Research shows that clickers are proving to be useful for improving student attendance, interest, understanding, and grades. Students seem to find them a useful addition to the classroom, but comment on the cost associated with purchasing clickers, often multiple ones, that are required to participate in class questions provided by different book publishers.
I’ve been looking for a way to implement clickers in the classroom without needing students to buy a clicker. I came across PollEverywhere that allows students to use their cell phone, smart phone or a laptop to participate in class Q&As or surveys. I decided to try it out this afternoon.
The signup process was very simple and took only a minute or two. Immediately I was able to create a poll question. Once you save the poll, it generates both a call number (circled in red) and a series of response texts (green rectangle). It was available for responses right away.
First I tried the SmartPhone method of using poll4.com. A simple vote screen is displayed. The first time I tried typing in the whole response code (CAST 91731), but it did not accept it as a valid response. When I entered only the number it worked! The dynamic response screen showed the vote within seconds.
Next I tried using my cell phone to respond. I entered the call number as a new phone number and sent one of the response texts (91742) as the message. It immediately ‘called’ me back telling me I had done something wrong. I tried again … this time with the full response text (CAST 91742). It worked and immediately updated the response screen.
Since the poll was set to only one response per person, I had to use another computer to try out the online response … when I tried to vote again on my computer it told me that I already had. In this version you simply click on the desired response. Once again the results were updated immediately.
All in all, I was very pleased with the ease of both creating and responding to the poll. It’s certainly something that I’ll be incorporating into my classroom.