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.
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.
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.
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.”
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