Want to dig a little deeper? You'll find brand new resources, specialized to your particular use, in the Guidebooks.

Educators' guide

I am an Instructor

You may have had previous experience with clickers or other audience response systems (ARS). The great thing about Poll Everywhere is that you can engage your classroom or meeting without any clunky and easy-to-forget hardware-- and with a device you can be certain most everyone has on them at all times-- a mobile phone! You’ll be asking your students to use their phones, tablets, or laptops to respond to polls that you present. The results appear live on the display. You can use this tool to quiz your class, discuss the results, and use that insight to guide the classroom discussion or curriculum as you move forward through your presentation.

It’s fun to work with the eager, outgoing students. Holding the attention of bored or disinterested students is a bigger challenge. So is the ongoing, tug-of-war effort to get quiet students to contribute in class. Conversation has the power to engage anyone, even a restless group of students, but it’s not always easy to have a productive conversation in the classroom setting.

Real-time polling allows you to transform one-way lectures into two-way conversations, instantly. In the time it would take one student to raise a hand and respond, live polling allows you to hear from every student in class, and then tailor instruction to their needs. Project responses up on a screen in front of class, and this low-pressure way of getting everyone to contribute also makes students feel empowered.

Resources for learning how to use the tool

The best way to learn how to use Poll Everywhere is to simply create some polls and test them out. We encourage new users to explore the site to learn firsthand how to customize a poll, format different poll types, run reports and more! We do our best to create helpful content to equip our users, so here’s what we’ve got for you to explore:

User Guide for step-by step instructions: www.polleverywhere.com/guide

Video Guide for speedy and fun review: www.polleverywhere.com/videos

Webinar A weekly interactive lesson on the basics of how to create a poll, customize polls, insert the slides into Powerpoint, and run reports. Every Thursday at 1pm PST/4pm EST: www.poll4.com/webinar

Registering your students for your course

You can register students to your polls by importing a list of participants (e.g., from an Excel spreadsheet) or by distributing a link to all participants and have them input their own information. To import students from your LMS please see the LMS Integration section below.

We recommend organizing your participants into specific groups by course, such as Econ 101, using bulk import, the invitation link, or you can assign students to groups manually after you have registered them. These groups are only visible within each account, are helpful for organizing courses, and are essential to running an Attendance poll. Canvas and Blackboard roster import groups by course automatically.

Import a list of participants

You can import a list of participants and automatically register them to participate in your polls. This essentially creates participant accounts for your students if you have all the required information. Your participants can then simply log in with the email address and password you’ve assigned them. If a participant wants to respond via text, and you have not included a mobile phone number on their registration, they must log in and enter the phone number that they will be using to respond. They must also certify their phone number in order for text responses to be associated with their participant account.

  • Step 1. Go to the Participants tab accessible from your My Polls page. This page will show any participants who have already registered to your institution’s license, not just the students in your courses.

Import a list of participants step 1

  • Step 2. Click the Add Participant button toward the left of the screen and select the Import option.

Import a list of participants step 2

  • Step 3. Download the CSV template provided or create your own with the same column order indicated. Email, first name, and last name are required information. You can also include a password, a US phone number, and a responding as identifier (e.g., a nickname, student ID.) Leave blank columns for fields you choose to omit.
  • Step 4. Save the spreadsheet as a CSV file.
  • Step 5. Return to Poll Everywhere and import the CSV file. At this point, you can also define a default password and create a participant group.

Import a list of participants step 5

  • Step 6. Click the Continue button.

Import a list of participants step 6

We will validate the file and show you progress. Validation includes checking the list of participants for duplicates.

Once we’ve validated all the students in your CSV file, we’ll show you any errors we can fix, errors we can’t fix without your help, and all the lines which are crystal clean. At this point you can correct any errors in your CSV file and start this process again from the beginning or click Continue to import the validated records.

Once the import is complete, you’ll be able to see the students that were imported successfully and those that were not.

You can distribute a personal invitation link to participants (e.g., via email.) When they follow this link, participants will certify their email address and phone number (if they will be participating via SMS texting) and create a password. They may also provide their name. If they already have an account with us, they’ll simply be placed into the correct participant group.

