Managing responses & participants

As part of your Poll Everywhere account, you have a number of options regarding how responses are treated, and how you manage the participants who are responding to your polls.

Response options

There are a number of options for customizing the way your audience can respond and how those responses are treated:

  • Responses per participant: Set how many times your participants can respond to each poll, or allow each participant unlimited responses to a poll.
  • Grading: Mark one or more of your response options as correct and show the correct option on your chart. (You can also run a gradebook report on the results to import into your grading system or to sort this report to find the winner.)
  • Identify participants: Choose how you want to identify your participants with their responses
  • Anonymous responses: Allow participants to respond to polls without their identities being revealed, even if they are registered with your account.
  • Change answer: Allows participants to undo and re-submit their response. This setting is enabled by default.
  • Custom reply messages: Send a custom message to participants after they respond to your poll with a link or a thank you.

Responses per participant

You can set how many times your participants can respond to each poll.

The “Each person may respond” setting is found in the Response Settings menu of each poll. This menu can be accessed by opening a poll and selecting the Response Settings on the right side of the poll.

For polls where it is very important that participants adhere to the response limit, it is best to allow SMS text responses only, as it is the most secure. Limiting the number of web-based responses requires that each participant uses the same device and the same browser to respond, and that the browser has cookies enabled.


You can mark one or more options as correct to grade incoming responses. You will be able to reveal the correct answer live on your results chart. You will also be able to download a report that grades all the responses to the poll and provides a ranking of your participants based on the number of correct responses and the average response time.

You can mark the correct answer with the gray checkmark right on the poll creation menu. Or, select “Grade incoming responses” from the Edit menu of each poll. This menu can be accessed by clicking a poll’s Edit link on your Activities page or by opening a poll and selecting Edit on the bottom-right side of the poll.

Under the Responses menu select Grade incoming responses in order to enable grading.

Check grade incoming responses

On Multiple Choice polls, you can mark correct responses. If you have registered participants, you can track individual scores using a gradebook report.

Mark as correct

Once you have marked which option(s) is correct, you will be able to reveal the correct response(s) on the live chart. To do so, hover over the upper right corner of the poll while in fullscreen mode. From the menu of options that appears, select the Toggle Correctness icon. The correct answer(s) will be highlighted in green.

Toggle correctness

With Clickable Image Polls, the click regions you set can be considered correct responses. Participants will receive credit for clicking within the set region.

Mark clicks as correct

You can display the click region(s) and responses by hovering over the chart. A menu of icons will appear. Select the Show Regions and/or the Show Clicks icons.

Show regions and/or clicks

Identify participants

You can choose the way you want participants to identify themselves on each of your poll activities. This allows you to see who submitted each response. There are two ways to identify your participants: collect screen names or require participant registration.

Collecting screen names is the simplest way to identify your participants. This setting lives in the poll configuration panel under ‘Audience restriction & identity’.


Selecting this option will prompt your participants for a self-reported name before they can respond to your poll. Your participants can also skip this screen to receive an auto-generated screen name.

Participant screen name

If you want to display participant screen names on a open-ended or Q&A poll, click on the visual settings icon and go to ‘Message item’ and click on ‘Show participants’.

Show screen name on viz

The ‘Screen names’ option is on by default for all your polls. If you do not wish to identify your participants, you can turn off this option within the ‘Poll settings’ tab under ‘My settings’.

My settings

Poll settings

For account owners who wish to disable screen names for all users on your account, go to the ‘Account settings’ tab under ‘Account admin’.

Account admin

Account settings

Note: This feature is currently not available for SMS users.

To see participants names, you can run a report (all reports except Executive Summary will have names available).

Reports with screen name

You can also view it on the poll’s response history page. Upgrade to see all three identity columns.

Poll Response History

Anonymous responses

You can allow participants to respond to your polls without ever revealing their identities to yourself or other participants, even if they are registered with your account. You will not be able to correlate anonymous responses from the same participant with any other responses from the same participant. Anonymous polls are also excluded from all report types, except the Executive Summary.

Once a poll is made anonymous, the change cannot be undone.

