Wednesday, October 16, 2013 by Melanie Healy

Ever have a hard time prying your students’ eyes off of their cell phones as class begins? A tool I like to use in my classes is Unlike some of the other free web-based polling tools available, there is no class size limit to this tool.

I’ve used this tool in a couple of ways. The first is as a “quick and dirty” method to engage students in the upcoming topic, or as check of base knowledge as the students enter class.

I send a bulk email to students five or ten minutes before the start of class with a link to the poll, along with the four number poll ID. A note on the overhead projector will prompt them to use the link and ID on their email to answer the questions via phone, laptop or other device. Students can complete the quick survey as they’re settling into their seats.

Students can then watch real-time results as others log in and complete the survey. As class begins, I project the results on the overhead, and talk briefly about each question.

The other way the tool might be used is as a midpoint or end-of-class check for understanding, or as a review of content from the previous lecture. This tool can also be used effectively as a prompt for a discussion question in an online course. is another good alternative for class sizes of 40 or less.

Try one of the mock polls that my students helped me with here. Poll ID is 1487:

Submitted by Melanie Healy, Exercise and Sports Science