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Friday, November 18, 2011

Two more PollEverywhere suggestions

In the course of conversations with people about PollEverywhere over the last few months, some additional uses of the service have come up.  One is to use it as a backchannel during class, since it allows for open-ended responses. That is, you could create a poll that simply asks students to submit any questions or relevant comments that arise for them while the class is meeting. The one catch is the instructor needs a way to monitor those comments throughout class. If you are already using the computer for something else (like your Powerpoint slides), you could either use a second device (smartphone or tablet) to keep an eye on the website or stop every so often to check it. Derek Bruff has a nice post on backchannels in education if you're interested in more about the how and why of backchannels.

Another way to use PollEverywhere is as a replacement for clickers in distance-learning. I don't teach online classes so I'm not entirely sure what the options are if you wanted to ask clicker-type questions during a synchronous class meeting but PollEverywhere would be a way for students to submit responses from anywhere, in real time, and for everyone to see the responses immediately. You could also use it for asynchronous classes but there are probably better options (e.g., most course management systems have a way to administer polls or quizzes).

I haven't used done either of these personally so I can't speak to how well it would work but thought others might be interested...

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