  • Step 1. Go to the Participants tab, accessible from your My Polls page. This page will show any participants who have already registered to your institution’s license, not just the students in your courses.

Distribute a link: step 1

  • Step 2. In the Groups section along the right, click New Group to create a group for each course. After clicking Done, click Invite next to the course you’re registering, and copy the link that appears in the box.

Distribute a link:: step 2

  • Step 3. Distribute the link to participants (e.g., by pasting it into an email.)

Distribute a link: step 3

Here is an example message you can include along with the link you send:

I will be using Poll Everywhere to collect your feedback. Please follow the link I provided in order to register to my account.

By registering with my account, I will be able to view your email and see your responses to my polls (unless the poll is clearly marked as anonymous).

You will be asked to provide your email address, certify your mobile phone number (if you would like to participate in my polls via SMS texting), and create a password. You may also choose to share your name with me after you register. (Your information is protected, and Poll Everywhere will never share emails or phone numbers with any third party.) If you have any questions, please visit the Poll Everywhere User Guide (http://www.polleverywhere.com/user-guide).

Thank you! I look forward to your participation in my polls.

Quick mobile registration

Once the student has created the initial account, or registered for their initial professor, its as easy as clicking one button which won’t interrupt the class flow for more than 3 seconds. Here’s how:

Create a poll and under Configure you’ll want to:

  • restrict the poll to registered participants only or
  • restrict voting to just web, not both web and text.

Students trying to respond to that poll will be prompted to click a single register button. If they are not logged in or do not yet have an account, they’ll be able to login or create an account quickly. Once logged in, they may have to join the session again by typing in your username at which point they’ll see the same registration button. After a few seconds, the students will see a confirmation checkmark, and then will be able to continue with the polling session as normal. This whole process can take a few seconds to a minute depending on if the students have an account and are already logged in.

mobile-registration

mobile-registration

mobile-registration

mobile-registration

Student registration documents

Here is a guide for Instructors to present or send out to students to show them how to sign up and/or register for your course. If your students are having trouble registering, please reference these guides that we offer in two formats:

Download as PDF or Download as .PPTX

Adding TA’s or other instructors to the account

Adding subusers allows you to share a paid plan’s enhanced capabilities with additional presenters (not students). Each sub-user receives their own Poll Everywhere user account, so for a TA’s breakout session. TA’s are not necessarily able to log in to your account to run reports or create polls by being a subuser. The additional users are able to create their own polls within their own account. The number of sub-users allowed is determined by your plan, so make please check with your account administrator before adding a subuser.

  • Step 1. To add a subuser, go to your My Polls page and click the Settings link at the top of the page.

Adding subusers: step 1

  • Step 2. Select Manage users from the menu on the left side.

Adding subusers: step 2

  • Step 3. Click Add more users.

Adding subusers: step 3

  • Step 4. Enter the email addresses of the people you wish to add as users to your account in the text box. Place each email address on a new line.

Adding subusers: step 4

  • Step 5. Check the box stating you understand that you are sharing your premium features with sub users and click Send invitations.

Adding subusers: step 5

The top portion of the page will show invitations that have been accepted. You can view the number of polls and the last login for each. You can also grant admin privileges to a user by checking the box next to their name in the Admin column. Warning: Sub-users with admin privileges can make changes to and delete other users' polls.

Subusers: users

The bottom portion of the page will show pending invitations that have not yet been accepted. You can right click on View Invitation, and copy/paste the link to send the invitation in your own email. This is useful if the original invite has trouble getting through spam filters.

Subusers: invitations

Use cases and inspiration

End-of-lesson feedback

usecases end-of-lesson

It’s frustrating when you ask “Any questions?” at the end of class and hear silence, especially when you can tell that there are concepts that need to be reviewed or explained further. Instead of waiting for students to speak up, create a Q&A poll where students can upvote the questions they want answered. This poll takes minimal time to create and execute, and makes it clear where students stand. You can address the responses that rise to the top immediately, or use them to plan tomorrow’s lesson.