To allow anonymous responses select Response settings on the right hand side of the poll.


In the menu, select Make responses anonymous.

Make responses anonymous

Change answer

This setting allows your participants to clear their response and submit another when the poll is active and unlocked.

Clear responses

Participants will be able to clear their responses from the response page by clicking the Clear button, and users who are participating by text will be able to clear their responses by sending “clear” or “undo.” This action will clear all results that the participant has submitted to that poll question.

Custom reply messages

You can customize a reply message to be sent to participants once they have responded to your poll via SMS texting. You can also choose not to send any reply message at all.

Reply message

The Reply message option is found in the Response settings menu. Open the poll, and click the Response settings menu on the right side.

If you are not able to customize the reply message, it means you are on a plan that does not include custom reply messages. You will need to upgrade to use this feature. Customize reply message

Timing your polls

There are a number of options for customizing when your audience can respond to your polls:

  • Countdown timer: You can set a timer on your poll and give your participants a set amount of time in which to respond.
  • Auto lock/unlock time: You can schedule a poll to automatically lock or unlock.

Countdown timer

You can set a timer on your poll to limit the amount of time your participants have to respond. The timer will begin to countdown when you activate your poll, turning red as the poll nears its close. Once the timer hits zero, your poll will automatically lock, and no more responses will be accepted for that poll.

Timer: step 1

To set the timer, hover over the bottom left corner of a poll. Click the timer bar. Enter how long you’d like your poll to remain open (minutes and seconds). You can disable the timer by clicking the small X within the icon. You can pause the timer by clicking on the pause button within the icon.

Segmentation and Team Competitions

With segmentation, you can combine responses from multiple questions to show something interesting or fun. This feature is used to show how responses are correlated across multiple questions or to see how different groups/segments respond throughout your presentation (e.g., how women in the audience responded versus men in the audience.) It is one of our most powerful features.

It’s called Segmentation, because you divide a set of responses by another poll that divides your audience into segments. For example, you could run a poll saying “Pick a team: Red, Green, Blue, or Black,” and the segmentation feature will divide the audience into four groups based on their responses, and remember these parameters over the course of the segmented polls that follow. It is similar to running correlations, pivot tables, crosstabs, or stacked charts except that the results appear live in your chart.

Watch video on segmentation

This feature is only available with certain paid plans.

The Segmentation option is found in the Visual Settings menu of multiple choice polls.

Step 1. To access the Visual Settings menu, select the poll from the Activities page by clicking on the poll’s title.

Step 2. Select the Visual Settings paintbrush icon from the top of the list.

Segmentation: step 2

Step 3. Locate the Segmentation tab toward the bottom of the list and click Enable.

Segmentation: step 3

Step 4. From the drop-down menu, select the poll to segment by (i.e., how you would like the responses to your poll to be grouped, usually a previous qualifying question).

Segmentation: step 4

Step 5. You can customize the segmented chart by editing the settings in the Segment Responses and Legend menus that appear.

Segmentation: step 5


You can approve or reject responses to open-ended polls before they appear live on-screen. This can save quite a bit of embarrassment if you have a few pranksters in the audience.

To enable the Moderation feature, scroll to the section below your poll at the bottom left and check the box next to Moderator.

Moderation: step 2

Once enabled, you can click Hide to reject a response and hide it from the chart. You can select Show and the response will display on the Live Text Wall or Word Cloud. Nothing will display on the chart unless you choose to Show it.

Moderation: step 3

If you are presenting from a single screen (e.g., on a single laptop with no switcher) you or a teammate can log in from a second computer to moderate responses, or you can approve responses on your smartphone or web-enabled device using the Mobile Presenter app for iOS and Android. The approved responses show up on the poll you are presenting.

Watch moderation video

This feature is only available with certain paid plans.


With registration, you can identify participants and their responses by name, email, or other identifying information (e.g., student ID, personnel number). You can also restrict responses on your polls to registered participants only.

This feature is often used when it is important to securely and reliably track participation, for example, in classrooms, sensitive corporate events, and continuing medical education programs.

