Educational Technology

Poll Everywhere Conversations and Recommendations

By Kristine Dreaver-Charles, Academic Innovation Specialist with Academic Innovation Technologies

The challenge of technology is when it fails. I’ve had those moments of presenting or trying to demonstrate something and my technology just does not do what I intended. Sometimes it is the technology. Sometimes it’s the hardware. But sometimes it’s me and I’ve forgotten a critical step. Ultimately, I am aiming to fail forward and learn from the experience rather than give up completely.

If you’ve tried Poll Everywhere and been challenged by it not doing what you need or expect, consider what support you need and where you can find it. My usual beginning point is to talk with my friends and colleagues. Just a bit of a comment or idea over tea can end up being very useful.

I met up with my friend to talk about her experience with Poll Everywhere as we sat on a bench on a beautiful autumn day on campus. The first thing I wanted to find out was why she used Poll Everywhere. She mentioned the following:

  • It makes students’ thinking visible.
  • You can see commonalities of perspectives within the class.
  • Polling can spark great ideas and conversations during class.
  • It is scalable to the size of your class.
  • It is useful if you want to see if students have met their learning outcomes.
  • For group discussions, an instructor can use it for reporting back to the whole class.

We also discussed the following recommendations for using Poll Everywhere:

  • Build your polls in Poll Everywhere online and then import them into your PowerPoint presentation. The settings seem more intuitive in the online version.
  • Visit the room you are presenting in beforehand to practice because the room hardware often differs.
  • Be sure to test your PowerPoint presentation polls. Find a friend or colleague to test your polls with you ahead of time.
  • Make sure the devices you and your students are using are logged into the uofs_secure wifi network, rather than the guest one. This can alleviate issues with connecting to the polls.
  • Contact the Gwenna Moss Centre for help with understanding best educational uses for Poll Everywhere and how to design questions.

To learn more about using Poll Everywhere

If Poll Everywhere does not seem to be working, please let ICT know by emailing for help and to make sure ICT is aware of your issue. For immediate classroom technical assistance call 966-4263. For issues in particular spaces, check in with your college IT coordinator and talk over those challenges you may be experiencing.