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What is Poll Everywhere?

Poll Everywhere is a simple application that works well for live audiences using mobile devices like phones. At Wentworth, we recommend the use of Poll Everywhere if faculty are interested in having more student engagement but are NOT interested in collecting student data.  Students participate by visiting a mobile-friendly web page for your event or sending text messages. Instructions are displayed on-screen. The poll that is embedded within the presentation or web page will update in real time. Advanced uses include texting comments to a presentation, texting questions to a presenter, responding via the web, and SMS interactivity in print, radio, and TV.

A limited version of Poll Everywhere is available to the education community for free.  With the free version of Poll Everywhere, up to 40 participants (or responses per poll) is the number of responses each single poll can receive. This means all customers can engage audiences of up to this number at a time. It also means they can allow smaller audiences to respond more than once, creating opportunity for more interesting word clouds and richer Q&A sessions.

Possible Uses

  • Maintain students’ attention during a lecture. Studies show that most people’s attention lapses after 10 to 18 minutes of passive listening. Inserting a few polling questions every so often during a lecture can help maintain students’ attention. 
  • Promote active student engagement during a lecture. Posing well-chosen questions to students during lecture and expecting answers from each student can cause students to reflect on and assimilate course content during class.
  • Promote discussion and collaboration among students during class with group exercises that require students to discuss and come to a consensus.
  • Encourage participation from each and every student in a class. Asking a question verbally and calling on the first student to raise his or her hand results in one student participating. A polling activity can involve not one, but all of the students in the class.
  • Create a safe space for shy and unsure students to participate in class. A polling question gives students a chance to respond to a teacher’s question silently and privately, enabling student who might not typically speak up in class to express their thoughts and opinions. A polling question also enables students to respond anonymously to sensitive ethical, legal, and moral questions.
  • Check for student understanding during class. By asking polling questions, teachers can determine if students understand important points or distinctions raised in class. They need not wait until homework is turned in or exams are completed to do so. Instead they can receive feedback on a lecture during that same lecture.
  • Teach in a way that adapts to the immediate learning needs of his or her students. If a histogram of student answers shows that a significant number of students chose wrong answers to a question, then the teacher can revisit or clarify the points he or she just made in class. If a histogram shows that most students chose the correct answers to a question, then the teacher can move on to another topic.
  • Add a little drama to class. There is often a sense of expectation as wait for the histogram to appear showing how their classmates answered a given question.
  • Poll Everywhere provides a mechanism for students to participate anonymously.
  • Poll Everywhere integrates a "game approach" that may engage students more than traditional class discussion.

How to get started

Visit the Poll Everywhere website and sign up for a free account.

Poll Everywhere offers several types of activities you can use to interact with your students:

Multiple-choice polls: The audience chooses from the response options you provide (for example a choice of either true or false.) You can also upload images to serve as response options. Multiple choice polls accept both text message responses and web responses. Multiple-choice polls

Open-ended questions: The audience responds freely, with anything they wish. Open-ended responses can be displayed three ways: a ticker, text wall, or cluster. You can use Moderation to manage responses before they are shown publicly. This activity allows both text message responses and web responses. Open-ended polls

Q&A: The audience submits ideas or questions. Then they can anonymously upvote or downvote all other responses, so the best rise to the top quickly. This activity only allows web responses. Q&A polls

Rank order: Participants rank the response options you provide. The results display as a bar chart ranking the options 1st, 2nd, 3rd… This activity only allows web responses. Ranking polls

Clickable images: The audience clicks anywhere on an image to respond. You can even specify regions to count clicks in specific areas. This activity only allows web responses. Clickable image polls


Visit the Poll Everywhere support site for answers to frequently asked questions.


Please take a moment to explore the Poll Everywhere support site for helpful resources.

For more information

Please contact Learning Innovation & Technology for assistance using this product in your course.  Email, stop by Beatty 318, or call 617-989-5428.