It is Poll Everywhere’s policy to never sell, rent, or otherwise share emails and phone numbers entrusted to us with any organization or third party. Please review our Privacy Policy for more details.

This feature is only available with certain paid plans.

Registration guide for presenters

There are several ways to register participants to your polls:

  • Import a list of participants (e.g., from an Excel spreadsheet)
  • Connect directly to your Learning Management System
  • Distribute a link to all participants and have them input their own information

Import a list of participants

You can import a list of participants and automatically register them to participate in your polls. This essentially creates accounts for your participants if you have all the required information. Your participants can 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.

You can also organize your participants into a specific group when you import the list, or you can assign them to groups manually after you have registered them.

Note: There is a limit of 100 participants per file.

Step 1. Go to the Participants tab accessible from your Activities page. This page will show any participants who have already registered to your account.

Import a list of participants step 1

Step 2. Click the Add button 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 screen name, 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 if you wish.

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 people 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 records that were imported successfully and those that were not.

Connect directly to your LMS

You can automatically download a student roster from your Learning Management System. A participant group will be created for each course and imported participants will be grouped by course automatically.

Step 1. Go to the Participants tab accessible from your Activities page. This page will show any participants who have already registered to your account.

Connect directly to your LMS: step 1

Step 2. Click the Add button and select the Connect to LMS option.

Connect directly to your LMS: step 2

Step 3. Follow the instructions to connect to your LMS and import your student roster.

Connect directly to your LMS: step 3

We currently integrate with Canvas and BlackBoard, with more LMS integrations planned. Please email us to let us know which you would like us to work on next.

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.

Step 1. Go to the Participants tab, accessible from your Activities page. This page will show any participants who have already registered to your account.

Distribute a link: step 1

Step 2. Click the Add button 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.)

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 number with any third party.) If you have any questions, please visit the Poll Everywhere User Guide (

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

Editing participant information

Account owners and administrators can assist participants by editing and certifying their mobile number, changing their Responding As data (e.g. student ID, personnel number), and resetting their password.

Step 1. To edit participant data, click the Participants tab at the top of the Activities page.

Distribute a link: step 1

Step 2. Click the … to expand the participants list.

Editing participant information: step 2

Step 3. Click a field to edit participant information. If you are editing a participant’s phone number, and you are certain it is correct, you can mark it as certified. Otherwise, this person can certify the number, using their phone.

Restricting participation

Once you have registered participants, you can restrict poll participation to only those who have registered.

You can do this through the Who can respond option. This can be accessed by clicking a poll title on your My Polls page to open the poll, and selecting Response settings on the right hand side of the poll.

Response settings

Under Who can respond, select Registered participants only.

Restricting participation

Registration guide for participants

If you are going to be part of an audience or class where Poll Everywhere is being used, you may receive a registration link. This allows you to share your name and other information, like your email address or a student ID, with the presenter or instructor.

Registering with the presenter or instructor allows them to associate your responses with your email, name, or other identifying information. It also allows them to restrict participation to only those who have registered.

It is Poll Everywhere’s policy to never sell, rent, or otherwise share emails and phone numbers entrusted to us with any organization or third party. Please review our Privacy Policy for more detail.

Step 1. To register with a presenter, click the participant invitation link sent to you by the presenter, speaker, or educator.

Step 2. Fill in your name and email address, and create a password. Remember to log in when responding via the web, to make sure your responses are attributed to you.

Step 3. Review the terms, and click Register My Account if you agree.

Step 4. To edit or enter any additional identification information, select Registration under Settings. Click Details to the right of your registered course and complete or edit the info there, such as how your instructor will identify you, or your phone number. For example, enter your mobile number if you plan to respond via SMS text messaging.

Registration guide for participants

Step 5. If planning to respond via SMS text messaging, you need to certify your mobile phone number. To do so, text the word CERTIFY to the number indicated on the instruction page. You will need to send this text from the mobile phone you will be using to respond.

Registration guide for participants

Note: We will NOT send you a text message reminding you to certify your phone number. We do not send uninitiated text messages, in order to protect your privacy, and to prevent others from setting you up to receive unwanted spam.