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Classroom Polling/Response Systems

Features

Classroom polling/response systems allow speakers to solicit anonymous or identified feedback from an audience in real time. These systems can be useful for:

  • Assessing comprehension on the fly during a class
  • Exam review sessions
  • Enabling listeners to share opinions, feedback or sensitive information anonymously
  • "Taking the temperature of the room" during a workshop or presentation

The earliest classroom response systems required the use of specialized input devices known as "clickers," which wirelessly transmitted user feedback (typically a one-button answer to a multiple choice question) to a central base station that was connected to the presentation computer. The spread of smartphones, laptops and wireless tablet devices has eliminated the need to for a dedicated clicker device, however, and the most popular "modern" systems are wholly web-based and allow audience members to use their own personal devices to respond to polling. These newer systems require less logistic planning and are thus easier to use for occasional or one-off polling situations.

Getting Started

  • See the In-Class Polling page of the Educational Technology Resources guide for an overview of available polling options, recommendations about which options fit which use cases, and links to pedagogical strategies for using them.
  • For help choosing the appropriate polling solution and getting started, click Request a Consultation above. A member of the Educational Technology Services team will contact you about setting up an appointment.
  • To make sure all of your audience members can respond:
    • If you can, ask participants in advance to bring a laptop, tablet or smart phone that can run a web browser or notify you if they cannot.
    • Borrow iPads from our loan pool for participants those who can't or don't
    • Pair participants and each pair submit a single response (this can have additional pedagogical benefits)
  • Note: Organizing group responses can be particularly helpful in very large classes or meetings, as drastically decreasing responses decrease demand on the wireless infrastructure, the polling software, and the oversight of the poll administrator.

Support

  • For help choosing and setting up a polling solution, Request a Consultation with ETS staff using the button above.
  • For help troubleshooting issues with the polling software itself, please consult the company's support resources. LITS staff do not necessarily have the resources, expertise or power to fix problems with third-party software.
  • Individuals that are having difficulty connecting to Bryn Mawr College's wireless or to the Internet when on BMC's wireless network should contact the Help Desk (610-526-7440, help@brynmawr.edu or stop by 1st floor in Canaday Library).
  • If you are attempting to run a poll and you notice multiple people having wireless or Internet connectivity problems in a particular room, please report this to the Help Desk so that it can be investigated.  
 
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