Instant formative assessment

usecases instant assessment

Adjust lessons in the moment, based on understanding, interest, or knowledge retention, with live polling. Plan a poll for halfway through the lesson to gauge understanding. You can do this formative assessment-style poll as often as every 15 minutes to keep instruction in line with students’ needs at all times. Use a simple multiple-choice poll to see if students are keeping up with the material, or use an open-ended poll to allow questions and free-form responses. Because results show on the screen instantly, you can make quick adjustments to your lesson plan, fill the gaps in understanding and move on.

Make a prediction

usecases prediction

When you allow students to predict what happens next, in a text or a lesson, you get instant buy-in, and a big curiosity boost. Fun prediction poll ideas include:

  • How will the main character react to this problem?
  • What will happen when oxygen is introduced to the compound?
  • What number will come next in this series?

Students get a sense of validation when they see their predictions appear on-screen along with everyone else’s. And because there’s no need to raise a hand or speak out loud, even the quietest students can participate comfortably and feel proud when they see they answered correctly.

Sensitive discussions

usecases sensitive

It’s not easy to get a group of students to open up about topics like bullying, sexuality, family, dating, substance abuse, etc. It can be just as tough to convince them to speak up when they don’t understand the material in class. In these instances, use an anonymous, open-response poll. You can conduct the poll live, and use the built in moderation tools to filter out unproductive or inappropriate comments. This type of polling helps facilitate a powerful moment for your students; often they see other answers on the screen and realize, “Oh, I’m not the only one who feels this way.”

Six-word thesis

usecases thesis

Encourage students to distill a complex topic into six well-chosen words to show their mastery of a subject. This is especially beneficial for concepts taught in history, literature, government and social sciences.Use this technique to kick off an essay assignment in one of these subjects. The six words students entered into the poll can be used as a starting place for developing their thesis statement. After class discussion, the statements can be transferred from the poll to a shared Google Doc for further comments and development at home. This polling process provokes a thoughtful investigation of the topic as a class.

Find more inspiration and use cases at http://www.polleverywhere.com/use_cases

Presenter tips and best practices

  • Presenter notes. This short guide will show you what to expect, based on feedback from thousands of nervous presenters who came before you, how to maximize your audience response rate, and how to give clear instructions verbally and in print: Download as PDF
  • Visual Aids. We've created instructional graphics and slides for you! Show these to your audience to put them at ease and teach them how to participate. These are particularly helpful for first time audiences: Download as .PPT slide or Download as PDF

Gradebook and other reports

Gradebook

The Gradebook is a compact table with participants listed down the left and questions across the columns. It shows scores, participation, and attendance. Sort by rank to use as a leaderboard, which when there’s a tie takes speed of response into account. This report requires your polls to have Grading enabled, with the correct answers indicated. The Gradebook report only work for poll types in which you can designate a correct response: multiple choice and clickable image polls.

gradebook legend

gradebook

Participant response history and map

If you’re tracking for results rather than correctness, but are still interested in seeing how individual students responded, you can try using the participant report. The Participant response history displays when and how each individual response was submitted. It is useful for correlating participant responses. Each column represents a poll, and each row represents a unique participant (determined by participants' browser cookies or mobile numbers).

gradebook map

LMS integration

Blackboard integration

Follow these steps to finish configure your Poll Everywhere gradebook for integration with Blackboard.

Importing students

  • Step 1. Log in or create your Poll Everywhere account at www.polleverywhere.com.
  • Step 2. Visit polleverywhere.com/participants, find the button “Add participant” and “connect to LMS”. Select Blackboard and follow the instructions on the screen. Anytime you want to import participants or resync them, you can do so through www.polleverywhere.com/participants.
  • Step 3. Import students. When you click on the tool, it will redirect you to a polleverywhere.com page where you can select and import your course rosters.

Import Course Roster

This will create participant accounts for any of your students who do not already have one. The participant user login will be the email address from Blackboard and a password that you choose. Designating a password here will only apply to new student accounts. Students who already have accounts established will not be affected, they will simply be organized into the correct participant group. Please be sure to import all of your students from Blackboard, even those you may have previously imported. This may take a few minutes.

