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EDU Support Blackboard Instructor Tool Guide Tools for (interactive) lecturing Poll Everywhere

Poll Everywhere

PollEverywhere is an audience response system that lets you embed interactive activities into your presentation.

Standard use

Log in via, click ‘Log In’ at the top right of the page and select ‘Sign in With Google’ to use the University Single Sign On, which uses your email address.

Create a poll / activity - a single question or prompt you pose to your audience.

  1. Click the Create button at the top left of your My Polls page to create an activity.

  2. Select the type of activity you would like to use and fill in the details. For all available types of activities, see below.

  3. Click the Create button to build your activity and save it to your account. That’s it! Continue to add as many activities as you like.

Test your poll from the Test tab in the menu on the right. Select or enter a response there and see the results immediately. Click Clear responses to reset the poll.

Present your poll from the PollEverywhere website: open the poll and click Fullscreen, it will automatically be activated so your audience can participate.

Click Next to quickly move forward to your next poll.

Clear responses to remove your own test results or to reuse polls from the past. Upon clearing the responses are archived for future reporting.

Types of activities

Multiple choice - select an option from a list.

Open-ended - send a written answer.

Clickable image - put a marker on an image.

Ranking - rank a list of items.

Q&A - ask question or make a suggestion, up- or downvote existing options.

Survey - multiple activities presented sequentially.

More - under the “… More” button a few predefined questions are suggested. These are all special ways to present one of the activity types above. For example: a word cloud is an open-ended question with the presentation mode set to word cloud instead of a text wall.

Advanced use

Activate your poll without going full screen by clicking the Activate icon, located on the right part of the poll. In the list of polls, the Activate icon is shown next to the poll name.

Present in a slideshow You can display a poll directly by embedding your poll as a slide. To do this install the PollEverywhere app/extension:

PowerPoint - (will soon be available on the UWP as well)

Keynote for Mac -

Google Slides extension -

Then, locate the PollEverywhere ribbon at the top. using the ribbon (PP) / add-in (Mac) / tab (Google), create a new poll for your presentation and insert any polls you have created into your presentation and insert any polls you have created into your presentation. The poll will not display or receive responses until you have successfully installed and logged into the app, and the slide is in full screen or presentation mode.

Lock your poll if you want to discuss the results without allowing the audience to respond. Access the Lock icon in fullscreen mode by moving your mouse to the upper right of the screen.

Download results for further analysis: selecting the polls and click Reports. The Survey responses report lists the individual responses for the selected polls.

Sharing activities

It is possible to share activities that you have created with your colleagues. PollEverywhere makes use of so called “Teams“ for this purpose. A team consists of a number of individuals that can share their activities with each other.

Requesting a team

PollEverywhere teams are created by Nestorsupport. If you wish for a team to be created for your course, organization, etc., contact Nestorsupport and specify the following information:

  • The name of the PollEverywhere team.

  • The rug email addresses of all members that should be added to team.

Nestorsupport will create the team for you and notify you when it is ready to be used.

Sharing activities with a team

If you want to share one or multiple activities with the members in a team, you must first ensure that that they are in a group (not the Default group!). On the Activities page, you can add activities to a group as follows:

  1. Select the activities to be added to the new group.

  2. Click on New group.

  3. Specify a group name and click on Create group.

Now you can share the group of activities with your team as follows:

  1. On the group entry that you want to share, click on Share.

  2. Select the teams that you want to share the activities with.

  3. Click on Save.

Whenever you make changes to activities in the shared group or add new activities, team members will see them as well.

Viewing activities shared with me

If someone has shared a group of activities with a team you’re in, you can find it on the Shared with me page. Here, you can open activities by simply clicking on them. If you would like to make changes to one or more activities shared with you, you can make a copy of them, and they will appear on your Activities page.

Educational Quickstart

Voting during lectures: how to ask the hard questions?

Voting during lectures is a good way to activate your students. Examples of what you can do during lectures are: asking multiple choice question, making a word cloud, asking for opinions or doing live experiments.

A good discussion question is like a Trojan horse

If you want the full results of using voting software, you want to ask questions that aim for higher order levels of thinking. Students have studied the book before your lecture starts (right?), so they know the facts and principles. But how do you get them on a higher level and ask difficult questions? That turns out to be quite difficult. Some pointers:

Think of Trojan Horse-type questions. Questions that are engaging and look very simple, but are actually quite difficult to solve. An example (from spatial sciences) is: Do you live in a city or in a village. It sounds simple but how is a city actually defined? Is it population? City rights? Economics? Or sheer size?

Can the question raise discussion about the most important part of your lecture? Does the question invite deep thinking? Test your questions beforehand with a colleague, and keep developing them (more info about writing good questions).

Think of making subgroups of students so they can discuss amongst each other first before answers are given in the whole group. You can divide roles in groups, and state that you will ask the chair of each group to specify their answer after. An option can be to use timers (YouTube search: 5 minute timer) to make clear how much time students have to solve the problem. Then project the timer on screen and start the exercise!

Allowing anonymous reactions can be useful: to discuss sensitive subjects, or allowing students to ask questions they regard as “stupid”. When allowing for anonymous reactions, be prepared for a (limited) number of rude or silly comments.

Other possibilities

  • Testing prior knowledge: This works for students (“Am I ready to do this course?”) or for the lecturer (“What level do I start?”).

  • Lecture Preparation: Did students study the literature before the lecture? A short test (for a small amount of points) at the start of the lecture ensures that students prepare. You could also ask questions at the end of the lecture, to give an indication of required level for the next lecture.

  • Classic: You provide a multiple choice question after an explanation to check student understanding. Depending on the answer there’s more explanation (you could let students explain each other), or you continue with the next topic.

  • Group discussion: sometimes it is hard to start a discussion with a full group of students. Sending in the first reactions anonymously can be a good start, after which you can ask the sender of the reaction to explain themselves further.

  • Vote: Students can vote for the best presentation, best project, paper, etc. Reactions can be ordered along the criteria of your course.

  • Interactive practical: students do a practical by solving small problems, depending on the answers on the first problem, more explanation follows, or a next problem. The answers provide the path through the practicum materials. You could also ask students to vote for the contents of the next session.

  • Formative quizzing: do a small test to measure student progress: “Are you ready for the exam?” Students are awarded a small amount of points towards the final grade or this could also be ungraded simply for students to self-assess their own learning.

  • Nano-paper: Ask your students at the end of the lecture to give a summary (in 140 characters) of the lecture contents. Announce this at the start of the lecture to activate the students. Good for evaluation of your lecture too!

Whom to contact?

Contact EDU Support or your faculty's Embedded Expert from ESI for tailored didactic advice in using these suggestions in your teaching. For technical assistance please contact Nestorsupport.

Last modified: 3 August 03:28 pm
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