, just as much as it was for online use."


Implementing Poll Everywhere at Cornell

Following the procurement of a campus-wide license, Graham’s team at Cornell facilitated the seamless integration of Poll Everywhere into existing instructional workflows. With assistance from the Poll Everywhere Support and Success teams, the Cornell Instructional Technology team provided thorough internal support through webinars, workshops, and documentation. This ensured that faculty members had the knowledge and resources required to effectively utilize the platform.


"When we come to Poll Everywhere and say ‘Hey can you do this,’ the team is very responsive and helpful."


Graham found that the Poll Everywhere team is always open to feedback and new ideas. He's been constantly impressed by both their dedicated Customer Success Manager and the Poll Everywhere team as a whole.


Revolutionary Impacts of Poll Everywhere in the Classroom

The Physics department, which employed a flipped classroom approach, greatly benefited from integrating Poll Everywhere into the classroom. Instructors utilize Poll Everywhere to pose multiple questions per lecture, fostering interactive discussions and deeper conceptual understanding among students. Similarly, faculty in the Food Sciences department have utilized Poll Everywhere’s Open-Ended activities to facilitate engaging classroom discussions on complex topics such as food security and policy, which are more difficult to quantify values or answers.


"The Physics department revamped their classes and made it a very active learning style. Professors are asking anywhere from 5-7 polling questions per class which is a great use of Poll Everywhere because the questions continue to build on each other."


Since its implementation, Poll Everywhere has become an integral part of Cornell's educational ecosystem, with over 24,000 students actively utilizing the platform. A staggering 64,000 activities have been conducted, resulting in over 5 million responses—an impressive testament to the tool's popularity and efficacy.

Graham also mentioned that many of Poll Everywhere’s recent enhancements, such as Attendance Management, Weighted Grading, and Auto-Roster Sync, have significantly improved the platform as a tool for higher education. These improvements have made it easier for faculty to engage students in the classroom while working with their preferred LMS.

"It is becoming more and more of an educational tool than it used to be. It used to be more of a corporate tool, but Poll Everywhere is listening to educators and understanding the educational use cases much better."


The Future of Poll Everywhere at Cornell

Poll Everywhere's student engagement capabilities have revolutionized classroom dynamics at Cornell. The platform's interactive interface encourages active participation, with features like real-time responses and in-class polling garnering widespread praise from both faculty and students. The flexibility to customize questions and activities has empowered instructors across disciplines to tailor their teaching methods to suit diverse learning styles.


"For classroom engagement, it's such a great tool. People are using it for all different reasons: in-class surveys and polling, and outside-of-class engagement. That's why we chose Poll Everywhere four years ago and continue to stay with it."


As Cornell looks to the future, the continued use and expansion of Poll Everywhere remains a top priority. Graham envisions further growth in faculty adoption and usage, with plans to incorporate Attendance Management and recently enhanced grading functionalities to better meet the evolving needs of instructors and students alike.

Poll Everywhere allows you to boost classroom engagement, seamlessly integrate with your current software, and collect valuable grading and participation data. It is used thousands of times daily for knowledge checks, student engagement, and formal assessments. If you need a real-time classroom engagement tool, schedule a demo to find out more today.

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