Polleverywhere is an electronic voting system (EVS) enabling academics to rapidly collect, display and evaluate student responses to questions posed during class. The use of EVS is seen as an effective way to enliven the traditional lecture format and deepen the learning that takes place.
Typically, the academic will use an EVS to create and display multiple choice questions to students via a web page or PowerPoint presentation. Students confirm their responses by interacting with their mobile phone or web-enabled device. The EVS receives the signals transmitted by the students’ devices, computes them then displays the answers graphically, for example as a bar graph or pie chart. The results can be saved and transferred to a spreadsheet for further analysis.
Educational benefits of EVS
There is a significant body of evidence that greater interaction in face-to-face teaching situations results in increased understanding of complex subject matter, as well as greater enthusiasm amongst students for learning. An EVS can, for example, be used to assess students’ understanding at critical points during a lecture, and a well-designed question can facilitate peer discussion as well as highlight common misconceptions that can be addressed in class. Although such interactions are possible without using technology (for instance by asking for a show of hands) an EVS offers additional benefits such as the ability to respond anonymously, which can encourage wider student participation. The accuracy of results, the speed in which they are displayed, and the ability to produce reports are also beneficial for academics as well as students.
Getting started with Polleverywhere
The University of Surrey provides access to Polleverywhere for any member of staff who would like to use EVS in their teaching.
Polleverywhere is a web hosted EVS, whereby students use their own mobile device (e.g. mobile phone, smartphone, tablet or laptop) to respond to questions. Answers are sent either as a text message to a UK based phone number (normal call charges apply) or by interacting with a web page or app using the internet. Questions can be presented and results displayed from the Polleverywhere website or from within a PowerPoint presentation. Polleverywhere allows for “free text” and “clickable image” type responses as well as the standard multiple choice option, so offering a wide range of educational applications.
You can run Polleverywhere from any computer connected to the internet by going to Polleverywhere.com and logging in with a user account. Polleverywhere questions can be also embedded and displayed from within a PowerPoint presentation (optional PowerPoint plugin is required).
Email TEL if you would like to use Polleverywhere in your teaching. Your name will be added to the university’s Polleverywhere license and you will receive an email with instructions on how to setup your user account.
For a quick overview of how to create and display questions using Polleverywhere, download our quick start guide [PDF]
For information on how to install and use the PowerPoint Polleverywhere plugin, download our quick guide supplement [PDF]