  • Step 4. Now you have designated participant groups. This import will automatically create participant groups by course in your Poll Everywhere account in the right-side panel of your participants page, https://www.polleverywhere.com/participants.
    • Communicate to your students either via email or in class that they should log in to www.polleverywhere.com using their email from Blackboard, and the password you’ve designated. Have them log in and change their password to something private.

Exporting grades

  • Step 1. In order to export grades from Poll Everywhere to Blackboard, a gradebook report in Poll Everywhere must be created first.
  • Step 2. Once you’ve created the report, select the option in the bottom right, “export to Blackboard.”

Export to Blackboard

  • Step 3. The grades will smoothly export to Blackboard, but only for the students you have already imported through Blackboard. Therefore, if you have used methods other than Bb to import your participants, you will need to use the portal to re-import your students. This process shouldn't affect anything negatively.

Download the PDF

Canvas integration

Importing students

  • Step 1. Log in or create your Poll Everywhere account at www.polleverywhere.com.
  • Step 2. Visit polleverywhere.com/participants, find the button “Add participant” and “connect to LMS”. Select Canvas and follow the instructions on the screen.
    • Hosted Accounts: When asked to choose either hosted or self hosted choose “Hosted”.
    • Self-Hosted Accounts: When asked to choose either hosted or self hosted choose “​Self-Hosted”.
    • Unsure: If you’re unsure if your account is hosted or self-hosted, please contact your institution’s Canvas account manager.

Import Course Roster

In the future, anytime you want to import participants or resync them, you can do so through polleverywhere.com/participants under this LMS button.

  • Step 3. Import students. When you click on the tool, it will redirect you to a polleverywhere.com page where you can select and import your course rosters.

Import Course Roster

This will create participant accounts for any of your students who do not already have one. The participant user login will be the email address from Canvas and a password that you choose. Designating a password here will only apply to new student accounts. Students who already have accounts established will not be affected, they will simply be organized into the correct participant group. Please be sure to import all of your students from Canvas, even those you may have previously imported. This may take a few minutes.

  • Step 4. Now you have designated participant groups. This import will automatically create participant groups by course in your Poll Everywhere account in the right-side panel of your participants page, https://www.polleverywhere.com/participants.
    • Communicate to your students either via email or in class that they should log in to www.polleverywhere.com using their email from Canvas, and the password you’ve designated. Have them log in and change their password to something private.

Exporting grades

  • Step 1. In order to export grades from Poll Everywhere to Canvas, a gradebook report in Poll Everywhere must be created first.

    • Refer to our blog post for more information on creating gradebook reports: polleverywhere.com/blog/whats-in-a-gradebook.
  • Step 2. Once you’ve created the report, select the option in the bottom right, “export to Canvas.”

Import Course Roster

  • Step 3. The grades will smoothly export to Canvas, but only for the students you have already imported through Canvas. Therefore, if you have used methods other than Canvas to import your participants, you will need to use the portal to re-import your students. This process shouldn't affect anything negatively.

Download the Hosted PDF

Download the Self-Hosted PDF

Educator FAQs

Does this cost the students money?

Your license includes the cost of students signing up as a participant, and they should not have to pay anything unless your sign up for the Student Pays Plan. As far as texting, we don't charge anything to the participants. If they send a text message to us, it'll be the same price as if they had texted a regular phone number.

Some students are unable to respond via text, why are they getting this error?

Their particular cell carrier may block the use of short codes. US participants can try texting to the number (747) 444-3548 instead of 37607. This is our backup North American number and should work in the US and Canada.

A student has been responding and can see their own response history, but I (the instructor) cannot.

Please make sure the student’s account was created with the same email address as you have associated with that student under your ‘Participants’ tab. Often times students create participant accounts or even standard presenter accounts under a duplicate or personal email.

  • make sure the student is logged in while responding
  • make sure the student has the correct email address associated with their registration to your account. This can be edited under Settings> Registration > Details
  • If the student is responding via text, make sure their cell phone number is registered and certified to their Poll Everywhere account.

For more detail and step-by-step screenshots, please reference the documents linked under Student Registration Documents.

