Have you heard about Poll Everywhere yet ? It’s the new classroom polling software we now offer to Law School faculty members! Poll Everywhere can be very useful to get your students engaged in discussion, or to answer difficult or opinion-based questions with the safety of anonymity. (If you register your students, you can see and track their individual responses on your account page, but their responses will not be visible to other students.)
One major benefit of using Poll Everywhere is that responses are submitted from students’ mobile device or laptop instead of having to distribute physical clickers.
In this blog post, I’ll attempt to cover the basics of Poll Everywhere with screen shots to help you get started. There are many details that I won’t cover in this post, so please feel free to schedule a training session with me – just contact me at: chamm (at) richmond.edu. (email address has been written this way to avoid spam)
SETTING UP AN ACCOUNT
If you want an account, you will have to be added by an admin (either Roger Skalbeck or I). Once you’re registered, you’ll receive an email containing a link that will allow you to set your own password and log in. The confirmation will state that you’ve been added by Roger Skalbeck (even if I added you), since he is the main moderator of the Law School’s shared account.
This is the main “dashboard” screen that you’ll see once you’ve set up your account and are logged in with the email and password you’ve created:
CREATING YOUR FIRST POLLS
Under the POLLS tab, click the orange CREATE button on the top left of the dashboard. (Creating a Survey is different, so ignore that big yellow box for now, but FYI it’s a new feature Poll Everywhere is offering to deliver questions in a group instead of one at a time. Poll Everywhere has a tutorial online if you click Learn More)
Here’s what pops up when you click CREATE. Enter your Question here, and then add the possible answers below that. Then click the blue CREATE button in this window.
Your question will then be saved in the POLLS tab for future use. You can GROUP polls into sets for each class you’re teaching by using the GROUP button (among the many buttons above your question list) after selecting the polls you wish to group together. This can be a handy way to organize the questions you want to use for each class.
HIDE THE CHART WHILE POLLING
When creating the polls, you will also want to set the chart to be hidden by default when you use it in class. This is handy because you don’t want your students to base their responses on others’ responses. Do this by clicking the HIDE CHART button (see below, right) – aka, the “eyeball with a slash through it”. You can toggle the HIDE CHART button to show the chart after responses have been received.
Poll activation happens automatically in Powerpoint so it’s important to select HIDE CHART during slide creation. If you’re running the polls from within Poll Everywhere’s website, you’ll have to activate them manually.
INTEGRATING POLL EVERYWHERE WITH POWERPOINT
Once you have created your polls, you can download them as a Powerpoint by clicking the SLIDES button (also found above your question list) after selecting the questions you want to use by checking the boxes next to each question, or by selecting the box next to the group you have created. You can integrate these slides into a larger deck with your class content by copying them over and placing them where you want them to appear during your class.
Before you can use Poll Everywhere on the classroom computer using Powerpoint, you must download the Poll Ev Presenter App and sign in under the newly created Poll Everywhere tab in Powerpoint. If you want to use your personal laptop, if it is a Mac, you must download the Poll Ev Presenter App, then search for the Poll Ev Presenter App in Finder, open that program, and log into it, before launching Powerpoint (this is a Mac specific variation of the software since the Poll Everywhere tab will not appear on Powerpoint for Mac.)
The Poll Ev Presenter App download link is to the right of the dashboard when you are logged in (see screen cap below).
Once you’ve downloaded the Poll Ev Presenter App (which is basically a plug-in for Powerpoint on PCs, and a standalone App on a Mac), you can now run the Poll Everywhere slides from within Powerpoint. On a PC, click the new Poll Everywhere tab that appears in Powerpoint after installing the App, then LOG IN using your Poll Everywhere account email and password. On a Mac, as stated earlier, you must open Poll Ev Presenter App and log in before opening Powerpoint.
In the Powerpoint below, no Poll Slides have been added, but you can see the new Poll Everywhere tab on the right (Windows only). On the left you will notice that you can log in to Poll Everywhere, and even insert slides from your account or create new Polls “on the fly”. On a Mac this is done separately through the Poll Ev Presenter App and not through Powerpoint.
The poll slides will not show the actual questions until your Powerpoint is running. So they will initially look like this until you start the slideshow. Below the slide preview you will see the question in text form to help you tell which slide is which.
Once the slideshow is running, students can respond through the Polleverywhere URL listed on the slide, download the App to their mobile device and connect to your session through the PollEverywhere mobile App, or answer by text if they have a simple flip phone. The basic instructions will appear at the top of the poll.
When you’re ready to show the results, just toggle the HIDE CHART button again and the bar graph will appear. (Below is a slide we used during our Technology Bootcamp last year)
ADDING PARTICIPANTS (STUDENTS) TO TRACK INDIVIDUAL RESPONSES
Students must be logged in for you to be able to track their individual responses later. You can add your students all at once by uploading a custom Excel spreadsheet provided on the Participants tab in your dashboard. You can also generate a link to send to them to have them sign up themselves. NOTE: If you don’t need to track student responses, then there’s no need to register them, anyone with the link to your presentation can respond.
If you click the orange “+ ADD PARTICIPANTS” button in the Participants tab, you will see the dialogue box below. You have two option for adding participants: batch upload via Excel or send out an account generated link to students via email (the second “Connect to LMS” option will not work since UR hasn’t activated that feature for Blackboard yet).
If you go the spreadsheet route, make sure the phone numbers are entered also since responses vie TEXT/SMS won’t be recorded unless the participants provide their phone number. If you asked them to set an account up on their own and they plan to respond via TEXT, they must go to their account info section and enter the phone number manually if you need to track their individual responses.
Finally, to save your responses and track overall opinions or to see who is not quite “getting” the material, you can run a number of different types of reports from within your Poll Everywhere account page. Just click the REPORTS tab in your account dashboard and choose the style of report you want. The report file can be downloaded for access later, but it will also be saved in a digital archive of your reports in the REPORTS tab.
It’s a good practice to clear your questions once you’ve generated a report if you plan to use them in a different class or section. You can clear your questions in the POLLS tab by selecting the questions you want to clear and then clicking the CLEAR button in the tab above. When clearing from within your account Poll Everywhere will automatically archive the previous responses by date and time so this is another way to archive responses beyond generating a report. You don’t get this option if you clear your questions manually within Powerpoint.
SETTING A TEMPLATE POLL (to create slides quickly that contain your preferred settings and colors, etc).
If you’re creating a lot of questions and, for example, you want the HIDE CHART button to always be clicked by default, you can set a Template Poll by clicking the wheel next to your name at the top right of your account window, and then selecting Settings.
Then, scroll down to Poll Settings and you can select a poll from your archive that has the attributes and visual settings you want to appear by default – this includes custom fonts, color, background, and… HIDE CHART. Just click SET to the right of the Template Poll section and select the slide that has the preferred attributes when you created it. Once you’ve found your preferred poll slide, select it, and then click “Apply to all my polls”. Setting a Template Poll will make the settings for ALL of your slides the same as your Template Poll, so be sure the Template Slide is set up properly before you click “Apply to all my polls”.
This might very well be the longest blog post on MuseNews to date, so I’ll wrap up by inviting you to contact me (chamm at richmond.edu) if you want a one-on-one tutorial on Poll Everywhere. There are a lot of small details to learn and consider when you first start using this software, but once you get past the initial learning curve, I am confident that you’ll find Poll Everywhere fairly simple and infinitely useful to use!
Thanks for reading this post and I hope it helps!
Carl Hamm – Multimedia Services Coordinator at UR School of Law