I am a Student

Are you trying to register for a course?

Student FAQ

How do I check my grade?

You can always check your response history to all polls, including graded poll by logging in to your account, and then click Settings at the top. From there click response history along the right, and you’ll be able to see all of the polls you’ve responded to including the question and response options- great for study review!

I already have an account / my email address is already taken. Do I need to delete this account to register as a participant on an instructor’s account?

No. Simply log in to your account first (you can reset your password if you forgot it) and then click the participant registration link your instructor has distributed.

How do I register as a participant on an instructor's account?

Your instructor will usually share a registration link. They might send it by email, include it in the syllabus, or post it on a class web page. It usually looks something like "polleverywhere.com/register?p=0123-abcd".

You can also register by signing in to your account and accessing your registrations page. There you can search for your instructor by their email address.

If you don't have a registration link and you can't seem to find an instructor by their email address, you'll need to contact your instructor for help.

How do I enter my student ID, username, or an alternate identifier?

Your instructor can always see your email address, but sometimes they'll also want you to provide a username, login, or other student ID.

If you need to add this, sign in and go to your registrations page. Click the "Details" link under the appropriate university, department, or instructor, and enter an alternate identifier.

What information can my instructor see about me?

Unless your instructor is running an anonymous poll, your name and email will always be available to them next to your answers. If you provide an alternate identifier, they can also see that. Your full phone number is never shared with them, but in some reports they can see the last 4 digits of your phone number. This serves two important purposes:

  • If you're looking at a computer with your instructor, you can easily verify that your certified phone number is right. This helps you troubleshoot any problems with getting credit for your answers.

  • It encourages you to not act like a jerk and submit stupid messages to open response questions. Yes, most live screens in front of your peers are completely anonymous. Yes, you should take risks without feeling self-conscious. No, you shouldn't delight in buffoonery / be a nincompoop / act a fool.

I have several instructors with Poll Everywhere accounts where I have to pay, as the student. Do I need to pay separately for each of them?

No. You will only have to pay the annual cost once to be able to register on any number of accounts.

When texting, why do I get a message about 'cannot deliver message to this shortcode' or 'message blocking is active'?

This usually means you have texting to shortcodes disabled for your your specific cell phone subscription plan with your mobile carrier. Usually, calling your carrier's customer service (611) and making sure texting to shortcodes is enabled takes care of the problem.

The other potential cause is that you're on a small regional mobile carrier we don't currently support (for example, Appalachian Wireless).

If you cannot enable shortcode support, you may text in your responses to our backup 10-digit number: (747) 444-3548. Please note that this number is to be used sparingly and only by those who cannot otherwise text to the US-based shortcodes we offer. You will not receive confirmation reply messages from this number.

Keep in mind that to certify your phone number, you'll need to text to this backup number instead of the shortcode.

Do I need to certify my phone number? If so, how do I certify my phone number?

If your instructor requires you to register to participate (usually to see participation or attendance) and you are responding via text message instead of the web, you will need to certify your number so your instructor can identify your responses.

To certify your number log in and go to your Personal Info page under your account settings. Make sure to type in your mobile phone number and click the certify link. Follow the instructions to send your certification text message.

My instructor hasn’t received my responses, even though I have registered on their account

If you are responding with a web device, make sure you are signed in before responding to your instructor’s polls.

If you are responding via text message, make sure you have certified your mobile number. Once you have certified your number your previous ‘unregistered’ responses will be tied to your account.

My response went to the wrong poll. What’s going on?

The presenter may have moved on to another poll just before you sent your response. If the presenter activates a different poll in the same presenter session before your response to the first poll is sent, and the current poll allows the type of response you chose, your response will end up in the poll that is currently active.

For example, if the first poll contains multiple choice responses like A, B, and C, you might respond by texting “A”. However, if the presenter moves on to the next poll before your response is received, and that poll also allows “A”, then your response will go to the active poll.

One other possible cause could be that you have not joined the correct presenter session. To stop responding to a presenter’s polls, text LEAVE. Then join the correct presenter session by texting that presenter’s username to the SMS number.